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  • Austin Texas

Holidays to Austin, Texas​

Two facts should tell you all you need to know about holidays in Austin, Texas: the locally adopted motto is 'Keep Austin Weird' and there's a huge colony of bats living under a bridge downtown. Both are clues to the quirky character of the Texan state capital - a modern city where there's a steely resolve to maintain an independent spirit, and where animals that aren't really meant to be there are left to do their own thing.

Austin's unique vibe is best expressed in its buzzing music scene. It's known as the 'Live Music Capital of the World®' and every night the Sixth Street and the Red River districts rock to the sound of countless live acts performing everything from indie to country. There's a couple of mega music festivals held annually in the city too, with SXSW (South By Southwest) in March, and Austin City Limits Music Festival staged over two weekends in October.

With over 300 days of sun a year, it's good to get out and about on holidays in Austin Texas - and one of the best places to do that is in the green oasis of 352-acre Zilker Park. There's hike-and-bike trails winding around much-loved Lady Bird Lake; swimming in Barton Springs Pool; plenty of picnic spots; and lovely botanical gardens to wander in. There's even playgrounds and a miniature train for the kids, plus open-air plays and concerts at Hillside Theatre.

Elsewhere, you won't want to miss the elegant Texas Capitol building, which is taller than Washington's, or the University of Texas campus with its rich history and interesting museums. A wander along trendy South Congress Avenue is also a must, or you might want to take a trip into Hill Country outside the city. In fact we're convinced you won't find Austin so much 'weird' as totally enchanting.

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The Music

There are more than 250 live music venues for you to choose between on a night out in Austin. There's some very famous ones like The Continental Club, which draws big names, and The Broken Spoke, which is a country and western honky-tonk. But there's also Elephant Room for blues, Elysium for alternative, and countless other clubs catering for every other type of music in between.

Go Batty

Watching the bats emerge from their roost under the Congress Avenue Bridge is a nightly ritual. This is America's largest urban colony and come dusk, up to a million of the winged creatures swoop out from their hiding place in a dark cloud before flying off in search of food. It's quite a spectacle, and can last upwards of half an hour.

Lake Life

Three lakes on the Colorado River provide the perfect way to cool off from the city heat in summer. Lake Travis is the largest and makes for perfect days spent swimming, boating, fishing, and even scuba diving. Lake Austin is good for sailing, cruising, fishing and watersports; and on Lady Bird Lake in the heart of Austin kayaks, canoes and paddleboards rule the waves.

Chow Down

Breakfast tacos are a way of life here, and you can get them all over the city filled with anything from scrambled egg and bacon, to chorizo and refried beans. Also popular is Tex-Mex food and traditional Texas barbeque, with food trucks now a regular fixture on the streets - serving up gourmet doughnuts, fried chicken, crepes, stuffed Indian naan bread and even Korean tacos.

Hill Country

All around Austin is beautiful hill country - a land of rivers, lakes, springs, caverns and an amazing blanket of wildflowers in the spring. So get out and enjoy the view.



Fly Drive Holiday: Grand Texan Trails

Dallas – Austin – Houston – San Antonio – Fort Worth - Dallas

This suggested fly drive itinerary gives you the perfect introduction to urban Texas. You’ll visit cosmopolitan Dallas, funky state capital Austin, NASA centre Houston, historic San Antonio and Western Fort Worth with plenty of time to explore in each destination. Travel between cities by car so that you can explore and discover the state at your own pace. Have a good time, y’all!

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Fly Drive Holiday: Lone Ranger

Dallas – San Angelo – Big Bend National Park – Mayan Dude Ranch - San Antonio - Austin - Dallas

Tick all the boxes on the ultimate Texan fly drive holiday! Combine some of the Lone Star State's exciting metropolises with a visit to jaw-dropping Big Bend National Park. You’ll even have the chance to ride across the prairie and have a Cowboy Cookout with a 2 night stay at the Mayan Dude Ranch. From the live music bars in Austin to the epic night skies of Big Bend and Bandera, you’ll leave Texas with unforgettable memories (and maybe even a Stetson in your luggage).

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Fly Drive Holiday: Lone Star Trail

Dallas – Austin – Houston – Corpus Christi - San Antonio – Fort Stockton - El Paso - Albuquerque - Santa Fe - Amarillo - Dallas

Experience the highlights of the Lone Star State on this fascinating fly drive tour through Texan history, culture and landscapes. Along the way you’ll visit Austin, the ‘live music capital of the world’, Houston, home of NASA's Johnson Space Centre, Galveston, a treasure trove of things historically Texan, San Antonio, site of the famous Battle of the Alamo and El Paso, on the border with Mexico. Dip into New Mexico and see the exciting city of Albuquerque and state capital Santa Fe before crossing the Texas Panhandle and returning to Dallas.

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Small-Group Tour of Austin and Texas Hill Country  
See Austin’s top attractions from the comfort of a luxury Mercedes van on a narrated 1.5 hour tour. You’ll pass landmarks like Lady Bird Lake, the Texas Capitol, the Driskill Hotel and Mayfield Park, as well as enjoying sweeping views of rolling hills and lakes in Texas Hill Country. Prices from £14 per person.

Segway!  
Segue gracefully by Segway through the streets of Austin on a guided tour. Choose from an exploration of Downtown, a journey through the history of the city or perhaps leave at dusk for a tour through haunted Austin, ending at the famous Bat Bridge. Prices from £22 per person.

Barton Springs Pool
One of the city’s best attractions on a sunny day, Barton Springs is a spring-fed pool nestled in the heart of town at Zilker Park. The pool is three times longer than a football field and remains at a constant temperature of 20°c (68 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year so come and test the water!

You can add tickets for activities to your booking later.

Time Difference:
GMT - 6 hours

Closest Airport:
Austin Bergstrom International Airport (approx. 10 hours and 10 minutes, direct flight)

Getting around:
Austin has a good public transport network, run by Capital Metro which is easy to navigate. To explore more of the sights outside the city, you can hire a car from £21 per day.

Insider Tip:
During the summer months when the mercury crosses the 100°F mark, there’s nowhere better to cool off that the Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring shaded by 100 year-old pecan trees.

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

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Deposits from £59pp 

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Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

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