Becoming a Local (in Austin)

When I was little I was terrified of change.  I liked things just the way they were and was perfectly content with them staying that way.  But in my early years of being a teenager, change came storming through my world, damaging everything in its wake – I had no choice. I had to accept it.  In the years that followed, I slowly came to terms with change, eventually reaching a point where it was something I welcomed, embraced, sought out.  I started to listen to my instincts, and beyond just listening, I started to trust those instincts.  I became incredibly – dangerously? – spontaneous.  If my heart, or something deep down in my gut, was telling me to do something, I acted.

Do, instead of dream.

So when something in my soul told me…move to Austin… I listened. I didn’t question it. It was scary, taking a solo trip to find an apartment, and trying to explain to people what I was doing, but it felt so right. I felt alive. I’m excited to make this city a permanent home, at least for a little while. And while I’ve been there many times, I know I’m no local (yet) so I am asking for your advice. What are the places I simply must see, the people I must seek out, the secret spots that make the weird and wonderful heart of Austin beat to its own drum? Let me know in the comments – maybe I’ll even feature it on this here blog (unless of course you want me to keep it a secret, in which case, my lips are sealed).


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Gorgeous pictures, and please continue sharing your journey in Austin! I’m hoping to move there in the next few years and would love to know more about the area.

So excited to have someone else going through the same thing as me! I’m moving to Austin in 4 weeks from New York City and it’s a comfort to know the city will have another newbie besides just me. Can’t wait to read the comments on this post and read about your move there. Good luck Julia- maybe our paths will cross.


Good choice! I’m a Texan born and raised… Austin is HEAVEN.

Check out East Austin, it’s a collision of cultures in the best way possible. Go see: Vintage Heart Coffee, El Chilito, Counter Culture, Cuvee Coffee, in.gredients, Hops and Grain Brewery, Salt and Time.

Other spots in Austin: Amy’s Ice Cream, Wheatsville Co-op, Madam Maam’s, Kerbey Lane, Mother’s Cafe, Flightpath Coffee, Thai Fresh, Elizabeth Street Cafe… SO MANY GOOD PLACES TO EXPLORE!

You’re going to have a BLAST! :)

I love that something in your soul told you that! Such a gift. It looks beautiful!

Warm Regards,


my soul misses Austin sooo much!!!

I’ve been living in Austin for 2 1/2 yrs now and the same thing happened with me, I felt the universe was showing me so many signs that Austin was where I needed to be. so I up and moved here after spending 7 years in new York. i’m originally from Houston so i’m a texas girl at heart. here is a list of places to check out: McKinney falls Krause Springs in Spicewood Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs secret beach anywhere on the greenbelt (sculpture falls, the flats, lost creek, hidden falls) barton springs lake travis-hippie hollow mount bonnell… Read more »

I’ve been living in Austin for 2 1/2 yrs now and the same thing happened to me. I felt the universe was giving me so many signs that I needed to be in Austin so I up and moved here after spending 7 years in new York. i’m originally from Houston so i’m a texas girl at heart. here is a list of places to check out: secret beach McKinney falls Krause springs in spicewood Hamilton pool in dripping springs maria’s taco express on sundays for hippie church-free live music mount bonnell at sunrise or sunset anywhere on the greenbelt… Read more »


I grew up in the heart of Austin and now, at 20, I’m still winding my way down new streets and acquainting myself with the influx of newbies after returning from college, so you’re not alone! Since it’s still so beautiful out, hiking at Mckinney Falls State Park near the airport is just dreamy. If you’re wanting to tap into some southern roots, hit up the Broken Spoke on s. lamar. If you want to shop, check out Beehive Boutique or the Blue Elephant. Definitely check out Hamilton Pool and deep eddy pool as well once it’s warmer. Dolce Neve… Read more »

So much fun! My friend just moved there, I’ll have to send her this!

