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Austin is a great conference city. When I went earlier this year, the conference was at the airport hotel, so I didn’t get to spend much time in the city itself – except when I snuck out for dinner. This time the organizers chose a hotel much closer to downtown, the Sheraton close to Capitol (maybe a 5-10 minute walk). Much better for exploring the city during breaks! There are a two sights that are easy and quick to visit even if you don’t have much time during sessions. One of my favorites is the Texas State Capitol building itself. It’s amazing how different it looks during the day and at night. And I love that you can just walk in and tour it all by yourself. Very cool! And right down the street is a pretty church, called Cathedral of Saint Mary. I like how it’s hidden between all these modern buildings, yet it totally manages stands out. And for dinner you should really try to get out of the hotel. There are so many cute little places in Austin around East 2nd street and Lavaca. We went to the Italian Restaurant Taverna in that area twice. It’s really nice how you can sit outside there and enjoy the food and atmosphere.

If you have more time and a car, you could give the Zilker Botanical Garden a try. It’s a little further out, but it’s really neat with lots of little benches, bamboo everywhere, and a cute little bridge. And you have a great view over the city from there.

Check out some pictures below and visit the Facebook album for more.

Austin: State Capitol

Texas State Capitol

Austin: State Capitol

Austin: State Capitol

inside the State Capitol

Austin: Cathedral of Saint Mary

Austin: Cathedral of Saint Mary

Austin: The Driskill

The Driskill

Austin: State Capitol

State Capitol at night

view from Zilker Botanical Garden over Austin

view from Zilker Botanical Garden over Austin

Austin: Zilker Botanical Garden

Zilker Botanical Garden

Austin: Zilker Botanical Garden

Zilker Botanical Garden

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