Austin is a major city in Texas. Unlike what we originally thought, the town is very green with lots of foliage. Downtown is small but filled with bars and a great food scene. There is a botanic gardens and the nearby Barton Springs.
To start the morning off we decided to check out the local coffee scene and headed to Mozarts. I tried a Draft Latte and we got some bagels with cream cheese. The cafe was busy and right next to the lake with plenty of indoor and outdoor sitting. Unfortunately, our experience was dampened with a 45min wait for my drink after they not only forgot both our orders once but mine three times. The draft latte was tasty but we weren’t going to be returning.
TEXAS STATE CAPITOL
Neither of us knew much about Texas’s history so we headed to the Texas State Capitol.
There was a free 45min tour. The tour guide was excellent and the tour was ver informative, explaining some background to Texas and putting out the architecture of the building.
Look out for the hidden stars EVERYWHERE. Also look out for Texas spelt out in lights in the chandeliers.
Walked around Downtown and stopped at The Burger Bar for lunch.
Also walked past The Driskill. We then drove through Zilker Metropolitan Park to Barton Springs. Beware of parking. These are paid spots and VERY limited, especially on the weekend. We tried to park there but after looping three times we decided it wasn’t worth it
ZILKERS BOTANICAL GARDEN
So we then drove to Zilker’s Botanical Garden when we realised how close it was. There was a $3 entry fee, including parking. Lots of different areas and types of gardens to walk through. Not very busy and relaxing.
Now with the car parked we walked to Barton Springs Pool. Took about 20minutes, crossed the street and walked through Zilker Metropolitan Park. They hold music festivals here and one had just finished the day before so there were a lot of workers around cleaning up and packing up with equipment and fences.
Barton Springs is a man-made pool from the springs. The prices were $8 per non-resident adult. We didn’t go swimming as we didn’t have swimmers nor did we want to pay the high fee.
We walked around to the other side where people were just playing around in the creek water. There was a sign advising not to swim here, but there were plenty of people so I would assume it’s fine.
There is also a huge playground and a small train called the ‘Zilker Zelpher’ ($3 per adult) that you can sit on and it takes you through the park. By this time it was getting late so we headed to REI to get some propane and to ……. for some groceries. Then we headed back to Emma Metropolitan park to eat. On the drive back we admired all of the mansions and huges estates on the hillsides.
Dinner was delicious: instant soup, can of mixed beans, bread and instant potato. Also somehow we accidently got someone else’s chicken wings so we added that to the soup as well. There were buzzards around but they didn’t bother us.
EMMA LONG METROPOLITAN PARK
We stayed at Emma Long Metro Park and camped at ‘The Grove Campground’, spot 13.
- Park Entry Fee: $5 Mon-Thurs & $10 Fri-Sun (NO CASH)
- Camping per night: $10 (no utilities). Book online – interactive map. Four different sites to choose from.
- Scenery: Lots of trees, open space and right next to the water. Lots of camping spots to choose from)
- Amenities: Lots of park benches. Bathroom – Very basic and not very clean. But free with toilet paper and hot water (no curtains on shower).