Anyone who has ever lived in the Lone Star State will be quick to inform you that as far as outliers go, the city of Austin is in a class all its own. It is the Texas town that stands apart with a unique southern subculture that you cannot experience anywhere else. Diverse yet cohesive, modern with a fair few historical elements, the city of Austin, Texas, should be on everyone’s southern bucket list.
While it would take quite a while to learn about every interesting and exciting thing that Austin has to offer, there are a couple of highlights that will be convincing enough to make anyone want to head to this city for their next vacation. Whether you are planning a weekend away or if you are allowing an entire week for your travels, here are five things in Austin that will have you wondering why you’ve never paid this city a visit before.
1) Natural Beauty
Although Austin is the fourth largest city in the state of Texas, there is plenty of natural charm and beauty to enjoy within city limits. The Austin Hill Country offers some of the most beautiful landscape in the entire state. While you can undoubtedly access such attractions from accommodations in the city, an alternative way to experience the Hill Country’s beauty up close is by getting in touch with a trusted Austin RV rental company. Renting an RV will allow you to travel worry free and explore further than if you were staying in the hotel. There are multiple RV parks near Austin which would be happy to accommodate you and your RV overnight.
McKinney Falls State Park is just a stone’s throw from the center of the city and gives viewers the chance to take in an array of sights, including beautiful woods, winding creeks, and of course, the falls. This is where Onion Creek and Williamson Creek meet, making it the perfect spot for fishing, boating, and swimming. The surrounding woods are like something from a postcard and are fit to be explored on foot or mountain bike.
Barton Creek is another adventurer’s hotspot with countless outdoor activities to enjoy. The Greenbelt is the perfect place for rock climbing, biking, and hiking, while the Barton Creek Wilderness Park situated just to the west of the Greenbelt is a haven for all these outdoor activities and more. Through the management and upkeep of these areas, Austin upholds its reputation as a city for those who genuinely love the great outdoors.
2) The Music Scene
One of the things that put Austin on the map for being the “Live Music Capital of the World” is its love for all types of music. This city is truly a hub for live performers of all genres, and visitors can take advantage of this to enjoy some incredible shows. Smooth jazz, modern country, and alternative rock are just a few of the sounds you will hear at pretty much any given spot in Austin. The airport itself is even known for the live music that is played in a few restaurants around the terminals.
Depending on what time of the year you are planning your visit, you might be able to spend a day at one of Austin’s major music festivals. Austin City Limits and South by Southwest are just two of the most well-known festivals that draw massive crowds from all across the country to see some of the biggest names in music perform live. The atmosphere of the Austin music scene can easily be compared to that of a festival no matter what time of the year you are there.
3) Amazing Food
Like most southern states, Texas loves to boast about its fantastic food offerings. Austin is a place where a traveler can sample all the best that the Lone Star State has to offer. Everything from traditional Texas barbeque to authentic and mouthwatering Tex-Mex food can be found within the city of Austin.
Texas chili, chicken-fried steak, and migas are all dishes that can be found in excess in the various neighborhoods across this city. There is even a hot debate about where the best tacos in the city can be found. You might just have to sample them all so that you can help to weigh in on the matter yourself.
Aside from these Texas classics, you can also enjoy a diverse range of cuisines in Austin. Most top restaurants will seek to source their ingredients locally, so you know you are going to be enjoying some fresh meals. There are also several excellent craft beers local to the area that you will want to sample as you eat your way through the city.
4) Fantastic Nightlife
As far as nightlife is concerned, the city of Austin has so much to offer. In addition to the incredible live music that you can hear anywhere around town, historic Sixth Street boasts one of the best nightlife scenes around. There are countless original and fun bars to explore as well as plenty of restaurants to choose from. Music, dancing, craft beers, and creative cocktails are all part of the atmosphere when you are out on Sixth Street.
This isn’t the only party district in town, though. The “hip crowd” flocks to East Austin to enjoy a diverse range of food and drink, while the more laid back partier will probably want to opt for the chill, outdoor patios of the historic houses-turned-bars of Rainy Street. Even though you will be hard-pressed to find a place not teaming with live music, Red River takes this theme to the max with bigger names and local talent alike performing at a variety of venues and bars.
5) Friendly Locals
The locals of Austin epitomize the concept of southern hospitality. Even though this city is broken into neighborhoods that are entirely distinct and different in atmosphere and activity, no matter where you meet an “Austinite” you will surely be greeted with the warmth and friendliness that this city exudes. If you are ever in the unlikely event that you aren’t sure what to fill a day in Austin with, just consult a friendly local who will no doubt be ready and willing to point you in the right direction.