If you have guests coming to visit your apartment from out of town, or if you're arriving in Austin for the first time yourself, it's important to take in all of the best sights and sounds and get a good feel for the city. Here's a look at nine sights and activities all first-time visitors to Austin are sure to enjoy.
1. The Greenbelt
The Greenbelt is a trail that winds through Austin, offering great views of both nature and urban areas. You can walk, bike, or rollerblade along the path and stop at shelters and benches to rest along the way. A good place to access the trail is from the Barton Creek Greenbelt oasis, located at 377-B Capital of Texas Highway.
2. Rainey Street
When you're looking for vibrant night life, head over to this street where you can have your choice of locally owned bars and restaurants, many of which offer open-air patios for dining and dancing the night away. The street has a very historic feel as many of the businesses have been built into new homes.
3. Baylor Street Art Wall
Baylor and 11th Streets
This site was once slated to be a condo project, but it was abandoned and has since been adopted by local graffiti artists. Climb the colorful walls, and you can enjoy a stunning view of the city.
4. Lake Travis Zipline Tours
14529 Pocohontas Trail
Speed across Lake Travis at speeds over 60 miles per hour, and enjoy stunning views of the lake and trees below. This is a good way to see the more adventurous side of Austin as well as its beautiful nature.
5. Texas State Capitol
1100 Congress Ave
Built like a castle, the Texas State Capitol building is the oldest state office in Texas. The visitor's center is open for tours, where you can learn about the history of the building, Austin, and the State of Texas.
6. LBJ Presidential Library
2313 Red River St
This vast library is home to more than 45 million pages of historical documents, and you can take a guided audio tour to learn about many of them. There are also many exhibits dedicated to President Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency and life.
7. SoCo District
Centered around South Congress Avenue, the SoCo neighborhood is home to many locally owned shops, from antique stores to fashion boutiques. Food trucks tend to gather here, too, so you can sample some of the local cuisine.
8. Zilker Botanical Gardens
2220 Barton Springs Rd
Take a stroll through the winding trails, enjoying blooming plants and flowing water in a tranquil setting. You'll also see replicas of pioneer buildings, giving you a glimpse into Texas history.
9. Blanton Museum of Art
200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Located on the grounds of University of Texas at Austin, this museum houses the largest collection of Latin American artwork in the country.
What other activities would you recommend for first-time Austin visitors? Please share your ideas in the comments.