July 10, 2020

Become a Traveling Nurse in Beautiful Austin, TX!

Beautiful Austin

Nicknamed the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Texas’ capital city has much to offer any lover of both city life and the occasional retreat to nature. As Texas’ fourth-largest city, located in the heart of the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Austin offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. The city is also home to one of the state’s largest universities, the University of Texas, which contains a wealth of medical researchers and a university research hospital. Endless entertainment and variety of employment opportunities await you!

A Foodie’s Paradise

Like many other Texas cities, Austin’s food scene is dominated by the strengths of the Lone Star State: barbecue and Tex-Mex. Austin’s restaurants take these options to the next level, fusing their amazing cuisine with the flair and excitement of this vibrant and young city.

If you are looking for some of the best barbecue Austin has to offer, look no further than some of these joints located downtown. Open from 11:00 am until they sell out, Franklin Barbecue offers customers some of America’s best brisket and barbecue as well as award-winning barbecue sauces. La Barbecue, specializing in central Texas-style barbecue, blends their owner’s German heritage with their signature blend of salty and savory rubs to create amazing barbecue classics with a new and exciting twist.

Austin is also home to amazing Tex-Mex restaurants. Founded in 1980 by former school teachers, Juan in a Million is a favorite spot for many Austinites. Their Don Juan, a heating amount of bacon, potatoes, eggs, and cheese on a warm tortilla, has been featured on the hit show Man v Food! Torchy’s Tacos offers customers a variety of unique taco options and creative cocktails for a great weekend treat. Looking for a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine? Look no further than Manuel’s! Located downtown, this Mexican restaurant offers excellent regional food from Mexico’s interior and coastal regions in the heart of Tex-Mex country.

Austin is also home to an extremely vibrant food truck community. Food trucks across the city specialize in a wide variety of different and exciting options and provide customers with the ability to enjoy all that Austin has to offer while enjoying a great meal. One of Austin’s many amazing trucks is Brown’s Bar-B-Que, which offers customers nationally acclaimed and award-winning barbecue in the heart of downtown.

Attractions In and Near Austin

Lady Bird Lake

Downtown Austin offers a variety of opportunities for both outdoor recreation and indoor attractions. Located on the banks of Lady Bird Lake, Congress Avenue Kayaks offers a variety of kayak and paddleboard rentals so you can cruise the Colorado River downtown in style. Located on the north bank of Lady Bird Lake, in the heart of downtown Austin’s Seaholm EcoDistrict is the Austin Central Library, which offers patrons great views of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake, with all of the great features available to Austin’s residents through their library system.

Downtown Austin

History lovers will enjoy the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Visitors will enjoy the museum’s many exhibits dedicated to the long and fruitful history of Texas, and the museum also provides a variety of public events aimed at helping visitors increase their knowledge of the state’s storied past. Located on nearby University of Texas at Austin’s campus is the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, which housed the presidential papers of one of the three presidents to be elected from Texas. Austin was also home to the famed short story writer, O. Henry, and his residence is now a museum dedicated to his life and writings.

True to the city’s catchphrase, “Keep Austin Weird,” the city is also home to the Museum of the Weird, which is home to some of the strangest and most bizarre attractions in America!

If you’re living in Austin during the winter season, be sure to check out the Trail of Lights held in Zilker Park. With more than 40 displays and over 2 million individual Christmas lights, this attraction is one of the highlights of the holiday season in Austin.

The Contemporary Austin is a great place to view some of the best modern art in Texas, and the center also puts on a variety of events year round.

Sports Leagues in Austin

Although Austin does not have any major league sports franchises (yet!), there is still a lot to offer for any sports enthusiast.

Any list of Austin sports options would not be complete without mentioning the Longhorns of the University of Texas. The university’s NCAA Division I sports teams compete with other universities from across the country, as well as with their conference opponents in the Big 12.

Many professional teams have a minor league presence in Austin. The Houston Astros affiliate Round Rock Express minor league baseball team plays in the Austin suburb north of downtown, the Dallas Stars affiliate, Texas Stars, who compete at the H-E-B Center in the Austin suburb of Cedar Park, and the San Antonio Spurs NBA G-League team, the Austin Spurs, who also compete in Cedar Park.

