Austin

The summer sun sets on Austin, TX on a humid August evening.

I’ve made some friends here who are originally from Texas — Austin, to be exact. And boy, do they love Texas! I always heard that Texans loved their home state, but these guys really showed me just how intense that love can be. They’re also big defenders of Austin in particular — I always thought of Texas as being full of cowboys and football and stuff, but apparently Austin is very cosmopolitan and has great music and stuff.

I’ve actually never been to Texas (imagine my friends’ horror!), so I’m thinking about visiting Texas — and Austin in particular — over our next break. I’m going to meet up with my friends and have them show me around, but I wanted to ask the experts what I should see in Austin!

Texas is a huge state: it covers an area larger than France and has a population larger than that of Australia! With all of that room and all of those people, there is plenty of room for diversity. Austin is certainly emblematic of that: while you’ll find plenty of “typical” Texas attractions, like football and barbeque, you’ll also find plenty of cultural and musical attractions. There’s a reason that Austin denizens like to remind folks to Keep Austin Weird! While you’re there, you can do your best to keep it weird, too — by enjoying all the unique stuff that it has to offer.

It’s not all “weird” of course: if you’re a sports fan, consider visiting when the University of Texas’ football team is in town. The game day environment is really something - fans tailgate all over town and the stadium is full of die-hards for just about every game.

But the “weirdness” is certainly a big part of Austin’s appeal. Browse the art galleries, stop in at the unique bars and restaurants, and visit the shops — Austin has a vibrant local economy. And be sure to catch a concert or two. If you’re in town when Austin City Limits is going on, don’t miss it! The big festival is full of awesome musical acts and the environment really captures the “weirdness” that makes Austin so unique within Texas (and the country in general.)

There’s plenty of good stuff to eat in Austin, too. Check out the tacos and Tex-Mex, and be sure not to miss the incredible barbeque. There are more than a few different iconic Austin barbeque spots to choose from and locals all have their favorite that they’ll go to great lengths to defend. Ask your friends which one you should try, or try a few and make your own decision!

Austin is a big city, but it’s also home to natural wonders — and, in some cases, natural wonders that have adapted to urban life. If you’re in town at a time when Austin’s massive bat colony is active, be sure to stop by Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge at sundown. As the sun sets, the bats become active and fly off into the night to hunt for food. Thanks to their sheer numbers, the bats make for an impressive and unique sight as they take flight.

Pros who run AT&T stores in Texas, suggest that you make sure your mobile device is in top form.  You wouldn’t want to miss out on all of the selfie opportunities because of battery or coverage issues.  Also, check for the latest travel apps that can take some of the stress off of your trip.

It’s hard to go wrong with a trip to Austin — there’s just so much to see. Since you have friends who are Austin locals (and, better yet, big promoters of their home city!), be sure to take advantage of their hospitality and expertise. It’s a good idea to go into your trip with some attractions in mind, but don’t be afraid to allow your friends to guide you to local hotspots and hidden gems — touring with a native is often the best way to explore a new place! We think you’ll find plenty to love about Austin and Texas. Just remember to keep it weird!

““People don’t live in Austin to work; they work to live there.”  — Robert Rodriguez

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