Known as the Live Music Capital of the World®, Austin is home to world-renowned festivals such as SXSW® and Austin City Limits Music Festival, along with more than 250 venues featuring rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk or Latino shows nightly. Austin’s universal appeal extends well beyond music, with outstanding dining experiences, world-class sporting events, an oasis of outdoor activities and other unique happenings only Austin can offer. Austin is home to the world’s largest urban bat colony, with between 75,000-1.5 million Mexican Free Tail Bats taking up residence beneath the Ann Richard’s Congress Street Bridge from April until October each year. Austin features more than 250 parks, numerous miles of running trails and outdoor activity options including rowing and stand-up paddle boarding. Points of interest located closest to downtown, along the Colorado River, include 360-acre Zilker Park, 10-mile looped Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake and 68-degree, spring-fed Barton Springs Pool.
Austin has been gaining national attention for its diverse dining options. Whether you are looking for brick-and-mortar restaurant featuring award-winning cuisine or an up-and-coming chef with a food truck, Austin offers a dining option for every taste. If you are looking for local food in Austin, you can find options on almost every restaurant menu, or you can shop at one of the 11 certified farmers markets or six urban farms located within city limits. Austin is also home to a thriving arts, history and cultural scene with public art displays throughout the city and world-class museums and cultural centers.
Regardless of whether you’re looking to experience Austin’s vibrant entertainment and culture, tantalizing culinary delights or outdoors, you’ll quickly discover Austin features its own unique soundtrack.
(Information courtesy of Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, visit austintexas.org/visit for more information.
Austin’s restaurant scene
The food scene in Austin is diverse, vibrant and as big as Texas. While tacos fuel most Austinites and can be found on nearly every corner, other delicious options are springing up every day. Austin has a thriving food truck scene, a range of excellent farm-to-table restaurants and a huge variety of cuisine from around the world.
Feel like exploring the Austin dining scene? Check out these links for recommendations:
The 38 Essential Austin Restaurants via Eater Austin
CultureMap Austin’s Picks for Great Vegetarian Dining Options in Austin
CultureMap Austin’s Favorite New Restaurants
Edible Austin‘s List of Locally-Sourcing Restaurants in Central Texas
Info on Austin’s dynamic mobile food scene via Austin Food Carts
Austin’s Best Coffee Shops via Eater Austin
Austin with kids
In addition to its reputation as the live music capital of the world and growing status as a foodie paradise, Austin is a great place for kids of all ages. From fun in the sun on Lady Bird Lake, at Zilker Park or Barton Springs Pool, to hands-on exhibits at The Thinkery, to vintage mini golf at Peter Pan, to bowling and laser tag at Main Event, there really is something for everyone.
For the really little ones, The Babble has some great suggestions.
For big and little kids, check out Austin Bored Kids for recommendations to suit every child in any weather.
Get your hands dirty on the farm! Edible Austin has a great list of pick your own farms in the area.
Do512 has a dynamic Facebook page for things to do with kids, updated regularly!
Austin’s urban farms
According to The Austin Chronicle’s Virginia B. Wood, “In the not-too-distant past, much of what we now know as East Austin was covered with working truck farms that fed residents of this city and many others. Thanks to the urban farm renaissance that began in the early ’90s and continues today, some of that same rich Colorado River bottomland is feeding Austin families again.” Arrange a farm visit or stop by the farm stands during open hours to see Austin’s urban farm network yourself.
5015 Maufrais Lane, Austin TX 78744 / 512-658-5223
Agua Dulce, located in South-East Austin is an aquaponics facility, providing green leafy vegetables and herbs and fresh, sustainable fish to local restaurants and wholesale markets. Their aquaponics system is well-suited to the tricky climate of Central Texas and is well-worth learning more about.
Boggy Creek Farm
3414 Lyons Rd, Austin, TX 78702 / 512-926-4650
Boggy Creek Farm, located on Austin’s East Side, has quite an impressive claim to fame: the oldest urban farm in the USA. You can take a self-guided tour of the farm during farm stand hours from 9am-1pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Green Gate Farms
8310 Canoga Ave, Austin, TX 78724 / 512-484-2746
In 2010, Green Gate Farms was voted ‘Best Place to See Where Your Food Comes From’ by editors at the Austin Chronicle. Come and visit their farm on the East Side of Austin and see for yourself. Green Gate Farm holds tours every Friday at 10am and Saturday at noon. For more details, including costs, visit the farm website.
3300 Govalle Ave, Austin TX 78702
Hausbar Farms in East Austin grows a wide variety of vegetables, runs a huge number of chickens and, best of all, holds a range of workshops to share their know-how on practical skills like composting. They also run kids’ camps, a fantastic way of engaging children with the local food system.
Johnson’s Backyard Garden
9515 Hergotz Lane, Austin, TX 78742 / 512-386-5273
Johnson’s Backyard Garden literally started out as just that – the backyard garden of a suburban Austin home. Since 2004, Johnson’s Backyard Garden has grown up into CSA operation that feeds over 1000 people with high-quality organic produce, and a regular fixture at local farmers’ markets. It’s also won Best Local Farm (2012) and Best Farm-to-Table Initiative (2008) in the Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin Awards.
Rain Lily Farm
914 Shady Lane, Austin, TX 78702 / 512-386-7633
Rain Lily is an innovative farm just 5 minutes from Downtown Austin, brought together by farmers, designers and craftspeople. Rain Lily Farm is a diverse urban farm featuring chickens, goats, water reclamation, rainwater collection, and a half-acre of pesticide / herbicide-free vegetable farming.
755 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX 78702 / 512-386-8899
Springdale Farm, just 3 miles east of the State Capitol building, grows over 75 varieties of seasonal vegetables! And while we’re talking about impressive feats, we should also mention that Springdale Farm has also been featured in publications as wide-ranging as The New York Times, the website Apartment Therapy, The Austin-American Statesman and Austin Monthly. You can see what all the buzz is about by visiting their indoor farm stand from 9am-1pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. More information available on the website.
Ten Acre Organics
Relative new kids on the block, Ten Acre Organics combines a number of methods of sustainable farming, with the lofty aim of creating ‘the most sustainable and productive ten-acre farm in the world and then replicating it on the edge of cities everywhere.’ Sounds excellent.
Urban Roots is a youth development organization that uses sustainable agriculture to transform the lives of young people and increase access to healthy food in Austin. Contact them to discuss farm visit options.
Churches, synagogues and mosques in downtown Austin
St. David’s Episcopal Church
301 E 8th St
Austin, TX 78701
Central Presbyterian Church
200 E 8th St
Austin City Life
501 W 3rd St
St Mary’s Cathedral
203 E 10th St
Central Christian Church
1110 Guadalupe St
First Baptist Church of Austin
901 Trinity St
St. Elias Orthodox Church
408 E 11th St
Emmanuel United Methodist Church
1164 San Bernard Street
2101 Nueces St
Congregation Beth Israel
3901 Shoal Creek Blvd
1906 Nueces Street