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Discover fun things to do in Austin, TX.

We recommend www.TodayinAustin.com.  It is a community-wide ‘bulletin board’ for a wide variety of events happening in the City, both for today and upcoming dates.  You’ll find live music, film (special screenings), free things to do, kid-centered events, and all of the happenings at the University of Texas suitable for the general public.  It’s clear, uncomplicated, and advertising-free.

Again, it’s www.TodayinAustin.com.  We like it.

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Live Music

You can find live performances all over town, every night of the week. To know what’s happening, pick up a free copy of the Austin Chronicle on Thursdays at the Magnolia Cafe. South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival — happens in March every year. www.sxsw.com

ACL Music Festival — happens in Sept. every year. www.aclfestival.com

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Barton Springs

A huge spring-fed natural pool, located in Zilker Park, provides swimmers with water that stays a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit. A charming sub-culture of young adults and seniors can be found here at 7 a.m. year-round. A small admission charge is required after 9 am. Zilker park has a giant playground and various gardens (Xeriscape, Rose, Japanese, Native). Swim free in summer every evening from 9-10 pm, and enjoy the party that happens on the nights of the full moon. www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/bartonsprings.htm

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SoCo and First Thursday

Let’s give you the real scoop on South Congress development. We were there in 1988 when it was unloved and uncool. Well, now we’re getting our cool back. The street has slowly earned the privilege of having fine restaurants, clothing stores, gift stores (like Prima Dora www.primadora.com) sprinkled among the venerable dinosaurs (Magnolia Cafe South, Off the Wall, Continental Club, Avenue Gallery, and etc.) You can enjoy the excitement especially on the First Thursday of every month when there is live music and late store hours. www.firstthursday.info

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The University of Texas

About 50,000 students attend UT, Austin. The famous/infamous Tower is illuminated with orange when the football team has won the game. UT now has a great art museum (The Henry Ransom Center, and Blanton Museum), and an interesting Natural History Museum (with dinosaur footprints found in Texas). www.utexas.edu

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LBJ Presidential Library

The LBJ Presidential Library is located on campus, next to the Law School. www.lbjlib.utexas.edu

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The Capitol

The Texas State Capitol Building is made of lovely pink granite. Free tours are available daily, just drop buy. A new visitor’s center is located in a separate building on the grounds. www.tspb.state.tx.us/CVC/home/home.html

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The Hike & Bike Trail

What creates the Austin feeling of community? Places to congregate! The Hike & Bike Trail around Town Lake is a great place to meet and hang out with friends. Good parking place: under the MoPac bridge in Zilker Park. The “lake” is really the dammed-up Colorado River — all the lakes in Texas are man-made. Canoes can be rented at Zilker Park. www.zilkerboats.com Check out the boating club on the north side of the hike & bike trail: www.austincityguide.com/content/austin-rowing-dock.asp

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O. Henry

O. Henry worked in Austin as a writer and draftsman; to find an expert, visit the O. Henry Museum on East 5th Street. www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/ohenry.htm

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James Michener

James Michener lived in Austin not long ago. He has endowed various art collections and programs at U.T., including a stipend program to give young writers the support they need to concentrate on their writing. www.utexas.edu/academic/mcw/

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