I’m goin’ down to Austin, Texas,
I’m goin' down to save my soul
Guy Clark, “Texas Cookin’”
Of the many things one could say about Austin, Texas, the town is most definitely good for the soul. Like any city, it has its reputations, many of them very well earned, but Austin is a place that has something for everyone. You just have to know where to look.
As the great Guy Clark advocates, the cuisine is a good way to start off. Breakfast tacos are a must- Torchy’s, Tacodeli, Tamale House, or any place else, take your pick. It’s near impossible to go wrong. If you’ve had your fill of tacos (if that’s even possible) then breakfasting at the Kerbey Lane or Magnolia Café are excellent alternatives. You can get your fix of Mexican food at Guero’s, The Iron Cactus, or Fonda San Miguel if you’re looking for a more up-scale dinner. For meat lovers, there’s barbecue aplenty at Franklin’s, The Salt Lick, or Lambert’s. If you prefer your meat served in a bowl, head down to the Texas Chili Parlor. Food Trucks are strewn throughout the entire city, good for any meal, diet, or culinary preference. [url=http://austinfoodcarts.com/]Look them up[/url]- the chances you won’t be able to find anything are more or less non-existent.
After topping off any meal with a cup of Austin’s beloved Amy’s Ice Cream, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself on a satiated stomach. If museums are your cup of tea, you can see art at The Blanton, or state history at the Bob Bullock. The pink state capitol is worth a visit, with spacious, memorial-dotted grounds and impressive architecture. For the youngin’s, the Austin Children’s Museum can provide endless hours of entertainment. If you’re wiped out, there’s hardly a better way to end the day then watching the bats fly from the Congress bridge.
For those who favor outdoor activities, you could hardly come to a better town. The Austin community is one that extends beyond the city limits and into the surrounding hill country, something that will show in any list of suggested activities. Barton Springs is a must for the summer, (or, for more daring locals, the inauguration of the New Year) with 68-degree waters providing much enjoyed relief and fun. For rowing, kayaking, or paddle boarding, you just have to head up the Colorado River to the Texas Rowing Dock. If you don’t mind a drive, both Krause Springs and the little town of Wimberley, with Jacob’s Well and Blue hole, make for some excellent, water-filled day trips. If running, biking, or enjoying canine company is more your speed, try the Hike and Bike Trail. If you prefer a longer hike, there’s Brightleaf Preserve nestled in the heart of Austin, the Barton Creek Green Belt on the fringes, or Enchanted Rock, under two hours away in Llano.
Centrally located, vast, and diverse in its grounds, Zilker Park is a favorite spot of many Austinites. In the summer months it hosts Blues on the Green, a serious of free concerts. That brings us to Austin’s music; Austin is called the “Live Music Capital of the World”, and is well deserving of the title. Every night of the week, every week of the year, there is live, often free, music of any genre you can image playing somewhere in the city. Threadgill’s, Auditorium Shores, the Cactus Café, the Continental Club- these primer and diverse venues are just the tip of the iceberg that is the Austin music scene. Whatever your musical affinity, you will find it matched in Austin.
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