stay weird in austin

austin - 6th street

Okay, so I’m a little late with this post. With the holiday and work/personal travel, coupled with a dose of writer’s block I just couldn’t get it together to write this post. So, this is my disclaimer.

Okay, here we go.

On my work trip to San Antonio a few weeks back, I really wanted to spend the weekend in Austin to check out the “weird” vibe. However, due to the Formula 1 Race taking place during the same time as my trip, the hotels were either booked or more expensive than I was willing to pay, for the short time I would have spent there. I was looking forward to staying at the Austin Motel, yes I said motel. It’s this kitschy place that’s actually nice and not really motel like, but it’s definitely a motel if that makes sense. If not, then check out their site for yourself. As they say when in Rome, or in this case when in Austin. And, as “weird” as it sounds, I also wanted to check out the bat bridge on Congress Avenue. Every evening around sunset the bats emerge from under the bridge to take off up the river in search of food. It’s apparently a site to be seen. Oh well, maybe next time…While I didn’t get a weekend or a lot of time to traipse around, I did get to visit for a few hours with a co-worker, who graciously drove the 1.5 hours to and fro San Antonio so I could check it out.

First, we stopped to grab a bite to eat at the Iron Cactus. It’s a Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar, of course! I had a margarita, I totally forget which one now, and the shrimp fajitas, which were absolutely delicious! This place has more than 80 tequilas and for those who unfortunately have a gluten allergy, they have a gluten “free-ish” menu just for you.

austin - iron cactus

After eating, we walked up and down 6th Street so I could see the sights. I have to say, I saw the most interesting mix of people on the street who would trickle into the bar for a quick dance and then exit as quickly as they entered. After a couple of laps, I settled on taking a seat at Bourbon Girl. They had a band rocking away and a total vintage Americana vibe I liked. I wouldn’t call it a dive bar, but I think I got the Austin vibe nonetheless. When you think of Austin, you typically think about SXSW and the city’s propensity to “stay weird” and not that it’s the capital of Texas. I think it’s kind of cool that the state capital is in the mix of all of the “weird” and not your typical stuffy type of place or Texas town or city. When walking up Congress Ave and getting the view of the Capitol building I felt that I was transported to Pennsylvania Avenue for a second and looking down to see the Capitol building…hmmm, how weird is that ;-)?

If you’re in college or enjoy a variety of live bands, dive bars and $3 Wild Turkey, then Austin is definitely your place. But, don’t fret if you’re looking for little less weird, and a little more “normal”; I saw wine bars, rooftop establishments and we even stumbled across Cedar Street Courtyard, which happened to be hosting the Spazmatics for a Wednesday evening concert. I had never heard of them before, but they’re kinda-like a big deal in Texas and I thought it was rather cool to catch a mini concert in the open air courtyard.

photo credit: passportsandvisa iPhone

photo credit: passportsandvisa iPhone

Overall, Austin gave me a Portland vibe with a Texas flair. Just from the laid back nature to the permanent food trucks located around the city, Austin was a cool town and didn’t give you that “everything in Texas” is big mentality. Would I rush back to visit on my own, probably not unless I scored tickets to SXSW, but if I find myself in the San Antonio area again I would definitely try to take another trip out to visit.

Let’s see, how many times did I say “weird” in this post? It wasn’t for SEO purposes, it’s just kind of flowed out that way. Weird isn’t it?

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