There's a simple beauty to the 31-acre (13-hectare) Zilker Botanical Garden. It’s in the wooden footbridges, the lily ponds, the rock waterfalls and the quaint, brick-paved walkways that wind under large tree canopies.
The Zilker Botanical Garden is made up of many smaller gardens. Check out the Green Garden, set up to show locals how to keep their plants and flowers alive during the area’s frequent periods of drought. It features many varieties of "Austin-hardy" plants, which fare well with little water.
Set aside an afternoon to wander this peaceful respite. If you have kids, don't miss the Hartman Prehistoric Garden. There are more than 100 tracks made by six or seven dinosaurs, which roamed the area of the parklands more than 100 million years ago. These awesome tracks have been preserved, along with the bones of an ancient turtle. There are also native plants from that prehistoric era, as well as a life-size sculpture of an ornithomimus, the three-toed dinosaur that left its footprints in what is now the botanical garden.
Take a leisurely walk through the Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden, which opened in 1969. Taniguchi, a local landscape architect, was 70 years old when he spent 18 (unpaid) months designing and constructing this tranquil garden. The ponds were designed to spell out the word Austin, and you can see the city skyline from most parts of the garden. Stop and rest at the Japanese teahouse, located amongst the pathways and ponds. The bamboo structure is designed to emphasize humanity’s relationship to nature and has the words ten-wa-jin ("heaven, harmony and man") on the outside.
Zilker Botanical Garden is located on the south bank of the Colorado River, near downtown Austin. There’s a small entry fee and free parking. This is a great addition while exploring the surrounding Zilker Metropolitan Park. There are no food facilities, however, and picnicking is not allowed.
Located in Downtown Austin, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Austin Public Library and Governor's Mansion. Texas State Capitol and Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in the middle of downtown, this Austin hotel is one block from the 6th Street entertainment district, 5 blocks from the convention center, and 6 blocks from the State Capitol.
Centrally located in Austin, this hotel is located in the Second Street District and is near Austin City Hall and Governor's Mansion. Additional nearby points of interest include Texas State Capitol.
Built in 1886 by a Texas cattle baron, this richly appointed hotel is in downtown's 6th Street Entertainment District, six blocks from the convention center and a half-mile from the State Capitol. The Lady Bird Lake is just blocks away.
This downtown Austin hotel is 2 blocks from the Texas State Capitol and 6 blocks from Symphony Square.
Located in Downtown Austin, this spa hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Austin Children's Museum, Governor's Mansion, and Texas State Capitol. Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and Blanton Museum of Art are also within 2 mi (3 km).
In the heart of downtown, the 26-story Hilton Austin is 1 block from the 6th Street Entertainment District, the hub of Austin's live-music scene; less than a mile from the State Capitol and Congress Avenue Bridge.
Situated in the city center, this property is close to Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Park, and Zilker Botanical Garden. Also nearby are South Austin Museum of Popular Culture and Zach Theatre.