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28 Ways to spend the day in Austin, TX

By: Cassie Raney
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The way to plan a day in Austin, TX.


Hamilton Pool Preserve

As part of the Pedernales River and Hamilton Creek, this old-fashioned swimming hole is perfect for the nature lover in all of us. A shaded walk through the canyon opens to the limestone outcroppings that create a 50-foot waterfall landing in the pool. A picnic on the banks of the pool, a swim in the cool water or a quick hike through the canyon will wash away city-accumulated stress. The trail to the pool is fairly short (1/4 of a mile) but does include a series of rock steps. Good hiking shoes are recommended. Visitors with physical disabilities should call ahead to pre-arrange assistance. Parking is limited, and the pool is very popular so go early.

Dripping Springs, TX, United States
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Continental Club

This venue, south of the river, is a throwback to the 1950s. Roots rock and country reign supreme in this bar, where one can often find men in leather jackets and classic Cadillacs out front. With live music nightly, tributes to Elvis, and celebrations of Hank William's birthday, this place is great for dancing, drinking and kicking back on the high stools. Happy hours feature some of Austin's favorite songwriters. The venue has broadened its range of live music to include occasional indie rock.

Austin, TX, United States
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Barton Springs Pool

As one of Austin's finest attractions, Barton Springs Pool is the perfect outing for those hot Texas days — or even the cool ones. Maintaining a comfortable 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) year round, you will enjoy a 100-percent natural swimming experience with no chlorine. The grassy hillsides and moss-covered rocks are perfect for sunbathing. Diving boards, concession stands and restroom facilities are also available. When the kids get tired of the water, enjoy the play structure to complete the afternoon. Lifeguards are on duty. You are encouraged to call ahead, as the pool occasionally closes.

Austin, TX, United States
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The Thinkery

This museum has grown into one of the most fabulous experiences for children in Austin. Find out about the development of children from birth to adolescence, climb a "time tower," and learn about everything from dinosaurs to computers. Special programs for children and their parents are regular parts of the museum's curriculum. Take tiny tots to the 2-and-under special explore time, or learn about multimedia with your teen. With excellent specialty programs and wonderful exhibits, this is a museum the whole family can enjoy.

Austin, TX, United States
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Deep Eddy Pool

Deep Eddy Pool is the oldest swimming pool in Texas. The water supply for the pool comes from an artesian well, drawing many to the fresh waters of this popular gathering place. A longtime favorite of locals for its sunbathing lawn and child-friendly atmosphere, Deep Eddy has a shallow end large enough for groups of people to wade in. Located just west of downtown, this is a convenient location for a morning swim. Morning hours are designated for lap swimmers. Those with disabilities may call in advance to secure handicapped access, as the stairs leading down to the pool are not wheelchair accessible.

Austin, TX, United States
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Cedar Street Courtyard

This is an intimate outdoor venue with a pleasant courtyard feel. Live jazz music is played nightly to a sophisticated crowd. The martinis are a definite must, and there is also an excellent cigar selection to choose from inside. This is a great place to sit under the oak trees and enjoy the breeze while watching some of Austin's best dancers dance up front. Better yet, why not join in?

Austin, TX, United States
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Butler Pitch and Putt

Stop here any day of the week for a 9-hole game. The longest hole is 118 yards (107 meters) and the shortest is 61 yards (56 meters). These greens and fairways have taught golfers a thing or two since 1949. In the clubhouse, you can rent clubs and slurp some soft drinks. There is no dress code enforced on patrons.

Austin, TX, United States
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Mexic-Arte Museum

Centrally located in downtown Austin, this museum features works that have a connection to Mexico and Latin America. Exhibits range from art to theater. The permanent collection includes artifacts and photographs relating to Mexican-American culture. Recent exhibits include photographs from the 1910 Mexican Revolution and other works by Mexican artists. Guest artists and performers tackle contemporary issues such as ethnicity, religion and politics. A small gift shop carrying books, artwork and handmade imports is located near the entrance.

Austin, TX, United States
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Ballroom at Spider House

Meet your friends at Spider House for some food, drinks, or amazing performance art. Offering a full bar and daily drink specials, Spider House also features a mix of poetry readings, comedy shows, music concerts and other types of live performance. Check out the varied crowd under the Christmas lights of the outdoor patio, always an eclectic gathering of folks. Whether for food, drinks or a show, Spider House always makes for an interesting evening.

Austin, TX, United States
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Tom's Dive & Swim Shop

Tom's Dive & Swim is one of the oldest dive shops in town, established in 1982 and serving Austin for over 25 years. It offers local diving trips and excursions to the coral reefs of the Cayman Islands and Honduras. The professional instruction team offers a variety of classes for all skill levels and the store is filled with ski equipment, scuba gear, rental equipment and a repair center. There are class schedules to fit your time frame. Check the website for further information.

Austin, TX, United States
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Lake Travis Zipline Adventures

Soar across canyons, zip through trees, and zoom over Lake Travis inlets. Your zipline adventure includes five challenging lines that will leave you breathless. You'll even go on the longest zipline in that state! Imagine stepping off a 20 stories high zipline and gliding across the lake. Not only is this a fun outing for adventurous friends, this is perfect day date for thrill-seekers.

Leander, TX, United States
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Live Oak Brewing Company

Several Austin restaurants and bars have Live Oak brands (including Big Bark Amber Lager, Live Oak Pale Ale and Live Oak Pilz) on tap. Beer-enthusiasts will appreciate not only the rich malt flavors they find in the tasting room, but also the process behind the brew. The two owners of this company traveled to Prague to learn ancient techniques, and then developed their own unique process. The guided tour, which explains how decoction mash, open fermentation and secondary lagering make Live Oak beers unique, takes about two hours. Free samples follow every tour.

Austin, TX, United States
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