Austin’s city motto is ‘Keep Austin Weird’ and the innate curiosity of Black Tomato led us to test the validity of this claim. What did we find? Well, it’s safe to say that ‘weird’ does not encourage an ‘avoid if you can’ mentality. Austin is welcoming, vibrant, artistic and fresh; with an amalgam of cuisines, watering holes, boutiques and music venues ready and waiting to cater for any possible combination of tastes. Just see if you can keep up.
At a glance
The capital city of Texas has a lot to be proud of and holds the title of Live Music Capital of the World with its head held high. Boasting over 250 music venues and countless music, film and culture festivals – including SXSW music and culture festival – Austin will get your creative juices flowing. Boutique clothing and jewellery stores will more than satisfy the fashionistas among us, and hike trails, paddle boarding and kayaking cater for those with excess energy. Take advantage of the panoramic views that Mount Bonnell offers, particularly spectacular at sunset. Fuel your evening with a local tipple from Austin Beerworks – even if you don’t share their unadulterated love for Neil Diamond (their words, not ours), you’ll be sure to match their love for their beer.
What to see
It’s pretty clear to see that you’ll be kept entertained in Austin, but let us tempt you with some other ideas. 6th Street is your one stop spot for quite literally any food, drink and music lover, but it’s also home to some of Austin’s best art galleries. From the impressive fine art exhibits at Russell Collection to Austin Art Garage – which showcases local artists work – you’re sure to be aesthetically pleased. Go outside the box and visit the Cathedral of Junk, made by ‘yardist’ Vince Hammeman who has laboured over this bizarre spectacle for just over 25 years, simply because he wanted to. This unpretentious, honest attitude is identifiable across Austin, making it an increasingly appealing stop off in any trip to Texas.
Why we love it
How much time do you have? Aside from its creative inhabitants and countless ways to keep any restless individual busy, Austin has made trailer eateries the ‘done thing’. Perched on street corners, inventive chefs abandon their sacred kitchens and dish out tacos, cake shakes (cake and milkshake. In a cup. Yes, it exists), Vietnamese sandwiches and full English breakfasts, to name just a few. Austin is a slick city but is also quirky and fun thanks to the locals, and fills our bellies with good beer and darn good food. We’re sold.