Austin’s locals don’t need guidebooks. They live here and stay entertained day in and day out. Do what the locals do. You’re guaranteed to have a more interesting visit.

Spider House Ballroom

You can get tickets to everything from comedy to Shit-Faced Shakespeare, poetry slams to dance parties, live music to trivia. There’s a full bar. Spider House Cafe and no fewer than four food trucks surround the property.

Torchy’s Tacos

 Torchy’s TacosAustin, United StatesEnjoy a damn good taco. Or four. At Torchy’s Tacos, of course, Austin’s favorite taco joint. Show your political affiliation with the Democrat, Republican or Independent, or stick with the Fried Avocado or Dirty Sanchez. And because Texans love their tacos at any time of the day, order a few for breakfast, too. And make sure to taste test the hot sauces and salsa. All of them. #cheap-eats #tacos #texmex #open-late

An Austin institution, Torchy’s is the local favorite for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snacks. Fried avocado? Check. Cilantro crema? Check. A hot sauce bar? Check. Try them all until you find your favorite. They’re damn good tacos.

Movies in the Park

There’s nothing better than outdoor movies on a pleasant evening. Community First Village, in Partnership with Alamo Drafthouse, projects a free flick on their big screen every Friday and the Austin Parks Department has screenings scheduled at various parks on Thursdays every other week throughout the warmer months. And you can bet there will nearly always be at least one food truck or concession stand present.

Whole Foods

 Whole Foods MarketAustin, United StatesSee free Shakespeare on the top of the flagship Whole Foods Market.

There’s nothing better than outdoor theatre in Austin. Except free outdoor theatre. And free outdoor theatre that involves fresh pizza and kombucha from Whole Foods. Plus, Present Company does Shakespeare right! #free #shakespeare #theatre

Austin’s flagship store is more than a grocery. It’s a hub for outdoor events. Present Company puts on a few free Shakespeare productions every year on the garden rooftop – and you can sign up for a (free) yoga or fitness class there. Whole Foods puts on occasionally movie screenings; there’s live music throughout the week, and every few days the indoor bar hosts pint nights.

Texas Rollergirls

Whether you’re an avid fan of the rough and tumble sport or never been to a match in your life, you’re in for a good time no matter which team is battling out on the rink. Home games take place at the Austin Sports Center and tickets cost between $13-$20.

Barton Springs Pool

 Barton Springs PoolAustin, United StatesTake a (cool) dip.
At a bracing 70 degrees year-round, Barton Springs Pool is a refreshing spot to while away the blazing summer afternoons in Austin. Plus you get a great view of the city from the water. You’ll be swimming in a natural spring with a natural bottom, so watch your step; those rocks can just disappear right under your feet. #swimminghole #zilkerpark

On a hot day, there’s no better place to take a dip than this natural spring and swimming hole in the heart of the city. It’s a bracing 68 degrees year round and you can take in the view of the Austin skyline from the pool. Plus it’s only $5. Can’t beat that.

So much theatre

Grab tickets for ballet or opera at the Long Center, see some comedy at Coldtowne Theatre or Esther’s Follies; challenge your worldview with a contemporary play at The Hideout Theatre or Salvage Vanguard Theatre, or enjoy a bit of the bard at Zilker Hillside Theatre.

So many festivals

Austin is a year-round festival city. And while I’m sure that some big ol’ guidebook touts the heavy hitters like SXSW and ACL, do they mention ABC Kite Festival? Eeyore’s birthday? The Texas Book Festival? The Trail of Lights? Locals are much fonder of these lesser known festivals. My guess is you’ll be, too – unless you’re into standing in line for three hours, paying exorbitant fees for accommodation and fighting crowds that number in the millions. In that case, feel free to buy your $800 wristband and have at it.

And vegan food

Austin is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the U.S. You can’t walk ten blocks without bumping into a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, or at the very least, one that has respectable vegan options. Arlo’s is a perennial favorite for burgers and tots, The Vegan Nom can’t be beat for tacos, and Capital City Bakery serves up cupcakes that will rock your world. There are scads of food trucks but also proper dinner spots like Mother’s Cafe and The Beer Plant.

Austin street art

 Street ArtAustin, United StatesThe city is just brimming with color, so grab a map and hit the streets. Don’t forget your camera!
http://www.terradrift.com/2015/01/tour-of-austin-street-art.html #art #free

The city is just brimming with color, so grab a map and hit the streets. Don’t forget your camera!

Alamo Drafthouse

 Alamo Drafthouse South LamarAustin, United StatesCatch a flick at the Alamo Drafthouse.

But don’t just see a movie; buy tickets to a Master Pancake and laugh as comedians poke fun at popular movies, Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. And don’t forget dinner and drinks, too, and have them delivered right to your seat. Try the buffalo cauliflower; it’s delicious. #movies #dinnerandamovie

At Alamo you can catch the latest blockbuster to hit the big screen, but you can also buy a ticket to themed movie dinner parties, sing- alongs, girlie nights, and everyone’s fave: Master Pancake, which offers a classic flick and a panel of live comedians who take turns mocking the film Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. You get dinner, drinks and a show all for one ticket.

Not Franklins

Everybody goes to Franklin’s for BBQ. It’s famous and all that, we know. But do you really want to wake up to stand in line at dawn for a place that doesn’t open until 11:00? And then risk them running out of brisket three people in front of you? There’s lots of other fantastic BBQ in town (for which you won’t have to wait seven hours). Hit up Black’s BBQ, La Barbeque, or Micklethwait Craft Meats instead.

McKinney Falls State Park

 McKinney Falls State ParkAustin, United StatesOn a hot Texas day, nothing beats taking a tube and a cooler to McKinney Falls and spending the afternoon outdoors. Even if it’s too cool to swim, say in November, the park still offers some great easy walks on a beautiful day. #hiking #outdoors #swimminghole

On a hot Texas day, nothing beats taking a tube and a cooler to McKinney Falls and spending the afternoon outdoors. Even if it’s too cool to swim, say in November, the park still offers some great easy walks on a beautiful day.

Chicken Shit Bingo

No, that’s not a typo. It’s bingo, but with chicken shit. As in, no tumbling balls in a metal cage, no 80-year-old caller, just $2 cards, a recently fed chicken, and a room full of hopefuls waiting for that chicken to shit – preferably on their number so they can win some cash. There are $2 beers, free hot dogs and live music – and chickens – every Sunday.

Mayfield Park

 Mayfield Park and Nature PreserveAustin, United StatesGo get screamed at by peacocks. Didn’t know peacocks screamed? Then you haven’t been to Mayfield Park. There’s an historic home, hiking trails, and lots and lots of peacocks just wandering around the property. Take a stroll around the gardens, spot the peacocks in the trees, and don’t forget the camera to capture the guys showing off their feathers (and I don’t mean hipsters with hair accessories). #animals #hiking

Go get screamed at by peacocks. Didn’t know peacocks screamed? Then you haven’t been to Mayfield Park. There’s a historic home, hiking trails, and lots and lots of peacocks just wandering around the property. Take a stroll around the gardens, spot the peacocks in the trees, and don’t forget the camera to capture the guys showing off their feathers (and I don’t mean hipsters with hair accessories).

PubCrawler of Austin

Want to see Austin without fighting traffic? Or walking? The PubCrawler bike/bar offers routes around a handful of Austin neighborhoods. Take a seat with up to 14 other folks (maybe your friends, maybe people who are soon to be your friends) and start pedaling. Pubcrawler goes about 5 mph and you can BYOB or opt to stop at a few of the city’s favorite watering holes along the way.

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