Austin Travel Guide
Tribes: Who likes this place?
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These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.
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- 86%Outdoor Enthusiasts
- 83%Local Culture
- 81%Art & Design Lovers
- 80%Family Travelers
- 74%Nightlife Lovers
- 74%Budget Travelers
Member Reviews (226)Write a review
I have traveled to Austin, Texas, many times and always enjoyed myself. The biggest issue in the city is the traffic situation as it can quickly come to a stand still.
If you enjoy the outdoors, the hiking trails and flying bats are wonderful experiences that you should not pass up. Additionally, there is plenty of shopping destinations to choose from with a wide variety of designers represented. There is also a wide range of specialty restaurants in Austin. I have never had a problem finding some new and interesting food to try while I'm there.
The nightlife in Austin can be crazy, especially on 6th Street. However, there is always a cultural event taking place as well. For example, Austin City Live is a long-running music show out of Austin. Additionally, the city hosts its own film festival each year. As you can see, there is a wide variety of events happening around Austin at any one moment and the local people who call Austin home are always willing to be friendly and helpful to visitors.
Austin transplant here. This is my home base! I love this city. Tons of things to do. A great place to grow old and stay young. You'll never run out of awesome local dining options. Shopping is always a unique and trendy experience too. Don't move here though, we're already overpopulated. :)
- AustinMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 5
One of the coolest, hippest and budget friendly trips in the country. Austin has something for everyone. It is great for Live music, a foodie's delight and has some great outdoor activities you can partake in. The people in Austin really make this place amazing because everyone is friendly and outgoing.
I love this town! Austin is to Texas what your weird uncle is to family Thanksgiving! You will have a great time here. This is the kind of place where your waiter will have a PhD in Philosophy and bartender is a clinical psychiatrist by day. You will find an interesting mixture of conservative government members & a liberal population. Check it out... much like a fungus, Austin will grow on you!
If you are visiting Austin for the first time there are three things that you absolutely must do:
1) Head over to South Congress and make your way down to the Texas State Capital. On SoCo you'll see Hey Cupcake, Güeros, Allen's Boots, Hill's Cafe (Austin Landmark similar to Threadgill's, just another Austin Landmark), Ruta Maya, Opal Divine's, Amy's Ice Cream, Home Slice, Manuel's, The III Forks within the Stephen F. Austin Hotel (just a short distance from The Driskill, the oldest operating hotel in Austin), and even though it is a chain... if you're in the mood for a steak there is New Orleans's own Ruth's Chris at Congress & 6th (6th Street is also known as Old Pecan Street). If you're ready to hit the bars/clubs then 6th street is a great place to be - from Pete's dueling piano bar to two story bars with live music on the roof (as Austin is the live music capital of the world).
2) The Drag for shopping, entertainment, and to see the flagship of Texas very best in public education, The University of Texas at Austin. The area between 21st and 25th streets on Guadalupe Street in Austin is known as 'The Drag' where you'll find book stores, clothing stores, and the UT Co-Op where you can buy all the burnt orange UT gear. If you'd like to see a Gutenberg bible you can pop into the Harry Ransom center or if you'd rather get a bite, try Texadelphia or if you have any German Heritage you may want to try Scholz Garten on San Jacinto... if you're into history & business then you'd like to know that Scholz Garten is the oldest continually operating business in Texas. If you're interested in other Austin universities besides UT you can check out St. Edwards on South Congress, Huston Tillotson on Chicon, Acton on Riverside Drive, or Concordia University on Concordia University Drive.
3) Lastly, if you've come to Austin - you must take a trip to get some real Texas BBQ (either east, south, west, or central). If you're heading east then circle Lockhart on the map. You'll have to decide between four places in Lockhart as Black's, Chisolm Trail, Kreuz's and Smitty's are all great. The restaurants estimate that about 5,000 people visit their establishments each week. This would be roughly 250,000 people a year who travel to Lockhart to eat BBQ. Now if you're heading South - you need to pop Driftwood into your GPS. The Salt Lick (in Driftwood, Texas) is an icon. You pay one price and the food doesn't stop coming to your table until you tell your waitress to stop bringing it. Just know that you have to bring your own ice chest if you'd like a beer with your brisket, its BYOB. If you're heading west you can choose from Cooper's in Llano or Opie's in Spicewood. And lastly, no need to head north, if you're too much of a city slicker and you don't feel like leaving the confines of a metroplex you can simply hit Iron Works on Cezar Chavez for their Beef Ribs, Green Mesquite on Barton Springs for some mouth watering brisket, or famous (as you've most likely seen the sauce in your local grocery store) Stubb's BBQ on Red River. If you're from New York City, London, or Los Angeles you may want to 'make reservations' at Lambert's on West 2nd Street - it is a whole different BBQ experience complete with white tablecloths topped with crystal long-stemmed wine glasses.
- AustinMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersFoodies+ 2
Texas is home to many things we love -- Chase Crawford, fried Twinkies, men who actually hold the door open for you (and would never dream of borrowing your hair products), and of course, one of our favorite cities in the country: Austin. While the Lone Star State may not be top of mind as the best place to visit amid the sweltering temps of summer in the Southwest, its abundance of boutiques, museums, outdoor activities, great music, and longneck-sipping opportunities make this offbeat capitol city the perfect destination for a weekend escape.
Transport to/from airport: A taxi. The airport is located just minutes from downtown, or numerous hotels located near the city's hustle and bustle.
Where to stay: Get a great deal on accommodations when you book a vacation rental by owner (visit VRBO.com for more info). If comfy sheets and tiny shampoos are more your style, get a room at The Driskill, one of Austin's oldest and most beautiful hotels. Rooms start at $135 a night, and the bar at the convenient downtown location is a known celebrity hotspot.
Where to eat: Salt Lick (the BEST barbeque you'll ever eat, a 40-minute drive from town in rustic Driftwood, TX), Chuy's, Uchiko, and Alamo Drafthouse.
Where to eat late at night: The Best Wurst, Kerbey Lane Cafe.
Where to eat like today is your last: Threadgill's. Have the chicken fried steak. You won't be sorry.
Where to shop: Walk along the Second Street district to peruse newly-opened boutiques like Plain Ivey Jane. For more eclectic fare, hit up the shops along South Congress and browse through vintage treasures.
Must-see: While you don't necessarily go on vacation to see a movie, the off-the-wall, cocktail-addled experience at The Alamo Drafthouse can't be beat. Enjoy a full menu of mouthwatering movie-themed treats (the Blue Hawaii Pizza is our favorite) and sample some of Texas' finest beer and wine.
Little-known fact: Sure, in LA we're all used to bumping into celebs left and right, but Austin is quickly cementing its place as a hotbed for TV and movie locations. Recently, NBC's adored Friday Night Lights called Austin its home, and many of the (insanely attractive) cast members have decided to stay put. So, put your best face forward in this town, as you may just run into Tim Riggins.
Nightlife: For a rowdy, collegiate crowd, hit up Sixth Street, Austin's world-renowned drinking spot. On weekend evenings, the streets close down at sixth to allow for unobstructed stumbling down this usually busy street. For a more refined bar-hopping experience, visit the 4th street warehouse district, which caters to a slightly more laid-back clientele.
What to Pack:
1. Paprika Swallow Embroidered Frill Dress $49.99
2. Polaroid PIC-300B Instant Analog Camera $82.94
3. Braided Seed Bead Headband $3.80
4. Neutrogena Sunblock $6
5. Lonelyland $12.98
6. Ralph Lauren Woven Straw Fedora $59.50
7. J Brand Low Rise Cut Off Short $156 or American Eagle High-Waisted Shortie $24.99
8. ASOS Festival Purse Detail Belt $34.48
9. ASOS ‘The Swing’ Tank $20.69
10. Tkees Foundations Flip Flop $48
11. Friday Night Lights on DVD
12. Mini Travel Fan $13.95
13. Vibrant Island Bangles $2.80
written by Mikela Floyd
Austin isn't where I'm from, but it's home. I was raised in Alabama. Lived there nearly all of my life. I happened to be living in Chicago when I stumbled upon Austin by way of SXSW. I was so impressed by the city, it's people, and of course, the music scene, that I relocated a few shorts months later.
Nine years later, I couldn't see myself calling anywhere else home. Austin has truly given me so much and I love this city. The food is outstanding, the sights are fantastic, and the music is alive everywhere you go! Come see Austin, but make sure to pack well, because you're very likely to stay a while longer than you planned.
Time to get your "y'all" on, y'all. Austin is one of those rare places where everyone who lives there is happy that they do. Even when temperatures reach three digits the smiles shine through the sweat and salvation waits in the cold water of Barton Springs. Music, nature, and beer. Why aren't you there right now?
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