All About Auditorium Shores

You probably know Auditorium Shores best for being the home of the world famous South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. An urban park nestled in downtown Austin on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, the park is also home to the Palmer Auditorium, which is now commonly called the Long Center.

A Bit of History

Attempts to invest in and revitalize the park have been futile and have cost taxpayers millions of dollars in lost revenue. The city has tried on numerous occasions to improve the park, but it seems to be cursed. A private donation of more than $3 million dollars helped to spur on improvements, and the city introduced a car rental tax that actually brought in enough money to pay down the debts associated with trying to repurpose Auditorium Shores.

Auditorium Shores, like many parks in Austin, Texas, boasts a second name. The park also goes by Vic Mathias Shores. The locals continue to call it Auditorium Shores, and that is what it is known best as. He was the Chief Executive Officer of the city for over 27 years from 1957 to 1983 and was described by many as a visionary in the development of what we know and love about Austin, Texas today.

What to Expect

When visiting Auditorium Shores in Austin, people can expect to find a leash-free dog park, boat and bicycle rental shops, food and wine festivals, music everywhere, and great food. There are double-decker bus tours, and lots of green space to enjoy an afternoon throwing around a frisbee.

Where to Stay

There are a number of places to stay in the heart of Austin, given that Auditorium Shores is located so close to the downtown core. But consider alternative accommodations when visiting during peak seasons, such as music festivals. You might want to check out Airbnb options, camping, or recreational vehicle parks. Hotels can fill up fast when there are going to be a lot of people in the area. And because the park is within walking distance of downtown, anywhere you stay ends up getting you to the action faster.

Where to Park

There are several areas to park surrounding Auditorium Shores that range in price from $8 to $20. There are some free parking areas, but they are further away from the park itself. Much of the parking within a 10-minute walk of Auditorium Shores so you can enjoy a nice leisurely walk on your way to the park. There is lots to see on the way into the popular urban green space.

What Else You Need to Know

The Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial Statue is located within the limits of Auditorium Shores, the hiking and bike trails are open to patrons, and there is a cool sculpture known as Cyclical Interplay that reports on local water conditions. It was erected in 2014 and spins for several minutes each day and using data that is electronically sent to the sculpture; passersby can see what’s happening in the waters of Austin.

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