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The popularity of Austin, Texas as both a place to live and to visit has exploded in the last couple decades. It has become an iconic city for music, incredible nightlife, and so much more. There are a few things that everyone should experience while in Austin, but there are also so many incredible opportunities that often fly under the radar. The following are three hidden gems in Austin that you will not find in your guidebook.

Austin Nature & Science Center

It can be easy to get caught up Austin’s incredible urban environment, but there is plenty of natural beauty to fall in love with here as well. The Austin Nature & Science Center provides a welcome break from endless restaurants, theatres, and bars. You will find a wonderland of hiking trail networks, rare animals, ponds, and breathtaking vegetation. Through various programs, interactive exhibits, and activities, visitors can learn about this amazing area in a fun way. Find it nestled in Zilker Park at 2389 Stratford Dr.

Midnight Cowboy

You will find countless bars lining Austin’s famous 6th Street, but none of them are quite like this one. This 1920’s modeled speakeasy is a true hidden gem, as very few people know how to get in here. It is easy to walk by this local favorite as there are no signs for it outside. But adjacent to the 311 club you will find a callbox with names of ‘residents’ you can call. Call Harry Craddock and you will be let in. This is sure to be one of the most interesting experiences you have in Austin at 313 E 6th St.

Extreme Paintball of Austin

Travelling all the way to Austin just for some epic paintballing may not sound prudent, but you will not find a paintballing experience like this anywhere else; it is truly one of the hidden gems in Austin! The highest-grade equipment along with 15 acres of some of the coolest battlefields you will find anywhere are the main reasons for this unique experience. 7415 Burleson Manor Rd is where you will find the most exhilarating and memorable experience of your trip!

Find a Hidden Gem in Austin, With an Austin Vacation Rental

It is easier than ever to find the perfect place to stay in the city thanks in large part to our wonderful staff at Austin Vacation Rentals, who have changed the game forever. We have made countless vacation dreams come true by providing the best and most diverse range of vacation rentals to choose from in one easy to navigate place. You can find charming, Texas-style homes throughout some of Austin’s most scenic neighborhoods. You can find some of the most luxurious homes overlooking this beautiful city. You can even find trendy condos in the heart of the booming downtown area. Whatever type of accommodations suit you best, you bet on high-end furnishings, a full kitchen, quality beds, and so much more. Find the perfect Austin rental with us today!

You’ve probably already heard that everything is bigger in Texas, but did you also know that everything is BETTER, as well? Offering a wonderful blend of breathtaking scenery, rich history, famous tourist attractions, and a super-sized selection of shopping spots guaranteed to give your credit cards a workout, your Austin vacation promises to be unlike any other! And because we don’t want you to miss out on a single shopping experience, we are offering up this list of the best shopping in Austin spots—happy sales to you!

Toy Joy, 403 West 2nd Street

We firmly stand behind the theory of never growing up, and this fantastic toy store found in the historic 2nd District of Austin is the perfect spot to visit if you’re on the Peter Pan team! Offering a quirky selection of toys, action figures, stuffed animals, collectibles and so much more, your Austin getaway will be sadly lacking if you don’t budget in a few hours for a visit to this toy nirvana!

Charm School Vintage, 1111 East 11th Street # 150

In a world where we are quickly learning to reuse, recycle, and restore, it’s always nice to follow the same traditions when on vacations, and Charm School Vintage will educate you on all the above. Offering a huge selection of clothing, gifts, the styles found here date all the way back to the 1890s, this is the boutique you’ve been dreaming of your entire life!

The Austin Antique Mall, 8822 McCann Drive

The history of Texas comes to life in this super-sized antique mall featuring over 30,000 square feet of artifacts, trinkets, and treasures that stretch back in time for generations. Put on your walking shoes and prepare for a shopping-palooza of clothing, jewelry, military memorabilia, toys, and so much more we don’t have the time to list it all!

ByGeorge, 524 North Lamar Boulevard #103

For those with a love for the finer things in life, ByGeorge has exactly what your discerning taste requires! This high end clothing and accessory store caters to both men and women, offering only the best in quality and design.

Monkey See Monkey DO, 1712 South Congress Avenue

Quirky is the word today, one that comes in especially handy when visiting this unique novelty gift shop. The walls and aisles are lined with the kind of gifts that will make the recipients realize that you really have put a LOT of thought into their likes and dislikes! Funky socks, Stretch Armstrong dolls, and soup cans stuffed with figures blind that would do Andy Warhol proud—there are no rules in Monkey See Monkey Do!

Choose Austin Vacation Rentals and Enjoy the Best Shopping in Austin

There are a lot of vacation rental companies to choose from, but when you want the best, you choose us! Our homes are designed to be lived in. Light, airy, and oh so comfortable, you will never want to leave. We also feature 4 bedroom  and 3 bedroom homes for larger groups, and 1 bedroom homes for a small getaway—contact us to reserve one of our luxury rentals no matter the time of year!

