If you need a break, but can’t travel far, you may be surprised at the many ways there are to be a tourist in your own state – and maybe even your own city! No matter how long your getaway, there are plenty of attractions and things to do in the Austin area to keep you as busy as you like throughout your stay. An Austin staycation may just what you need.
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Spend some time wandering the zoo and getting to know its residents. You’ll meet lions, tigers, cougars, and other cats. Marvel at mammals including North American black bears, wolf hybrids, or the interesting coatimundi – a member of the raccoon family. They live 7-15 years and can weigh up to 17 pounds! Primates include the ring-tailed lemur and a variety of monkeys. The zoo showcases its native Texas wildlife too, from the Texas leaf-cutting ant to the eastern fox squirrel. Wrap up a visit with domesticated animals like longhorns, miniature donkeys, pot-bellied pigs, and llamas!
Texas Military Forces Museum
Wander the 45,000-square-foot facility to explore the history of the Texas militia and volunteer forces dating back to 1823. Permanent exhibits include samples of uniforms, weapons, equipment, personal items, film, music, and much more that reflect life in the military. The museum also hosts several living history programs, as well as battle reenactments, and many other special events. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail
A great way to see Austin is to get out and get in the middle of it. Lace up your walking shoes or hop on a bike and head to the Hike and Bike Trail, a low-grade paved trail fit for pedestrians and cyclists alike. The trail winds its way through downtown, giving you a beautiful view of the Austin skyline. Because of its location, the ten-mile loop is dotted with parking and access points so you can create an adventure that takes in just a little or all of the route. There are restrooms, water fountains, foot showers and other conveniences as well as boat launches and a pedestrian/cyclist-only bridge over Lady Bird Lake.
Austin is the capital city of Texas and houses all the government buildings needed for maintaining everything that keeps the state running. The current capitol building was completed and dedicated in May of 1888. If you’ve been to the U.S. capitol in Washington, DC, you may feel like the Texas capitol building is bigger. In fact, the Texas capitol building is 14.64 feet taller than the U.S. capitol, as measured from the ground to the top of the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. capitol and from ground to the tip of the Goddess of Liberty on the Texas capitol.
Haunted History Walking Tour
Much of Texas, and especially Austin, has a storied history that consists of many battles and events that have left behind echoes and spirits of bygone eras. There are organizations and tour companies around Austin that will take you on walking tours of the downtown historic areas of the city and fill you in on what made Austin what it is today. Some companies even offer a paranormal investigation where you can actively seek out the spirits for an encounter you won’t soon forget. Before making your plans, contact your company of choice and inquire about age or other restrictions. Some even invite your pooch along for the journey!
Once you’ve met the wildlife that makes their home on the land, take some time to visit the ones that dwell in the water. Encounter sting rays, sharks, tropical fish from all over the world, as well as koi fish, and much more. Learn about coral reefs and how they nourish the underwater environment and provide shelter, then watch sharks as they swim silently through the tanks. Once you’ve gotten to know the inhabitants, schedule a special encounter where you can feed stingrays, tortoises, and even sharks for an unforgettable experience.
Taking a Break Nearby
When you stay in a vacation rental in Austin provided by Renters Club, you’ll enjoy easy access to the many area attractions, shopping, dining, and more to make a staycation to remember. We offer one-bedroom units for a more intimate stay, all the way up to a 10-bedroom unit for your large group staycation. Prepare a meal in the fully equipped kitchen and enjoy it in a spacious dining area. Afterward, spread out in an open living space. Enjoy a private balcony or patio or spend some time near the pool. For a premium experience, choose a unit with bonuses like multiple flat screen TVs, table tennis, a putting green, stainless steel appliances, and more.