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What Does Austin Offer When SXSW is Done and Dusted?

Where: Austin, Texas
March 12, 2014 at 4:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

In case you've been living in a cave (without WiFi, naturally), the South By Southwest festival is in full swing right now, with networking, screenings and, of course, partying. Austin, Texas is abuzz with people from all over the planet and, even though SXSW has plenty of things to keep visitors occupied for 10 days, not everyone is interested in visiting the city during this time of the year.

Thus, we've come up with a hearty list of things to do if you're headed to Austin when the city isn't packed with conference attendees.

EAT
Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, this city is a mecca for delicious southern food. From Tex-Mex at Guero's on South Congress to fresh BBQ at Salt Lick, or Iron Works closer to the center, there's no going hungry in Central Texas. We'd also recommend to check out some of the best ice cream on the planet at Amy's, which makes Cold Stone look like child's play.

MUSIC
The city is best known for some rocking independent music for dancing, chilling, or singing along. Live music should make it on anyone's list for first-time and repeat visits to the city. Dotted around Sixth Street are plenty of clubs offering unsigned bands and some more mainstream acts returning to their roots. Away from Sixth is the Continental Club, Emo's and Cactus Club for an eclectic mix of tunes. Stubb's BBQ not only serves up music, but some awesome ribs on the side.

BATS
Yep, you read correctly, we said bats. Right before dusk, make time to pop on down to the Congress Avenue Bridge to see the phenomenon of a mass of flying mammals. At peak season, watchers may observe 1.5 million bats flitting among the trees on the riverbank collecting food and taking it back to their roost under the bridge. Late summer is the best time to see the largest amount of bats, but anytime from late spring to early autumn is great for laying on the grass and enjoying the wonder of the animal kingdom.

WATERSPORTS
Austin is surrounded by a handful of lakes ideal for boating, fishing, and water skiing. Lake Austin is a reservoir of the Colorado River that supplies energy, flood mitigation and wet entertainment. Pack a lunch and hire a boat to head out on the water for a relaxing day. Not only will you have a memorable time, but you might even walk away with a little suntan.

POLITICS
Austin serves as the Lone Star State's capital city, so there's no missing the presence of politico. The Italian Renaissance Revival-style building is the largest capitol of any of the 50 U.S. states and offers some Instagrammable photo opportunities. If you're visiting during the week, you might be able to catch a session of Texan congress, but regardless of day of week, you can play in the 'whispering gallery' of the impressive rotunda.

[Photo: eschipul/FLickr]

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