Veronica Meewes

Correspondent

  • Austin, Texas, USA

Veronica Meewes is a correspondent who lives in Austin and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Meewes is a freelance writer specializing in travel, lifestyle, and food and beverage. She studied writing, art and sociology at Sarah Lawrence College in New York before traveling the country and landing in the sunny live music capital of the world, where the smell of brisket wafts through the air and breakfast tacos grow on trees. She has written for Serious Eats, Food & Wine, The Today Show, The Austin-American Statesman, CultureMap Austin, Edible Austin, Austin Lifestyle and more. For updates and links to her work, follow Meewes on Twitter (@wellfedlife) or visit her blog, www.mywellfedlife.com.

  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn’s Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (west of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between July and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress (and Cream has a second location on Guadalupe near campus). King’s Road opened recently, right smack in the middle of Sixth Street.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn’s Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (west of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between July and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress (and Cream has a second location on Guadalupe near campus). King’s Road opened recently, right smack in the middle of Sixth Street.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best attractions in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes Though millions of people flock to Austin annually for the various music festivals that take place throughout the year, I always tell guests that the best way to get a true taste of Austin is to visit between fests!

    The Texas State Capitol is a great place to start.  This oldest surviving state building is centrally located downtown, where Congress Avenue and 11th Street intersect.  It is free to enter and browse all the portraits of TX governors in the rotunda or (quietly) spin while looking up at the domed ceiling.. or opt for a guided tour!  If you plan ahead and pick up some snacks at Royal Blue Grocery beforehand, the grounds would make a great place for a picnic!

    South Congress is a must-see for out-of-town visitors.  Known mostly for its shopping and people-watching, the strip has become even more of a foodie destination in the past several years as well.  Weekends are the most fun and colorful, and First Thursdays turn the place into a bit of a block party each month.  There are shops a-plenty and several great restaurants, but don’t forget to check out the food trailers and artists selling their wares from outdoor booths!

    We are lucky enough to have access to nature right within city limits.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt has many different entrances throughout Austin which lead to great trails for running, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as swimming holes (when we are blessed with enough rain to keep them full!)  The Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail is a 10 mile trail located right downtown and always bustling with joggers, bikers, and dogwalkers.   Enter nearby Zilker Park to rent kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddleboards to take out on Lady Bird Lake, or fly kites, play sand volleyball, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, or any number of sports on its 351 acres, which overlook the city skyline.  Barton Springs is also a must-see: the three acre, spring-fed pool remains 68 degrees throughout the year, so it is not uncommon to see locals swimming laps in January!

    The Congress Avenue Bridge connects downtown to South Congress, and it is also home to the world’s largest urban bat colony.  Tourists line up on the bridge and at the adjacent viewing area to watch millions of Mexican bats take flight for food when the sun goes down.  The mass bat exodus takes places between around June and October, usually between 8 and 8:30pm.  And for your convenience, there is a bat hotline for updates: (512) 416-5700 ext. 3636

    To say UT football culture is a big part of Austin would be an understatement.  Pack your burnt orange and some cowboy boots if you plan on catching a game.  And even if you can’t score tickets, everyone knows the real party happens all around the stadium, where tailgaters set up early in the morning for some serious barbecuing and cheering around outdoor big-screen-TV set-ups.

    Once the best spot in town to see a vaudeville show or catch a silent movie, the historic Paramount Theatre is now home to film and comedy festivals, artist and author talks, musicals, plays, film premieres and more.   The summer classic film series is a great way to beat the heat and appreciate classic cinema on the big screen.  Make a full date night out of it by catching happy hour beforehand at nearby Annie’s, Second Bar and Kitchen, Roaring Fork, or the Omni.

    Built in 1886, the grand Driskill Hotel on 6th and Brazos was home to many politicians, cattle and oil barons over the years.  The lobby and bar/lounge area are all prime spots for lounging and admiring the very Western art while enjoying a cocktail.  The employees are usually eager to tell you about the historical underground alleys where politicians would sneak in their female company, or spin tails of the many alleged hauntings that have occurred here.

    Circuit of the Americas opened in November of 2012 to the pomp and circumstance of the US Formula 1 Grand Prix.  An observation tower, open to the public, provides a 360 degree view of the circuit, as well as views of downtown Austin.  The Austin 360 Ampitheater sits at the base of the tower and hosts national touring acts throughout the year.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best attractions in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes Though millions of people flock to Austin annually for the various music festivals that take place throughout the year, I always tell guests that the best way to get a true taste of Austin is to visit between fests!

