Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Austin, Texas

As much time as we've spent in Texas this was our first visit to Austin. We'll definitely be back again if we have our way.

I'd heard a lot of good things about Austin over the years. As I'm sure most of you know it has the reputation of being a great music city (Austin City Limits anyone?). There are live music venues all over town and there was even a band playing at one of the barbecue places we visited. Then there's the awesomeness that is SXSW, an event that has been on my bucket list forever.

Austin feels like a young city, lots of enthusiasm and energy. There's a vibrant dining and bar scene, lots of art and the feeling that everyone is happy to be here.

Besides all of the other wonderfulness Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. People gather every evening to watch the 1.5 MILLION bats fly out from under the Congress Street Bridge. The location is marked with a great sculpture and an observation area. All I can say is thanks bats, because, no mosquitoes!

Sculpture at Congress Street Bridge home to 1.5M bats

There are a lot of public transportation options available and even something called CAR2GO. A really great concept. I wanted to drive one of those little cars in the worst way. Maybe next time.

We stayed at a great, pet friendly Marriott property (Residence Inn Downtown/Convention Center) right downtown and were just a quick half block walk from a nice little dog park. The hotel is also just a short walk to 6th Street, Austin's live entertainment center. Besides the great music you'll also find lots of restaurants in the area.

Zen and the Art of the Squirrel

Some local dog owners told us that they take their dogs almost everywhere and that lots of restaurants have dog friendly patios. Perfect for enjoying a drink and some people watching without leaving your best friend cooped up in a hotel room. At the risk of sounding like one of those people (but, you know, I am one of those people) I'm glad that the city is very dog friendly.

Austin proved to be a fun place to visit and had enough to offer that we're already thinking about a return trip. If you're looking for a great city with a laid back vibe, great music and beer, fun locals and lots of interesting things to do look no further, Austin is just the place.

Happy travels!

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