The city is also home to four rugby clubs, the Austin Valkyries, the Austin Huns, the Austin Gilgronis, and the Austin Blacks. The city is also home to the Texas Roller Derby league, which has been wowing spectators since 2001.

Coming soon to Austin, starting in the spring of 2021, is Austin’s first-ever professional sports team, Austin FC! Playing in the MLS soccer league, this team will surely bring ever more excitement to this already vibrant city!

Sports Leagues in Austin

Although Austin does not have any major league sports franchises (yet!), there is still a lot to offer for any sports enthusiast.

Any list of Austin sports options would not be complete without mentioning the Longhorns of the University of Texas. The university’s NCAA Division I sports teams compete with other universities from across the country, as well as with their conference opponents in the Big 12.

Many professional teams have a minor league presence in Austin. The Houston Astros affiliate Round Rock Express minor league baseball team plays in the Austin suburb north of downtown, the Dallas Stars affiliate, Texas Stars, who compete at the H-E-B Center in the Austin suburb of Cedar Park, and the San Antonio Spurs NBA G-League team, the Austin Spurs, who also compete in Cedar Park.

The city is also home to four rugby clubs, the Austin Valkyries, the Austin Huns, the Austin Gilgronis, and the Austin Blacks. The city is also home to the Texas Roller Derby league, which has been wowing spectators since 2001.

Coming soon to Austin, starting in the spring of 2021, is Austin’s first-ever professional sports team, Austin FC! Playing in the MLS soccer league, this team will surely bring ever more excitement to this already vibrant city!

Outdoor Attractions in the City

One of the largest music festivals in America takes place in downtown Austin every March. South by SouthWest (SXSW) brings in musicians, politicians, activists, artists, and other speakers for a festival dedicated to the arts and a great experience for any visitor to Austin.

One of the main natural attractions in Austin is the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Running through the Barton Hills district, this nature trail offers Austinites the opportunity to hike, bike, swim, fish, and enjoy other recreational activities all in the heart of the city’s urban center.

By far one of Austin’s most popular outdoor attractions is the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Tucked away on 28 acres of the Zilker Metropolitan Park, this vast garden housed some amazing plants and animals in some beautifully themed gardens.

Want a great workout with amazing views of the greater Austin skyline? Well look no further than the urban peak that is Mount Bonnell! This 775 foot peak just west of downtown is an easy climb for both experienced and novice hikers and offers incredible views of the city and Lake Austin. While you’re there, try and catch a glimpse of Austin’s famous wild peacocks at Mayfield Park!

Located in Southeast Austin, just 13 miles from the state capitol, is McKinney Falls State Park. Nestled in the heart of a bustling city, this park offers visitors several miles of hiking trails through pristine sections of Texas Hill Country, amazing views of the limestone waterfalls along the Onion Creek, and a glimpse at the history of Texas with an exhibition of a pioneer homestead.

The Austin Zoo is also a great idea for a day trip in the city. Founded in 1990 and boasting nearly 40 different species of local and exotic animals, this zoo is a great idea for a fun Saturday trip or any other quick getaway.

Located southeast of downtown Austin is the Circuit of the Americas. This 1,500 acre complex is home to a variety of automobile races, concerts, and other outdoor events. At the heart of the complex is the 3.41 mile racetrack, which plays host to the only Formula 1 and MotoGP Grand Prix in the United States.

Austin by Night

E 6th Street

Located in the heart of Austin’s downtown entertainment district, Whisler’s is a great venue with amazing live music and craft cocktails. Close by is The White Horse, one of Austin’s liveliest country music venues. The Violet Crown Social Club offers guests a cozy environment with great cocktails, delicious Detroit-style pizza, and lively outdoor patio area.

