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Austin's most renowned hotel, The Driskill is stylishly grand and opulent. It has recently had the mother of all makeovers. It is an ideal abode because of its proximity to both the corporate as well as the entertainment districts of Austin. The rooms are splendid; each of the 205 guestrooms have been done up in turn-of-the-century Victorian design. If you spend the night look out for the supernatural, some claim this hotel is haunted. Take a walk down the beautiful lobby bedecked with hand-made marble, hand-painted ceilings and a custom-made stained glass dome. Such luxury is hard to leave behind!
Have you ever heard of a toy store that's open at midnight? This is not your typical toy store. Rather, Toy Joy is a wonderland for unconventional "children" of all ages. Though the inventory includes some popular kids' items like Beanie Babies and Pokemon collectibles, they specialize in the unusual. This boutique of the bizarre is filled to capacity with selections like sumo wrestler alarm clocks, cube-shaped bubble wands, over-sized lava lamps and creative sound makers. It's a great place to shop for a gift or for yourself.
Located in downtown Austin, 300 metres from Austin Convention Center, Hampton Inn and Suites Austin-Downtown features free WiFi access and private parking. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool, and guests can enjoy a daily complimentary breakfast buffet. Each room includes a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Certain rooms feature a seating area where you can relax. Rooms are fitted with a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hairdryer. There is a 24-hour front desk and gift shop at the property. It also offers a complimentary manager's reception Monday through Thursday evenings. Capitol Building is 1 km from Hampton Inn Austin, while Frank Erwin Center - University of Texas is 1.7 km from the property. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is 10 km away.
Museum of the Weird is a locally-owned museum in the Sixth Street area of Austin. With its inventory of curios and classic horror charm, Museum of the Weird is worth a visit for those in the area. The walk-through museum doesn't take long but it's packed with the unexplained, freaky and supernatural wonders of the world. The museum has their own house acts with live weird and wonderful attractions that will definitely keep your attention. There's a gift shop that is free to enter.
Located inside Austin’s Central Fire Station No. 1, this hidden gem is an interesting museum about the history of the Austin fire department. Learn about how the department was once run by volunteers, and see historic artifacts chronicling how firefighting has evolved over the years, including exhibits with old uniforms and a Hook and Ladder No. 1 lantern. Although this small museum doesn't feature interactive displays, it is a fun place to bring the kids if they're interested in learning more about firefighting and want to see part of a working fire station along with a piece of history.
Located in central Austin, this hotel offers spacious guestrooms and 2-room suites as well as free WiFi. Each room features cable TV, a microwave and a refrigerator. A work desk and coffee machine are also available. The private bathroom includes free toiletries and a hairdryer. Guests at Austin Downtown Embassy Suites will enjoy a free, cooked-to-order hot breakfast every morning. Free beverages are also available at the nightly Manager's Reception. The on-site, @SOCO BAR + Bites serves southwestern cuisine and offers a full bar with local brews and spirits. Embassy Suites Austin Downtown is 1 km from South Congress shopping district and 3 km Zilker Botanical Gardens. The Barton Springs Pool, a 3-acre, spring-fed pool that averages a temperature of 20 C degrees year-round, is 2.2 km from the hotel. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is 10 km from the property.
The Scottish Rite Children's Theatre aims to introduce children to the vibrant world of theater and also provide entertainment for these young ones. Since 1869, this theater has been showcasing brilliant enactments of fairy tales and other favorite children's stories. Apart from this, they have also been hosting social and cultural events. The winner of the 2006 B. Iden Payne Award for "Outstanding Production of a Play for Youth" and the Austin Family Magazine Poll: "Favorite Live Theatre For Children" 2005, 2006 and 2007, this theater is truly incomparable with other children's theaters.
A 35-foot (10.7 meters) bronze Lone Star sculpture greets visitors at the entrance of this epic museum. This place narrates the story of Texas, sharing its rich cultural heritage and traditions. The three floors of the impressive building present interactive exhibits, special effects shows and more. On the first floor, you will find a permanent exhibit called Encounters on the Land, which highlights the first meetings between Native Americans and European explorers. The second and third floors have exhibits that showcase the evolution of Texas from the time of its inception. The museum boasts a total of 17 media installations and over 700 artifacts, not to mention Austin's only IMAX Theater.
Creatures Boutique is known for selling quality stuff and is a favorite among South Congress locals. The clothes are one-of-a-kind and there are flattering collections for both men and women. Accessories include wallets, belts and shoes. There's also a dedicated kids' collection. The housewares section features a limited but quality array of goods.
Charles Umlauf (1911-1994), one of the more famous Austin artists, was a prolific sculptor. This museum displays many of his works in a fantastic garden spot located close to Zilker Park and just minutes from downtown. His sculptures range from realism to abstraction and include families, religious figures, animals and mythological characters.
Austin's largest park, Zilker Park, houses Zilker Hillside Theater, a beautiful outdoor theater. During the summer, catch free musicals, concerts and "Shakespeare in the Park". Large crowds often line the grassy hills with blankets. During the rest of the year, enjoy a variety of performances (call ahead for seasonal schedules). Bring a picnic lunch, or perhaps just some wine and cheese for a snack and watch the stars come out, in the sky and onstage. Admission is free for most events.
The amazing Zilker Botanical Garden overlooks the Zilker Park fields bordering Barton Springs Road. The garden is actually comprised of several different gardens, including the Cactus and Succulent, Xeriscape, Herb and Fragrance, Rose, Azalea, Butterfly and Taniguchi Gardens. Taniguchi is a beautiful Japanese landscape with a waterfall, running stream, lily ponds and wooden bridges. The lush, peaceful grounds are commonly perused by artists and writers searching for inspiration, and by others just looking for solitude amid the city.