Listed below, are a few possibilities, most close to the hotel.
The Domain: This is an upscale shopping center about 12 miles north of the hotel just off of Loop 1 (MOPAC). Shops and restaurants abound. Accessing the website (type The Domain in your browser) will give you a list of the various stores.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum: Located on the U. T. campus, the LBJ Library has two floors of exhibits and a 7/8 size replica of the oval office as it was during the Johnson Presidency. 1.2 miles from the hotel.
Harry Ransom Center: This museum on the U.T. campus includes one of five Gutenberg Bibles in the United States, the first photographs, Scarlet O’Hara’s green velvet dress and much more. 1.3 miles from the hotel.
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum: This museum is one of the best of its kind and worth a visit even by out-of-staters. There is an IMAX theater as well. About 2.1 miles from the hotel.
State Capitol of Texas: The capitol was built to resemble the nation’s capitol and is 14 feet higher (Well, folks, this is Texas!). There are interesting sculptures on the Capitol grounds. 0 .7 mi.
Central Market: The choice of fruits, veggies, flowers and cheeses is astonishing. You’ll go home envious after a visit. There are two Central Markets. The one at 4001 N. Lamar Blvd. is 3.7 miles from the hotel; the one at 4477 S. Lamar Blvd. is 7.5 miles from the hotel. If you are interested in the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (see below) and Central Market, go south.
Whole Foods: This is the flagship store of the Whole Foods national chain. The profusion of food is truly amazing. Unlike Central Market, you can get things to eat throughout the store. Like Central Market, there is a restaurant available in the store. For foodies, this is worth a visit. The store is on the edge of downtown at 5th and Lamar about 1.5 mi. from the hotel.
Blanton Museum of Art: On the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, this is one of the foremost university art museums in the U.S, recognized for the collection of European paintings, prints and drawing and modern and contemporary American and Latin American art. The Ellsworth Kelly structure is a must see. 2.2 mi.
The Music: Austin has a good symphony, opera and ballet; however, Austin is famous for the 6th street music scene just a few blocks away from the Sheraton. You can go to a great restaurant for dinner and be with your friends and then do 6th street. The music, ranging from jazz to rock to folk to rap doesn’t start before 9 pm and it goes on and on in some 50 bars and restaurants. Great for people watching.
Starred options listed below are reasonably close to the hotel.
*Weird Austin: When travel magazines and articles cover Austin, they almost always cover “near” south Austin. Along South Congress between about 1400 and 1700, mainly on the west side of the street are antique shops, eclectic shops, galleries, restaurants, and some great children’s shops. See Judith’s walking tour, which also covers Congress Avenue from the Capitol to 2nd Street.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: You’ll need a car to get to this, about 12 miles from the hotel, but if you enjoy the outdoors, it is worth the trip. The Center includes a 179 acre native plant botanical garden with planting area, wildflower meadows exhibits, a butterfly garden and an observation tower. Interesting architecture.
*Go Batty in Austin: Not far from the hotel is the Congress Avenue bridge, which from April through October is home to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats—the largest urban bat colony in North America. Each evening about sunset the bats depart the bridge for the nightly feeding frenzy. The best viewing is from behind the Austin American Statesman building across the river.
Zilker Park Botanical Gardens: Although it is a little late in the year for flowers, some will enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens. The roses will still be in bloom. Even without brilliant blooms, the wonderfully done Japanese garden is worth a visit. There are also early Texas buildings and veggie gardens. Barton Springs, an artesian spring-fed swimming hole open all year round [68 degrees] is also in Zilker Park, across the road.
Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum: Charles Umlauf was a world-famous artist. Many of his works can be seen in a compact beautiful outdoor setting close to Zilker Park.
Laguna Gloria Sculpture Garden and Park: Laguna Gloria is a small museum set on a lake with some interesting outdoor sculptures and a lovely setting.