Texas has mountains, hills, plains, forests, deserts, and beaches. Oh yeah, it also has some of the biggest cities in the United States. Yes, there’s Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. But the one that may be the most memorable is the state’s capital: Austin. With a population of over 900,000, it’s the second largest capital city in the U.S.
I recently spent a long weekend there and enjoyed every second of it. I stayed at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin for free, thanks to my IHG Rewards Club MasterCard (I’ll have a review of my stay coming shortly). If you’ve never been to Austin, I highly recommend it. There’s pretty much something for everyone.
Are you a foodie?
Go there. It just finished 12th in the nation when it comes to best cities for foodies. And with the likes of places like Trudy’s, Juan in a Million, Le Cafe Crepe, Scholz Garten, Franklin’s Barbecue, and the Salt Lick (just south of Austin), you should have a food baby when you leave.
Like a good party?
6th Street (or Dirty 6th, if you prefer) is for you . For those that haven’t been, the city shuts down the street to cars every night and lets the partiers take control. You can easily hop from bar to bar. Sixth kinda reminded me of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I’d be willing to bet if you like one, you’d like the other.
More of a nature person?
You’ll love Austin. The city is located along the Colorado River. The parks in the area offer kayak rentals, and canoe rentals. You can also take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, a spring-fed swimming hole. It’ll certainly cool you off on a hot summer day. The water stays a cool 68-70 degrees. Uncomfortable at first, but you get used to it.
Not too far from the city limits is Hamilton Pool, which was formed when the dome of an underground river collapsed.
Into the music scene?
You guessed it. Austin is the place for you! They have two of the biggest music festivals in the country every year. Austin City Limits (or ACL) is usually held during the fall, and you can buy your South by Southwest (SXSW) tickets come late winter.
Are you a hipster?
Just trust me on this: go to Austin. You’ll fit in very nicely.
The list goes on. Austin is the home to the University of Texas. So, if you enjoy college football, consider visiting during the season. And as I mentioned earlier, it’s also the capital of Texas. Take a free self-guided tour of the Capitol Building. It’s worth every penny! Into presidential libraries? Austin is home to the LBJ Presidential Library.
If you can name it, Austin probably has it. I look forward to going back. Have you ever been to Austin? What did you think of it?
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