Austin’s Rites of Passage

Norah Hussaini, Web Editor

  1. Music festivals- Austin’s title as the live music capital of the world is something to take advantage of. Whether it be a bigger festival like Austin City Limits and SXSW, or a smaller, more closed off venue like NeWorlDeli, Austin’s music scene is not to be discounted. There are over 250 venues to live out the Austin live music experience, and food trucks are always readily available with infinite cuisine options to choose from. Whether it be country, blues, pop, or R&B, one can find a great venue to make memories at.
  2. Bats- Lay out a blanket under the Congress Avenue Bridge to see around 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats soar through the sunset against the downtown Austin skyline. The bat colony is the largest urban bat colony in North America, and can be seen best from late July to early August around 7:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. The bats eat around 20 to 30,000 pounds of insects a night during their 45 to 60 minute shows. Make sure to catch a view before early November, when the bats start to migrate South for the winter. 
  3. Austin Water Attractions- With Austin’s 90 to 100 degree summers, staying cool and hydrated is a necessity. Natural pools such as Deep Eddy or Barton Springs can offer a quick fix. Barton Springs pool gets its water from underground springs, which causes the water to usually be cooler, around 68 to 70 degrees. In addition to swimming in the natural pools and springs, Austin also has many activities available on Lady Bird Lake. Stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking are some of the most popular activities, due to the fact that no motorized boats are allowed on the lake. To knock out two local activities at once, take a sunset bat paddle boarding tour to see the bats emerge from under Congress Avenue Bridge.
  4. Visit the public library- The newest public library in Austin opened a mere four years ago in downtown Austin. The library, which was featured in Time’s Greatest Places 2018, boasts six floors, over 500,000 books, a rooftop garden, and a café. It also has the largest solar installation in downtown Austin, and is beyond compliant with energy code requirements. It has a closed off children’s area as well as a teens only area, and  gives visitors a view of downtown Austin on the outdoor patio on the third floor or the roof deck on the top floor. Whether the goal is to study, relax, or simply take in the view, the Central Library can fit many requirements.
  5. Peter Pan mini golf- Giant clowns, kangaroos, dinosaurs, and an Austin tradition since 1948. Peter Pan mini golf is a family owned out-of-the-ordinary mini golf course with two 18-hole courses and tons of odd sculptures. People from all age groups and areas are welcome, as long as they’re respectful of other groups and come to the course between 9 a.m. and 12 a.m. Visitors need to make sure they come an hour before closing, before the staff stops selling tickets. This spot is one that has stayed the same over many decades in Austin, and still takes many people back in time with its Old Austin charm. Peter Pan mini golf has few rules, only that players play fairly, treat other groups with kindness, and have fun.