During your stay in Austin, you are bound to use the bus system at least once. Since the 801 runs through the middle of Austin it is a great route to take if you want to get a feel of what Austin is like. From the South-bound spots such as the Capitol Building, Museum, City Hall to Hyde Park, the Triangle, and Chinatown on the Northside of Austin! You can expect there is plenty to do for everyone.
Hyde Park has quite a few enticing places you could visit. Take Vino Vino for instance, with a great selection of wine and amazing food, this place is a great casual wine and dine and definitely a good choice for a date night! Maybe you don’t like wine, then what about coffee? You could check out The Flightpath! This is an awesome place to study if you prefer to study outside. They have a lovely atmosphere with indoor and covered outdoor seating as well. Maybe you are interested in some art? You can check out Elisabet Ney Museum. This is a nice and cozy sculpture museum so if you are into that kind of stuff then definitely check this out!
You might wonder why does it call the triangle? It’s when you look at Google Map you can see that the area exactly looks like a triangle. With only 15 minutes ride from the University, you can get many things in this area.
The Triangle is a small modern area full of restaurants and retail stores right where North Lamar and Guadalupe Street meets. From Mandola’s which is a really nice Italian restaurant (that serves free bread) and the market as well as Austin Galaxy Cafe which is a popular spot to get a cup of coffee. There is also a great yoga studio on the Triangle named CorePower Yoga. The Triangle is a great area to pick for date night or just an activity to partake in with your significant other.
Some of the best Asian food in Austin is here in Chinatown. While it is one of the smallest one in the U.S., you can expect that there is something for everybody. From MT Supermarket, one of the largest Asian supermarket in Austin to New Fortune, a dim sum restaurant that will fill you up with amazing dim sum and want to keep coming back. The area also has Bambu, a boba shop with many varieties of drink selections.
For my fellow Asian students, you can find things that you miss from home here in this area. In MT supermarket, you can find your favorite ingredients to cook, and finding new Asian food to discover.
When heading down the 801 you will go right by the downtown. A great place to stop by would be the Austin City Hall. You could see how the Austin government works and how the people of Austin come together to discuss the issues plaguing this city, from the environment to public safety. Austin City Hall really reflects what the city is all about. The government would often have their meetings there with the public are welcome to join (which is required by the US laws).
The building is an architectural piece, which reflects Austin’s character with its hip and modern design, while also care about the environment. It is also made of Texas limestone, which is made in Austin.
Texas State Capitol
City Hall might be where Austin gets work done but the Texas State Capitol is where the state gets its work done! Designed after the United States Capitol, the Texas Capitol building is actually a bit taller than it making it one of the tallest capitol buildings in the United States. Check out how legislature gets passed every day in the great Lone Star State.
In the Capitol, you will see many UT students going there every single day as many students have an internship with the state representatives. In addition, you can also see a picture of George Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, along with other Texas Governors.
The building itself is one of the unique characteristics about Texas, as it is the only one in the States, aside from the one in Washington D.C. Overlooking Congress street, this building has seen changes in Austin and the growth to what we see today.
Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Texas State History Museum or the Bob Bullock History Museum is located just a bit north of the Texas State Capitol. The museum was opened in 2001 and houses hundreds of artifacts that tell the rich story this great state has. The building is close to campus as it lies in Martin Luther King Boulevard and Congress Avenue, the building was built for greatness.
They almost always have events and special exhibitions going on, so check out their schedule for anything special going on the day you visit. Students get a discount if they bring their IDs, that means you get a discount! The building also has an Imax theatre, where you can watch the latest blockbuster on a large screen.