The secret is out. Everyone who visits Austin these days leaves with something great to say. They can’t stop talking about our legendary live music, burgeoning restaurant scene and unique culture. And a list of other things that you just have to experience for yourself to truly understand what makes Austin so Austin. The rest of the country has already taken notice. And it’s time you did, too.
First-time visitors might be surprised to find themselves being entertained with live music as they walk through the terminal at Austin’s airport after deplaning. But they shouldn’t be. Live music, and music in many other forms, is everywhere in Austin. Musicians play in everything from grocery stores (Central Market, Whole Foods) to city council meetings. They play outdoors at the Blues on the Green series and at festivals: Austin City Limits and South by Southwest you’ve likely heard of, but there’s also Pachanga Latino Musical Festival, Urban Music Festival, Fun, Fun, Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas and many more worth checking out. Mostly, you’ll find Austin musicians at clubs, coffeehouses, bars, taquerias, auditoriums and concert halls – and with more than 250 live music venues, it can be intimidating knowing where to start. Find out more about the quintessential Austin music experiences.
The reputation for food in Austin just keeps getting better. The chefs in this town have branched out from barbecue and Tex-Mex to create some of the most exciting cuisine in the country. When you can enjoy a James Beard recognized restaurant down the street from a gourmet donut trailer, you know you have a food scene that can only be described as eclectic. And delicious.
Austin is also known for its creativity. With good reason. Not only are we home to some world-class museums like the Blanton, with the nation’s largest university-owned collection on exhibit, we’re also home to plenty of artists themselves. You can explore the work of designers, painters, sculptors, writers, photographers, filmmakers, dancers and musicians here, at any time of year, any day of the week, in a variety of venues.
Whether you’re surrounded by art at our East or West Austin Studio Tours or just taking it in as part of a festival or street fair, you’ll surely note that our art scene is comprehensive. There are galleries, like the Contemporary at the Jones Center, which feature new and established artists alike. Museums dedicated to our diversity, such as the Mexic-Arte Museum and the Carver Museum, which collect, preserve and exhibit our cultural treasures. Ballet Austin at the Long Center, which so elegantly showcases our dancers and choreographers. We honor our Texas history, as well, at The Bullock Museum. And celebrate our eccentricity with the Cathedral of Junk, the Austin Art Car Parade and many more unusual displays around town.
Art isn’t just a tourist attraction here. It is part of Austin’s soul and creative spirit. So, tour a gallery. Take in a local film. Marvel at some yard art that you just happened to pass. However you choose to do it, just make sure to experience as much art as you can during your stay.