ATA welcomes attendees to the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’
April 30, 2013 in Medical Technology
Attendees of the American Telemedicine Association’s 2013 conference and trade show aren’t expected to spend all their waking hours inside the convention center. Aside from serving as Texas’ state capital, Austin offers a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions on which to while away your spare time.
Here, according to the U.S. News and World Report, are 10 of the more popular attractions in what’s known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
- 6th Street - Formerly known as Pecan Street and often compared to New Orleans’ famed Bourbon Street, this neighborhood rose to prominence during the 1970s as the focal point of the city’s rock music scene. Recent efforts by the National Register of Historic Places have led to a large-scale restoration, and now the area offers shops, restaurants and live-music venues. Vehicular traffic is restricted on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Zilker Park - Just across the river from downtown Austin, this 347-acre park features athletic fields, swimming holes, the Austin Nature and Science Center’s Dino Pit, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden Museum and the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Barton Springs Pool - Located in Zilker Park is a natural pool fed by the Edwards Aquifer and held at a steady 68 degrees. Native American settlers believed the springs possessed spiritual healing powers. The pool is open during park hours, though it closes from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays for maintenance. Admission is $3 for adults (free if you get there before 8 a.m.)
- State Capitol - Built in 1888, this pink granite structure stands on three acres and is seven feet taller than its counterpart in Washington D.C. The legislative center of Texas, it offers free guided tours (of 30 to 45 minutes) as well as self-guided opportunities.
- Blanton Museum of Art - Formerly known as the University Art Museum, Blanton stands on the University of Texas campus and is billed as the largest university art museum in the country and home to the largest private collection of master works in the United States. Among its treasures are a wide variety of Renaissance and baroque works by artists such as Rubens and Poussin, as well as a collection of 20th and 21st Century artwork and contemporary Latin-American art. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday afternoons (closed during university holidays). Free admission on Thursdays; $9 for adults all other times.
- Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum - Just across the street from the Blanton Museum of Art, this museum is named after the state’s 38th lieutenant governor and offers a wide variety of state artifacts, ranging from Native American pieces to Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit. Also home to an IMAX theater. Open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday afternoons, with varying admission rates.
- Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum - Also near the University of Texas, this museum dedicated to the 36th President of the United States houses the obligatory presidential papers as well as a quirky collection as unique as the president himself. Open every day (except Christmas) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $8 adults, $5 seniors, $3 children and students.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - named after Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, this 12-acre refuge located about 11 miles southwest of the city center features hiking trails, more than 650 species of Texan flora, an observation deck, cafeteria, gift shop and the largest research center for native plant studies in the United States. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons. Admission: $8 for adults, $3 for children.
- Mexic-Arte Museum - Located on Congress Avenue near the Driskill Hotel, this museum is devoted to the conservation of Mexican and Latin American art and culture, featuring photographs, traditional ritual masks and contemporary art. The museum also hosts year-round theatrical and music performances. Open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to -5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission: $5 for adults.
- Esther’s Follies - Located on 6th Street, this comedy club has offered everything from magic tricks to improve shows for the past 25 years. Shows are offered at 8 p.m. every Thursday and 8 and 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Tickets range from $15 to $25, and reservations are encouraged, as seating is limited.