Austin Tourism Guide

Austin Tourism – Austin Sightseeing

Planning an Austin vacation? This Austin Tourism page is your resource for getting the most out of your visit. For a quick primer on Austin, Texas, be sure to check out: 10 Popular Austin Attractions.

Click on any of the links below for more detailed information.

Austin Bats

Watching the nightly flight of Austin’s massive colony of Mexican Free-Tail Bats from atop, below, or near the Congress Avenue bridge has become one of the more popular Austin tourism activities.

bats under congres bridge austin
bats under congres bridge austin

Stevie Ray Vaughan Statue

If you’re a music lover in general or a blues lover in particular, then by all means stop by and pay your respects to Austin’s legendary guitarist and blues musician. The statue is conveniently located on the shores of beautiful Lady Bird Lake along Austin’s popular hike and bike trail.

Statue Stevie Ray Vaughan

Texas Governor’s Mansion

Built in the mid-1850s, the Texas Governor’s Mansion is the 4th oldest executive residence in the United States. The mansion was closed to the public in 2007 for overdue maintenance renovations. In June 2008, while vacated by Governor Perry, the building was heavily damaged by arson and is currently undergoing major restorations. It’s unlikely that tours will resume before 2012.

Texas State Capitol

Second in total size only to the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. (but actually a little taller), the Texas Capitol is obviously one of the more popular Austin tourism destinations. Be sure to check out the Capitol Visitors Center located on E. 11th ST for updated tour and exhibit information.

Texas State Capitol

Texas State Cemetery

Visiting cemeteries for recreation may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but the Texas State Cemetery is an exception. Rich with Texas history, the cemetery is also beautifully maintained. Treat yourself to a calm and relaxing visit, and while you’re here, pay your respects to Stephen F. Austin, “Father of Texas” and the namesake of this city.

Texas State Cemetery

Austin Tourism – Austin Tours

Austin Carriage Tours

Tour downtown Austin in style via horse-drawn carriage. Or use the service as a fun transportation alternative to a mundane taxi ride. Austin Carriage services can also be reserved for weddings and other special events.

Austin Duck Adventures

Enjoy a 75-minute amphibious tour of downtown Austin that culminates in a cruise in Lake Austin on board a Hydra Terra bus/boat.

Austin Ghost Tours

Entertaining and informative walking tours for those interested in Austin ghost stories and the darker side of Austin history. There are two 90 minute guided tours from which to choose, each exploring a different downtown area.

Austin Overtures

Armed with the slogan Austin in 90 Minutes, a Mercedes Benz Sprinter van, and an itinerary that includes more than 30 points of interest, Austin Overtures is a great way to see (and learn about) a lot of Austin in a short time.

Capital Cruises

One of two Lady Bird Lake cruise ship choices. Why not experience Austin from the waters of Lady Bird Lake? Capital Cruises offers several sightseeing, special event, and chartered packages for all interests and budgets. Their cruise ship fleet runs from the double-decker flagship Pride and Joy all the way down to the covered, 8-seat, electric, “gondola-like” Duffy.

Hill Country Flyer

Step back in time and travel the Texas Hill Country by rail. The Austin Steam Train Association offers day shopping trips to the City of Burnet via the popular Hill Country Flyer. A shorter version is also offered along with various special event runs throughout the year. Passengers can choose between three classes of travel.

Lone Star Riverboat

One of two Lady Bird Lake cruise ship choices. Family-owned and operated since 1987, Lone Star Riverboat offers narrated cruises and Austin bat-watching excursions. The company also offers special seasonal cruises and private charters.

Segway Tours – SegCity

Why walk when you can roll through Austin on a Segway Human Transporter? SegCity is Austin’s original Segway tour company (and Segway Authorized). SegCity offers various tour packages and times, including a ghost tour in the evening. Tours begin with a brief instructional demonstration on how to operate a Segway so that even a beginner can master navigation after only a few minutes.

Segway Tours – Gliding Revolution

Gliding Revolution also offers several popular daily tours and tour routes of Austin. Team building exercise sessions for Austin businesses are also available. Because Gliding Revolution is housed at the Holiday Inn along Lady Bird Lake, on-site parking is free.

UT Campus Tours

Whether you’re a prospective student or just interested in seeing and learning more about the University of Texas at Austin, you’ve got a few choices. Each spring UT hosts an open house for the general public (but with a special emphasis on K-12 students) called Explore UT. The UT Tower Tour is a popular guided tour of the famous UT Tower with spectacular views of Austin from atop the Tower observation deck. And for a different twist, try the Moonlight Prowl nighttime tour of the campus. The University also offers virtual tours and resources for self-directed tours.

Austin Tourism – Outdoors & Activities

Lady Bird Wildflower Center

Co-founded by the late Lady Bird Johnson and the late actress Helen Hayes, the Wildflower Center is an educational and advocacy center with numerous exemplary gardens and extensive trails that run throughout adjacent meadows. A must-do when you need your Austin Tourism batteries recharged, and a terrific hangout for locals to rejuvenate as well.

Mount Bonnell

Another popular Austin attraction, Mount Bonnell offers inspiring panoramic views of Lake Austin, the 360 Bridge (Pennybacker), and the Austin skyline. This city-maintained park is easily accessible although there is a steep but brief climb.

Mount Bonnell

Austin Tourism – Families & Children

Austin Children’s Museum

Located in downtown Austin with easy access to nearby parking garages, the Austin Children’s Museum is a good Austin vacation inclusion for families with children 12 and under. With an emphasis on science and discovery, the museum features plenty of fun, hands-on exhibits that will keep the kids engaged and learning.