Trip Tips: Austin revels in music, nature and keeping it weird

Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:19pm EST
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By Karen Brooks

AUSTIN (Reuters) - At no other time of year is Austin - the self-styled live music capital of the world - so celebrated than in March, when the throngs pour into the Texas city for the 12-day music, film and interactive festival known as South by Southwest.

One of the most influential music events on the planet, South by Southwest marks its 26th year on March 7-16 and draws some 25,000 industry pros and musicians to see at least 2,000 performances at more than 100 venues. (

And that's just the official music portion of the festival.

Austin is a city of many superlatives, consistently ranked among the best places to live for everyone from job-seekers to singles and health nuts to hipsters. (Map:

There is much to enjoy for those seeking vast outdoor spaces, world-class eateries and vibrant nightlife.

Austin was recently named by Forbes as the fastest-growing U.S. city, showing that the draw of the quirky capital of Texas far surpasses its signature South by Southwest event.

The renown prompted a Chamber of Commerce campaign to "Keep Austin Weird" - a mantra as ubiquitous as the "Hook 'Em" sign of Austin's beloved University of Texas Longhorns.

Here are tips for getting the most out of a trip to Austin from Reuters, whose 2,600 journalists in all parts of the world offer visitors the best local insights.   Continued...