Bullock Texas State History Museum
Dedicated to telling the “story of Texas,” the Bullock Texas State History Museum is a vast, three-story building housing artifacts from the state’s history. Visitors of all ages love the rotating exhibits, which are entertaining, well organized and cover many sections of Texas history both big and small. The museum also has an IMAX theater.
LBJ Presidential Library
One of 13 presidential libraries across the U.S., the LBJ Presidential Library boasts 45 million pages of historical documents, 650,000 photographs and thousands of hours of recording from the president’s political career. Far from dull, these objects paint a picture of a president who did a remarkable job during perilous times.
Texas Military Forces Museum
One of Austin’s hidden gems, the Texas Military Forces Museum is located on the grounds of Camp Mabry. Its 45,000 square feet hosts numerous military vehicles, weapons, memorabilia and more. Kids and war history buffs are sure to enjoy exploring the tanks and artillery vehicles, such as an F-16 cockpit that you can climb inside.
Prepare to stuff your gullet with smoked meat, because Austin has some of the best barbecue in the country, including but not limited to Franklin Barbecue, la Barbecue, Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, and Blue Ox BBQ. Visit any of these places for tender, flavorful cuts and big, Texas-sized portions.
Austin’s Hispanic and Latino roots make the city a tasty destination for tacos — but especially breakfast tacos. Yes, you can have tacos for breakfast (and not just at Taco Bell). There’s nothing quite like starting the day with a fresh flour tortilla wrapped around chorizo, egg, cheese, potato and all manner of salsas.
Texas takes its beef seriously, and that includes burgers. Just envisioning a juicy patty topped with crisp lettuce and melted cheese, parked between two buttery buns, is enough to make anyone salivate. Hopdoddy Burger Bar is Austin’s undisputed champ; tuck into the Primetime, made with American Kobe beef and truffle aioli.
Listening to live music had better be on your list of to-dos in Austin — if you’re in the mood for jazz and blues, head to the Elephant Room. This atmospheric, underground joint looks like a dive both inside and out, but appearances belie the talents of the professionals that play here nightly.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
More than a simple movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema started with a passion for film. Visitors at Alamo’s multiple locations are often treated to more than just that, however; you’ll find good food and drink as well as special events, such as the ever-popular Master Pancake comedy act and themed movie nights.
The Driskill Hotel, built in 1886, is Austin’s oldest operating hotel; you don’t have to be a guest there to take advantage of the scene at Driskill Grill or Driskill Bar, two renowned establishments serving up fine fare. The Bar features plush cowhide couches, a classy vibe and live music six nights a week.