Downtown at Night

Downtown, Austin’s nightlife is just as vibrant. Oilcan Harry’s gives visitors a taste of Austin’s LGBTQ scene, with nightly events and drag shows on the weekends. The Roosevelt Room, located in Austin’s historic warehouse district, offers guests great craft cocktails and an excellent nightlife venue. Lamberts, which houses both an upscale barbecue restaurant downstairs and live music venue upstairs, is also a premier destination downtown. Be sure to also check out Punch Bowl Social, an experimental bar and scratch kitchen where patrons can also play a variety of fun arcade and bar games and get to know some of Austin’s best people.

Greater Austin

Just south of downtown is the Cosmic Coffee & Beer Garden. This expansive venue offers guests a great outdoor nightlife scene, with live music and great drinks in a calm and relaxing environment.

To the west of downtown Austin, on the eastern bank of Lake Austin is Hula Hut. Visitors, who have the option to drive to the bar or bring their boat and park it along the shore, will enjoy craft cocktails and a vibrant nightlife at this Polynesian themed joint.

Destination Day Trips

Fredericksburg and New Braunfels: Small Towns, Big Adventures

Nestler in the heart of Texas Hill Country, roughly an hour and a half west of downtown Austin, lies the city of Fredericksburg.

Boasting more than 50 wineries within city limits, Fredericksburg is the epicenter of Texas wine country. Take in the downtown area while enjoying amazing wine selections through the city’s Urban Wine Trail.

History buffs will enjoy the rich history of Fredericksburg and greater Gillespie County. Home town of famed naval commander Chester W. Nimitz, Fredericksburg is home to the National Museum of the Pacific War, which recounts the history of America’s efforts during World War II in the Pacific Theater. The city is also home to the Pioneer Museum, which gives visitors a glimpse in the city’s past as a German farming community.

The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park is located in nearby Stonewall, Texas, and is home to the birthplace of this twentieth-century president as well as some of the larger history of the Texas Hill Country’s heritage.

Halfway between Austin and San Antonio is the town of New Braunfels. With its German heritage and amazing local natural attractions, this city is a great place for a weekend retreat from the bustle of Austin life.

At the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, visitors can enjoy an African-style safari in the heart of Texas (complete with exotic animals!) from the comfort of their vehicles. The nearby Natural Bridge Caverns. Discovered in 1960 by four college students, these caverns offer a retreat from the Texas heat and contain a 60 foot-long natural limestone bridge!

Back in town, visitors to New Braunfels can take in the history of the city at the Sophienburg Museum, which tells the story of how the town was founded and contains the genealogical records of some of the town’s oldest families.

New Braunfels is also home to the Gruene Historic District. Founded in 1845 as a small but prosperous cotton town founded by German immigrants, Gruene was rediscovered in the 1970s and transformed into a town within a town. The district's major attraction is Gruene Hall, a 6,000 square-foot, open-air dance hall that holds the title of Texas’ oldest continuously operating dance hall.

One of the most popular attractions in New Braunfels, and indeed all of Texas Hill Country, is Schlitterbahn New Braunfels. Founded over 40 years ago, Schlitterbahn is located on the banks of the Comal River just north of downtown New Braunfels. The spring fed water is always a cool 72 degrees and the park provides visitors with a variety of fun waterpark options and affordable resort accomodations.

By far one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of New Braunfels and greater Texas Hill Country is by participating in the Hill Country Craft Beer Trail. New Braunfels, which is believed to be the location of the first commercial brewery in the state of Texas, is the launching point for many of the tours offered through this company. The trail connects 18 of the independent craft breweries in the region through a variety of shuttle tours, including four breweries in New Braunfels and two in Austin! There are five different trails to choose from, and each trail comes with either a driving option or a shuttle to take you from one brewery to the next!

Enjoying the Outdoors

Although there are no National Parks close to Austin, the city is not far from some of the state’s best outdoor attractions and many of the natural wonders that the Texas Hill Country has to offer. Many of these destinations are well within driving distance of downtown Austin and are the perfect choice for a planned day trip, or even a spur of the moment sojourn!

