Welcome to Austin!
The capital city of Austin, Texas, is a place unlike any other. From its “Keep Austin Weird” logo to its abundance of music venues and dozens of BBQ eateries, the city definitely has plenty to offer. Austin is surrounded by dozens of magnificent parks and lakes, where travelers can enjoy activities like jogging, swimming, hiking, and biking. Whether you are in Austin for business or for pleasure, there is no shortage of unique attractions and activities to enjoy here.
Many tourists spend their time visiting the most popular attractions, but a worldwide local knows how to experience the city from a different angle and discover some of the lesser-known spots in the city. To help you find Austin’s finest spots, our insider’s guide offers useful tips and allows you to enjoy the city from a local’s perspective.
Located in Zilker Park, Austin Nature & Science Center is an ideal place for visitors who wish to learn more about the wilder parts of the country. The center is home to dozens of interactive exhibits and offers guided tours of the grounds. Expect to see dozens of rescue animals, such as central Texas birds, raccoons, bobcats, and porcupines.
Instead of watching a movie at the popular Alamo Drafthouse, head out to the Violet Crown Cinema, downtown in the 2nd Street District. From blockbusters to indies, Crown Cinema always has a nice film selection. It is worth mentioning that the seats here are larger and way more comfortable than in your average Cineplex.
Locals know the finest spots in the city, and love going to the rather unknown Museum of the Weird. The museum boasts an impressive collection of monsters and creepy displays, such as the frozen caveman and the stuffed Cyclops pig.
Worldwide Local Tip: The best time to explore the streets of the city is in spring and autumn when Austin weather is rather pleasant. Travelers who wish to avoid large crowds of tourists and find better deals on Austin hotels should consider visiting in November and February. Keep in mind that July and August in Austin are extremely hot.
Venture outside the central part of Austin to find a wide range of outdoor activities. Although Lost Maples and Hamilton Pool are truly great places that offer spectacular activities, they are often overcrowded with tourists. On the other hand, Krause Springs is more laid-back and attracts mostly locals. Besides swimming and hiking, you can admire spectacular waterfalls and pay a visit to a butterfly garden, all within the Austin city limits.
Worldwide Local Tip: The downtown area of Austin is pedestrian-friendly, making it easy to move around on foot and explore the best attractions. A popular way of getting around the city is in one of the creatively decorated pedicabs. There is also the capital metro bus line and the 32- mile long metro rail line.
The Best of Austin: Music and Food
Every Austin local will tell you how the music scene in the city is huge, and most of the best things to do in Austin revolve around music. From extremely popular venues such as the Moody Theater, the White Horse, and Elephant room to the more intimate clubs like the Hole In the Wall and the Skylark Lounge, there is no shortage of great venues for live music here in Austin. It comes as no surprise that the city is known as the live music capital of the world.
Visiting Austin without getting to know its culinary scene should be a crime! Barbecue is a way of life here, and local pitmasters like Aaron Franklin have perfected BBQ foods such as brisket, ribs, and pulled pork to perfection. Every local has visited the famous Franklin Barbecue at least once, but other Austin restaurants like La Barbecue, Micklethwait Craft Meats, and LeRoy & Lewis’ South Austin also prepare mouthwatering BBQ specialties. Tex-Mex is also big in Austin, and there are many taco food trucks in the city worth visiting.
Worldwide Local Tip: It seems that Austin is infected with the third-wave coffee culture. From Houndstooth Coffee to the newer independent shops like Fleet Coffee and Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors, a good cup of coffee can be found on every corner of Austin.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Austin is one of the most interesting cities in the United States and offers something for everyone. Exploring the city as a worldwide local will help you get to know Austin through the eyes of the locals, and allow you to hear every heartbeat of this vibrant city.