Things to Do in Austin

With a mild climate and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Austin, Texas, is the perfect place for an exciting getaway.

 

Located in the heart of the Lone Star State, Austin grew from a modest frontier town in the 1830s to one of the most populous cities in the United States. Today, nearly 1 million people call Austin home, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.

Though best known for its lively music scene, Austin has much more to offer. Outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and foodies all rave about the amazing range of attractions and activities in Austin. Explore these fun ideas for things to do in Austin. Don’t worry if you find yourself short on time. You can enjoy many of Austin’s best sights in one jam-packed day.

Live Entertainment

things to do in Austin

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As the Live Music Capital of The World, most tourists plan to check out the live entertainment in Austin. Musicians show off their skills all over the city, from the airport to the grocery stores. There is no shortage of music festivals in the city, including the popular Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. Stop by any of the more than 250 music venues around Austin, including coffeehouses, bars, and concerts halls, to check out the local talent.

Outdoor Activities

things to do in Austin

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Venture to Pedernales Falls State Park to take a hike through Hill Country. Juniper Ridge Trail offers 9 miles of picturesque pathways through mesquite forest. For an unparalleled view of Austin, head over to Mount Bonnell. At 775 feet high, it’s the highest point in the city and a top tourist spot.

Nature lovers enjoy hiking the 809 acres of trails at Barton Creek Greenbelt in south-central Austin. The Greenbelt has loads of limestone bluffs for rock climbing and plenty of swimming spots, such as Campbell’s Hole.

Another excellent destination for nature lovers is Zilker Park. Located in the heart of Austin, the 351-acre outdoor area offers plenty of fun activities, from hiking and biking to kayaking and paddle boarding. Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, which boasts a balmy 68 degrees year-round.

Historic Sites

things to do in Austin

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Make a trip to the Texas State Capitol to witness history in action and learn about local legislature. Grab a self-guided tour pamphlet to enjoy the building at your own pace or join one of the free, 30-minute guided tours for an insider look at the site.

In addition to the Texas State Capitol, many Austin museums offer free admission year-round or on certain days of the week, including the Austin Science and Nature Center, the Texas Military Forces Museum, The Contemporary Austin, and the LBJ Presidential Library.

Eating Out

things to do in Austin

Image via Flickr by Sean Loyless

If you love to eat, Austin is foodie heaven. Join an Austin Eats Food Tour to sample some of the best restaurants in the city. Another fantastic option is to check out the more than 1,000 food trucks in Austin that offer everything from craft meats and lobster rolls to deep-fried Oreo cookies and Tex Mex barbecue.

Looking for the perfect place for a weekend getaway? These are just a few of the fun things to do in Austin, Texas.

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Things To Do in Santa Fe, New Mexico – Museums to Markets

Located more than 7,200 feet high on the southwestern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Santa Fe is a haven for history buffs and artists alike. As the oldest and highest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe dates back to 1610 and is home to just over 80,000 people. But don’t let its small size fool you. There are plenty of things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and lots of budget-friendly hotels to suit every taste.

From Spanish colonial architecture to Native-American arts and crafts, diverse cultures collide to create a vibrant and exciting array of tourist attractions. Nestled in a valley along a tributary of the Rio Grande, Santa Fe is surrounded by 1.5 million acres of national forest. The picturesque mountain town offers loads of outdoor fun as well as hundreds of restaurants, art galleries, and historical sites, all within walking distance.

History and Culture

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Steeped in rich history that’s teeming with Spanish influence and Native-American heritage, the Santa Fe Plaza is the cultural hub of the city. Built by the Spaniards at the end of the Santa Fe Trail, the National Historic Site is the perfect place to pick up traditional arts and crafts from local Native-American vendors. The square is always abuzz with activity, including markets, live music, and festivals.

Walking among the ancient buildings that surround the Plaza, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to a time when bullfights were common on the streets. In addition to notable structures like San Miguel Mission, La Fonda Hotel, and the Palace of the Governors, check out the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi just a short walk away.

Museums and Galleries

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Art lovers will want to check out the New Mexico Museum of Art in the Plaza before heading east to Canyon Road. Here, you’ll find the largest concentration of art galleries in the city. Walk for a half-mile amid adobe buildings, checking out the more than 100 galleries that feature everything from abstract to contemporary artworks by both up-and-coming artists and famous names like Fernando Botero.

