According to reliable sources, “Keep Austin Weird” is the unofficial motto of Texas’s capitol city. I can’t rate how well they are achieving this goal, but I can share with you the following juicy tidbits about this city.
The capitol building is a lovely stone building which as the state government grew became too small to house all of the required offices. Rather than ruin the symmetry and style of a beautiful old building and its surrounding landscape, all the new adjoining office space was built underground leaving a useful and citizen friendly park around the capitol.
Texas’s first female governor, Miriam A. “Ma” (Miriam, A. MA – get it?) Ferguson served two non-consecutive terms from 1925 to 1927 and from 1933 to 1935. She ran because her governor husband was impeached in his second term and not allowed to add his name to the ballot. She promised that if elected she would follow her husband’s advice thereby giving the people of Texas a “two for the price of one” governor. If today’s political antics have you mind boggled, check out this article regarding her life. The more things change, the more they stay the same…
While Austin has incredible attractions and food offerings, their unreliable system of serving alcohol adds challenge to properly refreshing oneself. The problem is that some restaurants offer mixed beverages and others only offer BYOB. In fact we found BYOB as an option in the oddest venues. For example the extremely popular Peter Pan Mini Golf Course allows players to bring coolers of beer to consume as they go for par. For those who are working on their long game, Monte points out to us a BYOB Driving Range just across town (also wildly popular).
Since alcohol availability can be inconsistent here, I am compelled to issue the following warning:
IMPORTANT TOURIST ALERT!!
When dining (or golfing, bowling, playing tennis, running a 5K, going to the gym, being admitted to a hospital, attending the ballet, etc.) in Austin remember to always check with your selected venue regarding their alcohol license – heaven forbid that you show up empty handed at an establishment or event that has chosen to forego a liquor license and offers only BYOB! If uncertain pack a cooler and have it with you to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Zilker Metropolitan Park proves to be one of the most beautiful and versatile stops on our visit. This 351 acre park on the banks of Lady Bird Lake features festivals, train rides, Barton Springs (a 3 acre spring fed natural swimming pool with an average water temp of 68-70 degrees), canoeing, kayaking, gardens and more, all with a lovely view of downtown Austin. We only sample a tiny slice of this park’s bounty, but I highly recommend that any visit to Austin include at least a leisurely stroll here.
See descriptions below photos for more info on each one: