To fly in, you can just go to the Austin Bergstrom Airport (AUS). There are plenty of cheap flights on Southwest and other airlines. The Austin airport is also one of my favorite airports in the world because they often have live bands playing there, you can get some good barbecue and listen some good music while you wait for a flight. Austin is also a 3 1/2 drive from Dallas and Houston, and about an hour from San Antonio, so you can always drive there too.
I have lots of friends in Austin, so I don’t have much to say about hotels, etc. I’d just try Priceline or get a Craigslist apartment. It’ll be pretty reasonable, maybe $50 for a 3 star on Priceline unless there’s a big festival going on that week.
You can party your ass off in Austin, 7 days a week, for sure. The first area you should familiarize yourself is with the world famous 6th Street. An awesome party street, it is divided into 3 main sections:
East 6th Street (West of Highway 35) is the most famous party drag in Austin and one of the most famous in America. Otherwise known as “Dirty Sixth”, it’s the street equivalent of the slutty booty call girl you know you can call and will show you a good time whenever you want. If it’s a Tuesday night, and you want to go somewhere to drink $2 Jaegerbombs and get shitfaced with some trashy folks and college kids, go to Dirty 6th. It’s reliable, cheap, and there’s always something going on. These cheap drinks attract a lot of cute blond Texas college girls. Just walk down and see what’s going on. Dirty 6th is a madhouse on the weekends when school is in session or during a special event, and is great for cute-girl-in-cowboy-boots-and-slutty-outfit-watching. There’s a lot of bar bands playing here every night, although in some places the music is deafening.
One imperative restaurant recommendation: Eddie V’s Steakhouse on 5th and San Jacinto. Just one block off 6th is this absolute gem. They have one of the world’s best all day happy hours on Sunday and Monday with unbelievably delicious appetizers, impeccable service, and some of the best jazz on Planet Earth from the Sunday house band. When you meet the girl in Austin you really like, take her here then and you will kill.
West 6th Street is walkable from Dirty 6th and is more grown up. These days this neighborhood is the douchebag capital of Austin. There are some decent places to hang here though. They include Union Park for Sunday afternoon, and The Lucky Lounge and Antone’s (on 5th) for live music.
My favorite location on West 6th is Momo’s. Momo’s is a famous live music venue and has a wide range of talent playing there. There’s usually at least 3 bands a night. Cover can be high so to make it worth it get there early. Go on the weekend; it’s often too slow during the week. Things always happen for us at Momo’s when we set up shop there for the night.
Also in the neighborhood is the best place to pick up girls in Texas, the Whole Foods flagship store. This place is amazing. It’s like a small city. With numerous cafes, indoor and outdoor seating, wine tasting, etc., you could spend the whole day here. There is an unlimited supply of smart hot twenty and thirty-something professional girls who take care of themselves and don’t always have time to go out. Just hang out in the cafes during the day or by the pre-made meals and just act like you’re at some gigantic organic-food cocktail party.
Generally speaking, Whole Foods is a great place to meet chicks everywhere in the world there is a location. You know the girls will be health-conscious and probably less fat, and they will be relatively affluent due to the super high prices for everything there. If a girl is buying those pre-made meals it’s a good sign that she is both single and too busy to be out at bars all the time, so here’s your chance to meet! Get her number and have her over to dinner and by all means, Cook to Bang.
Joke: A girl is in line at the grocery store and a guy comes up to her and looks in her basket and says,
“So I see you’re single.”
She looks in the basket, which has some veggies, ice cream, soap, and cat food. She think to herself, dammit, what a jerk. And I am single. So she says,
“How do you know?”
“Because you’re ugly.”
Anyway, moving further east from Dirty Sixth, as you cross over the highway, there is Super East Sixth. This is one the hipster capitals of Austin. Austin is pretty much overrun with hipsters. Tattoos, haughty attitudes, skinny jeans, and Converse sneakers are everywhere. I remember Fourth of July last year there were two dudes in the pool with ironic facial hair wearing fedoras. In the fucking pool. I hate hipsters.
But there is no avoiding them in Austin, and there are a bunch of good bars in this hipster area. The cool thing about all these bars is you can go out back and sit outside on picnic benches and drink in the nice Austin weather. Austin is also a world capital of trailer food and these bars all have trailers out back with delicious Vietnamese food or vegetarian sandwiches. Add to that the cheap drinks and this neighborhood is usually a solid option.
In this neighborhood, we like Liberty Bar. It’s a popular place and pretty good during the week. On the weekend it’s unbearably hipsterish. One Saturday night Raul and I were hanging out there high on mushrooms and this hipster guy at the bar had the classic “Mom” tattoo on his arm like this:
So I say to him (remember I was on mushrooms),
“So do you really love your mom, or are you just being ironic?”
“Dude, my mom died, dude.”
“Oh , I’m really sorry to hear that. That’s good though that you got the tattoo to show how much you love her.”
So after a while this guy staggered off and the very next person to come stand there at the bar was a not-very-hot hipster girl with ironic footwear and the exact same tattoo on the same arm! Me:
“Hey, the last guy standing there had the same tattoo as you! Isn’t that funny?”
(With extreme disdain) “So?”
And with that she walked over to the other side of the bar to order her drink. So that’s the weekend scene. If you’re not in the hipster uniform and you aren’t too cool for everything, go to Momo’s instead.
Don’t confine yourself to just 6th Street when you go out downtown, there’s a lot going on on 5th and 4th as well. They tend to be more grown up and more expensive for when you get tired of drunk college students and hipsters. There are an enormous number of good bars with something for everyone in Austin. I’m telling you, Austin rocks. My next guide will cover everything else in Austin, but you can have a great time if you all you do is master 6th Street.