This week HuffPost Travel takes a trip to Austin, Texas, home of South by Southwest, the massive music, film and interactives conference. If you're visiting for SxSW, we asked a few notable locals for the cant-miss sites you need to see before you hit the conference hall.
Here are the top 5 things to do in Austin, Texas...
Your best and easiest bet for a neighborhood to take a stroll through and relax, away from SXSW’s core in downtown, is South Congress. Local foodie Marshall Hill recommends Magnolia or South Congress Café as good eats, and you can still catch music showcases at Continental Club, Hotel San Jose or Home Slice. Also, the
shopping is strong with menswear favorites like Stag and Service, and women’s hotspots like By George and vintage boutique Feathers.
- Joah Spearman, creator of the brand new recommendations-by-locals site Localeur.com
Go to Barton Springs. It's a pool fed from underground springs and it's great for hipster watching, tanning, swimming, smoking pot, and hanging out. Bring a snow cone from Sno-Beach and a burger from infamous Texas chain Whataburger.
- Zoe Triska - Editor, HuffPost Books
Visit Mayfield Park in the late afternoon and on to Mt. Bonnel for sunset. Take a bottle of wine and watch the sun melt into the Hill Country like a true Austinite. Then, dinner at one of our thousand amazing local restaurants. There's ten for every taste!
- Community Member MariKristen
There's a vaudevillian burlesque revival occurring deep in the heart of Austin. In the spotlight are the sassy and sexy ladies of the Jigglewatts Burlesque. You can enjoy this bit of classy entertainment every Friday evening at the Gibson Lounge at Maggie Mae's on 6th Street.
- Erika Kuschel of OverYonderlust.com and the infamous llama photobomb
Explore the Rainey Street District, where chic bars have taken over small bungalow houses and turned this once-seedy hood into a hot spot. Best bets: bars Lustre Pearl, Clive, Black Heart, and the G’raj Mahal trailer for spicy Indian food. During SX, there’s best-of-the-best food trailer park here called South Bites. After that, take a walk and wander through the labyrinthine antique store Uncommon Objects. Next door is Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds, a costume shop where you can transform into Elvis or Wonder Woman. Eat your way through the Whole Foods mothership at Sixth and Lamar. If you’re a vegan, head to the Living Foods bar, but if you’re curious about Texas barbecue (Bar-curious), head for the house-smoked brisket in the back of the store. If you ask real nice, they’ll even give you a “how to cut meat” demonstration. Welcome to Austin.
- Virginia Woodruff, blogger at Great Moments in Parenting and HuffPost Travel's Love Letter to Austin
What would you recommend in Austin? Leave a travel tip below.