Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

12 Austin, Texas Attractions That Don’t Involve Food or Music

Options include history, art, and military museums as well as North America's largest urban bat colony.

  1. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The 284-acre center features cultivated gardens, natural areas, and wildlands.
  2. The Bullock Museum. Texas’s official history museum offers films, special exhibits, artifacts, and more.
  3. LBJ Presidential Library. The library chronicles Lyndon B. Johnson’s life in Texas and his political career, including his service as the 36th U.S. president.
  4. O. Henry Museum. This is the former residence of William Sydney Porter, aka O. Henry, the famed short-story writer.
  5. Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. The largest urban bat colony in North America, between 750,000 and 1.5 million, flies out near dusk between April and October.
  6. Texas State Capitol. The tallest capitol building in the nation when construction finished in 1888 is open daily for tours.
  7. Mount Bonnell. Also known as Covert Park, it offers spectacular views of the city that have made it a popular sightseeing destination. 
  8. The Blanton Museum of Art. The museum features contemporary American and Latin American art, as well as Italian Renaissance and baroque paintings, prints, and drawings. 
  9. Thinkery. This 40,000-square-foot facility is designed for children and adults to learn, play, and experience innovative ideas.
  10. Texas Military Forces Museum. Covering the history of the state’s military forces from 1823 to the present, the museum displays tanks, helicopters, personal items, uniforms, and more.
  11. Zilker Botanical Garden. Located in downtown Austin on 28 acres, it features a variety of themed gardens that are woven together with pathways, streams, and ponds.
  12. Neill-Cochran House Museum. The museum covers Austin's history and includes the only slave quarters still standing in the city.