Take it from a local…
There’s much more to experience during ACL than live music from a killer lineup… and, even more than the festival itself! For starters…
Let’s talk about food
Everyone’s favorite thing to anticipate, right behind seeing their favorite artist live, is what they’re going to eat and Austin City Limits doesn’t run short of top-notch options.
ACL includes famous Austin fare from endless meat-filled tacos to the vegan-friendly, and a festival-favorite, Mighty Cone. What is a Mighty Cone? It’s basically crunchy chicken topped with a mango-jalapeno slaw, wrapped in a tortilla and placed in a cone for optimal festival-walking food… and it’s a local favorite.
In addition to the staple Mighty Cone, you’ll have tons of options from the Korean BBQ-inspired, Chi’Lantro (a personal favorite) to Frank’s dogs and waffle fries with Austin’s famous (and unmissable) Amy’s Ice Creams for dessert. And you probably won’t be able to leave Austin without someone telling you to try a taco, so you may as well grab one at ACL Eats which features the one and only Torchy’s Tacos.
Outside of the festival
Austin City Limits Music Festival includes a lot of Austin culture right in the middle of Zilker Park! However, the city offers even more worth exploring. If you have extra time to make a vacation out of your stay, here’s what you can do to experience Austin and keep it weird.
Take a stroll down SoCo
Austin’s South Congress Avenue is full of boutique shops, galleries, restaurants and music venue. Take an Uber or grab a parking spot near the top of the street and walk up and down both sides to see where locals and tourists alike love to spend a free day.
Kayak under the sun at Lady Bird Lake
If the weather allows, hit the Rowing Dock and rent a kayak, canoe or paddle board for a couple of hours or the whole day and see the city from its beautiful water where Austinites love to spend their time. Otherwise, grab dinner at one of the many restaurants with a view to admire the skyline sparkling over the water.
Hit Rainey or 6th Street for a bar-hoppin’ night out
Austin’s 6th Street is well-known for a fun night out, travelling from bar to bar. Start out at Two Bucks for their $2 specialty drinks (seriously…) and make your way down to Recess Arcade Bar for arcade games and good drinks. Other hot bar spots in Austin: Rainey Street and West 6th.
Stargaze on a breezy fall night
Since it’s October and all, fall activities are a must. Luckily, you’re in Texas, so the weather is still pretty warm here. If you have some extra time, grab a light blanket, some local cider and check out some of the best star-gazing spots in the city or just outside of it.
When the festival is done for the night, but you’re not…
Don’t miss ACL’s Official Late-Night Shows! You can catch festival headliners like the National, Brockhampton and Manchester Orchestra at some of Austin’s famous and intimate venues like Stubb’s and Emo’s. View the full Late Night lineup here.
…and if you don’t have your festival tickets yet, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Secure your tickets for Weekend 1 or 2 from a local Austin company who knows its city and its best fest.