Though Austin has become one of the fastest growing cities in the US, it still maintains its quirky and eccentric character, as evidenced by its unofficial slogan ‘Keep Austin Weird’. While planning your AGD2021 trip, here are some highlights to keep in consideration.
Austin’s official slogan is ‘The Live Music Capital of the World’ so it is not surprising that the city boasts more music venues per capita than any other US city. Music from all genres can be enjoyed at clubs, coffeehouses, bars, auditoriums and concert halls. Two can’t miss venues include The Broken Spoke and Continental Club. If you’re interested in sampling some of the Austin music scene, and have a Spotify account, check out MusicAustin.
No trip to Austin would be complete without exploring Sixth Street. With its colorful and bustling array of bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues, Sixth Street is the heart of Austin and a sure bet for experiencing local characters and the vibrancy of the city.
Dining & Drinks
One of the premier food destinations in America, Austin is world-famous for its Texas barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine. Franklin Barbecue is perhaps Austin's most famous barbecue restaurant; the restaurant has sold out of brisket every day since its establishment and it proprietor, Aaron Franklin, has won a James Beard Award. Austin is also known as the originator of the breakfast taco, a result of cross-pollination between Mexican culture and Anglo-Germanic ingredients that were available in Texas.
Enjoy inexpensive and unpretentious cuisine, prepared in the back of refurbished Airstreams and concession trailers, in one of Austin’s many food trucks. While food trucks are a ubiquitous site in many cities, Austin was an early pioneer and now boasts the second-largest number per capita in the US (over 1,200). Use FoodTrailersAustin.com as a practical guide to track and find Austin’s best food trucks, food trailers, food carts, mobile vendors and transient eateries.
Austin boasts a robust craft beer scene, with over 50 microbreweries in the metro area. In 2019, VinePair named Austin as the ‘top beer destination in the world’. Notable Austin-area breweries include Jester King Brewery, Live Oak Brewing Company and Real Ale Brewing Company. If you’re more of a wine connoisseur, Austin has dozens of urban wineries and wine bars. If you’re looking to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind, just outside Austin the Texas Hill Country is home to more than 50 wineries and vineyards.
Arts & Culture
While Austin is a great destination for fun and excitement, the city also offers the cultural amenities you would expect from a burgeoning metropolis. Explore treasures at the Blanton Museum of Art, Bullock Texas State History Museum and Mexic-Art Museum or tap into the local art scene. Austinites pride themselves on creativity and you can explore the works of designers, painters, sculptors, writers, photographers, filmmakers, dancers and musicians at any day of the week, in a variety of venues.
Austin also enjoys a strong theatre and film scene. Two stand-outs include: ZACH Theatre, the longest running theatre company in Texas, offers a variety of shows for all ages and tastes. The Paramount Theatre, opened in 1915, contributes to Austin’s film culture, showing class films throughout the summer and hosting regional film premieres.
Are you a history buff? Delve into Austin’s past, view the changing face of architecture in the city, or customize your own itinerary with a guided downtown walking tour hosted by the Austin Visitor Center.
For a complete list of activities, events and sights in Austin check out www.visitaustin.org.