Explore Austin with Dell
In addition to being Dell’s hometown, Austin is a long-time technology hotbed with a creative and hospitable culture. Austin’s unique combination of businesses, live music, food, art and outdoor activities make it an attractive venue for world-renowned events, from the SXSW Music, Film and Interactive conferences to the Austin City Limits Music Festival. As locals like to say, we’re keeping Austin weird. Ready to explore all that the city has to offer? Read on, and pack your bags for an experience only Austin can offer.
Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits is the longest-running music show on television; it began with a pilot performance by Willie Nelson in 1976. In February 2011, the legendary show got a new home: Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater. The new studio serves as a regular show venue most of the time; patrons can purchase tickets to see local bands and major touring acts. In addition, lucky visitors will be able to score tickets to ACL tapings by following the ACL blog and entering the regular ticket lottery. The new venue can accommodate up to 3,000 fans – with no one fan more than 80 feet from the stage. www.acl-live.com
Dell World 2012 will open on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater. Our live music lineup will be announced soon!
Eat and Go → Go and Eat.
The trailer food movement took off in Austin when the economy hit troubled waters in 2008. Chefs and restaurateurs took advantage of the low overhead, low staffing costs, and limited food costs offered by a mobile restaurant. And some of them were wildly successful. Franklin BBQ (franklinbbq.com), Odd Duck Farm to Trailer (oddduckfarmtotrailer.com), Torchy’s Tacos (torchystacos.com), Lucky J’s Chicken & Waffles (luckyjs.com) and Hey Cupcake (heycupcake.com) have gone from mobile to brick-and-mortar, turning the trailer food movement into a test-the-waters business opportunity. It speaks to Austin’s popularity as a startup hub, and also to the dedicated community of foodies that support adventurous chefs.
Experience Austin’s food trucks yourself at the opening event on December 11th, as well as breakfast and lunch during Dell World at the Austin Convention Center.
Formula One Racing
Technology is the power behind Formula 1™ racing. Huge supercomputers perform billions of calculations within hours to see which of a hundred front wingplates will work best. Servers are lugged to every race to provide a mobile office for over 60 people, 20 times per year. Gigabytes of data travel through virtually bulletproof laptops before being beamed back to a team's base, sometimes on the other side of the world.
It was in this context that Caterham F1™ Team (known then as Team Lotus) came to Dell. In a sport where hundredths of a second count, innovative technology can drive a significant competitive advantage. Dell addressed the needs of Caterham by deploying a powerful infrastructure from the desktop to the datacenter — and on to the driver seat. Both on and off the track, the IT behind Caterham F1 Team is helping them go faster and advance up the grid.
Austin, Texas is hosting the Formula 1™ United States Grand Prix from 2012-2021. The F1 complex, which will also host MotoGP championship motorcycle races, has been named Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The scenic, 3.4-mile COTA racetrack features 20 strategic turns and an elevation change of 133 feet, challenging drivers and thrilling fans. COTA is also home to permanent structures for business, entertainment, education and race use. Design plans call for a banquet hall, luxury suites, a media and conference center, an expansive medical building, and Grand Plaza with an open stage for live music.
Race fans can sign up for ticket information and facility updates at www.circuitoftheamericas.com. Learn more about Team Dell Racing.
Explore Austin on your own
Austin: the Ultimate 19th Hole
Central Texas is home to award-winning municipal and resort courses, but what really separates Austin as a golf destination is that a vibrant downtown – with nearly 200 live music venues, smoky BBQ and tangy margaritas – is just minutes away from most courses. The Austin Golf Trail (http://www.austingolftrail.com) offers customized golf trips to Austin, with priority access to tee times, great rates at downtown hotels, and even transportation for players. Or, check out a resort course:
- With a world-class golf school on site, the award-winning Barton Creek Resort & Spa welcomes golfers to courses with verdant hills, lush vegetation and abundant wildlife.
- Wolfdancer Golf Club at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa offers a 7,205-yard course that incorporates three distinct ecosystems – a sloping prairie, wooded ridgeline and river valley dotted with native pecan trees.
- Located in the Hill Country, Lakeway Resort & Spa offers four unique courses in close proximity to Lake Travis.
