If you’re as pumped as we are for SXSW you've probably already booked a room, packed that carry on, and started planning out those busy days. Whether you’re coming for music, gaming, tech, movies or all of the above, we got you covered on how to prepare, what to expect, and how to make the most of your time here. We’re going to breakdown Austin’s crazy weather, outdoor parks and give some advice on how to choose the best taco’s and BBQ Austin has to offer.
Parks & Greenery
One of the most surprising things about Austin to newcomers is the greenery. As any fellow Southern California transplants can attest, the amount of trees is simply amazing! Also, being that it sits at the foothills of west Texas, it has loads of rivers, natural springs, and pools. This all means that Austin has countless (and we do mean countless!!) parks and trails centered around getting you to see the beauty that exists here. In between all of those showcases, concerts, speakers, and dank eats, you should be walking around and checking out the local parks, trails, and watering holes that your area has to offer.
If you are based in Downtown Austin, you have easy walking access to the many dozens of miles of trails that run along the Colorado river that offer some very picturesque views of the skyline. Hidden amongst these trails, and up and down both sides of the river, are a number of docks that offer kayak and paddle board rentals, along with sunset boat tours (and bat seeing tours, once our furry friends have arrived).
Zilker Park, where Austin City Limits music festival takes places every year, sits a mile or two from Downtown, and can be reached by going west along the trails on the south side of the Colorado River. On any given day you’ll find Zilker full of people playing all sorts of pickup sports and, being that its a dog friendly park, there will be MANY many fluffy puppers to meet.
A frisbees throw away from Zilker Park is one of the most famous local natural water sources, Barton Springs, which also serves as the head of the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Barton Springs Pool remains a cool 68 degrees all year round and so if it happens to be hot when you're in town this is the spot to check out! If you're willing to drive south and explore along the Greenbelt, you can find a number of secluded watering holes that the locals use to get away from the crowds.
Austin’s weather is… well.. Bi-polar. Like actually, literally, seriously, bi-polar. I can count on all my fingers and toes the numbers of times that it was 40-50 degrees and/or raining in the morning, only to step out of the office for lunch in my sweatshirt and jeans and it’s a steamy 80-95 degrees (thanks Houston!!!). Another one of my favorites is the rain forecast.... Fast forward a couple hours later: "No rain!! And a beautifully perfect day!'
What we're trying to tell you is to come prepared. Austin weather changes at the drop of a hat and weather predictions, while helpful, can not be trusted. Bring a light rain jacket, a sweat-shirt, jeans, shorts, swimming suit, and dust off that frat-tank, because you’ll never know when it’s randomly 100 degrees burning hot outside. Good luck!!!
Now this is a no brainer that you can’t really screw up. Austin’s food game is Expert, 10/10, A+, bomb-diggity, danky-dank, #iatethebones good. In short, Austin has a ridiculous amount of very, very, very good taco & BBQ eats. We're not even going to suggest anywhere specific to go in this guide. This is up to you and I believe in you! One thing we're going to recommend is that you try the more low-key food vendors operating out of trucks, gas stations, etc. We've found time and time again that the food was just as good, if not better, than the mainstream places without the headache of a 1-hour wait. Give the little guys a try and you’ll be happy you did.
Some pictures from Brettley4.0's cell phone. No restaurant names given. Not giving out our secrets yet (stay tuned...).