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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Discussion Urban Life & Travel 
Thread started 13 May 2011 (Friday) 16:18
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Visiting Austin - What to see and do? (possible relocation)

 
bone11
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May 13, 2011 16:18 |  #1

So I have been thinking of relocating and am considering Austin. I am going to be flying out in a couple weeks to check out the area. Probably make a couple trips in the next few months to get a feel. I have lots of questions.

Anything in particular I should do or see to get a flavor of the area?
How is traffic patterns like? What direction is the normal commute?
In terms of residential areas, do any have a particular feel? I get the sense that North and East are flatter, and South and West are hillier. Is that about right?
I wanna see the bats. Where's a good place for that?
Anything jump out that I should make a point of seeing?
How badly will I stand out as a 6' tall Asian?

I'll have a car and a couple days with no specific commitments other than some dinner engagements.




  
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arctic98z
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Location: Austin, TX
     
May 16, 2011 16:40 |  #2

Where are you moving from? Austin, in my opinion, is a good sized town without the large city feel. There is a big variety of things to do. From 6th street (bars, clubs, live music) to the tredny parts around congress and the UT college campus. Zilker park is near downtown with some nice views of the city, which has a variety of activities too. A running trail follows the river that runs through town. You can rent canoe's and kayak's and paddle the river. Barton springs is a natural spring that’s popular to visit and swim in year round. Live music again is big in Austin. Austin City Limits (ACL) and South by South West (SxSW) are two big yearly festivals. As for the bats, another popular attraction, these can be seen just after sun down at the Congress Ave bridge (as it passes over the river) with a nice view of the State Capitol building right down the street (which is open for tours also).

Traffic isn't terrible with two highways that parallel town, Interstate 35 on the east and loop 1 (also known as MoPac) on the west side of town. In my experience MoPac flows a little better but rush hour traffic only seems to last a couple hours before it starts to thin out. You feel the difference too when school is not in session. I would say traffic is probably a little heavier between downtown and the north side of town. I never feel like I am going out of my way traveling between North and South Austin. The airport is just east of the city and is a quick drive into town. To me (born and raised in Austin) North and South side of towns do have a different feel that’s hard to explain. The North has really expanded a lot in the past 10 years, brining lots of shopping areas and apartments, where as South Austin I guess has a little more suburb feel… West of town is more ‘hilly’ as you start to enter the Central Texas Hill Country, with the east side being more flat, as you knew.

Hope that helps a little. If you have any questions I will try to help. Oh, and you won’t stand out too bad at 6 ft… ;)

Sean


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erinavery
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May 16, 2011 16:45 |  #3

you should go to hula hut for dinner one night..love that place!


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bone11
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May 19, 2011 17:29 |  #4

I'm coming from the SF Bay Area.

Thanks for the tips, I'm really looking forward to the trip. Is it worth the drive out to Enchanted Rock or the other parks to the west (Pedernales Falls or Canyon Ridge Springs)?




  
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samefly
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May 25, 2011 17:00 |  #5

bone11 wrote in post #12442299 (external link)
I'm coming from the SF Bay Area.

Thanks for the tips, I'm really looking forward to the trip. Is it worth the drive out to Enchanted Rock or the other parks to the west (Pedernales Falls or Canyon Ridge Springs)?

very much: yes. Enchanted Rock is pretty amazing. check out Mt Bonell too that's actually in Austin
Address : 3800 Mt. Bonnell Drive, Austin, TX 78731

Definitely check out Zilker Park. There's a spring and botanical garden that are really nice. Also McKinney Falls in Austin.

The Lake Austin area and the 360 area are really nice.

Austin is pretty big on food/food trucks, bars, and outdoors so most of the things to do will fit into one of those three (check out Round Rock donuts which was featured on man vs food ..lol)

Every night massive amounts of bats fly from under the Congress st bridge that passes over Town Lake/Ladybird Lake. Good view of Town Lake for some great photos.

Bike riding is crazy huge in Austin... if you're into that. there are bike shops and cyclists everywhere

The only thing bigger the biking is Live music... tons of it... everyday. Stub's, Momo's, Emo's, Venue 222, SXSW, Austin City Limits, etc etc etc

BBQ: Iron Works (downtown) and Salt Lick (round rock)

Grab dessert at Mozart's on Lake Austin Blvd at sit off the water

Catch a game at the Dell Diamond baseball stadium (round rock)

If you have time for a movie check out one of the Alamo Drafthouse theaters... pretty cool place

Hangout around the University of Texas area... you can find a lot to photograph

Some cool quirky houses and people around south congress (just drive down some of the side streets)

They're a quite a few caves/caverns to explore in the neighboring cities as well (longhorn cavern for one)

