Top Tips for Your Trip to Austin, Texas

Thinking about escaping to warmer weather and exploring a growing city? Austin, Texas may be your next vacation spot.

Austin’s popularity has been on the rise for years now, and there are plenty of reasons why. Compared to some major cities, the cost of living is relatively low, which makes it a great place to move to, especially for people who can work remotely. The tech industry in Austin is also growing, which has influenced people to move to the city as well. 

But one of the main reasons that people love Austin – as a city to visit or as the place to make their home – is the live music. You can find a wide variety of musical genres in the city, from Tejano to country to blues to rock. Also, Austin’s iconic music venues have inspired performers and music lovers at sites including The Moody Theater (the home of Austin City Limits), Antone’s, and the Elephant Room, just to name a few. 

In addition to offering so much when it comes to live music, the food scene in Austin is exceptional, and it’s exploded in the past few years. In fact, you might be overwhelmed by all the fantastic restaurants there are to try! 

There are tons of reasons to visit this great Texas city. Planning your trip to Austin will depend on what you want to do the most. But no matter what you like to do, Congress Avenue, Second Street, and Central Austin all have something to offer.

Congress Avenue

Street sign for Congress Avenue
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You can’t visit Austin without exploring Congress Avenue. The food is world-class and the sites are some of the best you can see in the city. For example, you can spend some time in The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center, which exhibits modern art by both local and international artists. Or, you can learn about Mexican art and heritage at the Mexic-Arte Museum, which has a rotating mural wall outside where you can snap a great picture.

Try to find the time to see a comedy show at The Paramount Theatre, a beautiful theater that was built in 1915. You could also take a tour of the Texas State Capitol Complex and learn more about the state’s legislature.

Once you get tired of spending all that time indoors, you can either hike or bike the 10-mile route at the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. The trail surrounds Lady Bird Lake, a beautiful site in Central Austin. 

Or, if you’re looking for a more unique experience, check out the Congress Avenue Bat Bridge. From spring to early fall, you can watch millions of Mexican free-tailed bats fly at night. 

As for the food, if you’ve ever seen Top Chef, then you’ll appreciate the fact that you can enjoy winner Kristen Kish’s culinary creations at Arlo Grey. And if you’d like to check out live music, the Congress Avenue district is where you’ll find the legendary Elephant Room jazz club. 

Second Street

View of 2nd Street in Austin Texas
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For many people, no vacation is complete without shopping. If you’re one of them, then you can’t visit Austin without checking out the Second Street district. 

There are tons of boutiques offering anything you might imagine. Dress like a rock star in the clothes you’ll find at Austin Rocks, or try on jewelry crafted by independent artists at Eliza Page. 

Looking for a sports jacket or a custom suit? League of Rebels has you covered. Finally, if you’re a sneakerhead or you’re traveling with one, check out Sneaker Politics, which offers dozens of options. 

If all that shopping gave you an appetite, pick up some fresh cheeses and crackers at Royal Blue Grocery, or check out ATX Cocina, La Condesa, or Pelvos for Mexican fare. 

Already had all the Mexican food you can eat? Try out Le Politique, which is a French pastry shop that also serves French delicacies, or Lamberts, a barbecue spot that offers a refined atmosphere. 

Central Austin

Main building at University of Texas at austin
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Central Austin is home to the University of Texas at Austin, which means this area is full of life and important museums. The Art Galleries at Black Studies is located at the university, as well as the Harry Ransom Center, which displays one of only 20 Gutenberg Bibles. You can also visit the Blanton Museum and gaze at pieces from throughout all of human history. 

Hungry after looking at all that art? The dining options in Central Austin do not disappoint. If you like burgers, check out Top Notch, a spot that had a cameo in Dazed and Confused.

Ready for some lighter fare? Try out Texas French Bread for a croissant and coffee. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, Aster’s Ethiopian Restaurant, Komé, and Barley Swine are all located in Central Austin as well. 

No matter what you like to do on vacation, you’ll find something to enjoy in Austin. Which one of these three districts sounds the most exciting to you?

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