Texas is the second largest state in America, and is almost equivalent to the size of France. Home to some of the biggest and well-known cities such as Houston and Dallas, many do not actually realise that Austin is the state capital. Austin is now the 11th most populous city in America and the fastest growing out of the 50 biggest cities, nationally, seeing more and more visitors from around the world every year. Ask the majority of Austinites and they’ll tell you that their city is the best in the States. Ask visitors, nine times out of ten they’ll say the same. For those who are yet to experience the crazy yet wonderful city of Austin, here are a few things to know:
Food is a religion
If you think you know food, think again. Austin is the home of barbeque, breakfast taco, Tex-Mex and well, everything else really! If it’s real Texas barbeque you’re after during your visit, there are two places you absolutely MUST visit: Salt Lick (as seen on Man vs Food) and Franklins. The only downside to them being so good is that you might be waiting for over an hour before you’re seated – but it’ll definitely be worth the wait! Breakfast tacos are also worshiped in Austin. I know what you’re thinking – ‘a taco for breakfast?’ Yes. They are delicious and can be bought almost anywhere in the city (Torchy’s and Juan in a Million are highly recommended). However, don’t be fooled by the name as they’re acceptable to eat during anytime of the day. Then there’s the Tex-Mex. All that needs to be said for this is that Austinites believe everything is better with some queso and a margarita.
It’s the live musical capital of the world
If you’re into music and live performances, Austin is the place for you. There are shows across the city every night of the week. From the more well-known locations such as Stubb’s and Zilker park – which hosts famous festivals such as SXSW and Austin City Limits, to smaller venues in bars along Sixth Street where you’ll find local bands and artists performing, Austin is teeming with musicians. It’s certainly nowhere near in danger of losing its reputation as the live musical capital of the world!
It is HOT
When travelling, the weather is a very important factor to take into consideration and will often determine the destination. One thing to know before visiting Austin is that it is hot almost all year round – and by hot, we mean intense Texan heat. Summer in Texas is generally from March-November, with temperatures reaching between 35-40 degrees Celsius (90-100 degrees Fahrenheit) and barely any rainfall. Sometimes, the heat – along with the humidity – can become too much to bear. Luckily, there are several natural reservoirs in Austin, such as Barton Springs and Hamilton Pool where you spend the day cooling down.
It’s a fit city
Although America is a nation that enjoys its food, and almost everything is supersized (or at least that’s what we are lead to believe), Austin is in fact ranked the 10th fittest city in the country. If you reside in Austin you’ll know how bad traffic can get and that almost everyone needs a car to get around. Yet, with places such as Town Lake in the heart of the city, it is the perfect place for a morning or evening run, walk or even bike ride. Austin is also great for hiking. Places such as the Greenbelt, 360 bridge and Mount Bonnell are beautiful areas to explore, and if you go during sunset the views from the top are stunning. It’s no wonder Austin is up there with the most active cities in the States, and with so much to get out and see it will leave you with no choice but to enjoy its outdoor beauty!
By now, we hope you’ll be considering a visit to Austin. If you are looking for a laid-back, friendly, food-loving city by day and place full of live music, energetic bars and entertainment by night, what’s stopping you? Austin is full of surprises and even has its own “Keep Austin Weird” slogan to prove it. The city has the perfect balance of everything, so why not pack your bags and start your visit in style by hopping on a Chapman Freeborn plane to see this amazing city for yourself?