why I love…

In an effort to incorporate more of my domestic travels into this blog, I decided to do a “why I love” series. Each post will highlight a US city that I have travelled to, showcasing what it is that I love about the particular place. I’ll be discussing anything and everything. From the food to the weather, mannerisms of the people to the fashion influences (of course!), I’ll try to highlight a broad base of topics.

So, to kickstart the series, here is the first “why I love…”

why I love….Austin, Texas.

Austin: the Live Music Capital of the world. The Home of the Texas Longhorns. The city where Matthew McConaughey plays his bongos naked….:) It also just so happens to be the capital of my home state of Texas. Located in the southern part of the state, roughly 3 hours northwest of Houston, and about 1.5 hours northeast of San Antonio, Austin is nestled right in the midst of gorgeous Texas Hill Country. Beautiful lakes, fantastic wineries, stunning Texas sunsets….you can find them all down there. That is the first reason why I love Austin: the location.

Texas is a large, hot state (and I don’t mean HOTT…although….we do have some nice lookin’ gents…just sayin’…). Seriously. It’s a huge state. It takes 13 hours to drive from Dallas to El Paso. I could make it across the entire New England region in that amount of time. Therefore, for those of us up in the north Texas region, getting to a beach is rather difficult. Enter: Austin. Only a little less than 4 hour drive away from Dallas, Austin boasts some stellar lakes and rivers, perfect for satisfying your thirst for the waterways. Lake Travis has an amazing 12 mile walkway/running path. The last time I was in Austin I ran this loop while my sister attended a baby shower (To me, running > baby showers…don’t hate!). The path is wide, well paved, and full of other like-minded outdoor enthusiasts. Even though I was running by myself, I always felt safe, since I was never alone. Plus, the dog park at one end totally satisfied the animal loving sense in me :). Lake Travis is just one of the many outdoor gems of Austin. Others include Zilker Park, Town Lake, Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs Pool, and countless hiking and biking trails. Not to mention, Austin was ranked #1 in golf destinations by CNN. If I golfed, I would totally be impressed, but alas, I’ll leave that excitement to someone else!! If you aren’t one for golfing or hiding from baby showers running, check out this site for other activities in and around the outdoor sites of Austin.

Another reason why I love Austin? The food. I’m a health food lover, and why I don’t consider myself a true vegetarian or vegan, I tend to veer towards those options in my food choices. Now, in Dallas, there is a small (but growing) vegetarian trend, but it’s nothing to write home about. Austin, however, is FULL of options for those who prefer a weirder healthier meal. The city is passionate about growing real food, supporting local farmers, and taking care of the things we eat. It is so refreshing to be in a city where tofu isn’t frowned upon, where wheat trumps white, and where fruit salad always comes on the side. Ahhhhh….:) Now, don’t get me wrong, Austin isn’t ALL wholesome and healthy! The southern influence still remains in this city, and deep fried goodness can be found just around the corner from the quinoa encrusted salmon. It just goes to show: Austin doesn’t discriminate. All food types are welcome here! Some of my fav’s include:

Lastly, I love Austin for the atmosphere. The vibe down south is laid back, relaxed, and health oriented. Since there is such an abundance of outdoor activities in Austin, most residents take advantage of their outdoor playground of a city, and spend much of their time biking, walking, hiking, and kayaking their way around town. With countless farmer’s markets and outdoor shopping venues like South Lamar, 6th Street, and South Congress, there is no excuse to not get outside and enjoy the views.The hipster feel is quite prevalant as well, surrounding visitors with this, “life is gooood” sense of being. All are welcome, and the diversity in the residents speaks to this. From the fashions to the diverse selection of employment, Austin invites all walks of life to join in their “Keep Austin Weird” campaign.

Some famous Austin residents:

  • Lance Armstrong
  • Sandra Bullock
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Owen Wilson
  • Wes Anderson
  • Andy Roddick

Other great sites to check out:

So, the next time you are down in the Lone Star State, you MUST take a drive down through the Hill Country and check out Austin. It’s weird…and we love it!

hearts and hugs,

B.

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