Tell Us Your Best Tips for Austin

Austin is a small slice of the liberal coastline in downtown Texas, a southwestern version of Portland or San Francisco, with a fantastic music scene. The population has doubled since 1990 and is now approaching a million; the tourist population is also growing thanks to Austin’s many festivals and conventions.

Residents and frequent guests, we’d love to hear your advice about the city. Tipping in the city center is welcome, but what good is the rest of the city? What’s just a short drive away? How is the light rail?

What is the most overrated Texan-Mexican place and where is the best place to go? Does Austin have good sushi, or should we stick to simpler cuisines? Which bars are good to beat the crowd? Where is the best coffee?

What’s the “trick” to have a good time in the city? What are the best places to just walk? Is there an area to avoid? A bar that dilutes alcohol? Is this banana still standing? And where are all the “oddities” that you store?

We’d love to hear your advice about city life too. How do you handle the SxSW crowd? What are the promising directions? What is easy to get and what is difficult to do in Austin? Any strange local laws or customs?

I’ll start with a famous tip: From March to November, head to the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset and join the crowd watching the bats hiding under the bridge all day. Pay special attention. Even when a million bats rush into the sky, they are difficult to notice – they are unusually quiet and invisible in late twilight, like rain.

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