SXSW: Austin Travel Guide

SXSW: Austin Travel Guide

Hey SXSWesters! My name is Addie, Social Media Community Manager for American Eagle Outfitters. Before I started working at AE, I spent some time living in Austin, Texas.  I was thrilled (and pained with nostalgia) when asked if I could write a blog about some of my favorite hot spots in a city that I’m quite frankly obsessed with.  I am SO excited to be sharing my favorite places with all of you and hope you will enjoy exploring my top to-do list in the capital of Texas.

If you’re headed towards Austin, you’re bound to discover delicious food, interesting people, great bands any night of the week and a spunky atmosphere that ties it all together.   No matter if you’re a first timer to Austin or you’ve been here many times before, I’ve gathered a to-do list to ensure your trip to Austin will be the best one yet!

Greetings from Austin, Texas. Photo Source: Yelp


Guero’s Tacos: Austin is well known for their Tex-Mex and one place that does it extremely well is Guero’s Tacos, located on South Congress Avenue. Their tacos are dressed to the nines in the freshest ingredients, portions are more than generous and have we mentioned, their queso is out of this world? Plus, some nights they have live music on their outdoor stage. We say it’s a win-win for all.

Guero’s Taco Bar. Photo Source: Flickr

Food Trucks: Another quirk Austin is known for are the food trucks! No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re bound to find a food truck to satisfy your craving. Austin has a wide selection of delicious trucks to choose from.  We recommend Hey Cupcake on South Congress for an after dinner delight, or the Mighty Cone for a mouthwatering quick fix.

Hey Cupcake Food Trailer

Magnolia Café: Do you crave breakfast any time of the day? Then Magnolia’s Café is your hot spot. The joint is open 24 hours a day and serves breakfast and other tasty food all day (and night) long.

Magnolia Cafe. Photo Source: Aria Reality

Salt Lick BBQ: Wait until your taste buds try this cooked to perfection BBQ, they will never want to eat anything but Salt Lick again! Located a few minutes away from the city, you will truly feel like you found Paradise in a BBQ pit.

The Salt Lick BBQ. Photo Source: Texas BBQ Guide


Spiderhouse Café: If you’re in the mood for an awesome atmosphere and an even more awesome coffee roast, check out Spiderhouse Café. They offer coffee, dessert, sandwiches, tacos, AND live music. How can you beat that?

Spider House Cafe. Photo Source: Silver Dust

Mohawks: This bar is located on 10th and River Street in downtown Austin. It’s known for its unique vibe inspired by Native Americans (NOT the hairstyle) and hosts a plethora of great bands like Skrillex, Of Montreal and many more.

Mohawks Bar

Shangri-La: Hanging out in East Austin? Check out this spruced-up dive bar!  They constantly have happenings going on and their outside atmosphere is a great hang for all types of personalities.

Shangri-La. Photo Source: Scrumptious Chef

6th street:You may have heard of the infamous 6th street in Austin. No matter where you venture on this road, you are bound to have a ridiculously fun time! Check out Flamingo Cantina for great music and the Blind Pig for rooftop dancing.

Rocking out on 6th Street

Broken spoke: In the mood to line dance? Check out the Broken Spoke, Austin’s most famous Honkey Tonk for traditional country music and the best dancing the city has to offer. Famous musicians like Willy Nelson and George Strait have rocked this old school venue.

The Broken Spoke. Photo Source: Listen2MySmile


Uncommon Objects: Looking for a quirky and original souvenir? Check out Uncommon Objects where hundreds of vendors set up  booths to sell you their unique vintage finds. You can find everything from vintage clothing, to jewelry, to home décor and so much more.

A glimpse inside Uncommon Objects
Photo Source: Inside NanaBread’s Head

Feathers Boutique: This boutique is located a shy 100 feet from South Congress Avenue and has some of the best vintage finds in the city. Try on their amazing jewelry or great selection of shoes. No matter what you try on though, this store will have you feeling vintage chic in no time flat.

Feathers Vintage Boutique
Photo Source: Everyday Minerals

Cream Vintage: Another awesome place to find one- of-a- kind clothing is Cream Vintage. They house everything from costume jewelry, to any style era you are looking for.

Cream Vintage
Photo Source: Camp 1899


Austin Vintage Guitars: Since you’re going to SXSW, we have a feeling you’re pretty, if not very much into music. Check out Austin Vintage Guitars for some very cool and old school instruments.

Austin Vintage Guitars
Photo Source: Flickr

Waterloo Records: Speaking of music, Waterloo Records & Video is your one stop shop for a great selection of videos, cd’s and vinyl…we promise you won’t be disappointed!

Waterloo Records
Photo Source: New Wave Brain Wave


Lake Travis: If you venture out of the city, check out Lake Travis. Partake in recreational sports like windsurfing, tubing and water-skiing  Then, relax at the Oasis! Located on a hill overlooking Lake Travis, the Oasis offers a TON of entertainment, great food and a thrilling time.

The Oasis on Lake Travis. Photo Source: Randall Metting

Mount Bonnell: Hike one of Austin’s highest points located just a short drive from downtown. Park at the bottom of the hill and climb your way up. Once you reach the top, you’ll be taken away by breathtaking views and won’t want to leave.

Mount Bonnell
Photo Source: Uptake

Zilker Park: Spend the afternoon at Zilker Park, host of Austin City Limits and many other fun activities. Mosey around the Botanical Garden, take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, check out Lady Bird Lake or go for a bike ride on the hike and bike trails.

Barton Springs Pool. Photo Source:

No matter if you have one day or ten days to spend in Austin, you’re guaranteed to have a blast. The city offers unlimited activities that will keep you wanting to come back year after year. For those of you traveling to SXSW, have a blast and have fun, Y’ALL!

Check out AEO music expert Brad’s top SXSW music picks and our stylists’ outfit guide.

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