You can have too much of a good thing even at South by Southwest 2017. Over ten long days and even longer nights, you will endure lines of all shapes and sizes, ear-splitting microphone feedback, and “I’ll never drink again” hangovers.
Even South by Southwest (SXSW) diehards will need a break from the festivities. Lucky for you Austin is a lot more than just the “Live Musical Capital of the World.” There is something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, outdoorsman or whiskey connoisseur.
Here are some of the best SXSW 2017 escapes if you need to get away before diving back into the festival action.
ESCAPE #1: FOODIE TOUR
Photo: Rick Kern (Getty Images)
There’s no better way to soak up a night of beer, booze and bad decisions than with a plate of breakfast tacos. Our favorite are the migos tacos from the Veracruz All Natural trailers parked around seemingly ever corner. Of course, Austin is best known for their barbecue. Everyone knows about Franklin’s which is why the line is so long, but there are plenty of other spots to get your ‘cue on. Le Barbecue is arguably on par with their James Beard Award competitor and Micklethwait Craft Meats sausages exceed either.
ESCAPE #2: COWBOY UP
Photo by Robert Laberge (Getty Images)
When in Texas do as the Texans do. Slap on some Levis, pick up a fresh pair of of cowboy boots at Allen’s Boots and take 25-minute ride out to Red’s Indoor Range. You can take private shooting lessons and fire off a gun collection that would give Ted Nugent a hard-on at their 100-yard indoor range.
ESCAPE #3: WHISKEY TASTING
Although Austin boasts some amazing local breweries, man cannot live on beer alone. One the best “farm-to-table” distilleries in the states is less than 40 miles away in Smithville. Bone Spirits motto is “every drop from scratch,” and it tastes like it. Take a tour and take home a bottle or two of the peppery, buttery Fitch’s Goat Moonshine and the aged Bone Bourbon made from rye.
ESCAPE #4: STREET ART WALK
Photo: Ann Hermes (Getty Images)
The fresh air of the Hope Outdoor Gallery is the perfect hangover cure after a long night out. Peruse the painted park in downtown Austin and work off those breakfast tacos, while taking in the large scale art pieces colored with inspirational, positive and educational messaging. Although you aren’t permitted there after dark, the non-profit’s unique “open mic” or in this case “open nozzle” policy allows you to join in on the aerosol fun if you provide a sketch, don’t go over anyone else’s work and are over 18.
ESCAPE #5: THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Photo: Stan Grossfeld (Getty Images)
Taking a walk around Lady Bird Lake is a good way to clear the cobwebs out of your head. If you’re game for something more adventurous head out to Barton Springs. There are not one, but two beloved swimming holes just 45 minutes from downtown Austin. Pace Bend Park offers a fun in the sun shoreline, limestone rocks for safe cliff jumping and challenging hiking trails. Nearby Krause Springs is spread out over 115 privately-owned acres, encompassing 32 springs, a butterfly garden, and Vegas pool-sized grotto complete with a majestic waterfall for that perfect Instagram photo.