Reduce FOMO at SXSW: Explore Austin Like a Local

March 5, 2014


If you’re heading to SXSW later this week, chances are you’re already figuring out your plans to enjoy Austin and make the most of your festival experience. Worrying that you’ll miss out on a must-see spot in the city? We’ve got you covered with our list of top 10 suggestions from one of our own Austin locals.


  1. Rainey Street: Spend the day walking around Rainey Street and perusing the different bars and restaurants. A couple of must-visits include Bar 96, where patrons can play a game of corn hole or jenga. Or try Luster Pearl where you can enjoy hula-hoops and table tennis.
  2. Segway Tour: What better way to see the sites in Austin than by taking a guided Segway tour?
  3. Visit the Bats: Stop by the South Congress Street Bridge at sunset and you are sure to see more than a million bats fly out from their roosts under the bridge (March-November).  You can spot the bats from the street or grab a table on the patio at the nearby Hilton hotel and enjoy a drink while you wait for the bats to take flight.
  4. South Congress: Spend the afternoon on South Congress perusing Austin’s most cultural shops, boutiques and restaurants.
  5. Food Trucks: Food trucks are synonymous with Austin. These days you can find just about anything from a cupcake to a taco at some of Austin’s food trucks. Check out TruxMap to find the one you want or head straight to Rainey or 1st street.
  6. La Condesa: Get your fill of tex-mex food while in Texas and try out this Austin original.
  7. Brunch: Who doesn’t enjoy one meal that can suffice for breakfast and lunch, especially following one a SXSW party the night before? Check out one of Austin’s top brunch spots like the Hillside Pharmacy, South Congress Café or Taverna.
  8. Pedi cab on 6th street: Tired of walking after a long day at SXSW? Catch a pedi cab on 6th Street and sit back and enjoy the view as someone else does all the work.
  9. Esther’s Follies: A modern day vaudeville theater on 6th street in Austin, there is always something going on. From magic shows to melodramas, it won’t disappoint.
  10. Texas State Capitol: Calling all history buffs. Check out the Texas State Capitol building in the center of downtown Austin. As they say, everything is bigger in Texas and this is no exception: it is the largest state capitol by square footage in the country.