• The State and Paramount Theaters feature a wide variety of acts, from Chinese acrobats to plays and unique dance companies.
• Go to Esther's Follies for an entertaining Saturday Live-like comedy skits on Thursday-Saturday. Located in the 6th street entertainment district it's a great way to start an evening. Reservations recommended.
• TexasWineTours.com offers half and full day tours of the nearby Texas Wine country. Rent a chauffeured sedan, limo or minibus, generally departing between 10AM and noon daily. Call 512-329-7007 or 1-800-940-7007
• Frontera Fest is Austin's whirlwind festival. More theater than you can shake a stick at. Theater in theaters. Theater in people's houses. Theater everywhere.
• Held on the last Saturday of every April to ring in spring, there are few things that seem so "Austin" as Eeyore's Birthday Party. It is a unique event: a free-form hang-out of several thousand people... sitting, walking, playing music, beating drums, eating, drinking beer, playing games. Be yourself... there are families, dogs, tattoos, costumes, hotties, hippies, gay, straight, black, white, brown, red, tan.... and a statue of Eeyore dressed like the Statue of Liberty. The drum circle is massive and the beat vibrates throughout the central city. It ends when the sun goes down and everyone leaves peacefully.
• Rude Mechanicals or Rude Mechs . Original pieces are always engaging. Their production values are over the top (10 foot tesla coils on stage), and always make you interested to be watching theater. They did Lipstick Traces, which I loved. Also loved Get Your War On. They tour, so look for them.
• Pro Arts Collective . They do everything: theatre, dance, hip-hop, musicals, festivals...
• Teatro Vivo . Dedicated to producing quality bilingual theatre. Reflects the heart and soul of the Latino reality.
• Salvage Vanguard . Original musical pieces in conjunction with the Golden Arm Trio's Graham Reynolds are not to be missed.
• Different Stages . One of Austin's oldest rep. companies.
• Refraction Arts . They dabble in multiple mediums. Always interesting.
• the dirigo group . These critical darlings do original and established work.
• Bedlam Faction . The crazies that sprang out of Shakespeare at Winedale.
• Naughty Austin . Started out dedicated to gay-themed scripts, but they've been branching out lately.
• Loaded Gun Theory . Original pieces.
• Yellow Tape Construction Co . New work in theatre, dance, music, and many different combinations of the three. Check out their blog - yellowtapecc.blogspot.com
Austin is a great city for theater, especially if you like new works.
• The Off Center . Managed by Rude Mechs and home to some of Austin's best theatre, music and dance: Deborah Hay Dance Company, Physical Plant Theatre, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, The Golden Hornet Project.
• The Hideout . Managed by Heroes of Comedy, I think. You can always find improv comedy there.
• Zach Scott . Dave Steakley is artistic director. If you are looking for solid musical theatre, this is your venue. They also have a lock on Xmas plays.
• The Blue Theater . Managed by Refraction Arts and featuring theatre, music, film and dance.
• The Vortex . Bonnie Cullum is artistic director. Original musicals and operas and plays. Some of the most delightfully weird stuff I've seen.
• Hyde Park Theater . Ken Webster is artistic director. If you like Mamet, he's your man's man. FronteraFest is here too.
• Sam Bass Community Theater .
• Arts on Real .
• The Gas Light Theater .
• The Cactus Cafe. A great place to hear many local artists. Much of the music that is played there seems to be singer-songwriter. It's musically akin to Austin City Limits and unlike Austin City Limits you can probably actually get in to the Cactus Cafe
• Austin City Limits. The venerable PBS show is filmed in the basement of the University of Texas' Radio Television and Film department.
• Austin City Limits Festival. An annual outdoor music festival. It is a great way to sample all varieties of local music, but you will have to deal with the heat.
• The South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival. Austin's yearly flirtation with being a major player in the music, film and interactive media arenas. The wrist bands are loved by college students here, but be warned that you'll be turned away at the door at many of the venues even with one. You can still get into some of the larger venues without a wristband if you'd simply like to sample a band or two and check out the atmosphere.
• Stubb's BBQ. This BBQ restaurant has some of the best selection of live music in Austin, thanks to Charles Attal, one of the owners, who is recognized nationally for his music booking business. 801 Red River
• Antone's. An Austin original that has survived despite many hardships. Considered by USA Today to be one of the best Blues clubs in the nation, Antone's continues to be a launching pad for dozens of new artists each year. 213 West 5th
• The Continental Club. This legendary South Austin venue was opened in 1957 and for nearly four decades has been serving up the best live music Austin has to offer. The venue is small so get there early if you want to get in. 1315 South Congress
• The Saxon Pub. An awesome live music venue. The Saxon hosts live music throughout the week and even has a "no cover" happy hour until 7pm. Look for the giant knight and neon guitar at 1320 South Lamar.
• Reed's Jazz and Supper Club. Located in North Austin Reed's has live Jazz virtually every night. The happy hour crowd is usually a bit yuppie, but the music is worth it. 9901 Capitol of Texas Highway on the south corner of the building next to REI.
Enjoying the Outdoors
• Zilker Park. Undoubtedly Austin's favorite park. Amazing location on the banks of Town Lake with several miles of hiking and biking trails.
• Barton Springs Pool is one of Austin's most unique (and refreshing!) attractions: a beautiful spring-fed pool over 3 times longer than a football field, nestled in the heart of the city at Zilker Park.
• Town Lake Boat Rental Rent a canoe or kayak and enjoy the natural world in the heart of the city. Austin Rowing Dock - 2418 Stratford Drive (512) 459-0999. From $10 to $25/hr. Zilker Park boat rentals - (512) 478-3852. In the park. $10/hr, $40 per day.
• Tubing the San Marcos River in San Marcos, 25 miles south of town on I-35. There is no more quintessentially Central Texan thing than enjoying a summer afternoon lazily floating down the river. The Lion's club of San Marcos rents tubes at around $4/person or canoes at $10/each. They take you to the river and pick you up. 170 Bobcat Dr. San Marcos, TX 78666. (512) 396-5466
• McKinney Falls State Park. A 744.4 acre state park located in southeast Austin is rich in local history.
• Other parks in and around Austin. There are numerous parks all over the city and in the surrounding suburbs that are very popular with the residents of Austin. A significant number of these parks are pet friendly. AustinExplorer is a popular website to learn more about local parks and trails.
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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