Stylish city: Austin
By Ben Olsen, 5 July 2016
The Texan city where cowboys – actual, real cowboys – hipsters, tech pioneers and half the world's music scene collide, Austin is one of America's buzziest spots and a staple for any self-respecting muso. Whether you're road-tripping, cool-hunting or making tracks to festival juggernaut Austin City Limits in September, make sure you saddle up in style – sartorially speaking, that is – with our on-point guide to taking Texas.
Austin locals are an eclectic bunch – the city doesn't have its Keep Austin Weird tagline for nothing – united by their strong sense of individualism. Maintaining your cool in the Texan sun is crucial as 35-degree days dressed head-to-toe in black is a tough gig. Embrace your inner frontman with a sleeveless vest or breezy pink tee, an off-white denim jacket and artfully ripped jeans, while a trusty pair of adidas Court Vantage sneaks will serve you well as you hit the streets, from gig venue to vintage store. Top it off with black leather accessories and tortoiseshell Clubmaster-style sunnies to keep off the glare while hitting the right notes.
The food-truck scene may have gone global, but Austin does it better than most. Here, you'll find world-class offerings across town from vegan to Tex-Mex, plus being so close to the Mexican border means you can be sure that those breakfast tacos and frozen margaritas are among the best in the business. Elsewhere, barbecue is a Texan staple and source of local pride – the trick's in the beef brisket cut and secret marinades, apparently – but expect a queue for Franklin Barbecue, which tops critics' lists year after year. (Tip: it's worth the wait.)
By all means dip your toe into frat-party-heavy Sixth Street – aka the Dirty Sixth – scene in Downtown. But the cool kids cross the River Colorado to the boho district of South Congress, which keeps on delivering with its blend of thrift stores, street markets and a creative crowd that makes for perfect people-watching. Elsewhere, pick up some vinyl in the cavernous Waterloo Records, catch next-generation bands at Sidewinder – this is the world's live music capital, after all – or jump in the lake with the locals at Barton Springs to beat the summer heat.