It has now been over ten years since I first visited Austin, Texas. I was just about to turn 18 and as a gift my Dad dragged me along to Austin City Limits. This was a life changing experience in so many ways, from my first music festival which awoke me to an unknown love (I’ve been to over a dozen since), a new culinary exposure, and even that Texas isn’t what most Californian’s think it is.
I have great memories from that trip and was lucky enough to head back with more of my family in 2013 for another ACL Festival. This time I took a chance to explore the city some before and after the festival and was happy to realize that I didn’t just hype it up in my mind. So here is why I love Austin, Texas and can’t wait to go back.
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Stuffing Your Face With Amazing Food
I don’t know if there is another city I have visited that I have enjoyed eating more than in Austin. And I say that having lived in Rome for five months. There is something about the diversity of food, comfort foods clashing with refinement, and, of course, all the BBQ. From an adventure out to Saltlick to experiencing new flavor combinations at TacoDeli you really can’t go wrong in Austin. A quick review of my favorite places can be found in my “Eating My Way Through Austin, Texas” post.
If I could pop back over for just an evening I have to say I’d go for the BBQ and some donuts for dessert. I’ve actually been keeping a list of places I can’t wait to try the next time I visit.
The Live Music Capital of the World
If you enjoy music and concerts and haven’t made it to Austin yet it needs to be added to the top of your list. From talented acts you’ve never heard of playing in bars, to some of the greats popping up in venues far smaller than you’ll otherwise get to see them and epic venues like ACL’s Moody Theatre. If you’re flexible on your travel dates book it around an artist you are dying to see.
When we were to ACL Festival in 2013 the Sunday performances were canceled due to flooding in the park the night before. This did almost nothing to stop the festival, instead artists, big to small, themselves found venues in downtown and almost the entire Sunday lineup still played. In no other city could this have been possible. When it comes to live music there really isn’t another city in the world like it.
Unique venues to Hangout
I am lucky to live in a city full of local everything, including coffee shops, breweries, cocktail bars and outdoor activities. Austin probably has even more of these and I absolutely love it. There was always a new coffee shop to find, including some resting right on the river. The bars and restaurants on Rainey Street are all both adorable and full of individual local flare. And you will miss out if you’re visiting in the summer and don’t check out Barton Springs Pool for some outdoor relaxation.
So Much More to Explore
Austin is a city you can keep going back to without running out of things to do. Next I hope to get a little further out of the city and explore, catch some more live music and, of course, eat everything I’ve already had while exploring new places.
If you’re heading to Austin make sure to take a look at my Things to Do page for all of my favorite spots and activities. Am I missing any of your favorites? Let me know what I will have to explore next time.