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Have you ever visited a city that didn’t meet your expectations? Have you been to a place that everyone you met said was fantastic, but you would call just okay? After looking back on my trip to Austin, Texas, I’ve identified five things I did wrong when visiting Austin that could have made my trip even better.
What I did wrong in Austin, Texas
1. I didn’t visit the best areas
When I arrived in Austin, I set out for an afternoon of exploration around the downtown area. The only item on my Austin bucket list was eating barbecue, as it was my first time in Texas. Later I discovered that the places that make Austin great are just outside the city centre. Neighbourhoods such as South Congress, Red River, and Sixth Street didn’t even make it on my radar. Because of my lack of research, I missed the best of Austin.
2. I stayed outside the city centre
Because I have a Hostelling International membership, I decided to stay at the company’s hostel outside the city. The hostel was a bus ride away from the heart of the city and all the amazing neighbourhoods I never got the chance to see. Next time, I would book an Austin hotel closer to the action. Fortunately, there are quite a few reasonably priced rooms near the city’s most desirable areas.
3. I didn’t listen to live music
Yes, you read that correctly. I went to the Live Music Capital of the World, and I didn’t see any live music. Being alone hasn’t stopped me from going to a concert before – not even at home in Australia! So I have no excuse for not even looking to see whether any musicians or bands I liked were performing in Austin during my visit. Going to a gig would have made me feel as if I had done something right.
4. I skipped the food trucks
When I think about food trucks in the United States, my mind instantly goes to Austin and Portland. I’ve seen and eaten at Portland’s food trucks, but I didn’t look up where to find food trucks in Austin. After doing some post-trip research, I realised there were three food truck trailer parks I could have visited to eat all the street food I wanted.
5. I didn’t enjoy all the free things to do
Usually, I like to Google “free things to do” for whatever location I’m visiting. For some reason, however, I didn’t do that for Austin. If I had, I would have found the website Free Fun in Austin, which is dedicated to this exact topic. One post alone lists 110 free things I could have done, but I missed them all. Learn from me – do your research!
Don’t worry. I’ll return to Austin, and I’ll do these five things correctly next time. Every city deserves a second chance in my book!
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