One part vaudeville and one part stinging political/social satire, this place has been amusing and delighting its guests, as well as the pedestrians who pass by its front-stage windows and observe its goings-on, since the late 1970s. A troupe of multi-talented performers write, act, sing and dance their way across a broad and constantly updated comedic map that pokes fun at our elected officials, celebrity icons, and regular citizens. It is not all for laughs, though; a magical act comes on a couple of times per show to startle and captivate your senses. This is a true downtown institution.
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.
Less than a century ago this bridge served as the gateway to Austin. Originally this was a wooden pedestrian bridge, on which travelers used to pay a toll of a nickel to cross the Colorado River — and an extra nickel for their horse! In 1902, the bridge was washed away in a flood and replaced with a new bridge designed to handle automobile traffic. Since that time, the bridge has maintained its status as a substantial through way for the people of Austin. One of the most amazing sights in Austin takes place every dusk from March to early November, when 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from their roosts under the bridge.
With a collection of more than 17,000 works of art, this is one of the most visited museums in the city and also the largest University art-space in the country. It is located in the University of Texas campus and houses a large variety of Latin American art, American art and European work. With an atrium that extends 70 feet (21.3 meters) above the stone floors, this museum offers a unique, natural space. Temporary exhibits are constantly changing, with fresh work being showcased regularly. This research-based museum also offers lectures by artists, museum curators and art historians from across the country.
At Harry Ransom Center you will enjoy viewing the first photograph ever taken, alongside one of only 13 remaining Gutenberg Bibles, created in 1456. Also showcased are rare compositions and manuscripts by Galileo, Beethoven, Hemingway and more. You will find a wonderful collection of theater arts pieces and a book library with over 800,000 priceless manuscripts. Take advantage of the free admission and experience many of the University's unique treasures.
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.
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?
As one of the galleries of the Texas Fine Arts Association, The Contemporary's Jones Center focuses on nurturing fine art in Central Texas. This gallery brings together artists, curators, art writers, collectors and the general public to appreciate exquisite Texan artwork. TFAA is dedicated to contributing to the growth of art and art education in the state; it offers exhibitions of modern artists, seminars and panel discussions in order to achieve this goal. It can accommodate educational visits of school students and teachers. It also offers art classes for children and adults on topics such as mosaics, photography, collage, watercolor and glass painting, metal art, jewelry design, pottery and digital art.
This multi-level club is situated in the Warehouse district of Austin. After entering through the alleyway behind Congress Avenue, listen to various live swing bands. Swing lessons are taught on Tuesdays at 7:30p. The elegant wood panels and top-shelf bar attract a sophisticated crowd. Upstairs patrons enjoy a pleasant garden atmosphere on the roof with an excellent view of downtown Austin and the Colorado River.
One of the classiest bars on Sixth Street, this long, narrow bar lets you sit and gaze at passers-by or fellow patrons. The lighting is extremely attractive, generating a genuine New York feel. You will enjoy sitting in one of the high-arched cushioned booths and catching glances of fellow patrons from the mirrored walls. The bar has an excellent music selection. If it is not too busy, play a round of pool or head upstairs to the dance floor.
This is an intimate venue for those with sophisticated taste. From jazz to house, from acid rock to rap, from shoegaze to dub, the Parish Room runs the musical gamut. Touring acts such as Smog, Guided By Voices, Autechre and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have graced the stage here. Texas artists Sub Oslo, Lift To Experience, Explosions in the Sky, the Swells and more have also played here. This is the ultimate haven for music lovers and party animals.