If you’re visiting Austin, Texas for the first time, you’ll definitely want to get a feel of the city’s soul before landing there. While nothing beats the actual experiences you will have, it’s a good idea to know what to look forward to in advance. Here are a few things that give Austin its unique vibe:
Beer Capital of Texas
The breweries in Austin outnumber other cities in Texas, and there are plenty of wineries, distilleries and breweries you can choose to visit. The craft beer is worth checking out as its quality has been appreciated in national competitions.
Where there is good beer, there’s bound to be great food too. You’ll find all sorts of cuisines in Austin, from Japanese to Mexican to good old Texan barbeque. People stand in line for hours to try Franklin Barbeque, because it’s well worth the wait. The food truck scene is amazing in this city and you must try some of the huge variety of foods offered on these.
Live Music Galore
Famously known as the World’s Capital for Live Music, this is one of the unique things that set Austin apart as a city. Enjoying a night at one of the 250 live music spots is absolutely mandatory. Most of these venues will offer you the chance to enjoy great music, delicious food, and excellent brews all in one night out.
One of the drawbacks of this city is the lack of proper public transportation. There are too many private cars on the road (not to mention too many reckless drivers!) which often cause traffic jams during peak hours. A recent effort to amend this problem, however, means that you will find plenty of electric scooters and bikes which are accessible through an app and can be a fast and convenient way to move around Austin.
While it may not seem like a particularly green city, Austin pleasantly surprises with some beautiful urban oases where you can relax away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Most notable are the McKinney Falls State Park, the Barton Creek Greenbelt and Zilker Park. Don’t forget to take a dip in the Barton Springs, where the water’s temperature remains a constant 68 degrees in all seasons.
Make sure you have clothes for all kinds of weather because a sunny day can turn very suddenly into a hurricane in Austin. Although the overall climate is really hot and winters are hardly 2 months long, a jacket may be necessary for the morning. For the rest of the day you’ll probably be basking in the sun and ready to go swimming to beat the heat.
Be ready to take some quirky souvenirs with you to remind you of Austin. You will find several shops selling vintage and antique items, which range from clothing, jewelry and furniture to quaint creations by local artists. An excellent place to start shopping is the Austin Antique Mall where more than 100 dealers have a massive variety of stuff to offer.