Become an Austinite in 24 Hours

Food, Nightlife, Things to Do, Travel Tips, What's New — By mhill on September 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Austin Skyline by night - Photo By: Ritesh Bafna

THE city’s unofficial motto, “Keep Austin Weird,” blares from bumper stickers on beamers or T-shirts worn by the runners of Lady Bird Lake. Our city prides itself of individualism and eccentricity even in the face of rapid development. But it will always be a funky, burnt-orange clad college town, known for its liberalisms, live music scene, and friendly people.

Hopefully you would be given more than 24 hours to experience Austin, but if you are seeking out that perfect day to take it all in, follow this guide:

The one thing that Austin does better than be weird is produce insanely good breakfast tacos. Eating breakfast tacos in the morning is a way of life here, so here a few spots you can start fitting in. Check out: TacoDeli, Mi Madre’s, or Taco Xpress.

There are so many things to do in Austin and rare that a weekend goes by here without some sort of festival, event, or game taking place. Check the web or the local listing for updates on all the weekly events. However, if you find yourself without much to do here some of the places that Austinite’s love to frequent:

South Congress Ave is the Mecca of all things Austin and where people-watching alone will keep you entertained. The stretch running between Riverside and Oltorf is lined with lots of shops, restaurants, and bars that are a perfect example of what makes Austin… Austin. Check Out: Lucy’s in Disguise, Botticelli’sContinental Club, and Guero’s.

Barton Springs Pool, a three-acre dammed pool that maintains a steady 68-degree temperature year-round. There’s sunbathing (sometimes topless) on the grassy slopes, a springy diving board and old pecan trees lining its banks.

Lady Bird Lake, but usually referred to as “Town Lake” is a great way to experience Austin as an outdoor –fitness city. It serves as the city’s largest playground both on and off the water. You can take a stroll around the lake on either foot or bike, but the real fun is in the water where stand up paddle boarding is the new rage. Check out: The Rowing Dock, SupATX, or Austin Water Bikes.

After all the working out, we like to eat, and there is no shortage of fantastic places to eat in Austin. Austin is home to over 1600 food trailers across the city and they are serving up some of the best food in Austin. Check out: Flip Happy Crepes, Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, and The Mighty Cone.

If food out of a trailer is not your thing, then not a problem! You will have a hard time finding a lot of chains in the city limits, so try these local favorites for lunch. Check out: Shady Grove, Maudie’s Tex-Mex, or Ironworks BBQ.

Austin’s unofficial nickname is Bat City and that’s because, from early spring through late fall, the Congress Avenue Bridge hosts more than a million Mexican free-tailed bats. Each night they pour out from under the bridge and head east to scavenge for insects. So park a spot on the bridge before dinner and watch as they take off against the burnt-orange sky.

Austin is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the international restaurant scene playing home to multiple award winning chefs and restaurants throughout the city. The city is definitely not all BBQ and Mexican food, so there is something to please everyone. Check Out: Moonshine, Uchi, Fino, Ranch 616 or Justine’s.

Austin has no shortage of nightlife and the downtown is lined street after streets with live music and bars. Bar hopping is very popular so Austinite’s tend to pick an area of town and then just bounce around. Each set of bars caters to its own uniquely Austin crowd. Check Out: Sixth St., West Sixth St., Fourth St., East Sixth St. and Second St.

Enjoy Austin, Keep it Weird, because that’s what we do! – MMH