An Insider’s View of Austin for SDTechX Attendees
- Next week, the eclectic city of Austin will host SiriusDecisions’ second annual Technology Exchange
- SiriusDecisions’ Austin-based employees list their must-see attractions while you’re at TechX
- Here are 12 things you can do to experience the embodiment of the slogan “Keep Austin Weird”
Are you coming to Austin for SiriusDecisions Technology Exchange? We hope you are! Not only will the content at TechX be great, but Austin is a fantastic city full of hidden gems. Quite a few SiriusDecisions employees live in Austin, and we embrace the city slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” We’ve put together some recommendations of our favorites places to go and things to do to help you get your weird on:
- Pedicabs. We’ve tried to keep most of these suggestions within walking distance of the JW Marriott, but if you’d like to venture a little farther out (or you wandered a little too far at night and those boots just aren’t made for walking anymore), try a pedicab. They’ll be all around the hotel, and they have safe dedicated lanes downtown.
- Food trucks. Austin is a real foodie town with several food truck parks. A little closer to downtown, you can check out Chi’lantro at Congress and 9th, or head over to Gourdough’s Public House on W. 5th St. between Lavaca and Colorado. Okay, Gourdough’s has a restaurant built around the food truck, but where else can you get a Mother Clucker sandwich – fried chicken between two donuts?
- Margaritas and Mexican martinis. It’s Texas, y’all – you can’t leave without a margarita or a Mexican martini. It’s tough to choose, but two of our favorite places are La Condesa on W. 2nd St. and Manuel’s on Congress and 3rd.
- The Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake. This is hands down one of the best running trails in the country (my totally unscientific opinion). The temperatures should be downright gorgeous for running, strolling or biking in mid-November, and it’s just one block from the JW Marriott!
- Hill of Life Trail. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, the Hill gains 300 vertical feet in just over a third of a mile. If you want a workout in 20 minutes before sessions start, run up and down a few times.
- Rainey Street. This is one of the more diverse downtown neighborhoods with interesting bars and food joints, and it’s walking distance from the hotel!
- South Congress. While this area is a bit far to walk, South Congress is a very short pedicab ride away from the hotel. There are tons of funky shops and good eats – I’m partial to Guero’s, and Torchy’s Tacos has just opened up their new headquarters – it’s quite a spectacle. Check out Allens Boots and let the boots choose you!
- Easy Tiger. Where else but Austin would you combine a bake shop and a beer garden? You can start your day here with a pastry and chai latte and end it with pretzels and Texas craft beer – it’s right on E. 6th St.
- Two-steppin’ at the Broken Spoke. This place is a true Texas original, holding strong while the city of Austin grows wildly around it. While it’s a little farther out, it’s open late, so you can make it there.
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. This is the movie theater that will spoil you for all other movie theaters. There are two locations convenient to downtown – one on E. 6th St. and one on S. Lamar Blvd. They show a lot of independent films, but some of the most fun can be had at movie Quote-Alongs.
- Esther’s Follies. Shows are only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but if you’re not leaving until Friday, you can go to the show on Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. This is Austin’s version of SNL, and it’s particularly fun because it incorporates live action from 6th St. into the skits.
- Casino el Camino’s Bloody Mary. Yes, this is the sixth food and drink recommendation on the list. There’s nothing weird about that – it balances out the hiking and biking, right? If you’re staying for the weekend, you can build your own Bloody Mary right on 6th St. Top it off with a slider, a jalapeno, maybe some fried chicken – go at 11:00 a.m. for the best spread. Okay – maybe it is weird after all.