If you like scooters or motorcycles you'll see a lot of them

Austin's a good place to be young or single and Austin suburbs are a good place to chill out and raise families (good schools)

If you need camera equipment while here check out Precision Camera on 38th & Lamar

as far as living in Austin... west Austin in NICE the hills add to the beauty.. east Austin is in transition (well some parts) with all the hipster/art kids/developers pushing the lower income locals out. Like the other post says... far south Austin is more suburb like and far north Austin is being developed (find some good places for rent though and you get more for your money). Central and West Austin are pretty expensive in comparison but since you're coming from SF you might not think so. There's been a MASSIVE population boom (mostly people from California ...lol) so things are changing fast but still are remaining good (I'm not a native myself).

it's funny because I'm in Austin thinking about going to the bay area... lol Just to see something new... Austin is actually pretty great (definitely needs a better public transportation system though)




  
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erinavery
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May 25, 2011 23:08 |  #6

hey...you two should house swap! haha i've always thought that would be kinda fun. :)


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samefly
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May 30, 2011 16:39 |  #7

oh, here's an Austin photoblog I came across:

http://iloveaustin.tum​blr.com (external link)

enjoy




  
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g0bl0k
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May 30, 2011 19:51 as a reply to  @ samefly's post |  #8

hmmm...for bbq, i would recommend Franklin bbq...it's just awesome, IMO it's better than salt lick especially the ribs and briskets. they started in a trailer and got famous then moved to a bigger place. they open @ 11am and all gone by 1pm, ppl wait in line since 10am.
you have to try the food trucks all over town, they are just great, to name a few: odd duck farm to trailer, flip happy crepe, taco deli (restaurant but they started as a food truck), takorea, etc. besides the food, i think these food trucks are also a good subject for photo ops, ymmv.


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samefly
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May 30, 2011 23:34 |  #9

g0bl0k wrote in post #12506097 (external link)
you have to try... flip happy crepe

!!! Soooooo Good!!!




  
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sparker1
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May 31, 2011 07:02 |  #10

Has anyone mentioned the Capitol? Neat place to shoot.

I actually find more to shoot in the surrounding towns, such as Fredericksburg, Johnson City, etc. And, San Antonio is close enough and is a very photogenic town.


Stan (See my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/s​parker1 (external link))

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samefly
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May 31, 2011 15:50 |  #11

sparker1 wrote in post #12508317 (external link)
Has anyone mentioned the Capitol? Neat place to shoot.

I actually find more to shoot in the surrounding towns, such as Fredericksburg, Johnson City, etc. And, San Antonio is close enough and is a very photogenic town.

all very good places to shoot. can't wait for my D60 to arrive. Downtown Georgetown has a bit of character too and some nice older homes in the area. Oh and if you like action sports there's an outdoor BMX park on 9th St off of lamar. In the same area are some really nice houses and interesting looking people.




  
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kwyml12106
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Jun 10, 2011 00:37 |  #12

We moved from the SF Bay Area to Texas eons ago. Texas heat in the summer is very intense. For someone coming from very cool SF, Texas may be too hot to your liking initially. The only thing that I really enjoy doing in this intense heat is to go tubing..The best river to go is Rio Frio at Garner State Park imho. This park is not near Austin but it's worth a trip. In the summer in the evening there is a dance at the Pavilion. It's uniquely Texas & a must see . . Rio Frio is 1 of the many riverways in Texas that are very swimmable. There are many youtube videos of the place, crystal clear water, shallow in many places depending on rainfalls. If you don't mind the Texas heat, you might want to try the zip line canopy tours not far from Austin. Don't bring your expensive camera to this one as you don't want it to fall when you go from tree to tree.

http://www.cypressvall​eycanopytours.com/inde​x.php (external link)




  
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MikeFairbanks
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Jun 15, 2011 11:04 |  #13

If you're moving from San Francisco, you're in for a major culture shock.

While downtown Austin has some similar culture to SF (as does any college town), the rest of the state is culturally from another planet as California. That's not a bad thing, but something to consider.

I love Texas. I was born and raised in San Diego and have visited Texas (including Austin) about ten times, maybe more. It's a fantastic and diverse state. El Paso, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Galveston, San Antonio are all in Texas, but each is so different from each other.

But do yourself a favor and visit Midland, Amarillo, and other places like that. I'm not going to judge the people there, but it's not California.

Try a season or a month. Don't just move there without knowing exactly what you're getting into.


By the way: There's actually really good surfing in Texas. Seriously.

Click on this photo. Hawaii? Puerto Rico? Australia? Indonesia?

Nope: TEXAS

http://www.padreparadi​se.com/SouthPadreIslan​d_surfing.jpg (external link)


Thank you. bw!

  
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Visiting Austin - What to see and do? (possible relocation)
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