Austin is the pure definition of the different. The city, which is the capital of Texas, is super fun and calls itself as strange, but I’ll explain more about it soon. Unlike the rest of Texas, which is more conservative, Austin is synonymous with freedom.
For those who like very busy places, even at night, Austin is paradise. Ah, if you like live bands, you will fall even more in love with the city. Paulo and I love the places we know and we take the opportunity to see several shows. I’ll tell you some interesting information about the place and a little bit of what we did there ?
Keep Austin Weird
Keep Austin Weird, which means in the literal translation “Keep Austin Strange”, is the city’s unofficial motto. This slogan basically defines a movement personified by Leslie Cochran. The man was a beggar and walked the streets of the city wearing unusual clothes – like those of a cheerleader. He even tried to run for mayor three times!
Since then, the locals have always tried to oppose the normal. That was one of the reasons that made me like the city even more, because they have a very open mind. Another legal fact is that they strongly support local commerce and seek a different lifestyle, valuing even more the culture there.
Overall, the temperature in Austin is quite pleasant. In summer, the weather is very open and very hot, reaching 38º C. If you go between April and October, get ready for hot days! Winter in the city is not at all unbearable and you don’t even have to worry about snow. For the rest of the year, the weather is great, but always be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. You never know when rain can start falling, right?
Paulo and I rented a little house over there and this is a great option – especially during high season when hotels are full. If you prefer to stay in a hotel, the best areas to stay are Downtown and South Congress. The first place is ideal for those who want to be close to the city center and close to the action. South Congress, on the other hand, is a more cool and perfect place for young people who like a more different schedule.
If you like barbecue and tacos, you can be sure to eat well in Austin. These two types of food are very common in the city and the best part is that they are very tasty and well prepared. One of the restaurants we liked the most was Emmer and Rye, full of delicious and great options to share with friends. Another place with well-served and delicious portions is the Moonshine Grill. Ah, if you want to eat a super appetizing taco, I recommend going to Guero’s Taco Bar.
You know I love ice cream, right? In Austin there is an ice cream shop called Amy’s Ice Cream and there they sell over 300 flavor options and various types of toppings. I don’t even need to say how much I loved this place!
Getting around the city
The best way to get around the city is the car! To be very honest with you, public transport in the city is not that good and can end up leaving you in the lurch. Of course, if you can’t rent a vehicle, the bus is still an option. Another way is to use the taxi in places that public transport does not pass.
Paulo and I always like to rent our own means of transport so that we can make the itinerary we want without much concern. A second very positive factor of car rental is the possibility of going to places further away from the city center.
What to do
There is quite a different thing to visit in Austin, like the Museum of The Weird. There are several strange things exposed, I can’t even explain to you what they are! Also, go to the Zilker Botanical Garden – a very cute and tasty park to spend the afternoon. Other cool places to visit are the Barton Springs Pool, the Texas State Capitol and a vintage shop called Uncommon Objects.
A perfect neighborhood for young people to enjoy with friends is SoCo (South Congress); he is very modern and lively. There you will also find several local shops with very original products.
I can’t forget to mention South by Southwest (SXSW): a technology, music and film festival that takes place every spring. Paulo and I went to participate in it and our only “problem” was the lack of time to see everything we wanted. I explained a little more about SXSW in this post! It’s worth taking a look, especially if you like the festival themes ?
Places furthest from the center
Two places that are a little far from the city center, but worth visiting, are the Hamilton Pool Reserve and the Gruene Historic District. This first place is a beautiful natural pool and the journey there takes no more than 50 minutes. Even if you don’t go in the hot season to enjoy the pool, stop by. The landscape is incredible!
The Gruene Historic District is like a western movie town, you know? Paulo and I went to a little bar and we were dancing rockabilly – it was really fun! The place has nothing dazzling or anything like that, but the western atmosphere is what makes everything special.
As I mentioned to you at the beginning, Austin’s nightlife is very hectic. There are several options for bars and clubs and most of them have live shows. The local bands are great and I fell in love with a lot of them. Some of the places we went and recommended were the nightclub Javelina and the bars Latitude 30 and Buffalo Billiards.
Now a very important information: not all of these bars and clubs allow children under 21 to enter! So, keep an eye on this detail so you don’t waste time, okay?
Austin’s different and innovative style wins over anyone who goes there. I had a lot of fun with Paulo and I loved being able to see so much cool stuff – especially the live bands.
My visit there yielded a trip to The Strokes show and a photo with Jake Bugg! We shot everything for you, so if you want to watch it just click here. I also did a complete script with all the places we went and that can facilitate the itinerary of your trip ?