Austin might be shifting shape from a laid-back, hippy town to a booming tech hub, but it still retains all of its character. Austin local Caitlin M. Ryan shares the best reasons to visit.
When you’re officially known as the Live Music Capital of the World®, the bar is set high. You can catch scores of talented bands any day of the week here – even at the airport. Two-step to local, lauded honky tonk bands such as Mike and the Moonpies at The White Horse, or for a litany of indie rock try hip haunts Mohawk and Emo’s.
Also, always pop your name into the digital draw to try and win tickets to live tapings of the Austin City Limits TV show; it’s featured the likes of the late, great Johnny Cash and Etta James, plus current big-hitters Radiohead.
A frenzy of festivals
Beyond the dive bars, black box theatres and music halls is a roster of now-iconic music festivals. Austin City Limits Festival, held in leafy Zilker Park across the first two weekends in October, is always a magnet for international heavyweight talent. In March, the world’s creative elite congregate for SXSW, a heady fusion of talks and performance spanning film, music and digital innovation. If camping’s your thing, make for Old Settler’s or Euphoria where impromptu jam sessions reign supreme.
Music might be what it’s famed for, but there’s a thriving sport culture in the heart of Texas too. Petrolheads must visit the state-of-the-art Circuit of The Americas™ track for adrenaline-fuelled competitions such as MotoGP and the United States Grand Prix. For a true Austin experience, join the crowds at a sporting event hosted at the University of Texas. The most buzzy atmosphere is found during the autumn’s football season. As the weather cools down, tailgate parties pop up, and Longhorn fans and students dressed in the team’s burnt orange kit descend upon the stadium just north of the state capitol building.
Tex-Mex is, of course a must, and Matt’s El Rancho is one of the best joints to try it. But Austin’s culinary scene is about so much more than just tamales and tacos. Uchi serves top-notch sushi; ask the chef for their special recommendations. For the best meat this side of the Mississippi, join the snaking lines outside Franklin’s Barbecue. Tasting carts at Emmer & Rye are stacked high with gourmet bites, crafted from the best seasonal and local produce. Cap off the lot with a sweet something at mod bistro Launderette overseen by acclaimed pastry chef Laura Sawicki.
The great outdoors
To cut to the chase, Austinites are fit. There’s nothing they love more than hiking, biking, and rowing their way across the city. Zilker Park is the best patch for throwing down a picnic blanket and tossing a Frisbee with friends. Take a dip in Barton Springs, a refreshing spring-fed pool in the centre of the city, or catch some gnarly waves (albeit artificial ones), out of town at NLand Surf Park. You can choose from bay or reef swells, dependent on your skills.
Or, work off all that Tex-Mex with a jog around peaceful Lady Bird Lake, on summer nights at sunset you’ll find crowds at the Congress Avenue bridge – all gathered to watch the largest urban bat colony in North America take flight. Seeing some 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats spiral into the sky is quite something.
Bed down in style
Music lovers won’t find a cooler spot to snooze than the W Hotel in downtown’s 2ND Street District. It not only adjoins Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, but also draws a cool crowd to its vinyl-packed records room. If boutique hotels are more your cup of tea, check in to South Congress Hotel, which has a clutch of neighbourhood restaurants next door; sip on rainbow-coloured cold-press juices at Mañana then feast on Japanese grub at Otoko. A hotel to watch out for is the Fairmont Austin, which opens this autumn. At 1.4 million square feet, it will be the largest Fairmont hotel in the world.
Find your style
The crowd here dresses snappily no matter what the season; locals are known for their bold sartorial statements and love of vintage threads. Find old-school stonewash Levi’s, leather vests, quirky boots and prairie dresses at Feather’s Boutique and Prototype Vintage Design. Over on the east side at Charm School Vintage stocks colourful, eclectic garb from the 1890s to 1990s.
Im looking for new blogs to follow so if you post anything from the following list please like or reblog this post:)
The mortal instruments
The infernal devices
The dark artifices
Books in general really
American horror story
Phantom of the opera
La la land
Musicals in general
Lana del rey
These are photos I have taken during the month which I did not post the day I took them. I hold onto them and see if anything meets my internal criteria for good photos worthy of sharing.
All of the colors and shadows are achieved in camera and with the use of filters during the shoot, I am not a big fan of editing afterwards.
I live at the beach and see a lot of sunsets, so naturally the things my eyes are used to, and the thing my artistic side likes is shadows and rich colors. You will notice those themes repeated in these pics….Shot with a Canon6D with several different lenses at different settings(UV, Circ PL, and a few other lens filters)