This week locals and visitors alike keep asking me where to go to experience Austin/SXSW. I have been out and about every day and so far Rainey Street has been the best stop for those lacking any credentials.
I know as well as the next person that when you are in a town that you do not know much about it can be hard to figure out where the locals hang out. While 6th Street is fun and often the more famous of the “bar” streets in Austin, Rainey Street offers a little more low key kind of fun.
I will tell you that yes, there are several bars on Rainey Street that are closed for private parties. So far I have found myself at Clive, who was giving away an hour of free beer last night, Bangers, and Craft Pride. None of these places were badges needed. If you are looking for some SXSW fun but want to keep it semi-calm this is where I recommend hanging out.
Here are also a few pointers that I have picked up over the last few days. They are pretty obvious but none the less worth mentioning.
- Keep your cell phone charger with you at all times. Having access to your phone & social media is key to SXSW. There are so many updates via twitter that a phone is necessary. To make it a little simpler on yourself, just keep your charger in your pocket, you won’t regret it. I’ve seen countless people in search of a charger the last few days.
- Follow @SouthByFreeNOMS on twitter. They are the go to source for free eats and parties all over town.
- Do not even think about driving/parking downtown. Unless you don’t mind paying upwards of $25 dollars to park your car, don’t even try. Get dropped off, bike, take a smart car, rent a bike, pedicab, walk, take the bus, metro rail, cab – anything besides drive. The streets become pure gridlock so save yourself the frustration.
- Drink water. If you plan on taking advantage of all the free goodness that comes with SX, take every opportunity to drink water that you can. The days are long and you want to be ready for the next.
Have fun folks! Be safe.
Austin, Texas 78701