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Thanks to a roster of high-profile festivals, you might first think “music” when Austin comes to mind. And you wouldn’t be amiss: The city is known, after all, as “The Live Music Capital of the World.” But Austin, the fast-growing state capital of Texas, is much more than its rich music scene. It’s an eclectic college town, a haven for independently owned businesses, a liberal pulse in a conservative state. Populated by a colorful, dynamic mix of longtime locals and newer transplants who strive to “Keep Austin Weird,” the city is perhaps less eccentric than it wishes it were—especially given all the new high-rise condos around—but the point is that it strives to be different, thereby attracting interesting new businesses, ideas, and people. (Plus, it is still home to “chicken sh*t bingo.”) The local food scene reflects this diversity, ranging from Southern classics and BBQ—always an area obsession—to Tex-Mex favorites and superb locavore options. Whole Foods started here, so it’s only natural that nowadays there are food trailers turning out locally sourced, gourmet foods at trailer-appropriate prices. A terrific array of local beers—or wine, for that matter—to pair with your expertly smoked brisket? Check. Spend a few days in Austin and you can’t possibly tire of the dining, drinking, shopping, and music options. Stay longer and you might never leave.
Austin City Guide
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