Thinking about moving to the epicenter of Austin, or did you just land? Either way, here are the best things to do right off the bat.
Moving to Downtown Austin
Home to a vibrant artscene, robust food culture, and 250 music venues, the capital city of Texasholds seemingly limitless options for entertainment and fun. Austin is acollege town with an exceptional nightlife, beautiful outdoor attractions, andunparralled history around every corner. Moving to DowntownAustin assures excitement and leisure. Whichever area you choose in Austin,whether it be the growing and trendy East Side, the quieter suburbs on the WestSide, or the hip SoCo neighborhood, Downtown Austin will be sure to tug yourheartstrings.
Austin is a melting pot, offering thebest of laidback Texan culture in an environment that is open and friendly toall. Keep in mind that Austin is a city with subpar public transportationoptions, so it’s ideal to own a car. Like most southern cities, Austin isspread out and sprawling. Before you pack the moving van, consider packing anew car if you’re moving from a city where you didn’t need one before.
Because Austin is home to The Univeristyof Texas, it attracts droves of young people. That said, college studentsaren’t the only ones who can appreciate low living costs and affordable housingoptions. It’s important for anyone to know how far a paycheck can stretch, sotake comfort in the fact that Austin is one of the most affordable of citiesits size. Austinites pride themselves on their unique culture, popularized bythe phrase, “Keep Austin Weird”.
To kick off your boozy escapades in yournew city, visit Austin’s Warehouse District for a hip feel. The WarehouseDistrict features renovated antique warehouses that now boast neighborhood barsand restaurants. Encompassing half of Downtown Austin, the Warehouse Districthosts a diverse range of live music, eateries, and world-class attractions.
After settling in, get familiar with the2nd Street Shopping District. This district of downtown holds more than 50locally-owned specialty stores and restaurants in the heart of the city. VisitTRACE, a restaurant specializing in organic eats with a sophisticated ambianceand generous happy hour. Wherever you go around Downtown Austin,live music can be found in virtually every open venue. Ease your way throughAustin’s music scene with Beerland, the Carousel Lounge,and Cheer-Up Charlie’s to get you started.
Head over to 6th Street for a mix ofhigh-end bars suited for young professionals. Just west find hipster havens andto the east, entertainment spots for every taste. Be sure to make your way over to the historicDriskill Hotel.Here you will find killer cocktails and live music almost every night. Built in1886 and located in the heart of downtown, the gorgeous restored architectureis reminiscent of classic Texan grandeur. Along the 6th Street strip, visit Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar and make astop by Easy Tiger for specialty breads, cookies, made in-house meats, and over30 local beers on tap. In order to become a true Austinite, accept barbecue asa means to live. Austin boasts some of the country’s best barbecue spots as asubstantial point of pride for the city. Lamberts, Freedmen’s, and La Barbecuetop the charts for mouth-watering meats. Each spot offer its own unique, meatysuperstar and a range of outdoor and indoor dining options.
FreeSights and Sounds
Every Austinite transplantshould take the time to view the firework show over Lady Bird Lake or LakeAustin from a tiny boat and head to the gorgeous natural swimming grotto at Hamilton Pool. For more free must-sees, take a freeguided tour of the Texas state legislature located on 10th and Congress or pickup a brochure on the first floor for a self-guided tour. The pink-granitebuilding isthe largest of all state capitol buildings and is second in size only to theUnited States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Hop over to thenewly remodeled Texas Governor’sMansion for free 20 minute guided tours during the week. However, keep in mindthat reservations must be made at least a week in advance to allow forbackground checks. Visit thePeople’s Gallery at Austin City Hall and gander at the displays crafted bylocal artists. The Austin City Hall atrium holds an extensive art exhibitionwith nearly 150 contemporary works on display. The exhibit is open and free tothe public with brochures located on the second floor of the lobby.
For a truly uniqueexperience, the Alamo Drafthouse is an Austin staple. Cold beer, one-of-a-kindeats, and the latest flicks all under one roof. Voted the best movie theater inthe nation and across the globe, the Alamo Drafthouse provides an exceptional experience for movie lovers andbeer lover alike. The drafthousetakes you back a century; simply write down your order using the paper and penprovided on the table in front of you. During the pre-show, your waiter willgreet you and go over your order. During the feature you are free to order foodand brews as often as you like by simply writing down another order and thenclipping your piece of paper to the front of the table as a flag for yourwaiter.
There’sno question that moving to Austin will have you feeling proud to be a Texan. Besure to adventure to each of these places, but know that there is a hidden gemaround every corner. With endless opportunities to endulge in the food, art andhistory scenes, you will never get tired of keeping it weird.