Are you coming in for SXSW and want to truly experience the city? Check off the items in the list below so you can brag about your Austin trip to friends back home:

Iron Works Barbecue platter with Lone Star Beer
Iron Works Barbecue. Credit Lisa Hause.

1. Experience the Local Flavor.

You shouldn’t visit Austin without trying what we're most known for - barbecue and Tex-Mex. You may not have time to stand in line at Franklin, but Cooper'sLamberts and Iron Works are perfectly situated downtown. And don't forget to order queso and margaritas while you're out and about! We are also known for our abundance of food trucks. SouthBites Trailer Park, just south of the Convention Center, offers a great sampling of local food truck fare.

2. Capture our Iconic Street Art.

There are many photo-friendly murals and public art pieces in Austin. Check out this list of some of our favorite spots and make time to explore. Then, share your pics with us using #TrueAustin!

3. Discover the Heritage of the Lone Star State.

Texas has a rich and fascinating back story. Why not take a quick walk up Congress Avenue to check out the Texas State Capitol (which offers free tours) or the Bullock Texas State History Museum?

4. Listen to Live Music.

Here for SXSW Interactive or Film and want to experience what makes us the Live Music Capital of the World®? There will be many performances during the SXSW parties, but we recommend visiting one of Austin's iconic music venues. Favorites include the Continental ClubElephant Room and the White Horse.

Two tour boats on Lady Bird Lake at sunset
Credit Geoff Duncan.

5. Explore the City. 

Only have a couple hours and want to see the most you can in a short amount of time? Our local tour companies love to put their own special twists on getting-to-know-Austin adventures. Check out all the options, see real-time availability and book online.

6. Treat Yourself.

Head to the 2nd Street District or South Congress Avenue for your shopping fix. Looking for Texas and Austin souvenirs? Our Visitor Center and Gift Shop (right behind the Convention Center at Fourth and Red River Streets) has fun merch for everyone back home.

7. Reset.

Change up your morning routine and go for a walk or jog around the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail. The trail is located just across Cesar Chavez from the Convention Center and downtown hotels and it's a great way to experience Austin's outdoors. 

Need more recommendations? Ask us through our @VisitAustinTX Twitter or Instagram accounts. 

Contributed by Katie Cook.