Get Weird with a Visit To Austin

Ready to get weird?

Visit Austin, Texas’s bustling capital, for a travel experience bursting with quirky adventure. Racuous 6th Street teems with bustling bars, venues, and attractions, including the aptly named “Museum of the Weird,” which highlights Austin’s eccentric reputation, while South Congress offers shops, dining, and outdoor patios, allowing tourists a refreshing respite from the heat.

Although these popular areas are some of Austin’s biggest draws, the lesser-known gems truly showcase the city’s offbeat character. 

Here’s what travelers can’t miss while visiting ATX. 

Live Music

You can’t visit Austin without exploring its music scene. The “Live Music Capital of the World” bursts with song. 

Stubbs in downtown Austin is one of the best places to catch a show. The BBQ joint serves tender, delicious pulled pork and divinely smoked brisket while featuring various musicians on their small yet cozy stage. The bar was the epicenter of Austins 1970’s music scene; even iconic acts like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Johnny Cash graced the stage.

The Austin music scene thrives on intimate venues. The Roosevelt Room features classy cocktails and small plates in a cozy lounge with a small stage and dance floor, while the Elephant Room offers the idyllic underground Jazz experience.

You don’t need to make reservations at Ausins live music hot spots to enjoy the tunes. Most bars have small stages featuring acts ranging from solo guitarists to rock ensembles on the weekends. 

Although you’ll regularly hear the iconic twangs of country mixed with the soulful sounds of blues, the Austin music scene has no stylistic limitations. You can catch anything from folk to rock, rap to polka.

A Thriving Arts Scene

Music isn’t the only art thriving in Austin’s streets. A stroll through the city highlights Austin’s dedication to fine art. Murals line city walls in every neighborhood, showcasing the talents of local artists. 

Travel to East Austin to share your bread and butter, or check out the Willie for President mural gracing South Congress. The iconic Greetings from Austin is the perfect spot to Instagram your trip.

There’s more to the art scene than street art. Galleries sprinkle the city, showcasing local and international contemporary art. Head to West Chelsea Contemporary, tucked away just West of Lamar on 6th Street, to immerse yourself in the most current happenings of the global art scene. 

The gallery welcomes visitors to the numerous openings, shows, and art talks they host at no charge, as their primary mission is to make art accessible for all. Visitors can stroll the gallery, marvel at the latest exhibit, or take a piece home from the gift shopping offering items for nearly every budget.

Austin Eats

Though you can find big chains on the main strips, the best foods in Austin are homegrown. Visitors marvel at the city’s vast selection of small, locally-owned restaurants.

Austin’s food scene rivals big cities like Chicago and foodie cities like Portland. Whatever your palate and budget, Austin has a tasty option to meet your needs.

Journey to South Austin on Lamar to find a selection of Austin’s best restaurants. The area features Loro, an Asian BBQ fusion serving small plates in a patio setting, Uchi, one of the top-rated sushi restaurants in the city, and Odd Duck, one of Austin’s best fine dining establishments.  

Travelers on a budget may prefer Austin’s wide range of food trucks and diners. Head to P. Terry’s, an Austin chain spreading like wildfire throughout the state for its mouthwatering yet inexpensive burger and fries combo. Stop in at Phoebe’s diner on the south side for a delicious twist on classic eggs benedict. 

Wherever you wander in Austin, you’ll find a local restaurant serving delicious flavors with a Texas flare, but you can’t visit a Texas city without trying the state’s most iconic dish: Texas BBQ. 

Franklins, just east of 35, is the best of the best, but you must arrive early and endure long lines to enjoy the delectable offerings. If you don’t feel like waiting for divine BBQ, head to Terry Blacks, just south of the river, for melt-in-your-mouth beef ribs and delectable smoked brisket. 

Enthralling Attractions

Austin offers many attractions and activities for travelers of all stripes.

Seasonal events, such as South by Southwest, Austin City Music Limits, and the Austin Rodeo, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, but the city offers plenty for tourists outside of these iconic festivals.

Downtown Austin features two notable landmarks for US history lovers: The country’s largest state capitol building and the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. Both feature a perfect mix of history and civics, immersing visitors in a niche aspect of American culture.  

The city also boasts a variety of museums, from the traditional style Bullock State History Museum to the quirky Museum of Toys. Explore small museums dedicated to niche artists like Elizabeth Ney and large-scale art museums like the Blanton Art Museum, housing over 20,000 objects ranging from antiquities to contemporary art. 

Those looking to get active will enjoy kayaking or paddle boarding on the Colorado River, biking around Zilker Park, and exploring many State Parks and recreation areas scattered around the city. McKinney Falls State Park, just outside the city, offers hiking, fishing, and picnic areas to enjoy the trickling falls and serene pools. The Hamilton Pool, a little further away, offers a chance to swim in the warm waters of a natural spring. The pool strictly limits entrance, so it’s best to reserve your tickets well ahead of your visit.

Trendy Neighborhoods

Austin may be small, but the growing city boasts numerous unique and trendy neighborhoods outside the popular areas.

East Austin features some of the city’s best murals and wine-tasting venues, such as Blurred Lines, Cape Bottle Room, and the Vintage Bookstore and Wine Bar, which combines old books with tasty wine. The East side has a gritty city feel, with an eclectic mix of old and new.

The Domain to the North highlights Austin’s modern growth. The area features shopping, restaurants, trendy museums, and themed bars. Head to Punch Drunk for bowling and karaoke, or stick with the classic Irish Pub feel at Jack and Ginger’s.

Rainy Street downtown is perfect for a night out, featuring many bars and restaurants ranging from classy to dive. Many offer live music, beer gardens, and outdoor patios. Many locals prefer Rainy Street over 6th Street for the perfect night out.

From Rock Rose in the North to South Lamar, every Austin Neighborhood has a unique flair awaiting discovery.

Staying in Austin

Austin features your typical assortment of hotels but also offers luxury and atypical boarding options for those who want a more immersive experience. 

The Driskill Hotel, located on the corner of 6th and Brazos, is as stunning as it is historic. Visitors gasp upon entering the majestic lobby decorated with marble, columns, and a stained-glass globe.  The cozy hotel lounge offers an array of comfortable seating options and a full menu, with Texas BBQ and the finest selection of quality cocktails. If you embark upon an Austin Ghost tour, you’ll find the Driskill on your route, as stories of hauntings date back to the hotels founding family.

The Driskill offers everything you want from your visit to Austin, comfort, location, history, and great food.

If downtime vibes aren’t your style, consider one of the spa resorts of West Austin, the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa or Lake Austin Spa Resort, or a boutique hotel near South Congress.

Whatever your trip style, Austin offers the perfect place for you to stay.

Get Weird on Your Next Trip To Austin

Though renowned for 6th Street and South Congress, travelers will get the whole Austin experience by enjoying the wide range of fascinating activities outside these two areas.

Explore all Austin has to offer and get weird in this iconic city.

This article was producted and syndicated by Media Decision.