Image by anjan58 via Flickr
In Austin, you'll find the best from Latin to Tex-Mex (rancheros and cumbias), rock and roll, American country to folk, blues and more.
You must visit 6th Street. It is the main party street in Austin, the place to see and be seen. It's right alongside the University of Texas campus and the Texas State Capitol building. Darn near every restaurant chain in the universe has a franchise in Austin, but do yourself a favor and savor the locally owned places. Let's keep Austin weird! :-D
Speaking of that, you must get t-shirts for everyone back home with 'Keep Austin weird' on it. I have one. Austin defines 'weird' as the patronage of the locally owned businesses, especially in the midst of the increase of 'McDonaldficationism' in the lovely city.
Round Rock Donuts is an experience you don't want to miss, but first run a 1/2 marathon. It is about 20 miles from the Austin Convention Center in Round Rock at 16 W. Liberty Street. Fantastic doughnuts of all sizes and flavors, but my husband's favorite is the one that was as big as a 33 rpm (long play record) or one of them is the same as 6-8 standard-sized doughnuts. Another great tummy filler is the Salt Lick BBQ near the Dell Field ball park on 3350 Palm Valley Blvd in Round Rock. They offer family style dining with all you can eat barbeque platter including sausage, ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and shredded beef. They also let you order single serving platters or sandwiches if your appetite isn't that big or you're making up for yesterday's caloric indulgences.
And ... you must try the chicken-fried steak at any local restaurant. I found another food that deserves the title 'Ambrosia.' Do it once, take a picture, and upload to your favorite social network.
An episode of Man vs. Food about Austin, Texas food scene is on Travel Channel right now, Sept. 3, 2011 at 9 AM CST, but do a search on Man vs. Food if you missed it.
How about the traffic? Hey, it's a big city. Highways are crowded. Be prepared to use Frontage Roads, and GPS is your friend. The local bus system is called Capital Metro. The 20-year transit plan for the system includes expanded local and express bus service, new rapid bus service, and a 32-mile urban commuter rail starter line along Capital Metro's existing freight tracks, as well as access to land next to the tracks to create hike and bike trails. My husband ran some of those trails in the Northeast area of Austin. It was a little hilly, but nice sidewalks and trails that would be perfect in his opinon for the total package.
What are some of the favorite IP communications and technology businesses, headquartered in Austin? Starview Solutions is one, and it is one of the sponsors of StartupCamp4 during ITEXPO West in Austin 2011. I met them during a Telecom One on One event. Another is Spiceworks who I remember meeting at a previous ITEXPO. I still have that cool 'Keeping it Spicy' t-shirt that I traded two DIDX bling bling mobile phone pouches. Spiceworks, BTW, is written in Ruby on Rails, and runs on Microsoft Windows.
One last comment ... companies participating in ITEXPO West Sept. 13, - 15, 2011 in Austin, Texas ... have your ladies RSVP for the Women in Telecom and Tech Breakfast. The seats are filling fast. Many thanks to Xorcom of Australia, AstraQom of Canada, The SIP School of UK, and DIDX of USA for sponsoring the event. Inquiries about sponsoring or participating in the breakfast can go to me on Linkedin or Twitter. Thanks so much to TMCNET for also publicizing this meetup.