- Named one of America’s Best Golf Resorts by Golf Magazine, Horseshoe Bay Resort is home to three championship courses and features a multi-million dollar, 18-hole, par-72 Bermuda grass putting course complete with waterfalls and grazing flamingos.
Luxe in Texas
Austin has traditionally been known as a laid-back, cowboy-cool destination. But new additions to the skyline and renovated attractions take Austin to the next level as a luxury travel destination.
- Named North America’s #1 Destination Spa by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, Lake Austin Spa Resort offers indulgent massages and body treatments, an expansive menu of facials, and top-notch hair and nail therapy, waxing, men’s treatments and more. “Stealth health” cuisine is served daily, workshops and workout classes round out programming, and impeccable but comfortable design evokes the feel of a friend’s lake house. Book all-inclusive packages at www.lakeaustin.com
- Arthouse at the Jones Center reopened in late 2010 after a $6 million renovation to include three galleries, two studios, a screening/community room and a rooftop space with a large cinema screen. www.arthousetexas.org
- Congress, David Bull’s new, exquisite restaurant, was recently named the Best New Restaurant in Texas by the New York Times. Bull was lauded for creative applications on traditional dishes like white lobster bisque with tomato jam and rack of lamb with salsify and cardamom yogurt. www.congressaustin.com
- High-end diners also delight in the Interior Mexican cuisine at La Condesa, where the menu offers squid tostadas, duck confit molé and house-made ice cream (try the banana brown sugar) for dessert. www.lacondesaaustin.com
- New shops in the 2nd Street District bring posh shopping to downtown Austin. Designs from the likes of Doucette Douvall, Nicole Miller and John Varvados adorn the racks at Estilo, and unique gifts and interiors are available at Mercury Design Studio. www.2ndstreetdistrict.com
- Lovers of wearable art can buy hand-designed (and commissionable) cowboy boots at Heritage Boot, the shop named by The New York Times and Departures Magazine as the best place to buy your boots in Austin. www.heritageboot.com
Vibrant Nightlife Takes Top Billing in the Live Music Capital of the World®
Once known mostly for its country and blues music, today Austin’s music scene is as diverse as its ever-growing population. The Texas capital is a cradle of musical talent for the likes of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan and Janis Joplin, as well as such famed melody makers as Willie Nelson, Spoon and Alejandro Escovedo.
Many newer homegrown talents are climbing the music charts including Spoon, Ghostland Observatory, Bob Schneider, Kat Edmonson and Seth Walker. Austin’s musical strength lies with perennial songwriters and performers who pack the dazzling array of clubs, performance halls and amphitheaters that dot the city and the surrounding Texas Hill Country. What’s more, the city caters to its music fans through restaurants, concerts, festivals and television programs. The 33-year-old landmark show Austin City Limits broadcasts on hundreds of PBS stations around the country and is known as a platform for both recognized and little-known performers.
The city’s nearly 200 live music venues cater to numerous musical styles – country, blues, Latino, folk, punk, indie rock, alternative and jazz. The majority of the venues are located either in the Sixth Street and Red River entertainment districts, which feature some 50 clubs, or the Warehouse District just west of the central business district.
The dean of the country music scene, The Broken Spoke, survives as Austin’s premier honky tonk original, where owner James White has booked country and western legends for decades, everybody from the late Bob Wills and Dolly Parton to Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker.
Music has become a lucrative business for the City of Austin with thousands of music industry leaders, hundreds of bands and a legion of music lovers migrating to the city every March for the South by Southwest Music, Film & Interactive Conference and Festival (SXSW) to hear legendary bands, rising stars, and yet-to-be-discovered acts. The festival is only one of more than 92 annual music events including the award-winning Austin City Limits Music Festival in October.
Some 1,650 music-related businesses flourish in Austin, including guitar makers, publishing companies, record labels and recording studios. The industry employs more than 9,400 Austinites.
New musicians flock to Austin to join more than 2,037 recording acts with an estimated total of 1,900 recording acts creating great music in the area. Live music also contributes to tourism’s annual economic impact of $2.8 billion, with $103 million coming from SXSW alone and another $34.5 million from the three-day ACL Music Festival.