Santa Fe is also home to nearly 20 traditional museums, including Museum Hill, which features four institutions in one convenient location. Other local highlights include the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. For a unique experience, check out Meow Wolf. This is an interactive collection of art installations that showcases the work of more than 100 local artists.

Outdoor Activities

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Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the many ski hills and hiking trails found in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. If you’re looking for adventure, head out on the Rio Grande for an exciting whitewater rafting experience. Alternatively, take a stroll through the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, which features 12 acres of beautiful landscapes and mountain views. Tourists with a little extra time on their hands might enjoy a trip to Bandelier National Monument. Located about 40 miles outside the city at the base of Frijoles Canyon, the monument is made up of cave dwellings and stone structures that were once home to the ancestors of the Pueblo peoples.

Whether you’re looking to take in the local culture or spend time in the great outdoors, you’ll find a wide variety of things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Things to do in Santa Fe

Things to Do in St. Kitts in One Day — Historic Forts to White Sand Beaches

Though it’s just a wee island in the West Indies, there are plenty of great things to do in St. Kitts in one day.

 

With a population of just 50,000 people, St. Kitts is known for its vast sugar cane fields, warm, tropical climate, and white sand beaches. The capital city, Basseterre, is a popular cruise port for most major cruise lines sailing in the Caribbean. English is the official language of the island, and U.S. currency is widely accepted and expected from visitors.

things to do in St Kitts

Getting Started

Whether you cruise or sail to the island, a great way to get acquainted with St. Kitts is through a taxi tour. At only 18 miles long and 5 miles wide, it’s easy to tour the entire island in just a few hours. If you’re staying on the island for a few days, you’ll get a quick overview of the different things to do in St. Kitts, and you can select the best sites to return to later. Your hotel can help you arrange a taxi service. For cruisers, watch for the “Taxis and Tours” stand at the end of the dock before you pass through the terminal. They’ll have drivers waiting to whisk you away. Taxis may not be metered, so be sure to set a price before setting off on your journey.

things to do in st kitts things to do in st kitts

Pro tip: If you’re on a cruise, get off the ship as soon as you get clearance from the port authority. This way, you can catch an early tour and have all afternoon to lounge on the beach.

What to Expect

Islands tours cost about $20 per person and take you on a one-way road around the perimeter of the entire island, making a photo stop at a few local attractions along the way. You can choose to ride in an air-conditioned taxi or an open-air safari-style vehicle. While you’ll stay nice and cool in the taxi, you’ll get better pictures from the safari vehicle, so choose wisely depending on your end goals. Also, beware that the price of the tour does not include admission to any attractions. This can add up, so if you want to stop in at several of the sites, you may be better off taking an all-inclusive excursion through your cruise line or a tour operator.

things to do in st kitts

Most of the tour consists of driving around the island and taking pictures from the vehicle. However, you will make photo stops at a few locations, including the Black Rocks, where some locals also sell their wares to the visiting tourists. You’ll also drive through an area of rain forest on the way to Romney Manor, see the dormant volcano Mount Liamuiga in the distance, and drive up picturesque Timothy Hill. The driver will also point out other areas of historic and cultural significance as you drive.

things to do in St Kitts things to do in St Kitts things to do in St Kitts

Scheduling Your Stops

The entire journey takes about two-and-a-half hours if you don’t stop for more than a few minutes at each of the photo stops. The driver will take the lead from the group and make extended stops at places like Brimstone Hill Fortress and Caribelle Batik. This can extend your tour time considerably, and costs can quickly add up.

things to do in St Kitts things to do in St Kitts

At some sites, there is no convenient place to wait while other members of your group visit the attractions. Brimstone Hill Fortress, for example, will not even allow visitors to wait in the parking lot. You will be left on the side of the road in a secluded area outside the fort. There are no shops, restaurants, or shady places to take cover from the hot sun.

Pro tip: Unless you’re part of a large group, you will likely be paired with other people on your tour. Before getting in a car, ask the driver to confirm the length of the tour, where it stops, and for how long. You’ll want to be paired with people who have the same interests as you so that you’re on the same page about the places you want to visit and for how long. Otherwise, you may find yourself waiting for a half hour or more in parking lots or on the side of the road.

