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Austin: The Best Outdoor Pursuits

  • Feasting the Eyes on the Colorful Gardens at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Spring is prime viewing time for the flowers, but Austin's mild winters ensure that there will always be bursts of color at Lady Bird Johnson's pet project.

  • Playing in the Water at Lake Travis: The longest of the seven Highland Lakes, Travis offers the most opportunities for water sports, including jet-skiing, snorkeling, and angling.

  • Going Batty: From late March through November, thousands of bats emerge in smoke-like clouds from under the Congress Avenue Bridge, heading out for dinner. It's an intriguing sight, and you can thank each of the little mammals for keeping the air pest free -- a single bat can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes in an hour.

  • Having Coffee at Mozart's: Picture a deck overlooking Lake Austin. Add to the picture the delights of coffee and baked goods, and perhaps a good book, and you have nature and civilization in perfect balance.

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