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Austin nightlife

Austin's designation as "live music capital of the world" is, if hyperbolic, at least backed up with some substance: Legendary venues like Antone's and Stubb's dot the city. The city's spirit might be best embodied through a stroll along South Congress Avenue, where you can shop at quirky vintage stores, stop for a coffee at Jo's (next to the Hotel San José) or a margarita at Guero's (as long as you skip the food), and have dinner before a show at the legendary Continental Club. If it's the first Thursday of the month, you'll be in the midst of a street party, rubbing shoulders with a good portion of South Austin perusing a huge array of outdoor stalls. On South First, you can dance to the tunes of the legendary Cornell Hurd at Jovita's, while over on South Lamar, the famous Broken Spoke is Austin's tribute to Texas: a two-step dance hall with all the fixin's.

Downtown has a decidedly different vibe. The Warehouse District, which has been invaded by high-rise luxury-loft developments, is frequented by the sort of young professionals that rub longtime Austinites the wrong way; rubbing differently, but equally wrongly, are the drunken frathouse revelers that take over the famous Sixth Street east of Congress every weekend. But there are still spots that make it worth braving the rowdy masses for, such as indie dance locale Hi-Lo and hookah lounge Red Fez in the Warehouse District and the rockabilly Jackalope on Sixth Street.

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Broken Spoke, Austin

Don't come to the Broken Spoke looking for Kenny Chesney or Shania Twain. This is a gen-u-ine honky-tonk with low ceilings, longnecks, and two-steppers...more

Editors' Pick
Continental Club, Austin

Austin's best live-music venue is also one of its oldest, having opened in 1957. The late, great blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan often unleashed his guitar...more

Editors' Pick
Driskill Bar, Austin

This venerable Austin hotel is known for its rooms and its restaurant, but the very best part of it might be the evocative bar, which transports you to the days...more

Editors' Pick
Dry Creek Saloon, Austin

A ramshackle dive bar with a million-dollar sunset view. Leaning drunkenly by the side of the road near the top of Mount Bonnell, just west of town, Dry Creek...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel San José Bar, Austin

The romantic outdoor garden of this Austin institution is every bit as hip as the hotel itself. It's really only worth it in good weather, when you can sit at...more

Editors' Pick
Red River, Austin

An area that was down and out just a few years ago, this three-block strip just north of Sixth now boasts the city's tightest concentration of clubs. Glamorous...more

Editors' Pick
Warehouse District, Austin

Sixth Street continues to skew younger and bawdier, so festive adults who aren't necessarily in the mood to paaaartay!! are heading to the Warehouse District...more

Editors' Pick
Wink Wine Bar, Austin

Wink Wine Bar's exterior may not look like much (it's located in a small strip mall), but this darkly lit, sleek wine bar, attached to the perennially packed...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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