Guadalupe River State Park

Between Austin and San Antonio is Guadalupe River State Park. Located an hour and a half’s drive from downtown Austin in Spring Branch, this state park is an aquatics enthusiast’s paradise. Visitors can toss a tub right in the park’s four miles of river frontage and float in relaxation for hours. The park also has 13 miles of trails that visitors can hike or bike, and some of their trails are also open to horses as well! Equipped with 85 water and electric campgrounds and nine walk-in campsites, Guadalupe River State Park is also the perfect place to get away for a relaxing weekend getaway.

Cypress Valley Canopy Tours

Tourists looking to experience the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country with a bit of excitement and thrill should look no further than Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. A short 40 minute drive northwest of Austin outside of Springwood, this nature park provides visitors with stunning views of the cypress forests, and an opportunity for some fun ziplining adventures, day or night. They also offer several treehouses that you can rent out for the weekend! Enjoy the beauty of Texas Hill Country from above.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

One of Texas’ most spectacular natural attractions is Longhorn Cavern State Park. Located roughly 90 minutes from Austin, this state park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s and contains all of the history of such a site! The highlight of the park, however, is Longhorn Cavern, which you can explore on one of two tours. The Cavern Walking Tour takes you 130 feet below the surface to explore the upper chambers and history of the cavern. The second tour, the Wild Cave Tour, requires you to strap on some climbing gear as you delve deeper into the cavern and wind your way through the tight chambers of the Longhorn Cavern’s lower, undeveloped levels.

Balcones Canyonlands

Less than an hour northwest of downtown Austin in Marble Falls is the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Straddling the Colorado and Brazos River watersheds, this wildlife refuge is home to over 245 species of migratory songbirds and is an oasis of life for many of the Texas Hill Country’s species. The refuge is also a great place to watch the many varieties of wildflowers that bloom in this region during the spring months, and is a great place for a day long hiking trip from Austin.

Pedernales Falls State Park

30 miles west of Austin in Johnson City is Pedernales Falls State Park. As the Pedernales River winds across the exposed limestone found throughout the park, it cascades over several smooth slabs, creating the picturesque falls for which the park is named. Visitors can hike one of the park’s many trails, swim in the river, take a slide down one of the falls, and go horseback riding through the park. You can also enjoy a weekend camping adventure at one of their overnight campgrounds.

Housing Options

As a city of almost one million residents, Austin has a wide variety of housing options in close proximity to the city’s largest hospitals. Whether you are looking for a single bedroom unit or you’re looking to travel to Austin with fellow traveling nurses, Austin’s got you covered. Most of the housing options are affordable and within driving distance of Austin’s downtown hospitals. Here’s a quick look at some of the options available on Travel Nurse Housing:

Sonders East 5th Apartments

This one bedroom, one bathroom apartment is right downtown and within walking distance of the Dell Seton Medical Center and less than a 5 mile drive from Dell Children’s and Ascension Seton Shoal Creek. This apartment comes fully furnished and includes utilities, Internet access, WiFi, a full service gym, and a pool. Conveniently located near the Austin public transit system. Within walking distance of public parks and a grocery store, this apartment is perfectly suited for traveling nurses working in downtown Austin. Sadly, this unit is not pet friendly.

Littlefield Lofts

Anyone looking to become a traveling nurse in Austin with a friend, or just looking for an apartment with a little extra space? Then this loft is perfect for you! Also located downtown, this two-story, two bedroom loft is close to less than three miles from, Dell Seton Medical Center, Rosewood Zaragosa Health Center, and Austin Lakes Hospital. This loft has one bathroom, and includes utilities, furniture, television, Internet access, WiFi, and many other great amenities. It is, unfortunately, not pet friendly.

Cozy Studio

If you’re looking for a little bit of a cheaper option, then this studio unit is a great choice. The unit is a renovated two bedroom, one bathroom apartment that has been built onto the side of an existing home (the unit is owned and operated by the homeowner). Located in East Austin, this apartment is a mile and a half away from Dell Seton Medical Center and less than three miles from Austin State Hospital and St. David’s Medical Center. Unlike the other options listed here, this unit is pet friendly! It also includes furniture, Internet access, WiFi, and the other services also offered at many of the other locations for traveling nurses in the Austin area.