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Austin, Texas :: Live Music Capital of the World

Here is a bit more information about the places featured in the video:

The Shake ‘Em Ups
Although the Shake ‘Em Ups is now disbanded, you can still hear their music at www.myspace.com/shakeemups.  Vaughn Walters, Sly Barrack, and Andrew Austin-Petersen were kind enough to play for us.  We took a box of their CDs along with us to hand out to people during our travels.

Spider House  | 2908 Fruth St
The Spider House is a coffeehouse, restaurant, and bar that is a local hot spot.  It offers indoor and outdoor seating, free wi-fi, and an eclectic ambiance.  My main complaint about the Spider House is the quality of the espresso.  If you are looking for great espresso in Austin, I would recommend searching elsewhere.

Lady Bird Lake  | a reservoir on the Colorado River in downtown Austin
Whether you have a dog or not, the park around Lady Bird Lake is a wonderful place to walk through.  It offers a great view of downtown Austin, and there are plenty of shaded benches to give your legs a rest as you look at the Colorado River.

The Continental Club  | 1315 S Congress Ave

A great bar that features a wide range of music, with primarily country bands.  The Shake ‘Em Ups took us to the Continental Club, and Nick and I learned to two-step.  Just about any music lover in Austin can tell you about the weekly shows at the Continental Club – this club is at the top of our Austin list!

Toy Joy  | 2900 Guadalupe St

FAO Swartz is child’s play compared to Toy Joy.  This is the toy store for all ages.  If you go to Toy Joy, give yourself ample time to play.  Toy Joy now has an online store where you can purchase their toys at: www.toyjoy.com/shop/
GIFT TIP: I bought a few trinkets for friends at home, and they gift-wrapped them for free.

Hickory Street Bar and Grille  | 800 Congress Ave
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Hickory Street for it’s food, but I do recommend stopping by for the $3.50 frozen margaritas.  Since Hickory Street is located close to the Capital building, it’s central location and outdoor seating is enough to make a margarita pit-stop.

The Party Barn  | 3300 Guadalupe St

A drive-thru beer store??!!  I’m from North Carolina, where this category of establishment is unheard of, so I definitely appreciated the Party Barn.

Whole Foods Market  | 525 N Lamar Blvd
Many of you may be surprised to see this on the list.  I hear from the locals that this Whole Foods is actually a tourist attraction.  It’s HUGE!  I even lost Nick in the store at one point and had to call him.  It has a BBQ restaurant (where they smoke their own meat), a sushi bar, an entire candy island with a chocolate fountain, a nut bar dedicated to spiced nuts, and even a concierge service.  How can this be a sustainable store?  I’m a bit skeptical, but I have to admit, I did like chipotle-spiced almonds.

I Luv Video  | 2915 Guadalupe St & 4803 Airport Blvd

I Luv Video has the indie vibe that is pervasive through Austin.  The store on Guadalupe Street is two stories high, and is packed with movies you forgot even existed (or even knew existed).

The Salt Lick  | 18300 FM Rd 1826, Driftwood, Texas

The experience of eating at the Salt Lick is worth the 20-30 minute drive outside of Austin.  You can read about the Salt Lick on our Barbecue Score Sheet here.

Broken Spoke  | 3201 S Lamar Blvd

If you want to experience a true honky-tonk bar while visiting Texas, put on your cowboy boots and ride on over to Broken Spoke.  The restaurant is filled with pictures of the owner, James White, smiling with milleu of famous folk: Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Lyle Lovitt are just a few.  In fact, you will probably see James White, dressed in his best western garb, chatting with patrons at the bar or by the dance floor.  The Broken Spoke serves food, but it’s main attraction is the dance hall.  Since we were recommended the Chicken Fried Steak, we ordered it with a couple Lone Star beers.  I wouldn’t recommend the Chicken Fried Steak, but the bar was a great place to be.

Live Oak Brewery
| 3301 E 5th St # B

Every year, Live Oak Brewery has a “birthday” celebration that  raises money for local charities.  The party was held in the back of the brewery, where free beer and food was given out.  The day was filled with live music, a moon walk for kids, and raffle prizes.  You can sample Live Oak’s brews at most of the bars in Austin.

Barton Springs  | 2101 Barton Springs Road (located in Zilker Park)
This is a beautiful pool, and a great get-a-way to escape the city and go for a swim.

Hot Rod Night
| South Congress Street
South Congress Street, otherwise known as SOCO, was filled with restored Hot Rods cruising the area.  Some cars looked as if they jumped out of a “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” cartoon.  It was a loud and flashy festival with proud drivers exhibiting their best on wheels.

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