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Old 01-08-2019, 11:07 AM
37 posts, read 31,942 times
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Hamilton Pool books up in advance, so best to reserve up to a couple weeks ahead and there is, I believe, something like a $10 charge per person or car. Barton Springs does have an admission fee; just say you're a "resident" and it's like $2. Its also really close to downtown and the trail around Town Lake, only about a mile or two at most so if you're jogging it's totally do-able and town lake is a great place to jog. The new-ish boardwalk, which connects to the trail, is really nice with good views of downtown with parking off of S. Lakeshore Drive.

Yes, the springs around Austin are from aquifers and stay around the same temp (68-70ish?). Taking a dip after a jog would probably feel amazing! The cool water always had restorative powers for me after working out.

If you're going to be on UT campus Ellsworth Kelly's Austin is worth a peep. Very Zen experience. Its about 8 blocks or so due north of the Capitol outside of the Blanton Museum.

If you have time for a brisk read


South Congress has lots of funky little shops and good places to find t-shirts and other souvenirs if you have time. "Austin City Limits" shirts and the like.

Also, when you get to town grab an Austin Chronicle! they're everywhere. It will have all live music, movie and other cultural events listed.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:13 PM
Location: South Austin, 78745
2,716 posts, read 1,863,573 times
Reputation: 4614
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
Hello all,

I will be in Austin from Friday 3/22 to Monday 3/25. Partly will be there for family time, but should have some independent exploration time.

That said, some questions.

1 Texas Football. They should be in practice by then for spring, I'm assuming? Have they announced the date of the Spring Game yet? Are practices usually open to the public? Getting to see inside DKR would be neat, even if not for an official game.

2. Best hiking options? The ones you'd take people to if they were in Austin, top of the line, nice. So, I've done my research, and I've heard of a few (Lady Bird Lake Waterfront, Barton Springs and Greenway, Mount Bonnell, Lake Travis, and further out stuff throughout Hill Country), that said, I'm open to other lesser known ones across the area if they are just as nice, too. FWIW, we are staying somewhat west of the Domain yet south of Lakeline Mall, so in Austin, but not it's heart.

3. I understand SXSW is around this time. Is any of that free/open to the public? I'd be open to partaking in some festivities involving it.

4. Any other stuff to enjoy in and throughout the Austin region during this time frame? We do not have a ton of time, but I would at least like to do a number cool things throughout the region and give myself a really good tour of downtown. FWIW, when I travel, I like to:
-Check out history and architecture of area (I am very much into urban planning and design, learning more)
-Check out parks in the area, both urban, and more regional reflecting the ecology of the area
-Check out things that are truly unique to the region (companies based there, "Only in this Place" sights
-Food and Drink of the local area
...and really anything else that is entertaining, interesting or unique to be had.

Looking forward to getting some feedback and suggestions! Thanks guys!

To hike up Enchanted Rock, a person has to be steady on his or her feet and in half way decent physical condition. You have to walk up about a mile or so on the side of a somewhat steep mountain that is mostly barren rock with not a whole lot of trees or anything else to hang on to and not an actual "trail" to follow. There a few small trees scattered thru out the mountain, but it's a relatively long walk from one tree to the next.

It's not a difficult hike if a person is in good physical condition. But it looks much easier than it is. Just be sure you or your family feels very confident they can make it up that mountain and back down. It's a long walk and nothing to hang on to most of the way, so somebody who is not very well co-ordinated, might have a hard time keeping their balance and might feel safer to get on the ground and crawl if they have to, especially if they are on their way down. The trip back down the montain is easier than the trip up, but it's easier to fall.

Mt. Bonnell in Austin is much easier to get up and down and you're not as tired when you get to the top and the view is satisfying. There are steps and a rail to hold on to, so it's not as necessary to be in good physical condition to make the hike up. Back in the early 1980's I took my grandparents up Mt Bonnell when they were about 75 years old and they made it up and down ok. We drove out to Enchanted Rock and looked at it. I wasn't gonna try and get them up that mountain.

Barton Creek Greenbelt off of 360 between Mopac and Ben White is a good hike. You can go all the way to Barton Springs Pool. There's parts of that hike that are kinda difficult. One section you have to hang on to a chain to stay on the trail.

The trail in Pease Park follows Shoal Creek. The trail goes way North to I think close to 45th Street and thru woods and passes by caves. If you head South from Pease Park when the creek is low on water the trail crosses the creek and follow the trail to where Shoal Creek empties into Lady Bird Lake.

McKinney Falls State Park has a nice hiking trail. It's not real challenging, but it's a pleasant walk.

Perdenales State Park also has a good hiking trail. One is anout 7 miles long, and the other I think is about 3 miles long. It's a fairly easy trail, it was longer than what I expected but it was so hot that day I couldn't thoroughly enjoy it. March might be a perfect time for that hike, when it's not so hot. I think we went in June.

The Hike and Bike trail around Lady Bird Lake is probably the best trail in Austin that suits most everybody, regardless of their physical condition.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:35 PM
Location: South Austin, 78745
2,716 posts, read 1,863,573 times
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If the op is interested in SXSW but is going to be in Austin a week or two after it's over, he should make it a point to check out Waterloo Record Store on North Lamar, where they often have cd's available at some of the listening stations by many of the bands who were at SXSW.

I would reccomend any out-of-towner who is a true lover of music to check out Waterloo Record Store. It is widely considered by many to be one of the 2 best record stores in the entire nation - Waterloo and Amoeba in San Francisco.

Waterloo has live in store performances almost every week and it's free. The op can call Waterloo a week or two before he plans to be in Austin to find out who will be doing a live in store performances the week he is here and plan to arrive in plenty of time to get inside the door. Over the years I've seen Asleep At The Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Earl Keen, Marcia Ball, Lucinda Williams, Carrie Rodriguez, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore at Waterloo, and their sets were all about 45 minutes long. The line to see Lucinda Williams in 1998 was lined up out the door, around the building and down several blocks.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:46 PM
Location: South Austin, 78745
2,716 posts, read 1,863,573 times
Reputation: 4614
Originally Posted by centralaustinite View Post
Texas BBQ is about brisket -- full stop! The meat and the smoke and time. Usually no sauce.

I grew up in St Louis, there BBQ is all about ribs and sauce. Brisket isn't even usually on the menu. The Carolinas, it is pulled pork. Memphis, KC everyone has their thing. Traditionally, it was the central Texas towns of Lockhart and Luling where BBQ was king, Franklin (and others) brought it into town.
I went to Rudy's on North Lamar today and had St. Louis Ribs. That makes the 3rd time I had St. Louis Ribs at Rudy's and each time they was very good and tasty and had plenty of meat on them. I love pork ribs. I had a half pound there and got a half pound to take home. I never had heard of St. Louis Ribs until Rudy's. I never thought of St. Louis as a bbq town, but now that I think about it, I suppose it is a bbq town, and St. Louis Bbq is pork.

Texas brisket and bbq is catching on all over the country. Just about everybody likes brisket. More and more people moving here and visiting here and exposing Texas bbq and Texas cooking in general to the world.
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Old Today, 04:25 PM
25 posts, read 8,529 times
Reputation: 35
Enchanted Rock is way out of town and it would be madness to try to drop in for a hike there over spring break- the car line would be killer during spring break & the park might have no accessibility to day cars (people camp there) unless you show up first thing in the morning. There would also be hundreds of people climbing the rock- nothing peaceful about that.

Wild Basin off of 360 offers a really nice set of trails to hike and to get to know the natural fauna. St. Edwards Park also is a nice, wooded place to hike.
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