When you visit Austin, you’ll soon understand why it’s beloved for its quirky character and welcoming, creative vibe. Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, it also offers world-class dining, art, museums, shopping, and more. Read on for some can’t-miss highlights!
Austin has become a foodie destination, with a wide variety of cuisines and experiences, including outstanding barbeque and Tex-Mex. In a city this lively and diverse, one thing is for sure—you won’t run out of options.
Barbecue: You simply can’t visit Austin without trying some Texas barbecue. From smoked ribs to brisket, you can’t go wrong with one of these favorites: Franklin Barbeque, La Barbecue and County Line on the Hill.
Tex-Mex: “From breakfast tacos at east side favorite Juan in a Million and Tex-Mex institutions like Matt's el Rancho, to Latin American and Interior Mexican cuisine from off-the-beaten-path places [like] South Austin's Polvos, Austin has tons of incredible dining spots perfect for hanging out with friends, sipping margaritas or mescal, and getting your queso and masa cravings covered.”1
Food trucks: “No Austin visit is complete without a park-and-eat experience at any of [the] many personality-plus food truck and trailer venues. From gourmet donuts at Gourdough's to savory sensations from East Side King, [these] mobile food trucks and trailers have an experience for every taste.” 1
Whether you’re in the mood for fine art, history, or music, Austin has it all.
The Contemporary Austin–Laguna Gloria: “Set on a lush Lake Austin peninsula, this 1915 Mediterranean-style villa was once home to Clara Driscoll Sevier, who led the fight to save the Alamo from demolition in the early 20th century. In this lovely if relatively diminutive setting, the museum showcases sculpture and video. … Staffers are extremely helpful and informative.”2
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum: “The 38th Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Bob Bullock—a potent political force in his day—lobbied hard to establish a museum of state history during his years of public service. … The museum hosts exhibitions of archaeological objects, documents, and other materials from regional museums throughout the state and also presents historical and educational programs. Exhibits include everything from the letters of Sam Houston to Native American artifacts. The museum has a 400-seat IMAX theater.” 2
ACL Live at the Moody Theater: “The iconic PBS music show, Austin City Limits, moved its 30 years of award-winning history to a new state-of-the-art facility in downtown Austin in 2011. In true ACL fashion, live tapings for each season are still announced to the public at a moment's notice, and general admission is still free for those who wait in line for tickets. The theater also hosts an additional lineup of musical acts throughout the year, independent of the television show's taping schedule. Catch the likes of Willie Nelson, Joe Bonamassa, Jack White, Tony Bennet, and Mannheim Steamroller. The 2,700-seat auditorium manages to maintain an intimate feel where every seat is a good seat.” 2
“Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World® for a good reason. Whether you're in the mood to two-step at a dance hall, dance the night away with a local DJ, or belly up to the bar at a dive where the jukebox plays all night long, you're sure to have a night to remember.”1
Stubb's Bar-B-Q: “This is the most highly touted venue in Austin. … This massive outdoor venue and barbeque joint by day hosts an impressive lineup in downtown's Red River District.”2
Cactus Café: “For an intimate live-music experience unmatched by any other venue in Austin, head to this café on the UT campus and get in line for tickets. Texas singer-songwriter legends such as Lyle Lovett, Robert Earle King, Patty Griffin, and Austin-renowned Bob Schneider have graced this tiny stage since the 1970s. It doesn't get much better than this.”2
Hotel San José Lounge: “It may be the hippest hotel in town, and the San José is also home to one of the best wine bars in the city. On nice days, grab a poolside patio seat, order a reasonably-priced bottle of wine and the city-renowned cheese plate—we promise, you won't regret it. Year-round special events feature local bands, while weekly sets by a varied lineup of DJs can be enjoyed in the lounges.”2
Broken Spoke: “This legendary honky tonk is touted as the last of the true Texas dance halls. If live country music and dancing are your thing, two-step down to this venerable venue, where old Austin lives (and dances) on. This Austin classic boasts live music almost every night.”2
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