It’s only normal to start feeling a little depressed as summer draws to an end. Even those of us who still work full time jobs still look at the season as a magical time period filled with possibility, and the arrival of fall brings along responsibilities, chores, and the feeling that childhood has ended. If that’s how you feel today, we have good news for you: It’s only August, you still have a few more weeks of summer! It’s time to start planning that Labor Day trip to Austin, Texas. There’s still one last long weekend of summer to play! Here’s five incredible ways to make sure you get the most out of your Labor Day in Austin celebrations!

Silent Party Austin

If you don’t know what silent party is already, chances are you may not be interested, but give it a try anyway; it’s actually kind of cool! No speakers, no loud music, just put on your headphones and the channels you want to listen to as you celebrate the freedom to dance to your own tunes. Our Labor Day Weekend Silent Party is being held August 31st through September 1st at the Rainey Social and celebrates the music of trap and R&B.

Summer and Music Go Hand in Hand

Our best summer memories involve outdoor concerts and thousands of screaming fans. What better way to say farewell to your favorite season than by attending Bob Schneider’s Labor of Love Concert at the Nutty Brown Amphitheater on September 2? Tickets start at $20 and top out at $100. Food, drinks, and lawn seating will be available to everyone.

Pool Party at Barton’s Springs Municipal Pool

We do things differently in Texas, and this municipal pool located in the middle of Zilker Park isn’t a boring old chlorine pool—it’s water source is the nearby springs! Located at 2131 William Barton Drive, the refreshing turquoise water will bring a smile to your face as it cools down your core. Lifeguards are on duty, so your celebrations will be safe!

Stop and Smell the Roses

You’re already at the Zilker Park for the pool, you might as well take some time to smell the pretty flowers while you’re at it! Pack a picnic and spend some time exploring the 36 acres of Zilker Botanical Garden. Featuring Japanese gardens, rose gardens, koi ponds, and so much more, a peaceful hike through this flowering Zen garden offers a peaceful way to say adieu to summer’s pleasures.

Stay in and Experience the Joys of Your Vacation Escape

There’s no need to go anywhere. Stay in one of our beautiful 2 bedroom homes and play in your luxuriously comfortable Austin Vacation Rentals fantasy abode. Sleep late in cloud soft beds, play board games with the kids at the dining table, and celebrate the holiday in all-American style with a barbecue on the deck of one of our luxury rentals. Everything is bigger and better in Texas, and this Labor Day weekend in Austin will be no exception, we even offer 4 bedroom and 3 bedroom rentals for larger groups. Contact us today to book one of our vacation rentals!

During the summer months, Austin can get hot, but the city offers plenty of fun to beat the heat. From natural springs to movie theaters and arcades, there are plenty Austin activities to keep cool when the mercury starts rising.

Barton Springs

Barton Springs is a 3-acre pool located in downtown Austin’s Zilker Park. The pool is fed from an underground spring with an average temperature of 70 degrees, making it the perfect place to stay cool during the summer. The pool is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m., with limited hours on Thursdays for cleaning. The area surrounding the pool is grassy, with plenty of trees for shade; however, food and alcohol are not allowed. There is an admission fee to swim during the hours of 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. when a lifeguard is on duty.

Quest ATX

If you want a more extreme way to stay cool, check out Quest ATX, Austin’s only cable wakeboard park. Located in southeast Austin, the cable wakeboard park offers rentals and lessons for both beginner and advanced wakeboarders. Quest ATX also has a brand new water obstacle course complete with a climbing wall, monkey bars, and rope swings. The park is family and dog-friendly and has a restaurant with some of Austin’s best craft beer.

Alamo Drafthouse

If you are looking for a way to stay cool indoors, catch a movie at one of the Alamo Drafthouse theaters. With six locations in town, the Alamo is perfect for escaping the summer heat. The theaters show both new movies and cult classics and serves award-winning food, craft beer, and cocktails directly to your seats.

Pinballz Arcade

No summer is complete without a day at the arcade. With two locations in Austin, Pinballz has the largest collection of classic pinball and arcade games in Texas.

The original location opened in 2010 and was created after the owner’s personal pinball collection got too large. This location also has a restaurant and is BYOB (all adults over 21 years of age are allowed to bring one alcoholic drink in at a time). The newer and larger Lake Creek location has a mini-bowling alley, laser tag, a 7D Dark Ride Theater, and a laser maze. It also has a restaurant which serves beer, wine, and cocktails.

No matter what time of year you choose to visit, you are guaranteed to have a good time in Austin. If you are planning a vacation to Austin, check out our vacation rentals. All of our rentals have air conditioning and are centrally located, making it easy to get to some of city’s best restaurants, bars, and activities for keeping cool. If you would like to book a rental or have questions about our rentals, please contact us today!

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