SXSW: A Few Tips

So, with SXSW just around the corner I felt it was appropriate to post a few SXSW tips for any out of towners visiting Austin for the wonderful madness that will soon ensue. So here we go…


Ok, so you’ve partied your heart out. You’ve moshed, done the pogo or swayed to your favorite songs. You found many new films, new bands, new friends, new inspiration and new reasons to love Austin. It’s late and and all that moving and shaking has exhausted you and you’re in need of a good, hot meal. Here are a few of spots that you can count on to be open and ready to serve all the night owls around town.

open 24 hours…

24 Diner – Lamar and 5th, next to Waterloo Records. Great farm fresh foods and unique blends of ingredients. Delicious chicken and waffles! Tons of inspired comfort foods and wonderful milkshakes.

Kerby Lane Cafe – Multiple locations. Local ingredients and a diverse menu. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available!

Magnolia Cafe – 2 locations: South Congress or Lake Austin Blvd. Fresh foods! Breakfast, Tex-Mex, Sandwiches, Burgers and more. Plenty of Vegetarian options.

Star Seeds Cafe – I35 & 31st Friendly atmosphere! Vegetarian options. Breakfast, Sandwiches, Burgers, Wraps and much more.

open late…

Frank – 5th and Colorado, Open till midnight most nights and till 2AM on Friday and Saturdays. Hot dogs and cold beer. Need I say more? Ok. Maybe I kind of do. These aren’t just your ordinary pub grub, run of the mill hot dogs. These are artisan sausages made in house and topped with a variety of wonderful and delicious dressings.

Trudy’s – multiple locations, Open till 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Amazing Tex-Mex. Try the Stuffed Avacado. Just do it… and thank me later.

Home SliceSouth Congress Ave, Open till 11 on weeknights and till 12 on Friday and Saturday. Order by the slice or by the pie!


Why is Austin so awesome? Because this isn’t our first rodeo (literally… so, don’t forget that Rodeo Austin is the same week as SXSW). Having done the festival thing before, we know that driving and parking in Central Austin can be a bit hectic during big events. So, don’t forget: You have options.

Capital Metro for SXSW (exact change required, $1.00 single ride or $2.00 for 24 hour access) The Capital Metro site has a little graphic that says, “because parking takes longer than the show you were going to see” to promote using Captial Metro system during SXSW… and it’s true. This has happened to me before. So plan ahead a little and you can avoid the parking blues.

Night Owls, buses that run from midnight to 3AM downtown every day but Sunday will be in full operation. Capital Metro will actually be adding more buses to the popular routes specifically for SWSW. Utilize them! It’s less of a hassle, greener and safer after a night on the town.

Airport Flyer and Airport Blvd Routes – Take the trip from the airport into Downtown (Airport Flyer) or North Central Austin (Airport Blvd) for only $1.00. Taking a cab can be costly and you need to save your money for all that grub up above. The Airport Flyer departs the airport every 30 minutes at the hour and half hour from 5:30AM – 11:30PM on weekdays and similar weekend hours.

Metrorail – Also part of the Capital Metro system, the Metrorail will have extended weekend hours and will drop off right in front of the convention center. See the website for hours and rates.

car2go – So, if you’re visiting a friend for SXSW, ask if they have a car2go membership. There are some designated parking spaces downtown for these cars and they’re small and easy to maneuver. Plus you can park it and leave it and don’t have to worry about it driving it later. They also have an iPhone app that allows you to locate available cars near you!


Don’t forget about all the free shows! Here are just a couple… but there are endless options during the festival! This SXSW Party List Facebook page does a good job of compiling them. (click photo to enlarge…)

MWTX 2012

Let us know if you have any tips to share! And if you get to Austin and just don’t want to leave, contact one of the YAP Pack Real Estate Experts to help you make that happen!

24 Diner photo courtesy of Flickr, J0N6; car2go photo courtesy of Flickr, mikecogh

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