Top 6 Places the Locals Love in Austin, Texas

bridge in zilker parkMoving to Austin?  The search isn’t just about finding the best Austin apartments.  Once you’ve settled on your new digs, you’ll want to know where to explore.  Fear not, future Austinite— is here to help with a list of top hangouts in Austin.  These places aren’t just for the tourists.  Long-time residents regularly pay these haunts a visit too.

1. Zilker Park

Zilker Park is a treat for grownups, kids, and canine companions alike.  This 351-acre park is home to, among other events, Austin City Limits Music Festival in the fall and the Zilker Kite Festival in the spring.  The park’s two multi-use fields are great for family outings, a romp with Rover, or a game of sand volleyball.

2. HOPE Farmers Market

Austin is all about locally-sourced foodstuffs, and there’s no better way to take advantage of that than heading to a farmers market on the weekends.  HOPE Farmers Market convenes on Sundays, featuring live music, local foods, and artists’ wares.  It’s the longest operating market in East Austin, so if you’re in need of some locally-grown tomatoes or artisanal cheeses, head down to Plaza Saltillo on a Sunday.

3. Barton Springs Pool

Chilled (on average) to a perfect 70 degrees, Barton Springs Pool is a natural pool surrounded by grassy knolls and tree-lined banks.  The pool is open early in the morning and late into the night, so whether you are there to do some laps or simply sunbathe, you’re good to go.  Plus, admission and parking are cheap, cheap, cheap.

4. Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas

There’s always something interesting playing at Alamo Drafthouse.  Their Signature Series Events include quote-alongs, sing-alongs, professional hecklers, screenings of the classics, and truly terrible horror films.  You’ll also find the obligatory new releases, of course.  The best part is that all of these flicks are accompanied by an extensive menu with breakfast, lunch, dinner, drink, and dessert options galore.  With five locations spread throughout Austin, there’s a good chance there will be an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema near you.

5. Austin Food Trucks

Austin has many a weird food to offer, and much of it can be found in the variety of food trucks that roam its streets.  Cupcakes, kebabs, fusion, cheesesteaks, hand pies, snow cones, bratwursts, doughnuts, barbeque, pizza… you name it, there’s a food truck that serves it.  Find them downtown, on South Congress, in West Campus, and scattered randomly throughout the city.

6. Rainey Street

An excellent alternative to the wild debauchery of the infamous 6th Street, Rainey Street plays host to a number of small refurbished-homes-turned-bars-and-music-venues.  You’ll find the aforementioned food trucks, lots of unusual hangouts, and a colorful nightlife crowd.


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