Indeed! I didn’t hear that in Austin but I did amuse some locals with my New Orleans anecdote. My take – Austin is Portland in the middle of Texas. Incredible! And very cool. I will definitely be back… and without all the hoopla of South by Southwest… but I will be back for that too.
For now, just some tips on how to rock Austin. And rocking Austin one of the best parts! The live music capital of the world. Of course, for Americans, the world doesn’t involve a passport. Geography is not their strength 😉 But, I have seen a lot of countries and I don’t think they are necessarily wrong. Americans love to be #1… I just want the experience to be worthwhile – so, who cares… Austin is an amazing place to see live music!
If it works with your budget, make like a cattle baron and stay at the Driskill. It’s the
Claridges of the USA J The kind of hotel that has so much history and such great staff that the hotel becomes part of your experience of the city, like a well written character in a novel.
The Driskill also sets you up right on 6th Street so there is live music everywhere… even if you drink too much bourbon it is a short walk home 🙂
But, if you are smart, you will be drinking Shiner Bock (just ask for “Shiner” to sound like a local)… I gather it cost me more during SXSW but still great value… and a wonderful Texan small town entrepreneur story…
The other thing one should do in Austin is eat! There is a food and wine festival. I am sure it will be part of my future. This trip was focused on SXSW and expanding my brain and musical experience so I didn’t put huge efforts into sourcing dinner…
But what I loved was that even with minimal effort I had some wonderful meals. My favourite spot was an authentic Italian pizzeria Due Forni. I read about it in my hotel room one afternoon and then accidentally discovered on a wander that it was about two blocks from the Driskill – so it became a bit of a home away from home… definitely check it out when you get to Austin.
Other places to check out are Crave on 2nd Street and Craft Pride if you are a beer aficionado. I also had some lovely food at the Hilton and Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental. I think you can almost throw a dart in Austin and have a good time on all the important levels – food, drink, music J
The only hard part to your stay in Austin will be the sad ride to the airport… to seduce you to return, you will even be able to drink some Texas beer and listen to live music at the airport! Giving Schiphol a run for its money 😉