Top Travel Tips, Ideas and Inspiration
Explore top travel ideas, guides and tips for your Austin, TX vacation. Save your favorites to start building your perfect trip on Trip Canvas.
ARTICLEShopping in AustinFinding stores that live up to the city’s “Keep Austin Weird” motto means heading downtown where chain stores are the exception and not the rule. You’ll discover some of Austin’s best collection of offbeat places to go in the,South Congress district,, an area along busy Congress Avenue south of Lady Bird Lake between Academy and Oltorf streets.
NATIONAL PARKAngelina National ForestAngelina National Forest surrounds Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas, off US 69 east of Lufkin. The forest's 153,179 acres encompass fragments of the “Pineywoods” region, which was heavily logged early in the 20th century. Towering pines and hardwoods have returned, sheltering deer, squirrels and occasional turkeys.
EDITOR PICK5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Travel Insurance from AAAAAA Travel Editor Frank SwansonAs more travelers book expensive cruises and vacation packages to exotic destinations, they are turning to travel insurance to protect their investment in the face of life's uncertainties. Here are five reasons why you should buy travel insurance.
ARTICLEAustin Performing ArtsAustin bills itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and with musicians playing everywhere from the airport to coffeehouses, as well as at festivals and hundreds of live music venues, you can believe it. But there's much more than music here; performing arts of all kinds are well represented.
NATIONAL PARKPadre Island National SeashorePadre Island National Seashore is parallel to the Gulf coast and reached via the JFK causeway at Corpus Christi. The national seashore covers 70 miles of 113-mile Padre Island, considered the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world. Some 600 species of plants and wildflowers can be found on the sand-duned strip of land, which is only .5 to 3 miles wide. To the east lies the Gulf and to the west the Laguna Madre, including a portion of the Intracoastal Waterway. On the Laguna Madre side lies the park's Bird Island Basin, a highly regarded and popular windsurfing spot.
ARTICLELights, Camera, Action!Austin's artistic spirit is reflected in its thriving movie industry. Film crews capture the essence of the city: resonating guitars and wailing saxophones, lush landscapes crowned by cerulean skies and passionate citizens with boundless imaginations. Diverse characters are brought to life here, from the cultural heroes of “The Alamo” to dejected “Office Space” employees. On the big screen, the region's varied backdrops—rolling hills, town squares, deserts, farmland, forests, lakes and prairies—double for such far-flung destinations as Morocco, Chicago, New York and Vietnam. Austin provides filmmakers with all the essentials, enabling them to craft fantasy lands, re-create history and examine American culture without a hefty travel budget.
NATIONAL PARKBig Thicket National PreserveBig Thicket National Preserve encompasses 15 units in southeast Texas. The 113,121-acre park protects one of the country's most biologically diverse wilderness areas. Until the 19th century, this region was a vast and almost impenetrable combination of woodlands and swamps.
NATIONAL PARKChickasaw National Recreation Area Near Sulphur on US 177 and SR 7, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area encompasses 10,000 acres in south-central Oklahoma. Woods and streams with small waterfalls characterize this region, which is known for its mineral waters. Springs within the area have been classified as sulphur, freshwater and bromide.
ARTICLEA Modern City With Southwestern CharmDeep in the heart of Texas lies a city that calls itself “The Live Music Capital of the World,” where bumper stickers say “Keep Austin Weird,” and more than a million insect-eating bats descend at twilight. University of Texas students thrive on the local music scene, and high-tech companies including Apple, IBM and Samsung provide another nickname, Silicon Hills. In Austin, you'll see well-worn cowboy boots with faded jeans or a business suit.
ARTICLEWhat's Underneath This Growing CityAustin combines the grandeur of a state capital, the youthful energy and Bohemian vibe of a college town and the economic optimism of a fast-growing Sun Belt city. You can see it all in the city’s skyline: the graceful dome of the Texas Capitol, the gilt-edged clock faces adorning University of Texas Tower, and the shiny new office and residential high rises springing up along Congress Avenue and the shores of Lady Bird Lake. Add to this eclectic mix some old-fashioned Western individualism and cowboy style, and you’ve got a destination with a personality all its own. While the Capitol and surrounding government buildings form the heart of downtown Austin, it’s the more than 50,000-student University of Texas at Austin (see attraction listing p. #) that provides the highly educated employees coveted by such tech companies as Facebook, Google, IBM and Dell, Inc., founded by former UT student Michael Dell.
NATIONAL PARKSam Houston National ForestSam Houston National Forest is approximately 50 miles north of Houston on Lake Conroe. Offering hiking, camping, fishing, boating, hunting and other recreational activities, the 163,037-acre forest includes Double Lake and Cagle and Stubblefield recreation areas, Big Creek Scenic Area, Kelly's Pond and Little Lake Creek Wilderness Area.