South by Southwest Visitors - What to do when you're burned out.

I am no authority on SXSW. I've lived in Austin for 4.5 years and I've only been to one SXSW music show - and that was more of a joke than anything (how can you pass up an opportunity to see Vanilla Ice play?). March is prime camping season for Texas and I'm usually sleeping under the stars, listening to crickets and frogs, instead of rocking til my ears bleed.

However, I am an authority (self-nominated) on what to do when you DON'T want to go to hear a band play. Or see another indie film, or go to another lecture on SEO's. So here's my official list of what to go do when you're burned out on SXSW:

  1. Grab some Mexican food. That's a no-brainer, but may I suggest going to Polvo's? I personally dig their al pastor anything. Try the chile relleno with al pastor, with the pecan cream sauce. Or the mole.
  2. Go to Whole Foods, at 6th and Lamar. It's their flagship store, and is like the Epcot Center of grocery stores. I take all my out of town guests there for lunch.
  3. Saturday morning would be a fun time to go over to Boggy Creek Farm in East Austin for their farmers market. Even if you have no way to roast fresh brussels sprouts at your Motel 6, you can get a cup of coffee, croissant and yogurt and wander the farms. It may be too early for strawberries, but you might get lucky. There is also a larger farmers market called Sunset Valley that has way more offerings, but the setting just isn't as nice (think asphalt parking lot).
  4. Rent a canoe or kayak and explore Lady Bird Lake (AKA the body of water that looks like a river that cuts through downtown).
  5. Grab some sun, or freeze your ass off swimming in Barton Springs.
  6. Go for a hike along Barton Creek. See my earlier post here.
  7. Eat barbecue. I'd suggest going to Ruby's and then afterwards going shopping at the best toy store in the world, Toy Joy.
  8. Get an ice cream cone at Amy's Ice Cream. It's a local favorite with several locations, and they change their menu daily.
  9. Go see "The Birth of the Cool," an exhibit that just opened at the Blanton. It's all about midcentury design, and is FREE all day until 9pm on Thursday, March 19th.
  10. Grab picnic supplies at Whole Foods and then head to the Capitol. The grounds there are gorgeous, and if you happen to have kids, they'll love rolling down the hills and chasing squirrels. Maybe you'll be so giddy about your visit to Austin that you'll join in too.

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