    The Texas State Capitol is a great place to start.  This oldest surviving state building is centrally located downtown, where Congress Avenue and 11th Street intersect.  It is free to enter and browse all the portraits of TX governors in the rotunda or (quietly) spin while looking up at the domed ceiling.. or opt for a guided tour!  If you plan ahead and pick up some snacks at Royal Blue Grocery beforehand, the grounds would make a great place for a picnic!

    South Congress is a must-see for out-of-town visitors.  Known mostly for its shopping and people-watching, the strip has become even more of a foodie destination in the past several years as well.  Weekends are the most fun and colorful, and First Thursdays turn the place into a bit of a block party each month.  There are shops a-plenty and several great restaurants, but don’t forget to check out the food trailers and artists selling their wares from outdoor booths!

    We are lucky enough to have access to nature right within city limits.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt has many different entrances throughout Austin which lead to great trails for running, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as swimming holes (when we are blessed with enough rain to keep them full!)  The Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail is a 10 mile trail located right downtown and always bustling with joggers, bikers, and dogwalkers.   Enter nearby Zilker Park to rent kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddleboards to take out on Lady Bird Lake, or fly kites, play sand volleyball, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, or any number of sports on its 351 acres, which overlook the city skyline.  Barton Springs is also a must-see: the three acre, spring-fed pool remains 68 degrees throughout the year, so it is not uncommon to see locals swimming laps in January!

    The Congress Avenue Bridge connects downtown to South Congress, and it is also home to the world’s largest urban bat colony.  Tourists line up on the bridge and at the adjacent viewing area to watch millions of Mexican bats take flight for food when the sun goes down.  The mass bat exodus takes places between around June and October, usually between 8 and 8:30pm.  And for your convenience, there is a bat hotline for updates: (512) 416-5700 ext. 3636

    To say UT football culture is a big part of Austin would be an understatement.  Pack your burnt orange and some cowboy boots if you plan on catching a game.  And even if you can’t score tickets, everyone knows the real party happens all around the stadium, where tailgaters set up early in the morning for some serious barbecuing and cheering around outdoor big-screen-TV set-ups.

    Once the best spot in town to see a vaudeville show or catch a silent movie, the historic Paramount Theatre is now home to film and comedy festivals, artist and author talks, musicals, plays, film premieres and more.   The summer classic film series is a great way to beat the heat and appreciate classic cinema on the big screen.  Make a full date night out of it by catching happy hour beforehand at nearby Annie’s, Second Bar and Kitchen, Roaring Fork, or the Omni.

    Built in 1886, the grand Driskill Hotel on 6th and Brazos was home to many politicians, cattle and oil barons over the years.  The lobby and bar/lounge area are all prime spots for lounging and admiring the very Western art while enjoying a cocktail.  The employees are usually eager to tell you about the historical underground alleys where politicians would sneak in their female company, or spin tails of the many alleged hauntings that have occurred here.

    Circuit of the Americas opened in November of 2012 to the pomp and circumstance of the US Formula 1 Grand Prix.  An observation tower, open to the public, provides a 360 degree view of the circuit, as well as views of downtown Austin.  The Austin 360 Ampitheater sits at the base of the tower and hosts national touring acts throughout the year.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best attractions in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes Though millions of people flock to Austin annually for the various music festivals that take place throughout the year, I always tell guests that the best way to get a true taste of Austin is to visit between fests!

    The Texas State Capitol is a great place to start.  This oldest surviving state building is centrally located downtown, where Congress Avenue and 11th Street intersect.  It is free to enter and browse all the portraits of TX governors in the rotunda or (quietly) spin while looking up at the domed ceiling.. or opt for a guided tour!  If you plan ahead and pick up some snacks at Royal Blue Grocery beforehand, the grounds would make a great place for a picnic!

    South Congress is a must-see for out-of-town visitors.  Known mostly for its shopping and people-watching, the strip has become even more of a foodie destination in the past several years as well.  Weekends are the most fun and colorful, and First Thursdays turn the place into a bit of a block party each month.  There are shops a-plenty and several great restaurants, but don’t forget to check out the food trailers and artists selling their wears from outdoor booths!

