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Austin is filled with wondrous things, so to show visiting friends the best of it in just a few days can seem overwhelming. But I’d like to think I pull it off well. Here are five things I always show friends who are visiting…

5.) Go to Zilker Park

Photo: Flickr user Sam Butler, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Sam Butler, creative commons licensed. 

If my friend is an outdoorsy person, we’ll go to somewhere like the Barton Creek Green Belt. But if they aren’t, I’ll at least show them Zilker Park. It’s beautiful, hosts the Barton Creek Pool, and lets my visiting friend see that Austin is not purely urban.

4.) One word: Barbecue

Mmm, BBQ (photo from the Franklin Barbecue website)

Photo: Courtesy, Franklin Barbecue.

Austin has the best BBQ in the country, which my friends have to experience. Some of them, I’ll take to Franklin if they’re okay waiting in line. Others, I’ll take to The Salt Lick just outside of town, or La Barbecue on the east side. Or, if we’re all feeling adventurous and up for a little road trip, I’ll take them to Lockhart, just under an hour away, to knock out several BBQ joints in one afternoon, such as Black’s and Smitty’s. Can’t go wrong with any of these choices.

3.) Go to Sixth Street

Photo: Flickr user Davidlohr Bueso, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Davidlohr Bueso, creative commons licensed.

Yes, I know, cliché, but visiting friends have to see Sixth Street at least once. It’s famous, hosts arguably the best Alamo Drafthouse in town and, with the street closing and people wandering after 10-11 p.m. on most weekend nights, it’s unlike most streets in America. Plus, if the friend is cool, they’ll want to see the bohemian east side of Sixth Street and uppity west side of Sixth Street too. You can spend all night roaming Sixth Street and not see it all. That’s pretty great.

2.) Catch Bob Schneider at Saxon Pub


Saxon Pub, off South Lamar, hosts rock musician Bob Schneider most Mondays. He’s pretty popular, so many Austinites have seen him, but at Saxon Pub you’ll catch Schneider at his best. He plays with his band Loneyland, and they make magic. From his solo songs to fun jam sessions to jokes on stage, it’s unlike any show he does at other venues. Plus, Saxon Pub is small, guaranteeing a more intimate show. I can’t resist taking visiting friends here.

1.) Bar hop on Rainey Street

(Photo by AnataresIV on Flickr)

(Photo by AnataresIV on Flickr)

Bars and restaurants in old houses, food trucks everywhere, young adults stumbling down the street intoxicated… How could I not take friends to Rainey Street? I mean, have you not seen Craft Pride’s extensive beer selection? It’s a no brainer, guys.

Where do you take your friends when they visit our lovely city? Let us know on’s Facebook or Twitter pages.


Featured photo: Flickr user Andrew Nourse, creative commons licensed. 



Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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