AT#471 – Travel to Austin, Texas

Travel to Austin, Texas

Hear about travel to Austin, Texas as the Amateur Traveler talks to Mike Hinshaw of about his hometown.

Mike says of Austin, “it is a fun place. It has wonderful food. It has great music. ‘It is the music capital of the world’ is one of the phrases they say about Austin. There are a lot of historical buildings and venues and museums. From my standpoint the music when I was younger was the biggest attraction, but now it’s food because there is some wonderful food that I don’t think people know about.”

For things to see Mike suggests witnessing the flight of the bats that fly out from the South Congress bridge in the early evenings. “Everybody that comes to Austin I used to take and they were all goggle eyed about it.”

The Spring has the wildflowers in bloom as well as big festivals like South by Southwest. “If you like music, by all means come. There are bands, probably 3000 plus every year for that and it’s growing. Austin has gotten to the point where it is very difficult to get a hotel room unless you book it way out ahead of time. They ask people who live in Austin to invite the bands into their homes because there are literally not enough hotel rooms. South by Southwest is more than just music. There’s a film portion now that has become pretty huge. It’s become almost a month long now.”

Take a walk up Mount Bonnell with a view over the river or get out to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center or Hamilton Pool Preserve if the weather is good for outdoor activities. Or rent a bike and take advantage of the hike and bike trails around the city.

If you visit in the Fall, football in Texas on Friday nights is almost a religion and you should go see a University of Texas football game.

Presidential libraries are wonderful places to see and the LBJ presidential library in Austin is no exception.

Much of the music and many of the restaurants can be found on 6th street. Mike recommends the comedy at Esther’s Follies. There are also some historic hotels near 6th street like the Intercontinental and the Driskill Hotel whose lobby is filled with antique firearms and other collectables. Find out where Mike recommends for a good steak, great Mexican food or good BBQ in the Austin area.

You have to love this city that has adopted the motto “Keep Austin Weird“.

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Show Notes

Nomadic Texan

Austin, Texas

Congress Avenue Bridge Bats

Barton Springs Pool

South By Southwest

Mount Bonnell

Sixth Street

Esther’s Follies


Driskill Hotel

Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Zilker Park

Zilker Botanical Garden

ACL Live

ACL Music Festival

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Paramount Theatre

Hamilton Pool Preserve

University of Texas Football

LBJ Presidential Library

Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail

Bullock Texas State History Museum

SoCo Avenue

Franklin BBQ

The Salt Lick

Lockhart, Texas

Smitty’s Market

Kreuz Market

Black’s BBQ

Rudy’s BBQ

Cooper’s BBQ

Llano, Texas

County Line

First Thursday

Circuit of the Americas

Texas State Cemetery

Enchanted Rock

Pubcrawler of Austin

Texas Roller Derby

Güero’s Taco Bar

Juan in a Million


Fonda San Miguel

Torchy’s Tacos

Taqueria Guadalajara


Olive & June

Fabi and Rosi


The Oasis

Texas State Capitol

Just One Rhino


A shoutout to Bronagh McNamara who says Amateur Traveler got her started in the travel business.


I just wanted to shoot you a quick email to thank you for your AWESOME Amateur Traveler podcast! I only recently got into podcasts during my daily exercise routine, and as I am a very avid traveler (I travel about 200,000 miles a year), found your podcast after doing a search on my iPhone.

Your podcasts are professional, insightful, and encapsulate the essence of the destination being discussed, and I find it truly fascinating to hear your podcasts both about places that I’ve already been to, as well as to whet my appetite for places I long to go in the future.

I literally downloaded every podcast in the iTunes collection (which starts with #30), and I’m currently up to #111- Mongolia (as well as up to date on your current weekly podcasts produced over the last few weeks).


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