By Heather Turk
New Orleans and Nashville may be known for their vibrant music scenes, but only Austin, Texas, is recognized as the Live Music Capital of the World.
Home to more than 2,000 recording artists, Austin boasts over 250 venues where people can enjoy live music—including the airport. Passengers flying into Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Monday through Friday, will likely be greeted by its “Music in the Air” program. Live music plays on six different stages at various times throughout the day to welcome passengers! Visitors can enjoy even more live music at such iconic Austin music venues as the Saxon Pub, where on any given night guests might see a celebrity having a beer or sitting onstage jamming with the performers.
Given that Austin was once again named the No. 1 city to live and work as a moviemaker in 2015 by MovieMaker magazine, celebrity sightings aren’t uncommon. In fact, directors Robert Rodriguez, Mike Judge and Richard Linklater all call Austin their home as well as actor Matthew McConaughey. Visitors can always expect to see plenty of stars during the popular South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conferences & Festivals (SXSW), which takes place from March 11-20 this year.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Austin has 251 parks in the area including the 358-acre Zilker Park—home to one of the city’s crown jewels, the Barton Springs Pool, which is fed from underground springs. Measuring three acres in size, the pool is ideal for year-round swimming as it maintains an average temperature of 68 to 70 degrees. While visiting family in the area, Robert Redford learned to swim here when he was five years old!
Austin’s delectable dining scene is a star in its own right. In addition to several award-winning restaurants, like Qui by “Top Chef” Season 9 winner Paul Qui, the city has a diverse range of mobile food vendors. Must-tries include the Korean tacos at Chi’Lantro and the Vietnamese subs at Lulu B’s.
When it’s time to go shopping, Austin’s many entertainment districts will please every type of shopper. The South Congress District is packed with eclectic boutiques while some of Austin’s most iconic home-grown retailers reside in the Market District—including Waterloo Records, which was named one of the best record stores in the world by BuzzFeed.
For more on everything Austin has to offer, visit austintexas.org.