Austin, Texas has a well-deserved reputation for being hyper-cool, and a little bit weird. This is a city that’s home to one of the biggest festivals in the US (SXSW), a hub of creativity, unique art, vintage fashion, tech start-ups and outstanding food trucks. But, to me at least, it didn’t feel in the least bit forced or pretentious, and despite the obvious ‘alternative’ tourist traps it was refreshingly welcoming and fun.
Almost every shop we went in had a ‘Keep Austin Weird’ t-shirt or magnet, but coming from a similarly ‘alternative’ city that has become very touristy (Brighton, UK), I think that’s a valid sentiment, and I hope the city doesn’t lose its identity with the increasingly-large influx of new residents and tourists.
Walking around Austin, we found endless source of inspiration, full neighbourhoods offering their own piece of creativity and our favourite areas to wander were S 1st street and SoCo (South Congress), all teeming with a great combo of vintage shops, delicious food trucks and fantastic murals. I loved browsing through the vintage shops, which have such a wonderfully varied selection of proper vintage: 40s and 50s, which is what I love. I wish I had an extra suitcase so that I could spend our monthly budget in these little gems. Also lookout for a vintage shop guide in Austin leaflet – they’re usually available in all around town
If you’re into unique, quirky urban hubs without sacrificing on nature, this is the city for you, as we think it would be for us.
To show you how great Austin is, I’ve put together some of my favourite photos from just wandering about – I hope you like them.
We stepped inside as it was very busy at just midday, and were pleasantly surprised at how good our lunch was. Apparently they’ve been winning awards for years on end – lucky us to step inside!
If you’re around you must stop into Amelia’s Vintage Shop – a trove of treasures like no other, and the owner is just fabulous as you may expect.
Is there a city you love that you’d like to keep ‘weird’?