    We are lucky enough to have access to nature right within city limits.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt has many different entrances throughout Austin which lead to great trails for running, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as swimming holes (when we are blessed with enough rain to keep them full!)  The Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail is a 10 mile trail located right downtown and always bustling with joggers, bikers, and dogwalkers.   Enter nearby Zilker Park to rent kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddleboards to take out on Lady Bird Lake, or fly kites, play sand volleyball, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, or any number of sports on its 351 acres, which overlook the city skyline.  Barton Springs is also a must-see: the three acre, spring-fed pool remains 68 degrees throughout the year, so it is not uncommon to see locals swimming laps in January!

    The Congress Avenue Bridge connects downtown to South Congress, and it is also home to the world’s largest urban bat colony.  Tourists line up on the bridge and at the adjacent viewing area to watch millions of Mexican bats take flight for food when the sun goes down.  The mass bat exodus takes places between around June and October, usually between 8 and 8:30pm.  And for your convenience, there is a bat hotline for updates: (512) 416-5700 ext. 3636

    To say UT football culture is a big part of Austin would be an understatement.  Pack your burnt orange and some cowboy boots if you plan on catching a game.  And even if you can’t score tickets, everyone knows the real party happens all around the stadium, where tailgaters set up early in the morning for some serious barbecuing and cheering around outdoor big-screen-TV set-ups.

    Once the best spot in town to see a vaudeville show or catch a silent movie, the historic Paramount Theatre is now home to film and comedy festivals, artist and author talks, musicals, plays, film premieres and more.   The summer classic film series is a great way to beat the heat and appreciate classic cinema on the big screen.  Make a full date night out of it by catching happy hour beforehand at nearby Annie’s, Second Bar and Kitchen, Roaring Fork, or the Omni.

    Built in 1886, the grand Driskill Hotel on 6th and Brazos was home to many politicians, cattle and oil barons over the years.  The lobby and bar/lounge area are all prime spots for lounging and admiring the very Western art while enjoying a cocktail.  The employees are usually eager to tell you about the historical underground alleys where politicians would sneak in their female company, or spin tails of the many alleged hauntings that have occurred here.

    Circuit of the Americas opened in November of 2012 to the pomp and circumstance of the US Formula 1 Grand Prix.  An observation tower, open to the public, provides a 360 degree view of the circuit, as well as views of downtown Austin.  The Austin 360 Ampitheater sits at the base of the tower and hosts national touring acts throughout the year.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best attractions in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes Though millions of people flock to Austin annually for the various music festivals that take place throughout the year, I always tell guests that the best way to get a true taste of Austin is to visit between fests!

    The Texas State Capitol is a great place to start.  This oldest surviving state building is centrally located downtown, where Congress Avenue and 11th Street intersect.  It is free to enter and browse all the portraits of TX governors in the rotunda or (quietly) spin while looking up at the domed ceiling.. or opt for a guided tour!  If you plan ahead and pick up some snacks at Royal Blue Grocery beforehand, the grounds would make a great place for a picnic!

    South Congress is a must-see for out-of-town visitors.  Known mostly for its shopping and people-watching, the strip has become even more of a foodie destination in the past several years as well.  Weekends are the most fun and colorful, and First Thursdays turn the place into a bit of a block party each month.  There are shops a-plenty and several great restaurants, but don’t forget to check out the food trailers and artists selling their wears from outdoor booths!

    We are lucky enough to have access to nature right within city limits.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt has many different entrances throughout Austin which lead to great trails for running, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as swimming holes (when we are blessed with enough rain to keep them full!)  The Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail is a 10 mile trail located right downtown and always bustling with joggers, bikers, and dogwalkers.   Enter nearby Zilker Park to rent kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddleboards to take out on Lady Bird Lake, or fly kites, play sand volleyball, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, or any number of sports on its 351 acres, which overlook the city skyline.  Barton Springs is also a must-see: the three acre, spring-fed pool remains 68 degrees throughout the year, so it is not uncommon to see locals swimming laps in January!

    The Congress Avenue Bridge connects downtown to South Congress, and it is also home to the world’s largest urban bat colony.  Tourists line up on the bridge and at the adjacent viewing area to watch millions of Mexican bats take flight for food when the sun goes down.  The mass bat exodus takes places between around June and October, usually between 8 and 8:30pm.  And for your convenience, there is a bat hotline for updates: (512) 416-5700 ext. 3636

    To say UT football culture is a big part of Austin would be an understatement.  Pack your burnt orange and some cowboy boots if you plan on catching a game.  And even if you can’t score tickets, everyone knows the real party happens all around the stadium, where tailgaters set up early in the morning for some serious barbecuing and cheering around outdoor big-screen-TV set-ups.

