Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Austin, Texas - A Weird HugeParty

Is Austin a HugeParty? Yes, Weird and Huge.

Admittedly, I was skeptical about Austin. Why? Because Every. Single. Person. Had positive things to say about their Austin travels. There was no way Austin could meet my expectations right? Well, it did. HugeParty.

"Dirty" Sixth. A Legendary HugeParty Spot!

In November 2014 I traveled to Austin with a group of 10+ people. Much hype surrounds Austin about the "weirdness", but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Austin has a little bit of everything when it comes to HugePartying, with a diverse scene that rivals most large cities.

Fantastic Craft Cocktails at Half Step

Football in Texas is as Important as Church

Plenty of Options, for Different Party Palettes

Austin has at least three distinct areas where you can find a HugeParty, and you can do all three within one weekend, so plan accordingly.

"Dirty" Sixth - Alluded to above, this stretch of crazy bars within the historical district is located on the east stretch of 6th St. Words to describe: Loud, crowded, cheap drinks, sing-along music, sleazy, aggressive doormen, shots, fratty, slutty, awesome.

West Sixth - Not to be outdone, the west side of 6th St. brings a completely different flavor of HugeParty. Words to describe: Upscale, local, clubs, craft beer, DJs, awesome.

Rainey Street - Less than five years old, Rainey Street showcases houses refurbished into trendy bars, which is a cool alternative to the Sixth Street Sisters. Words to describe: Different, trendy, hipster, variety, food truck paradise, outdoors, carry a conversation, awesome.

Read more after the jump!!!

What to Expect?

  • Music Festivals - The music festival scene in Austin is quite strong. Weirdness is a great kickstarter for a live show. We traveled during Fun Fun Fun Fest and the vibe was awesome. Festivals like SXSW and ACL draw large crowds too. Expect prices to be a little higher for the more popular weekends.
  • University of Texas - Nearly 39,000 college students reside just north of sixth street. Texas fans are passionate about sports and their school, which breeds an exciting party environment.
  • Favorite Bars - In three days we went to 13 bars. My personal favorites were Barbarella for the late night rave, Cheers Shot Bar for the madness and sleaze, and Half Step for the legit craft cocktails. Also, here's a great list from Thrillist.
  • Food Trucks Galore - The food truck scene is one of the best around. Every corner you'll find food trucks vying for your inebriated tastes. Check here for a full list. Personally, I found the tastiest treats at Angry Egg Roll and Korean/Mexican fusion at Chi-Lantro.
  • Cost - Very affordable. Maybe it was because we ate most of our meals from food trucks, or maybe it was because we took advantage of the drink specials... but I found Austin to be quite affordable. Sure, we had a couple costly bar tabs and two pricey meals, but Austin can be done on a budget for sure.
  • Avoid!!! - Homeless People and Coyote Ugly. The homeless population in Austin is quite large and a few shelters are located close to Sixth Street. You may feel unsafe when walking past large groups of them late at night, and are almost guaranteed to be confronted with a beggar or panhandler. Coyote Ugly is a "Famous" chain bar, it is overpriced and ultimately too sleazy (even for me).

    Container Bar on Rainey Street. Pretty cool venue, if the weather is warm.


    Couple of specific thoughts on the people you'll meet in Austin. For one, we went on a football weekend, so there were a lot of out-of-towners. Those people were the friendliest (us included), only there to have a great time. 

    You'll also meet local Austin people who are truly friendly. Whether they've lived in Austin for 1 year or 30 years, there are people who are welcoming and excited to have you enjoy their city.

    This guy was there too.

    The final group of Austin residents are terrible people who think they are the only ones who can enjoy Austin. Multiple times I heard the (un)official Austin slogan "Austin is great, just don't move here. Hahahaha." As if it would be a slight if I said to them "I could see myself moving here because it is so awesome." All four times someone told this to me they said it in a semi-serious way, which made me think they deserved a punch in the face. These people are stuck up and not fun to be around, avoid them at all costs.

    University of Texas Football

    If you have the chance to visit Austin on a gameday weekend, I highly suggest you book a ticket to the game.

    The HugeParty Crew at the Texas Game!

    Start your morning off right at one of the hundreds of tailgates that encircle Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium. BYOB, or find an organized event that will let you pay a fee to drink/eat all day with them (likely $25 each). The best part about a Texas tailgate is that they serve phenomenal food! BBQ everywhere, it's refreshing to see so many people take tailgating seriously. 

    Made our way down to the field

    Then, head into the stadium which boasts a capacity of 100,000+. If the game is competitive, you'll find yourself cheering for the burnt orange team all game. If they game sucks, head back to the tailgate or one of the hundreds of bars with the rest of the fan base. Texas football is an awesome HugeParty.

    Road Trips: Graffiti Park, Lake Austin, Mrs. Johnson's Bakery & The Salt Lick

    The following recommendations may require a rental car, or expensive Taxi/Uber ride. All four are worth it.

    Graffiti Park
    The HOPE Outdoor Gallery, better known as Graffiti Park, is located on 11th St. and is a really cool place to visit and try your hand at legal graffiti. In 2011, The HOPE Campaign proposed using the old construction site as a venue for artists to work. It is awesome, and we got involved with the fun too!

    The HOPE Outdoor Gallery

    Buy some spray paint before you go!!!

    Lake Austin
    Enjoy drinks and a meal at one of the many bars/restaurants on Lake Austin, a refreshing and relaxing area to spend the day. Even HugeParty Travel takes time off to soak up some sun. Maybe even go fishing too!
    Lake Austin!

    Bloody Mary at Hula Hut on Lake Austin

    Mrs. Johnson's Bakery
    Donuts. Fresh. Piping hot. Healthy. I suggest you take a trip up to Mrs. Johnson's Bakery after a long night of drinking for some amazing donuts. This shop has been around since 1948!

    Road Trip to Mrs. Johnson's Bakery!

    MMMMMM...... Donuts...

    The Salt Lick BBQ
    We rented a car and drove 25 miles out to Driftwood, Texas for the legendary Open-Pit BBQ at The Salt Lick. The trip was WORTH the car rental, although we were able to afford it because we had seven people splitting the costs. I recommend "The Rancher" so you can try all of their meats, and a side of the pickled jalapenos. This place is BYOB, so don't forget to pick up some beer and a sober driver. Also known as BBQ's Holy Land, via Man vs. Food.

    Open-Pit BBQ at The Salt Lick

    The Rancher Special..... Meat.

    Travel Quote?

    “Keep Austin Weird." - Slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin.

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    Party... Because life's short


    1. I drove past Austin on the way to Big Bend National Park. You are making me wish I had time to stop. Next time I will come and stay in Austin. I love the Texas music scene.

    2. Thanks for the recommendations Warner! Definitely going to use them this weekend!


    HugeParty Travel is all about the Fun, Culture and Craziness found throughout the world. Cheers!