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Whole Foods is part of Austin culture. It's kind of like a healthy foodie's Nirvana. If you live here, it's a great place to have a meal that came from the right sources or shop a huge selection of health foods. If you are grocery shopping, prices are pretty steep, even in comparison to other local health food stores. Parking is a little bit inconvenient as it's typically necessary to park downstairs in the garage. I like to visit Whole Foods for healthy (or not so healthy!) ready-made food for a meal to take on the road, a quick bite to eat there or a sit down meal with a friend or date. The environment is super Austin and there are places to sit and eat or hang both inside and outside, with more outside seating on the roof. The ready-made food is super diverse - sushi, tacos, home cooked meats and sides, a HUGE salad bar, Indian and other ethnic cuisine, soups, pizza, ice cream, smoothies, baked goods and coffee. Yums!!
Koriente is an awesome downtown spot with super affordable food, excellent service and both indoor and covered outdoor seating. The food is great, with unique, healthy (yet tasty!) dishes. Staff is knowledgeable and laid back but attentive. The dining room is small and intimate with decent parking and easily accessible on foot or bike. Great place to grab a quick bite or to hang out and enjoy a date!
Tacodeli has the best tacos for people who really care about what they are putting into their bodies. Tacodeli management gets their food from the best, most local suppliers and it tastes delicious. Their staff is super friendly and handle their high volume well. The food is very affordable considering its high quality. Open for breakfast and lunch, until 3pm, so nighttime cravings will have to wait until manana!
Barton Creek Greenbelt is a great park for hiking, running and swimming. The trail begins with a descent down the Hill of Life which is too rigorous for most Grandma's and 3 year olds! Once descended, the trail hugs Barton Creek and crosses at several points (if the water is high, crossing will require getting wet!!). There are some little waterfalls and great spots to sit and enjoy along the way. You can cross the creek and hike around the opposite bank for a day hike approximately 5 miles in length. Be warned - trails are not marked and it can be difficult to find your way back, so bring a map app with GPS!! This park is a great destination for visitors to see some of the preserved area that Austin loves and cares for so well. It's also a great spot for locals to get some free outdoor swimming/leisure/exercise activity!
SXSW Music is week my Christmas. Live music spilling into Austin's downtown streets packed with a beautifully diverse Austin-loving crowd from sun up to late night. Amusement, food, fun and weird all wrapped in a cornucopia of live music representing diverse genres and geographical regions. What is not to love?? Oh yeah, and you can have it for FREE! I am proud to say I have never sported a SXSW badge, yet have always managed to have an absolute blasty blast, enjoy countless interesting and fun artists and feel one with Austin and its awesome visitors. If you are a music lover, no matter where you live, Austin's SXSW needs to be on your bucket list!!