    Once the best spot in town to see a vaudeville show or catch a silent movie, the historic Paramount Theatre is now home to film and comedy festivals, artist and author talks, musicals, plays, film premieres and more.   The summer classic film series is a great way to beat the heat and appreciate classic cinema on the big screen.  Make a full date night out of it by catching happy hour beforehand at nearby Annie’s, Second Bar and Kitchen, Roaring Fork, or the Omni.

    Built in 1886, the grand Driskill Hotel on 6th and Brazos was home to many politicians, cattle and oil barons over the years.  The lobby and bar/lounge area are all prime spots for lounging and admiring the very Western art while enjoying a cocktail.  The employees are usually eager to tell you about the historical underground alleys where politicians would sneak in their female company, or spin tails of the many alleged hauntings that have occurred here.

    Circuit of the Americas opened in November of 2012 to the pomp and circumstance of the US Formula 1 Grand Prix.  An observation tower, open to the public, provides a 360 degree view of the circuit, as well as views of downtown Austin.  The Austin 360 Ampitheater sits at the base of the tower and hosts national touring acts throughout the year.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes is now following the question:
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best attractions in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes Though millions of people flock to Austin annually for the various music festivals that take place throughout the year, I always tell guests that the best way to get a true taste of Austin is to visit between fests!

    The Texas State Capitol is a great place to start.  This oldest surviving state building is centrally located downtown, where Congress Avenue and 11th Street intersect.  It is free to enter and browse all the portraits of TX governors in the rotunda or (quietly) spin while looking up at the domed ceiling.. or opt for a guided tour!  If you plan ahead and pick up some snacks at Royal Blue Grocery beforehand, the grounds would make a great place for a picnic!

    South Congress is a must-see for out-of-town visitors.  Known mostly for its shopping and people-watching, the strip has become even more of a foodie destination in the past several years as well.  Weekends are the most fun and colorful, and First Thursdays turn the place into a bit of a block party each month.  There are shops a-plenty and several great restaurants, but don’t forget to check out the food trailers and artists selling their wears from outdoor booths!

    We are lucky enough to have access to nature right within city limits.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt has many different entrances throughout Austin which lead to great trails for running, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as swimming holes (when we are blessed with enough rain to keep them full!)  The Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail is a 10 mile trail located right downtown and always bustling with joggers, bikers, and dogwalkers.   Enter nearby Zilker Park to rent kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddleboards to take out on Lady Bird Lake, or fly kites, play sand volleyball, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, or any number of sports on its 351 acres, which overlook the city skyline.  Barton Springs is also a must-see: the three acre, spring-fed pool remains 68 degrees throughout the year, so it is not uncommon to see locals swimming laps in January!

    The Congress Avenue Bridge connects downtown to South Congress, and it is also home to the world’s largest urban bat colony.  Tourists line up on the bridge and at the adjacent viewing area to watch millions of Mexican bats take flight for food when the sun goes down.  The mass bat exodus takes places between around June and October, usually between 8 and 8:30pm.  And for your convenience, there is a bat hotline for updates: (512) 416-5700 ext. 3636

    To say UT football culture is a big part of Austin would be an understatement.  Pack your burnt orange and some cowboy boots if you plan on catching a game.  And even if you can’t score tickets, everyone knows the real party happens all around the stadium, where tailgaters set up early in the morning for some serious barbecuing and cheering around outdoor big-screen-TV set-ups.

    Once the best spot in town to see a vaudeville show or catch a silent movie, the historic Paramount Theatre is now home to film and comedy festivals, artist and author talks, musicals, plays, film premieres and more.   The summer classic film series is a great way to beat the heat and appreciate classic cinema on the big screen.  Make a full date night out of it by catching happy hour beforehand at nearby Annie’s, Second Bar and Kitchen, Roaring Fork, or the Omni.

    Built in 1886, the grand Driskill Hotel on 6th and Brazos was home to many politicians, cattle and oil barons over the years.  The lobby and bar/lounge area are all prime spots for lounging and admiring the very Western art while enjoying a cocktail.  The employees are usually eager to tell you about the historical underground alleys where politicians would sneak in their female company, or spin tails of the many alleged hauntings that have occurred here.

    Circuit of the Americas opened in November of 2012 to the pomp and circumstance of the US Formula 1 Grand Prix.  An observation tower, open to the public, provides a 360 degree view of the circuit, as well as views of downtown Austin.  The Austin 360 Ampitheater sits at the base of the tower and hosts national touring acts throughout the year.
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