Beach Visit

At the end of the tour, you can ask the driver to leave you at the beach for an extended stay. It will cost you a few extra dollars on top of the tour price to be dropped off here. The driver will ask you what time you want to be picked back up and will return at that time to get you—also for a small fee. The people in my group who chose this option were charged $4 extra dollars when they were dropped off, for a total of $24 for the tour. The driver charged $4 more to pick them back up.

The beach is only about 15 minutes from the port, and there are a host of duty-free shops to check out upon your return. In fact, it’s a lovely port with lots of great places to check out. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy a drink and pick up a few souvenirs. You can also make a pit stop at the National Museum of St. Kitts to check out the local history and culture.

things to do in St Kitts things to do in St Kitts

Tour Alternatives

With such a warm climate and beautiful natural landscapes, outdoor activities are extremely popular in St. Kitts. As soon as you arrive in port, you’ll see a sign pointing you in the direction of water sports and other fun things to do in St. Kitts in the great outdoors.

For something a little different, take a ride on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway. Once used to transport sugar cane across the island, this train now takes tourists on an 18-mile journey through the countryside. Complete the three-hour tour with a 12-mile bus ride. Sadly, Hurricane Irma had just breezed by the island days before I was there, causing a number of trees and debris to make the rails impassable, but this is my top choice for an excursion on my next visit to St. Kitts.

things to do in St Kitts

If you’re looking for fun things to do in St. Kitts in one day, start with a quick taxi tour of the island to make the most of your time.

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Things to Do in Richmond, Virginia — Canal Cruises to the Capitol Building

As the capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, Richmond, Virgina, is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Steeped in rich history, it’s got plenty of museums and historic markers for anyone interested in taking a trip back in time. In recent years, Richmond has also become known for its modern attractions. With so many great things to do in Richmond, it’s the ideal place for a fun city break.

To make the most of your stay in Richmond, consider booking one of the budget-friendly hotels near the Virginia State Capitol, the oldest continuously operating legislature in the nation. For something a little different, you can take a Segway tour of the grounds to learn more about the many exciting events that have occurred at this National Historic Landmark throughout history.

Historical Sites
Things to do in Richmond
Image via Flickr by Ron Cogswell

History buffs will want to stop by Monument Avenue to pay tribute to some of the greatest Civil War heroes, including Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. Next up, visit the Confederate White House to take a tour of the official residence of Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. Then, head next door to the Museum of the Confederacy to view some of the best-preserved artifacts of the war, including several flags.

Afterward, make a stop at Historic Tredegar, a private museum dedicated to Civil War history. The museum shares its grounds with Richmond National Battlefield Park, the site of many Civil War battles. Encompassing 80 square miles of land, the park includes 13 battle sites, several original fortifications, the Confederacy’s largest hospital, and four visitor centers. You can take a tour of the park, watch a living history demonstration, or attend one of the many special events that take place here each year.

Outdoor Activities
Things to do in Richmond
Image via Flickr by Ron Cogswell

Anyone who enjoys taking a walk through nature will want to check out Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. With 50 acres of gardens, dining, and shopping, it’s one of the most-visited attractions in Richmond and the ideal place to enjoy flower displays, learn about plants, or take a gardening class.

If you love a little adventure in the outdoors, be sure to check out the James River. Try rafting, swimming, kayaking, or tubing in Virginia’s largest river. Spanning 1.25 miles along the James River and the Kanawha and Haxall Canals, Richmond’s Canal Walk is one of the city’s top outdoor attractions. Stroll or bike along the walkway to enjoy the many natural and historical sites found here. For a memorable afternoon, you can take an informative 40-minute cruise along the Canal Walk.

Food, Shopping, and Entertainment
Things to do in Richmond
Image via Flickr by Gamma Man

Richmond is known for its more than 25 breweries. One of the most popular, Hardywood Craft Brewery, offers tours and the opportunity to sample some of its brews. The brewery often hosts festivals, food trucks, and musical events. For a little retail therapy, make your way to Short Pump Town Center, which is home to more than 140 shops, restaurants, and more. From high-end brand names to local boutiques, this outdoor mall has something for everyone.

If you’re planning to take a trip to Virginia, there are many exciting things to do in Richmond. Whether you’re looking to learn more about American history or you simply want to spend some time outdoors, you’ll find it here.

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