Whether by trusty word of mouth or through a renowned publication's expert declaration, the city of Austin, Texas has long been heralded as a premier tourist destination in the United States.
While every city across the country arguably has its own distinguished heartbeat, Austin's vibrant reputation is centered on its penchant for live music, barbecue and in its abundance of things to do. As one of the fastest growing cities in America, the capital of the Lone Star state is chock full of both popular pit stops and local gems alike.
Somewhere down the road, the charming city was given the unofficial slogan of "Keep Austin Weird," encouraging locals to support small businesses and protect the city's eccentric character from being overrun by large corporations. While the landscape of Austin has changed exponentially in recent memory, especially factoring in the substantial growth and development its undergone, one thing that has only gotten better with time is its cherished music scene.
For first-time visitors and even returning guests, a visit to Austin can be as exciting as it holds the potential to be overwhelming. While there is plenty to pack into a long weekend, it's best advised to compile a bucket list of places to check out, all while keeping an open mind as to where your time in town can take you.
In the spirit of festival season, SIMPLE Mobile has cut through the static and compiled an essential guide outlining the best eats in the city, where to recharge from the delightful chaos found on 6th Street and the best neighborhoods to get purposely lost in.
Neighborhoods to Know:
- South Congress
- East Austin
General Pro Tips:
- Austin is a walkable, bike-friendly city. Bikes are available for rent via Austin B-cycle
- Rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber help make it easy to get around
- Put comfort ahead of style, it is festival season after all
- Traffic happens, especially this time of year. So, make sure to give yourself ample time to get to where you're going
- Austin is a barbeque city: Franklins, Micklethwait and La Barbecue prove to be worth the wait
- Torchy's Tacos (look into the secret menu)
- Veracruz Tacos (known for its migas tacos)
- Trudy's Tacos (go for the stuffed avocado)
- Juan In A Million (breakfast spot)
- Chef Darold's Big Easy Restaurant (Cajun-inspired specialties such as po-boys and gumbo)
- Thunderbird Coffee (recharge and caffeinate)
- Explore the city's ample food trucks: Black-owned Three Chicks Soul Food, Tony's Jamaican Food and Emojis Grilled Cheese
- Go bar-hopping on Rainey Street
Miscellaneous Culture Fixes:
- Switched On Austin (a must-visit for producers and recording artists)
- Support local businesses: explore the shops at South Congress Avenue
- For a good laugh, check out ColdTowne Theater
- For history buffs, pay a visit to the Texas African American History Monument, which is located on the south lawn and depicts iconic events and individuals in Texas African American History
- Street art murals are hard not to miss and make for perfect backdrops for photoshoots
Let's Talk Shop About Live Music:
- Keep in mind, there are over 250 live music venues to explore
- Tastemakers rejoice: artists often experience a significant boost in their career after taking over Austin, offering locals and non-locals alike the opportunity to witness an artist before they take over the mainstream
- Do not miss this year's REVOLT HOUSE, which is set to take over the Vulcan on March 14
- Prized venues include Stubb's, The Continental Club, The Mohawk, The Parish and the Moody Theater
- Waterloo Records for all your vinyl needs