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Austin in Texas.
Lake Austin Spa Resort - Austin One of the top five lakefront spa resorts offering one of a kind treatments and packages designed for the ultimate spa retreat. The new Lakehouse Spa offers 25, 000 sq. feet of pure relaxation and pampering for those seeking rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul. The resort also features beautiful gardens, breathtaking water views, numerous recreational activities and healthy gourmet cuisine. Conveniently located 25 minutes from Austin, on the edge of Texas Hill Country, Lake Austin Spa Resort is in easy driving distance from downtown Austin and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Check out the website
Phone: 1.800.847.5637 Price Range: $1280 - $4895 Size: 40 Units Open Season: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Kids Allowed: No Pets Allowed: No Restaurant Onsite: Yes Conference Facility: Yes
Nearest Popular City: Austin Nearest Lake/River: Lake Austin Languages: English, Spanish Lodging Types: Golf Resorts, Lake Resorts, Luxury Resorts, Nature Resorts, Romantic Resorts, Spa Resorts Activities: Boating and Watercraft, Fitness and Beauty, Golfing, Gourmet Dining, Hiking, Spa and Massage, Swimming Pool / Lake, Tennis
The Driskill - Austin The Driskill is the cornerstone of Austin's downtown entertainment and business districts. It is recognized for true Texas hospitality and renowned for charm and elegance. You become part of the tradition of Texas the moment you enter through the arched doorway.
Phone: (1-512) 474-5911 Price Range: $151 - $250 Size: 50 - 200 Units Open Season: N/A
Kids Allowed: Yes Pets Allowed: No Restaurant Onsite: Yes Conference Facility: Yes
Nearest Popular City: Austin Nearest Lake/River: N/A Languages: English Lodging Types: Luxury Resorts Activities: Fitness and Beauty, Hiking
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. Austin has a population of 790,390 (2010 U.S. Census). The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos metropolitan area, with a population of over 1,716,291 (2010 U.S. Census), making it the 35th-largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Arts and culture
"Keep Austin Weird" has become a local motto in recent years, featured on bumper stickers and t-shirts. This motto has not only been used in promoting Austin's eccentricity and diversity, but is also meant to bolster support of local independent businesses. According to the Nielsen Company, adults in Austin read and contribute to blogs more than those in any other U.S. metropolitan area. Austin residents have the highest internet usage in all of Texas.
Austin was selected as the No. 2 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine in 2006, and No. 3 in 2009, and also the "Greenest City in America" by MSN. According to Travel & Leisure magazine, Austin ranks No. 1 on the list of cities with the best people, referring to the personalities and attributes of the citizens.
SoCo is a shopping district stretching down South Congress Avenue from Downtown. This area is home to coffee shops, eccentric stores, restaurants and festivals. It prides itself on "Keeping Austin Weird", despite development surrounding the area.
Annual cultural events
The O. Henry House Museum hosts the annual O. Henry Pun Off, a pun contest where the contestants exhibit wit. Other annual events include Eeyore's Birthday Party, Spamarama, the Austin Reggae Festival and Art City Austin in April, East Austin Studio Tour in November, and Carnaval Brasileiro in February. Sixth Street features annual festivals such as the Pecan Street Festival and Halloween night. The three-day Austin City Limits Music Festival has been held in Zilker Park every year since 2002. Every year around the end of March and the beginning of April, Austin is home to "Texas Relay Weekend."
Austin's Zilker Park Tree is a Christmas display made of lights strung from the top of a Moonlight tower in Zilker Park. The Zilker Tree is lit in December along with the "Trail of Lights", an Austin Christmas tradition. In 2010, the Trail of Lights was canceled due to budget problems, but the city says they hope to have finances for the trail next year.
Austin has a strong theater culture, with dozens of itinerant and resident companies producing a variety of work. The city also has live performance theater venues such as the Zachary Scott Theatre Center, Vortex Repertory Company, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Rude Mechanicals' the Off Center, Scottish Rite Children's Theater, Hyde Park Theatre, the Blue Theater, the Hideout Theater, and Esther's Follies. The Victory Grill was a renowned venue on the Chitlin' circuit. Public art and performances in the parks and on bridges are popular. Austin hosts the Fuse Box Festival each April featuring international, leading-edge theater artists.
