As the capital of the Lone Star state, Austin is the fourth largest city in Texas and the 11th largest city in the nation. Calling itself the Live Music Capital of the World, it hosts the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival and SXSW conference (two of the most recognizing music events in the world) and boasts the unofficial motto of “Keep Austin Weird,” which is seen frequently around the city on everything from T-shirts to bumper stickers.
With a robust economy and ample job opportunities thanks to its high concentration of technology companies (Dell, IBM, 3M, Apple Inc., Google, and Facebook, among others), Austin has also been dubbed Silicon Hills. Despite its foothold in the corporate world, though, the city is still a college town at heart, home to the University of Texas.
The city’s laid-back and cool atmosphere is a major draw for its residents, including celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick, who go there to disappear. Besides great music, famous residents, and a thriving economy, here are just a few more reasons to love the city.
WHERE TO EAT:
AMY’S ICE CREAM This sweet local chain offers handmade artisan ice cream, yogurt, and fruit ices in more than 350 flavors. The Mexican Vanilla is a local legend, but other flavors such as White Chocolate Cinnamon and Bourbon Pecan Spice have many coming back on a daily basis.
UCHIKO Japanese restaurant Uchi put Austin on the foodie map; now, its sister eatery, Uchiko, is upping the ante with what it refers to as “Japanese farmhouse cuisine”—aka innovative takes on the fresh dishes originally created at Uchi.
WHOLE FOODS The organic grocery store chain’s 80,000-square-foot flagship is located downtown. With the city’s largest wine selection, multiple dining options, and a walk-in beer cooler, it’s designed to impress.
WHERE TO GO:
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS at Moody Theater (ACL Live). The music venue plays host to 100 concerts a year and is where PBS’s critically acclaimed Austin City Limits—the longest-running music television show in American history—is filmed.
UNCOMMON OBJECTS This 20-booth antique emporium is the quintessential curiosity shop, carrying everything from vintage movie posters and vinyl records to old cigarette cases, mod furniture, Western wear, and anything else the store considers “a quirky slice of American culture and history.”
CONTINENTAL CLUB Open since 1957, the city’s legendary Continental Club has seen it all—from burlesque to blues to swing, rock, and country—without missing a beat. With its retro neon sign and an interior that oozes with stories of generations past, the club proves that new isn’t always better.
RAINEY STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT Bungalow-style homes that have been turned into an array of gastro pubs, restaurants, and bars thrive on Rainey Street. Standouts include Lustre Pearl (a Rainey stalwart boasting ping-pong and a food truck) and El Naranjo for fine Mexican dining.
WHERE TO STAY:
HOTEL SAN JOSÉ A garden oasis for both locals and visitors, the 40-room bungalow-style hotel was built in 1936 and features urban-minimalist décor and lush green courtyards. The hotel’s annual South by San José music festival, which takes place during SXSW, is always a draw.
HOTEL SAINT CECILIA Created in honor of the patron saint of music and poetry, the Saint Cecilia is a trendy boutique hotel with a bohemian vibe that takes inspiration from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s era.
REPRESENTED BY LEVERAGE PARTNER DEN PROPERTY GROUP
- Voice from the Street
- Urban Life
- Austin, TX, USA