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Why Austin Is The Strangest City In America

06/11/2015 10:10 am ET | Updated Jun 19, 2015

This great nation has everything from traditional little beach towns to quaint old mountain towns. And THEN there's Austin, Texas, hands-down one of the quirkiest, funkiest, weirdest cities in the United States.

Austin doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's precisely why it's so awesome. Here, tacos count as breakfast, toplessness is normal, and bats are one of the biggest sights locals will advertise without skipping a beat. Oh, and the people themselves are pretty awesome, too. Unfurl your freak flag, 'cuz it's about to get WEIRD. In Austin...

1. People play bingo with chicken sh*t. 

Seriously. Mosey on down to the Little Longhorn Saloon every Sunday, and bet on where the chicken will poop for your chance to win BIG. 

2. A bunch of old houses are the city's hippest bars.

The historic bungalows on Rainey Street have been turned into bars and restaurants, along with their porches and backyards. Hurry, it may not be around much longer

3. ...and one will even pay for your tattoo.

Banger's, a sausage and beer garden, will pay for you to get a tattoo of their logo. Now THAT'S customer appreciation. 

 

4. It's the capital of state, and yet the city doesn't feel very quintessentially Texas.

Austin is the state capital, and there's a beautiful Capitol building to prove it. But don't expect the teacups-and-pearls version of Texas you've seen in movies. Austin is better described as the funky city that locals wanna "keep weird."

5. Good coffee and good beer are served under the same roof.

Brew & Brew, a coffee and beer bar, has definitely got the right idea. 

 

A photo posted by Mumford (@mumford_atx) on

 

6. And dueling pianos are the hottest show on a Thursday night.

You're not a UT alum 'til you've been publicly serenaded onstage at Pete's.

7. Tacos count as breakfast. 

Austin has perfected the breakfast taco, and the rest of the country shall be forever grateful. 

8. Turtle racing is a totally normal hobby.

Head to Little Woodrow​'s to try your luck in the ring.

9. Austin doesn't have sunsets. It has BATsets.

Every summer night around sundown, up to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from under the Congress Bridge. It's a classic sunset view, with a weird and awesome twist. 

10. Cocktails come freakishly cheap. 

The brunchtime mimosas and Bloody Marys at TRACE are $3 a pop. The ultra-strong margaritas at Gloria's are $6. And in many establishments, drinks are just plain cheap. What IS this awesomeness?!

11. Graffiti is legal. 

...well, at least at HOPE Outdoor Gallery. Here, local artists (aka YOU) can tag the walls at one of the biggest outdoor galleries in the U.S. 

12. You could see topless swimmers at the public pool.

Topless visitors like to enjoy Barton Springs, which is filled with water from underground and one of Austin's most popular public swimming locations.

13. Even the hidden bars have weird names. 

Midnight Cowboy Modeling is labeled as an "Oriental Massage" establishment in the middle of the bars on crowded 6th Street. But ring the doorbell marked "Harry Craddock," and you'll be transported to a sneaky speakeasy bar where drinks come in tiki mugs. You've done it again, Austin: This is WEIRD. 

14. Oh, and there's a tower of junk. 

The Cathedral of Junk is a monstrosity made from metal pipes, rusty wheels and clocks. And people visit it all the time.

Yup, you're a strange one, Austin... and that's why we love you. 

 

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