While the conference is going to be a busy one, hopefully you will have some time to explore Austin. To quote the Austin visitor's guide, Austin is hip and trendy, yet in a vintage sort of way. It is hi-tech and laidback. It's politically charged and culturally rich. It's eclectic by nature and creative by design. Most of all, it's a place where people like to have a good time. Below are links to the visitor center, as well as some restaurant links and music attractions. Most music venues do not accept reservations, but some, for special attractions, will pre-sell tickets. Your best bet is to take some time, look at some of the places we've listed here, and plan ahead. We aren't shy when it comes to talking about what we like best in Austin!
But first, a few words about those bats in Austin
Austin's main attraction isn't always rock stars. The Bats of Congress Avenue Bridge are the star attractions every evening when they fly out from under the bridge by the thousands in search of bugs. When the bridge was reconstructed in the 1980s they had no idea this spot would become the largest urban bat colony in North America. These Mexican free-tailed bats migrate each spring from central Mexico to various roosting sites throughout the southwestern United States, their favorite being here in Austin. Out of the 1.5 million bats in this colony, most are females who produce one offspring each June. Every night they eat somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 pounds of insects.
You can catch their dramatic exit into the night from March to early November, but the best months are July and August. Best spots for viewing the bat flight are the Bat Observation Area at the Austin American-Statesman (at the southeast corner of the Congress Avenue Bridge), the patio at TGIF's (at the Radisson Hotel, 11 E. 1st St.), on Town Lake from a kayak (rent from Salamander for $8 an hour, 512.477.2559), or on an authentic wheel riverboat (Lone Star Riverboat, 512.327.1388, $8 per person). Best time for viewing is sunset, and parking is offered at the Austin American-Statesman after 6pm. No public restrooms are available. For more information on the bats, such as flight times, call the Bat Hotline at 512.416.5700, ext. 3636.
- Austin Chronicle Restaurant Guide
- Austin Links Restaurant Guide
- Austin 360
- Active Diner
- Yelp Austin
Some music ideas to get you started