I am usually a great trip planner but lack of research, last minute hotel booking, late arrival, and a very poor understanding of the area all conspired to make the "Keep Austin Weird" slogan of Austin Texas a very real thing.
I thought I had done a good job. 6th Street Austin looked like a really happening place. A last minute hotel choice lead me to a pricy Hilton right off the highway and right where the action is. All seemed in order.
Lets just say at the end of the block I chose was too weird even for me. In fact when I told the concierge I was heading over to the Museum of the Weird, he gave me a very weird look and asked if I was sure. It was where I thought was the closest place to get the tour bus tickets. I even found it quirky enough to buy a ticket and take the museum tour. Later I found out the closest place to get bus tour tickets was a block away from the hotel at the visitors center / convention center. Of course then I never would have ventured this way so doing things the weird way has it's benefits.
Walking even farther down the street I found a great english pub for some fish and chips. That did not take away from the fact that this section of town is not quite as polished and nice as the rest of Austin. In a few years I'm sure it will be amazing but where I was - it has some maturing and a lot of clean up to go through. But if you are into weird - this is the spot. When I started to see the night crowd roll in - I thought it best to head back to the hotel.
The next day was an early start and I opted for the bus tour which took me to many points of interest. Because of my poor research and planning skills, I spent way too much time at the state capital building and I did not make it back in time for the last Duck boat. I seriously considered staying one more day and doing it. Given the choice of one over the other, I think I would have opted for the boat.
But then I would have missed a collection of Rat Rods on South Congress (SOCO). Not to mention a great meal and the SFANTHOR House of Wax. Yes I toured that too. It was a weird day. Our guide told us this strip of awesome shops and eateries was the worst section of town not that long ago. It was quirky cool and of course, I didn't have nearly enough time to see it all. Yes my entire day was out of sync.
Austin offers so much great music and entertainment. I managed to avoid all of it. In fact it was like I almost planned to have a weird day. I really do wish I had spent just one more day exploring. But I can go back one day much better prepared. By the time I make it back - 6th Street might even be artsy and cool as opposed to the college drink fest it seems now.
I would really like to hear from other visitors to see what I missed. Send me some comments.
For photos of my weird adventure [click here]