Travel & Tourism Tips

BAustin cityeing the capital of Texas, the city of Austin is found almost in the center of the state. It’s a big city with a small town feel, young populace, ordinary lifestyle & is known for being a Mecca of live music shows. Being a state capital since 1838, it is home to the University of Texas whose students are known for their vigor & enthusiasm synonymous with life in Austin. The annual South by Southwest music festival conference held every March beckons visitors who would want a sample of live musical repertoire of blues & country to reggae. One only has to drift along the famous Sixth Street section of its pubs and clubs any night of the week. The city also boasts of its extensive miles of hiking and biking trails, linking parks, preserves & greenbelt which lends beauty to the surroundings of its leafy streets.

Getting There and Around

Plane

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is situated 8 miles (13 km) from downtown Austin.

TIME: GMT-5 hours (GMT-6 between first Sunday in April & last Sunday in October)

Car

austin streetSeveral local taxis are available aside from the Super Shuttle minibus which is a service of the airport itself. Car rentals include Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.

Facilities

These include postal services, ATM’s, gift shops, dining places/bars within the terminal. For foreign currency exchange and standard airline trip insurance, the Business & Technology Center in the East Concourse is the place to go.

Parking

Complimentary shuttles are provided for passengers who park their cars at the airport. Disabled parking is also provided.

Main Attractions

State Capitol

austin state capitolImpressive pink granite building encircled by original wrought-iron fences topped with gold Lone Stars stand proudly in 3 acres of ground. Visitors can avail of guided tours or attend legislative sessions open to the public.

Address: Congress Ave, between 11th Street and 14th Street

Zilker Park

Includes a botanical garden which features dinosaur tracks, a nature reserve, the UMLAUF Sculpture garden and museum as well as 8 miles (13 km) of biking and walking trails. There are plenty of sports facilities, a miniature train for children and paddle boat rides.

Address: Barton Springs Road

Governor’s Mansion

Home to the Texas State governor when he is in town, the mansion is open to the public for limited hours each day. Historical artifacts include a portrait of Davy Crockett and Sam Houston plus a collection of mementoes from each administration.

Address: Colorado St

Web: www.txfgm.org 

Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art

Featuring the Suida-Manning Collection of European painting which carries 250 works by the continental masters plus the collection of 20th Century American Art assembled by novelist James A. Michener.

Address: University of Texas,23rd & San Jacinto

Web: www.blantonmuseum.org

Events

Austin City Limits Music Festival

austin eventCaters to young and old audiences where more than 70 artists give ongoing performances.

Venue: Zilker Park

Web: www.aclfestival.com

Carnaval Brasiliero

Started by a group of young homesick Brazilians students in 1975, it has become a tradition in the city and treats the crowd to an evening of samba to while away the cold winter.

Venue: Palmer Events Center

Web: www.sambaparty.com

South by Southwest

Programs include 1000 performances on more than 50 stages within a five-day period. With the inclusion of film and multi-media,separate musical productions have made South by Southwest a meeting place of artists and media.

Venue: Austin Convention Center

Web: www.sxsw.com

Saveur Texas Hill Country Food & Wine Festival

Renowned chefs of Texas converge and show off their cooking prowess. Visitors are allowed to sample these culinary masterpieces as well as sample the best wine during the festival period which starts in April.

Venue: Four Seasons Hotel, Downtown Austin

Web: www.texaswineandfood.org

Old Pecan Street Spring Arts Festival

Aside from live musical entertainment and a barrage of food and stalls this side of Texas (Austin’s Sixth St.) originally Pecan St., it boasts of a bigger arts and crafts street fair every May.

Venue: East 6th Street between Congress Avenue. and I.H. 35

Web: www.roadstarproductions.com

Important Visitor Information

CLIMATE

Summer: temperatures are more moderate than in other parts of the State. Winter: well above freezing with high humidity between May and September as well as the wet months.
Fall & Spring: mild & comfortable

TIME

GMT -4 hours (GMT-5 between the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October. )

MONEY

US Dollars and divided into 100 cents. Credit cards & travellers cheques are accepted and only major banks exchange foreign currrency. Bank hours are from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. (Monday to Friday)

HEALTH

The United States has excellent but expensive medical facilities. Only emergencies are treated without prior payment, but it can be declined in the absence of insurance or proof of funds.

TIPPING

15% on taxis, bartenders, waiters and hairdressers, except for fast food and self-service restaurants. 20% of the bill for expensive restaurants and large parties. It is normal to give tips to hotel staff. Bed tax as high as 15% is collected for more expanded accomodations.

SAFETY

The United States is not spared from terrorists attacks, hence safety measures are strictly enforced in airports. Travellers are advised not to be ostentatious in the display of jewellry in run-down areas and to stick to main roads. It is also not advisable to sleep inside vehicles on the roadside or rest areas.

CUSTOMS

There are different laws for each state and this includes speed limits, age of consent when you can legally purchase and consume alcohol, usually at age 21 years.

COMMUNICATIONS

International dial code for the U.S. is +1. Outgoing code is 011 followed by the designated country code.

Useful Links & Resources

To add your site to the Austin Useful Links page click here

BIG RANCH COUNTRY PRODUCTIONS
www.bigranchcountry.com  

DAPHNE’S TOURS 
www.daphnestours.com  

DESERT SPORTS
www.desertsportstx.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *