Austin is the state capital of Texas and an inland city bordering the Hill Country region. It is a city that is known for its stunning outdoor settings, hiking trails, and swimming holes. However, the one thing that it particularly stands out for and is known for around the world is the unparalleled landscape of live music in Austin. You will get a glimpse of it right from when you arrive at the airport, as visitors are entertained with live music as they walk through the terminal after deplaning. Musicians are everywhere in the city and they never stop. From grocery stores and coffeehouses to open exteriors and concert halls, live music in Austin rings its streets all throughout. There are more than 250 live music venues in all and given its fondness for the same, there are also many music festivals in Austin and they happen all year round. The South by Southwest music festival, for example, serves as a grand opening to the year and invites artists and musicians from around the world for weeklong festivities. Another extremely popular festival that draws crowds from far and wide is the massive multi-genre Austin City Limits music festival. If you are traveling to this city and are fond of music, you must plan your trip in a way that you can cover either or both of these. The Urban Music Festival and the Old Settler’s music festival are also some other huge annual music festivals in Austin that you can look forward to.
Apart from live music, swimming and hiking in Austin are also quite some popular affairs as the city is blessed with breathtakingly beautiful lakes and parks. Lady Bird Lake in Austin that runs through the city center is one of the most famous lakes and is completely trail-lined. Hiking or biking through the trail or paddling into the waters of the lake are all-time favorite activities of the people around. Adjoining the lake is the Zilker Park that houses the Barton Springs Pool, which is a famous swimming hole. These lakes and parks are some of the best places to visit in Austin for their mesmerizing charm, more so for the nature lovers and sporty people. The city has got some excellent art exhibitions and museums as well. The Blanton Museum of Art and the Harry Ransom Center are two of them that stand apart for their world-class art and modern Latin American works. Many festivals in Austin celebrate this love for arts every year. The grand Fusebox Festival is one such festival where local, national, and international performing artists come together to celebrate the grandeur of live performances. Apart from its museums, lakes, and events though, some architectural gems like the Texas State Capitol Building sheathed in iconic pink marble and the Frost Bank Tower are also some really worthwhile places to visit in Austin while you are there.
Being the political and corporate hub of the city, the downtown area houses the best restaurants in Austin and this is where you can expect to get an oak-smoked barbeque or a great Tex-Mex that the Texas capital is so famous for. A typical Austin food is known for its barbeques, Mexican delicacies like the tortillas and tequila shots. Right from early morning hours, lines form outside the Franklin Barbeque and Kerlin BBQ, which are the best restaurants in Austin to explore an authentic local taste. Every year at the Hot Luck Festival, chefs and locals gather in a picnic-like celebration to enjoy these local and national delicacies in the backdrop of live music. However, fine-dining is just one part of the food landscape of the city. Having some wonderful parks and natural bounty, it is known for its park-and-eat experiences as well. In fact, some of the best places to eat in Austin include not sophisticated restaurants but the famous Austin food trucks like Veracruz and The Mighty Cone. To experience the most of the food culture, you can plan your visit during the city’s biggest food festival called the Austin Food and Wine Festival, where celebrities and chefs gather from across the country to enjoy the best food in Austin collected at one platform.
While the days are blessed with enough sunshine and food, Austin nightlife is equally lit too. Known for an eclectic music scene, its more than 250 live music venues offer jazz, hip hop, rock, punk, Latino – you name it and they have it. The Continental Club and Antone’s Nightclub offer the best live music in Austin that you can imagine. People in the Texas capital love tequila shots and beer to accompany the music and there are many bars that have drinks and dance open till very late hours. Some of the best bars in Austin include The Roosevelt Room and Midnight Cowboy known for exquisite and state-of-the-art cocktails. There are pub crawls, open concerts, dance rooms, so much so that the Austin nightlife scene really sets the skyline shining through the night. However, one out of the box party experience that you can only have in the Texas capital is perhaps an experience at a party boat. You can hire an entire party boat in Austin at the lake to get your exclusive deck space with a bar area and stereo, and throw a real hard party the way you want to.
Though there are truly amazing places to visit in Austin, the area that surrounds the Texas capital is also not something one should miss. The capital is surrounded on all sides with tourist places and that too within very convenient distances from the main city. The city of Fredericksburg on the west and Gruene to its south are just short day trips from Austin, but some very valuable ones. While you can enjoy the extremely popular Guadalupe river tubing in Gruene, the enchanted rock state park in Fredericksburg offers 365-degree views of the Hill Country. The cities of San Antonio and Dripping Springs are also nearby and ideal for some weekend getaways from Austin. The Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs is a beautiful sight to catch. So while you plan your days enjoying music, eating great food and partying in the Texas capital, do keep some time in your itineraries for some day trips from Austin as well to make the most of a trip.
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