Austin, Texas is having a moment. You need only sit in traffic on I-35 to know this is not Willie Nelson’s Austin anymore. With a population of nearly two million (from tech twentysomethings to corporate hotshots) and another 30 million visitors making their way here each year, Austin is today, a bonafide city – well known for its food, culture, music, swanky hotels, and different-from-the-rest of Texas vibe.
The Best Place To Stay in Austin
The Line Austin. Once a vibrant jazz club that broadcast live on the radio in the 60s, this hip hotel, redesigned by local architect Michael Hsu and LA-based designer Sean Knibb, exudes the chic and contemporary vibe new Austin is famous for. Suites (from the seventh floor up) have floor-to-ceiling windows showing off views of downtown, walls lined with original works by Texan artists, and custom lighting reminiscent of fireflies. We also love the outdoor saltwater pool, which for winter is surrounded by cozy Yurts set up for a unique dining experience.
The Coolest Places to Eat and Drink
A legend since 2009 when Aaron and Stacy Franklin opened their original barbecue trailer. Today, locals and visitors stand in line for hours for a taste of Aaron’s oak-smoked brisket (tender enough to cut with a spoon). The brisket has been celebrated by everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to the late Anthony Bourdain. Good news for us: his barbecue can now be shipped anywhere in the United States.
Veracruz All Natural
Sisters Reyna and Maritza Vazquez brought the flavors of their hometown (Veracruz, Mexico) to Austin where they now serve up their famous tacos, queso (the official cheese of Texas), and fresh juices from both food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants. Grab it to go and enjoy it on the patio or poolside at The Line Austin.
A ‘dress up’ kind of place (yes, cowboy boots are fine), this grill house combines city glam with southern hospitality. Chef Jakub Czyszczon uses only fresh, locally sourced ingredients and meats (steaks, fish, poultry). Be sure to try the tater tots (with gruyere cheese and black truffle).
Whisler’s East 6th
Come for the expertly crafted cocktails and we love the dedicated Mezcal bar upstairs (Mezcaleria Tobala).
What To See and Do
Live Music at The Capital Club
Slightly gritty, this well-worn black and red-door club is internationally acclaimed for launching the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan and other (blues, jazz, country) artists. Locals and travelers come for the nightly live music and Texas-brewed beer.
Quiet-by-day, buzzy-at-night, the neighborhood is known for its craftsman-era bungalow homes that have been renovated into a string of bars and restaurants.
Look for the big red boot on the sign. No trip to Austin is complete without some wiley cowboy boots and here you can literally choose from thousands. Cowboy hats, belts, leather jackets, and jeans complete the look.
A sprawling, funky old-Austin vibe. Expect to uncover everything at this eclectic flea market – from jewelry to vintage clothing and furniture to just plain weird.
Barton Springs Municipal Pool
Fed by a natural spring, this massive pool is located in Zilker Park, and maintains a temperature of 68 degrees year-round. Cooling in summer and comfortable in winter.