The Paramount Theatre, opened in downtown Austin in 1915, contributes to Austin's theater and film culture, showing classic films throughout the summer and hosting regional premieres for films such as Miss Congeniality. The Zilker Park Summer Musical is a long-running outdoor musical.
The Long Center for the Performing Arts is a 2,300 seat theater built partly with recycled materials from the old Lester E. Palmer Auditorium.
Ballet Austin is the fourth largest ballet academy in the country. Each year Ballet Austin's twenty member professional company performs ballets from a wide variety of choreographers, including their international award winning artistic director, Stephen Mills. The city is also home to the Ballet East Dance Company, a modern dance ensemble, and the Tapestry Dance Company which performs a variety of dance genres.
The growing Austin improv comedy scene is spread over several theaters: ColdTowne Theater, The Hideout Theater, The New Movement Theater, and Salvage Vanguard Theater. Some of Austin's best known improv troupes include ColdTowne, The Frank Mills, Girls Girls Girls, Parallelogramophonograph, and Get Up. Austin also hosts the annual Out of Bounds Comedy Festival which draws comedic artists in all disciplines to Austin. In 2010, Out of Bounds hosted over 400 U.S. and international improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy artists over 7 days in 7 different venues.
Museums and other points of interest
Museums in Austin include the Texas Memorial Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art (reopened in 2006), the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum across the street (which opened in 2000), the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA), and the galleries at the Harry Ransom Center. The Texas State Capitol itself is also a major tourist attraction. The Driskill Hotel built in 1886, and located at 6th and Brazos, was finished just before the construction of the Capitol building. Sixth Street is a musical hub for the city. The Enchanted Forest, a multi-acre outdoor music, art, and performance art space in South Austin hosts events such as fire-dancing and circus-like-acts. Austin is also home to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, which houses documents and artifacts related to the Johnson administration, including LBJ's limousine and a recreation of the Oval Office.
Locally produced art is featured at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture. The Mexic-Arte Museum is a Latin American art museum founded in 1983. Austin is also home to the O. Henry House Museum, residence of O. Henry in 1891. Farmers markets are popular attractions, providing a variety of locally grown and often organic goods.
Austin is also "weird" for its many statues and landmarks, such as the Hyde Park Bar & Grill fork, the Mangia dinosaur, the Loca Maria lady at Taco Xpress on South Lamar, the 'migrating' pink flamingos on the lawn in front of the Pots and Plants Garden Center, the Hyde Park Gym's giant flexed arm, and Daniel Johnston's Hi, how are you? frog mural.
Austinites often start tours for visitors with a pilgrimage to the statue of Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan on the south shore of Town Lake. The statue's 'shadow' is longer than its height, to symbolize Vaughan's wide influence on electric guitarists.
The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge houses the world's largest urban population of Mexican Free-tailed Bats. Starting in March, up to 1.5 million bats take up residence inside the bridge's expansion and contraction zones as well as in long horizontal grooves running the length of the bridge's underside, an environment ideally suited for raising their young. Every evening around sunset, the bats emerge in search of insects, an exit visible on weather radar. Watching the bat emergence is an event that is popular with locals and tourists, with more than 100,000 viewers per year. The bats migrate to Mexico each winter.
The Austin Zoo, located in unincorporated western Travis County is a rescue zoo that provides sanctuary to displaced animals from a variety of situations, including those involving neglect.
Parks and recreation
The Austin Parks & Recreation Department received the Excellence in Aquatics award in 1999 and the Gold Medal Awards in 2004 from the National Recreation and Park Association. Home to more than 50 public swimming pools, Austin has parks and pools throughout the city. There are several well-known swimming locations. These include Deep Eddy Pool, Texas' oldest man-made swimming pool, and Barton Springs Pool, the nation's largest natural swimming pool in an urban area. Barton Springs Pool is spring-fed while Deep Eddy is well-fed. Both range in temperature from about 68.0 °F (20.0 °C) during the winter to about 71.6 °F (22.0 °C) during the summer. Hippie Hollow Park, a county park situated along Lake Travis, is the only officially sanctioned clothing-optional public park in Texas. Activities include rockclimbing, kayaking, swimming, exploring, and hiking along the greenbelt, a long-spanning area that runs through the city. Zilker Park, a large green area close to downtown, forms part of the greenbelt along the Colorado River. Hamilton Pool is a pool and wildlife park located about 30 minutes from the city.
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