Austin is the location of America’s most remarkable state capitol building, while the natural attractions of Barton Springs Pool and Zilker Park offer a pleasant break from the city’s streets. Other popular attractions for tourists include the fascinating sight of over a million bats flocking into the skies every evening from under Congress Avenue Bridge. Austin’s reputation as being a live music capital is also well-supported, with scores of excellent venues offering music every night.
Situated on 11th street and Congress Avenue, Austin’s State Capitol is one of America’s most remarkable public buildings. Downtown Austin is dominated by the Renaissance Revival-style building, which was constructed in 1888 from Texas pink granite. Austin’s capitol is the largest state capitol in the country, and it underwent a complete restoration and refurbishment process during the 1990s. If you time your visit well, you will have an opportunity of not only visiting the impressive capitol building and its grounds, but also to view Texas government in action.
Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs is the ideal place to be on a hot summer day, when temperatures can soar in Austin. The pool is located in Zilker Park in downtown Austin and is fed by springs that fill the pools with cool refreshing water. The pristinely clear pool measures over 300 meters in length and is 38 meters wide. The temperatures of the water remain tepidly cool throughout the year, providing a refreshing break from the oppressive midday heat. There is also a bathhouse at the pool site, and lifeguards are on duty all day.
Congress Avenue Bridge
The bridge is located near Shoal Beach and the Radisson Hotel, just south of downtown Austin. It’s renowned for its impressive bat colony that congregates here every year between March and November. The bridge was reconstructed in 1980 and the crevices in the structure provided a perfect home for this huge colony of Mexican free-tail bats. Over one million bats can be seen taking to the skies every evening, as they go about their daily duties.