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A local’s travel guide to Austin: what to eat, see and do in three days | Austin

A local’s travel guide to Austin: what to eat, see and do in three days | Austin

Austin has become one of the most popular places in the US to move to, and also to visit. Droves of people descend on the city in March for the South by Southwest tech, film and music festival and in the fall for the Austin City Limits music festival. And Austin is one of the top five destinations in the US for bachelorette parties. Don’t let the bachelorettes scare you away, though. Austin is a great place to spend a few days, so long as you do it like a local.

My family and I moved to Austin 12 years ago, after living in New York for many years. I’ve also lived in Washington DC, the San Francisco Bay Area and Philadelphia. Austin has a feel all of its own: it has a world-class music scene, great food that now goes well beyond Tex-Mex and barbecue, Texas history and fun shopping and museums – all with less hassle than bigger cities in the US.

Here’s my guide to a long weekend there. In addition to picks for adults, I’ve included some recommendations for families that our kids (now teenagers) have loved through the years. And I’m vegetarian, so I’ve chosen some of the city’s best veggie eats options. Don’t worry, my meat-eating wife made sure that I included great barbecue choices, too.

Day 1: Pool party & pickles

Start your day with a walk or run on the trail at Town Lake (it’s officially labeled on maps as Lady Bird Lake, but locals refer to it as Town Lake). This 10-mile (16km) trail on both sides of a dammed portion of Texas’s Colorado River (a different Colorado River than the bigger and more famous one) is tree-shaded, beautiful and one of Austinites’ favorite places to exercise. If you have time, walk through Zilker Park, which is right next to the trail. If you have kids, go to the new and very fun playground at Butler Park, complete with a splash pad just up the path from the playground.

Austin was one of the cities that started the food truck scene in the US several decades ago, and now there are more than 2,000 food trucks in the city. Some are located in trailer parks that have multiple truck options and picnic table seating. After your morning at Town Lake and Zilker Park, have lunch at the Picnic food truck park, or the nearby original location of local favorite Chuy’s (the Tex-Mex chain is now expanding throughout the US). Other great lunch options include Green Mesquite and Carpenters Hall.

In the afternoon, go for a swim at Barton Springs Pool. Open year-round, this massive basin measures three acres and is fed by…

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