Something fishy. Founded in 2009, Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar already has the locals impressed. The place offers more than a dozen varieties of fresh oysters from as far afield as Maine and British Columbia. (512) 291-7300; perlasaustin.com
Lake break. Austin straddles Lady Bird Lake, named for former first lady Lady Bird Johnson after she died in 2007. A scenic 10.1-mile hike-and-bike trail encircles the lake; other diversions abound at the 360-acre Zilker Park (www.ci.austin.
The two-step program. For a rollicking time, don some cowboy boots and a 10-gallon hat, and head out to the Broken Spoke, billed as "the last of the true Texas dance halls." (512) 442-6189; brokenspokeAustinTX.com
Stroll along the paths at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum for moving encounters with characters created by American sculptor Charles Umlauf. (512) 445-5582; umlaufsculpture.org
Product of the pen. William Sidney Porter lived in a small house at 409 East 5th St., working various jobs (and, perhaps, a financial scam or two) before undergoing a jail-time conversion to famed writer O. Henry. The house is now a museum offering readings of his brilliant short stories. (512) 472-1903; www.ci.austin.tx.us/ohenry
On the Web Home of the South by Southwest music festival (affectionately known as SXSW), Austin offers a lollapalooza of music all year long. Find out who's in town at Austin 360's Music Source blog (bit.ly/uAJ2a).