Just a few short decades ago, Austin was known only as a quaint college town with a significant hippie population and quirkiness, but after being greatly publicized as one of the “best places to live” by loads of print and digital media, including this article from Practical Wanderlust, it has exploded into a booming metropolis replete with artists and entrepreneurs, hipsters and hippies, musicians and high-tech professionals. Below we’ve given answers to your now burning questions so you can get started packing.
Who should visit Austin?
Everyone. No, really – family, friends, whoever. We’re thinking a 15-passenger van could be fun!
What should be done in Austin?
Time for the good stuff – what do we recommend you do based on our research? Well, everything. But we can’t list everything for you here, so here’s what caught our eye:
- Free tours at the Governor’s Mansion & State Capitol, including the legislative chambers and historical artifacts.
- Contemporary Mexican and Latino art along tree-lined Congress Avenue at the Mexic-Arte Museum.
- Check out SoCo Shopping District for vintage stores, boutiques, restaurants, street performers and pop-up artisan fairs.
- Yes, the flying ones. Between March and November, every night at sunset, 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats take flight from under the Congress Avenue Bridge to cross Lady Bird Lake. We suggest enjoying this on a kayak tour or a bike tour.
- Take in a live music bus tour– a live band on board the bus, and three iconic clubs and venues will give you a taste of the best live music the city has to offer.
- Take the Weird Austin City Tour and answer questions like: Why is Willie Nelson a king there?What’s with the bats? Where is the best breakfast taco?
Where you should visit, eat and sleep in Austin?
Wondering where to sleep and eat? Look no further – we’ve got that covered for you, too!
- Breakfast tacos from Jo’s Coffee– great coffee & crazy assortment of tacos!
- 1886 Café & Bakery– homemade gourmet sandwiches, soups, and salads.Definitely try the sinfully famous 1886 Chocolate Cake.
- Looking for over 350 rotating ice cream flavors? Amy’s Ice Cream has you covered. How many scoops are you going to try?
- Take the Secret Austin Food Tour– a little bit of history and A LOT of food.
- It’s Texas – we can’t leave out BBQ. Set aside a large part of your day for the Wild About Texas BBQ Tour. Bring your appetite and learn from a pitmaster!
- Heywood Hotel– you can’t go wrong with this renovated 1920s bungalow boutique on the buzzing East Side.
- Native Hostel– Austin has incredible hostels, including this locale, perfectly located near the artsy East side and the downtown entertainment epicenter.
- Various AirBnB locations are available too, although there are restrictions. Peruse available rentals nearest your favorite spots or bounce around!
When you should visit Austin?
Year round. However, spring and fall are the most pleasant with gorgeous weather. This is when the crowds are there with events like the South by Southwest Festival (interactive, film, and music; March) and the Austin City Limits Music Festival (October).
Winters are mild, but summer temps regularly get over 100° – no worries, though, because there’s lots of air conditioning and other places you can cool off.
Why you should visit Austin?
If we have to answer this one, you haven’t been reading. The real question now is why not!? You know you wanna see the bats. We sure do! So pack your bags, and do your part to “Keep Austin Weird”.
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