Free attractions in Austin
Texas Capitol Tours, 512-305-8400, www.tspb.state.tx.us/SPB/plan/Tours.htm
Taller than the nation’s capitol, the Texas Capitol was restored several years ago with many of its original architectural details.
Congress Avenue Bats, www.batcon.org
Home of the largest urban Mexican Free-Tailed bat colony in North America. Viewing area just north of the Austin American-Statesman parking lot, 305 S. Congress.
Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, http://www.austintexas.org/listings/Lady-Bird-Lake-Hike-and-Bike-Trail/4369/
Take a stroll on the scenic trail that is found in the heart of Austin. Walkers, joggers and bikers also get a taste of Lady Bird Lake, Zilker Park and Auditorium Shores while on the trail.
Blanton Museum of Art, (free admission on Thursdays), 512-471-7324, www.blantonmuseum.org
America’s largest university-owned collection features exemplary European, Contemporary and Latin American art.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, 512-721-0200, www.lbjlib.utexas.edu
America’s only free Presidential Library chronicles the life and times of LBJ and his contributions to six decades of American history.
Elizabet Ney Museum, 512-458-2255, http://www.austintexas.org/listings/Elisabet-Ney-Museum/1523/
The works of eccentric sculptress Elizabet Ney are exhibited at her former home and studio in the Hyde Park neighborhood.
O. Henry Museum, 512-472-1903, http://www.austintexas.org/listings/O-Henry-Museum/1896/
Visit the historic house of William Sidney Porter, famously known as a short-story writer under the pen name O. Henry.
Texas Memorial Museum, 512-471-1604, www.utexas.edu/tmm
Featuring fossils from ancient dinosaurs to Texas wildlife, this museum is a branch of the Texas Natural Science Center at the University of Texas at Austin®.
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512-471-8944, www.hrc.utexas.edu
One of the world's finest cultural archives houses a rare Gutenberg Bible, 30 million literary manuscripts and the world's first photograph.
Austin Nature and Science Center, 512-327-8180, http://www.austintexas.org/listings/Austin-Nature-Science-Center/2820/
Come face-to-face with native animals and Texas fossils while learning how to preserve our natural environment.
Zilker Hillside Theater, 512-479-9491, www.zilker.org
This year’s summer musical, The Music Man, will run from July 3 to August 15. Grab a blanket, pack a picnic and enjoy theater under the stars.
Waterloo Records, 512-474-2500, www.waterloorecords.com
Watch for free CD release parties and in-store performances by Austin and Texan musicians.
Zilker Botanical Garden, 512-477-8672, www.zilkergarden.org
Thirty acres of beautiful garden displays include butterfly, prehistoric, rose and Japanese gardens.
Barton Creek Greenbelt, http://www.austintexas.org/listings/Barton-Creek-Greenbelt/2852/
The eight-mile long greenbelt is appropriate for walking, hiking and swimming, especially during the spring season.
Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, 512-327-7622, www.wildbasin.org
Partake in hiking, bird watching and Indian lore in this Texas Hill Country preserve.
Mount Bonnell Park, www.austinparks.org
It’s 99 steps to the top, but the view from the highest point in the city is worth the climb.
Hamilton Pool Preserve, 512-264-2740, www.co.travis.tx.us/tnr/parks/hamilton_pool.asp
A picturesque swimming hole beneath a small 45-foot waterfall, surrounded by a 232-acre preserve.
“Live from the Plaza,” www.cityofaustin.org/music/live.htm
The outdoor plaza at Austin City Hall is transformed into a live music venue every Friday at noon with performances from local, culturally diverse bands.
“Unplugged at the Grove,” www.kgsr.com
The patio at Shady Grove hosts this free concert series known for its acoustic performances every Thursday night.
Central Market Café, 512-206-1000 (N. Lamar) or 512-899-4300 (Westgate),
Enjoy free live music performances at your local grocery store.
Happy Hour at the Continental Club, 512-441-2444, www.continentalclub.com
Located on South Congress, this hip music joint offers live music for no cover charge, Monday through Friday starting at 6:30 p.m.
Independence Brewing Co., 512-707-0099, www.independencebrewing.com
Beer lovers should check out the free tours, tastings and live music on the first Saturday of each month.