1. Calling all BBQ geeks. Eating as much amazing BBQ as possible should be one of the highlights of any Austin trip. Austin has more BBQ places than you can count and everyone has a personally held belief about which one is the best. TDWI Picks: Salt Lick: the original location is an authentic, cash-only no-frills, smoky treat build around an open pit in the center of the building. Make time to experience the buzz at Franklin BBQ, where you need to line up early to get some of Aaron Franklin's acclaimed brisket before it sells out midday.
Salt Lick is BYOB, so bring your own adult beverages if you so choose, Shiner Bock is a authentic local choice.
You’ll be busy this week, so if you find you are time-constrained, the Salt Lick at the Austin airport is awesome for sneaking in a last minute order of links and ribs before getting on your flight.
2. Music, music, music. If you’ve ever seen Austin City Limits on TV, you know rock and blues is deeply woven into the fabric of the city. Sixth Street (two blocks from the hotel) is the center of the music and bar scene in Austin: walk down the street and you hear the music pouring out of various establishments. (A less-crowded version of Sixth Street can be found on Rainey Street a few blocks further south of the hotel.)
3. On the subject of music, take a stroll to pay homage to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Stevie fused rock and blues guitar to a Texas twang to create a unique sound. He passed away well before his time, but this Austin native is celebrated by a statue along the Colorado River downtown. Take a stroll from the hotel across the Congress St bridge, take a right and stroll to Butler Park see the statue. Makes for a great snapshot with the city skyline in the background.
4. Eat in a trailer park. Austin has a thriving dining scene: much of the innovation in eating comes from the back (or side) of converted buses, trailers and trucks. From Korean-Mexican fusion to cupcakes, you can dine around the world in a few steps. Take an evening out and explore: a good list of the top trucks and trailers can be found here.
5. Get weird. You’ll see the phrase “Keep Austin Weird” emblazoned across t-shirts and bumper stickers throughout your visit. The town is proud of the weird vibe that makes it unique. Do your part by visiting some of the local art galleries, boutiques and indescribable venues you won’t find anywhere else. BYOB Mini-Golf? A Cathedral of Junk? Want to buy a vintage neon sign? Weird and wonderful sights are all around you in the capital of Texas.
To learn more about TDWI Austin and register, visit the event website. Have other tips or recommendations to share with your fellow attendees? Tweet to us at
and let us know!
*Gift cards will be issued at Austin Registration desk. Priority code is valid through November 18, 2016 midnight PST. No retroactive cards will be issued.
Other restrictions may apply.