7 Free Things to Do in Austin

Bat viewing at the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin.

Bat Viewing at the Congress Avenue Bridge. (Photo c/o lowcostholidays)

March is just around the corner and here in Austin the temperature will soon reach those balmy 70s that we’re all so fond of. There really isn’t a better time to explore some of the great things Austin has to offer.

The best part of all? Exploring Austin doesn’t need to cost a fortune. During your stay at InTown Suites, be sure to take advantage of some of the great attractions and free things to do in Austin – there’s plenty to choose from. 

Here are just a few: 

  1. Walk Through History!

    With the nice weather upon us, there’s no better time to get outside and take a stroll on one of Austin’s historic walking tours. Get to know downtown Austin by exploring on foot. Choose from several guided tours, including a tour of the 10-block Congress Avenue, 9-block Sixth Street National Register Districts where you’ll see modern skyscrapers and 19th century buildings, or other self-guided tours including the Texas State Cemetery. Hop on the #801 bus and be downtown in 40 minutes.

  2. Bat Viewing at the Congress Avenue Bridge.

    Yes, you read that correctly! While you’re downtown, be sure to take in this breathtaking sight and experience at the Congress Avenue Bridge – bat viewing! Watch the world’s largest urban bat colony (approximately one million or more bats) fly out from under the bridge at dusk. It’s a truly remarkable sight available only during certain months of year (typically mid-March to May).

  3. Take In a Live Performance.

    Take advantage of rising temperatures and get outside to enjoy free live music on the outdoor patio at the Central Market. Hop on the #801 bus and find yourself on the patio in just 30 minutes. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a drink and some good tunes on the patio! Check out the Market’s event calendar for more details.

  4. Browse the Library.

    Set out on foot and wander down to the Little Walnut Creek Public Library, just 10 minutes from InTown Suites. Home to many programs and services, a computer learning center, as well as many books and other excellent reading materials, the library is a great place to escape!

  5. Relax in a Beautiful City Park.

    Check a few books out of the library and head up the road to the lovely Quail Creek Park. Just a 15 minute walk from InTown, Quail Creek is the perfect place to unwind in a little piece of heaven. Here you’ll find stunning hackberry trees, a playground, and picnic tables great for a snack and a read. You’ll also enjoy plenty of cooling shade – somewhat of a rarity in Austin!

  6. Learn Something New About Austin.

    Devoted to maintaining Austin history, the Austin History Centre is an excellent place to learn something new about this great city. Home to over a million items – ranging from maps, news clippings, photographs, manuscripts, and more – there is much to be discovered. From InTown, hop back on the #801 bus to downtown – the ride will take about 40 minutes.

  7. Indulge Your Artsy Side.

    Dubbed one of the world’s finest cultural archives, the Harry Ransom Center houses some noteworthy artifacts worthy of a visit – like a rare Gutenberg Bible, among 30 million literary manuscripts, the famous Watergate papers, the world’s very first photograph, and much more. Hop back on the #801 bus for a 30 minute ride to the Center.

A visit to Austin, Texas, doesn’t have to break the bank. Stay with us at InTown Suites and enjoy plenty of free or low-cost activities and things to do in Austin. No matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to be entertained.

For more ideas on what to do in Austin, including other amenities, restaurants and shops nearby, check out the Area Guide tab on our Austin Extended Stay page.

Enjoy your stay!

Top 10 Beach Reads of 2015

Top Ten Beach Reads 2015

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

It’s been a tough winter in many places across the country, with storm after storm taking its toll. Some lucky people will be heading to the beaches of Florida to escape winter, if only for a week or two.

Beaches are made for relaxing, and for reading. If you’re one of the lucky ones heading South, and looking for your next great beach read, here are ten suggestions.

1. The Martian – Andy Weir

What do you do when you’re the last person left on Mars? The Martian tries to answer that question – you’ll be dying to know what happens next and you won’t want to put the book down until you’ve finished it. Read the book before the movie comes out this fall.

2. Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

She many only be in her mid-twenties, but Lena Dunham has the wit of people twice her age. Her collection of essays are funny, thought-provoking and very relateable.

3. Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Love a thrilling book that keeps you turning the pages? Many people who have read the novel are calling it the next Gone Girl. It’s the perfect book to keep you on your toes, while you work on your tan.

4. The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion

Over the the past few years, countless thousands of people fell in love with the sweet but socially awkward protagonist Professor Don Tillman, and the relationship he formed with Rosie. In the follow-up novel, you’ll follow the pair as they adjust to life in New York City after moving from Australia.

5. Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan

Pick up this autobiography and you won’t be able to put it down, or believe it’s not fiction. Susannah wakes up in the hospital not remembering the last month of her life, and when she learns what happens, she doesn’t recognize herself.

6. American Sniper – Jim Defelice

American Sniper, the movie directed by Clint Eastwood, and nominated for 6 Academy Awards is based on this gripping book. Read about how a military vet is tested both on the line of duty, and off.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

It was recently announced that Harper Lee, at the forever young age of 88, will be releasing her second book this summer. Before you pick it up, revisit the old classic that made her such a beloved figure.

8. The Beach – Alex Garland

A book about a beach, to read at the beach. In this novel, the protagonist sets out to find a private beach oasis in Thailand. Sounds like paradise, but the way the story unfolds, you’ll find yourself happy you’re on the more public beaches of Florida.

9. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

This book turns 30 years old in 2015, yet the dystopian novel seems incredibly relevant, perhaps even more so than when it was published. In the future, the United States of America is no more, and in the new society of the Republic of Gilead, women have no rights.

10. A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

Delightful, informing and funny, this book zips along at a snappy pace. Who says a day at the beach can’t be educational?

We wish you good readings and warm, sunny beach weather. If you’re looking for more book recommendations check out the summer reading post we wrote last year.

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