Austin—Top 10 Summer Must-Do’s
The summer fun never ends in Austin. Here are just a sampling of events you might want to check out during your next visit.
- Go Batty: Austin goes a little batty between March and October, when more than 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats migrate north and make their home underneath the city’s Congress Avenue Bridge. There’s no better place to watch their nightly flight than the Lobby Lounge terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Austin. The ideal accompaniment? The Lobby Lounge’s award-winning Batini Black cocktail.
- Market of Distinction: Whole Foods Market is a leader in natural and organic foods, and it all started in Austin, Texas, home to the company’s headquarters and flagship 80,000-square-foot store. Like a Disneyland for foodies, the “market” features five restaurants, over 1,800 wines, a gelato counter with 22 different flavours and 600 types of cheeses.
- Al Fresco Austin Dining: Overlooking Lady Bird Lake, TRIO’s Terrace offers an unparalleled outdoor setting perfectly paired with a menu of prime steaks, fresh seafood and distinctive wines. In summer, guests are drawn to the Hotel’s back lawn for picturesque picnics—wicker baskets filled with TRIO specialties are available with 24 hours advance notice—along with complimentary s’mores Friday and Saturday nights.
- Cast a Ballot for Texas’ Best Barbecue: Nothing sparks a more heated debate in Texas than who makes the best barbecue. With their mouth-watering specialties, Stubb’s, Ironworks and County Line in Austin, and The Salt Lick in nearby Driftwood all make a good run for the coveted title. Other top contenders include Smitty’s, Meyer’s and Black’s. Stop by the Hotel Concierge desk for a guide to the state’s best barbecue—and likely a personal opinion or two.
- Perfect Playlist: With live music echoing from nearly 200 venues on any given evening, Austin has earned the title of “Live Music Capital of the World.” Today Austin’s music scene is as diverse as its population. From the historic Continental Club, where Tuesday “Hippie Hour” shows are an Austin tradition, to Antone’s, featuring some of the world’s finest blues performers. End your evening with a nightcap in Four Seasons Lobby Lounge, where local artists entertain four nights a week.
- SoCo Spree: Austin’s renowned easygoing eccentricity is abundant along South Congress Avenue, commonly referred to as SoCo. This colourful part of the city is lined with funky shops, trendy dining spots, hole-in-the-wall art galleries and live music spots. Our Concierge can point you to all the hidden gems—from the best place for authentic Texas boots to queso with a kick.
- Wine Country Cool: Look out Napa Valley, the up-and-coming Texas Hill Country is now one of the fastest growing wine tourism destinations. Visitors have their choice of 27 wineries spread across more than 9 million acres, each offering distinctive selections and scenic views. Before embarking on your tour, stop by TRIO for a private tasting with sommelier Mark Sayre, winner of the 2007 “Texas’ Best Sommelier” competition.
- Lady Bird’s Legacy: With over 220 parks and a combined shoreline of 405 miles, it’s no surprise Austin was once named a top “city for taking a stroll” by Prevention Magazine. And by far the best place to take a stroll is Lady Bird Lake, the picturesque waterway that bisects downtown and provides more than 10 miles of hiking and biking trails. The lake is named for the former First Lady who is credited with preserving the area for future generations of nature lovers.
- A New Home for ACL: Long before MTV, there was Austin City Limits. The longest running music series in American television history, the show has hosted such legends as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Coldplay. Recently, the venue moved to the Moody Theater in downtown Austin. One of the most sought-after tickets in town, Austin City Limits at the Moody Theater is expected to host up to 100 concerts a year, in addition to the live tapings of the ACL show.
- 175 Years of Texas: Remember the Alamo . . . especially in 2011. This year marks the 175th birthday of Texas, making it the perfect time to explore the roots of this boot-strapping state. At the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, visitors learn the “Story of Texas” through interactive exhibits, a special effects show and the award-winning IMAX film Texas: The Big Picture. For proof that everything really is bigger in Texas, the 35-foot-tall bronze Lone Star sculpture in front of the Museum is a boon for shutterbugs.