The county is named for Colonel William B. Travis, commander and hero of the Alamo. Dams along the Colorado River form Town Lake, Lake Austin and Lake Travis. Austin became the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1840, and remains the state's capital.
- City of Austin
More than 1 million people live in greater Austin, named in 1839 for Stephen F. Austin, the man who colonized Texas. Austin is also known as the "live music capital of the world" for its eclectic collection of musicians and artists.
- Sixth Street (Old Pecan Street) and Congress Avenue
With a wide variety of clubs and restaurants, festive atmosphere and bustling street life, Sixth Street often draws comparisons to New Orleans' Bourbon Street. More than 30 dining options and another 50 or so nightclubs and bars within a short walking distance of downtown hotels make this one of the city's most popular destinations.
- Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Colony
From April through October, this bridge over Town Lake is home to North America's largest urban bat colony. Dusk is the time to view these Mexican free-tailed bats as they leave the bridge to feed on insects. August is the prime viewing month. The best viewing locations are the upper bank of Town Lake at the southeast corner of the bridge or from the sidewalk atop the bridge.
- State Capitol Complex
The complex houses 46 acres of landscaped grounds and State offices. The Capitol was completed in 1888 from granite mined locally and is topped by the Goddess of Liberty. A Visitor's Information Center in the rotunda offers information on points of interest in Austin and Texas, including highway trail maps.
- The Drag and The University of Texas
campus "The Drag," or Guadalupe Street, runs between Martin Luther King Boulevard and 29th Street. It features shops, restaurants and businesses. The People's Renaissance Market, on 23rd Street west of the Drag, is a seasonal outdoor market for handmade arts and crafts. East of the Drag is the 357-acre main campus of The University of Texas with its landmark UT Tower, sports venues, museums and art galleries.
- Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum
The museum contains exhibits relating to Johnson's presidency, highlighting campaign memorabilia, gifts from foreign heads of state, a replica of the Oval Office and changing exhibits.
- Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
The unique story of Texas plays out at this popular museum in downtown Austin. Exhibits and films recreate the days of the first settlers to the moon landing.
- Manor Downs
Onlookers can feel the hooves pounding at Manor Downs, which features live quarter horse racing Saturday and Sunday. The fall season runs from the end of August through mid-December and the spring season runs from mid-February through June.
- McKinney Falls State Park
About 13 miles southeast of Austin, this 640-acre park features waterfalls, occasional rapids and gentle pools on Onion Creek. Facilities include hiking trails, campsites, a playground and ruins of the Thomas F. McKinney homestead. McKinney was one of Stephen F. Austin's original colonists.
- Westcave Preserve
The 30-acre preserve is a natural wonder and Hill Country treasure, a breathtaking cave formation with waterfalls and deep pools, carpeted with lush vegetation and teaming with wildlife.
- Lake Travis parks
The county leases 2,448 acres of land from the Lower Colorado River Authority for public parks around Lake Travis.
- Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
This 17,000-acre preserve offers some of the best birdwatching and habitat left in Texas for two endangered songbirds -- the black-capped vireo and the golden-cheeked warbler. Located just beyond the gateway community of Lago Vista and less than an hour from Austin.
- Flat Creek Estate
Fifty miles west of Austin, this vineyard has 12 acres of Italian varieties of grapes under cultivation and a 4,000-case winery completed in time for Vintage 2002.