It was just after 9:00 pm as we cruised along the busy downtown boulevard. The sounds of live music reverberated from both sides of the avenue as people meandered from club to club sampling the many varieties of music.
Stopping for a red light we pulled up alongside a horse drawn carriage and the pups immediately began to bark.
This is what they do when they see a moose along the highway at home, but we were not in Alaska but on 6th street in the heart of Austin Texas.
Continuing our tour of the Texas Hill Country we find ourselves camped near downtown Austin for about 2 weeks now.
Our goal since leaving Luckenbach was to immerse ourselves in Austin’s legendary music scene, taste what is unequivocally some of the best BBQ’d meat in the country, partake in its outstanding food truck scene and generally experience the Texas lifestyle.
The city’s official slogan promotes Austin as “The Live Music Capital of the World,” a reference to the many musicians and live music venues throughout the city, as well as the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits, which by the way is located downtown.
In recent years, some Austinites have adopted the unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird” which refers to the desire to protect small, unique, and local businesses from being overrun by large corporations, a very worthy cause.
With hundreds of clubs we had a hard time deciding which ones to visit. We eventually choose some of the cities oldest and most revered venues such as Antone’s, The Continental Club, C-Boys Heart and Soul, the One-2-One Club and several others.
On these stages have performed the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Nanci Griffith to name a few. Many still routinely perform here in these small and intimate clubs.
One of our favorite blues singers was Miss Lavelle White. Born July 3, 1929 she is now 87 years old and still belts out the blues. She is simply amazing!
In Austin, Texas born Stevie Ray Vaughan is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of music and one of the most important figures in the revival of blues in the 1980’s.
We visited his memorial statue situated along the banks of the Colorado River with a backdrop of the Austin skyline.
Austin has one those “fastest growing cities in the US” monikers with just under 1 million people. Traffic during the rush hours can be intense. We tried to time our excursions into downtown to miss the “rush” but sometimes we missed the window.
And then there was the food… We have been routinely sampling Texas style BBQ since we entered the big state and found some excellent BBQ’d meat along the way.
But when we found Franklin’s in Austin the music stopped so to speak. Never had we eaten a more succulent, tender, fall of the bone BBQ’d meat.
The brisket is top of the line and after spending 1 and 1/2 hours in line it was well worth the wait. The meats sell out within 1 and 1/2 to 3 hours after they open. Every day people are turned away.
Do not miss this place!
There is also an amazing food truck scene in Austin. With over 1000 colorful trucks throughout the city serving all types of ethnic foods and delicacies. There is nothing quite like sitting under a large oak tree in the warm evening air eating excellent food.
Most trucks serve gourmet quality and are very reasonably priced. Needless to say in the evenings we sampled as many versions as we could.
Our basecamp during this period of city fun was the beautiful McKinney Falls State Park just a few miles from downtown. Our good friends Technomadia had recommended this park in one of their posts and what a pleasure it was.
It is a beautiful respite in the middle of a very busy town. Quiet, large campsites, power and water and all at a very reasonable cost, we loved it.
There were great trails to walk the pups with plenty of deer and raccoons wandering around. The bird life was excellent.
Sadly we must end our very enjoyable Hill Country experience. It was definitely worth the long drive across the flat desert plains to reach this great part of Texas.
But what really made our visit special was the local people. Never have we met such friendly out going folks. They made our trip through the Texas Hill country unforgettable!
Don’t miss our latest video “BBQ + Blues”, slip in the ear buds, crank up the stereo, use your Apple TV so you can watch it on the big screen and enjoy!
Next stop? maybe the Big Bend area? Keep you posted……..