Ripped Jeans

Share every Julia! My husband and I probably have to move there when he finishes school (he is pretty much guaranteed a job) and I want to learn everything I can! Thanks to the lovely ladies who already shared some great experiences!

Er… share everyTHING. Sorry for the typo.


I was born and raised here, and unfortunately, it’s not the same place it used to be. The massive amounts of new people moving here from California and New York are much less friendly than the locals, who are disappearing because it has become so expensive and overrun with people trying too hard to be trendy.


Thank you all so much for the recommendations!! I’m excited to check them out, and I’ll definitely be sharing more from Austin here on the blog :)

Hi :) I’m Cathy and I’ve lived in Austin since February, but grew up real close by, San Antonio to be exact! There’s so much beauty here and nearby! If you like outdoorsy things check out enchanted rock, bull creek trail, the greenbelt, and the 360 bridge overlook. The graffiti park is really beautiful too and constantly adds new art pieces. If you like shopping– especially thrift– the Goodwills are great especially the one on N Lamar near Half Price Books. Buffalo Exchange always has some great finds as well. I do talk about some things about moving/living in Austin… Read more »
My blog mentioned in the previous comment if you have time to check it :)


I’ve grown up in Hyde Park, right in the center of Austin. I’m now 19 and its so bittersweet to be moving to San Diego next fall for school. SD is amazing but I’ll miss the TexMex culture! So eating is one of the number one things to make time for here. The enchiladas verdes at Julios on Duval St is basically my favorite food on the planet, and if you want an amazing, greasy burger, the Crown and Anchor is where it’s at. For BBQ, skip the lines at Franklins and get some classic Austin grub and vibes at… Read more »

I took a short, but very fun, trip to Austin in September and absolutely fell in love with this city. The culture and hip sites were so amazing to discover. Even though my trip there was short, we tried to pack in as many activities as we could, which I featured on my blog.

Enjoy and wishing you the best of luck xx


Most people will give you the places that are listed on various Austin instagrams or mentioned on blogs or comments, because they have no idea and just continue to follow “the scene”. But the real good places are the ones that my family who have been born and raised there since the 50’s go to. The one’s that have been opened since then and have stayed open. Like Sandy’s Ice Cream, which totally blows Amy’s out of the water. And how about an actual culture experience at La Mexicana Bakery on 1st, which I can guarantee more than half of… Read more »


I’m a real local, born and raised. You’ll never be a local. Lexi is right, it’s not like it used to be. Even in my 25 years spent here, it’s wildly expanded, overpopulated and overrun with people who call themselves Austinites after being here 5 years. Have fun, support local small business owners, volunteer, see local bands.


Just know that you are on a journey, everyone is, no matter where you are. It doesn’t matter if you are to be considered a ‘local’ or not, you are in the place your intuition called you to be. All I can say is, if you want to be considered a ‘local’, YOU just consider yourself to be, that’s all. No one can tell you what you are, only YOU can tell you who you are. What does is matter if you were not born there? That’s just how people have been made to think and believe. Make up your… Read more »

Hi Julia! I’m so happy you posted this. I moved to Austin a few months ago to basically hit the reset button on life. The city called to me but I’m still figuring out where everything is so if you need an adventure buddy, I’d love to meet up and grab coffee sometime!

It was two years ago when I made the quick decision to move from Dallas to Austin. I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but it was probably one of the best decision I’ve made. I’ve met so many interesting people, learned many new things and I have developed a deep love for the natural beauties of this city! If you’re a hiker I definitely reccomend doing the Barton Springs Greenbelt. It’s challenging but so rewarding. If you just want some amazing scenery with a small hike I reccomend going to Mount Bonnell. To feed the inner foodie, I… Read more »


The long lists of recommendations and offers to meet up make me smile. It just shows the world is a good place even if not everything that happens in it is good.


Cat, I agree. Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and opinions! Kallie I would love to meet up, email me at!


I grew up in Austin and now live in New York City and sometimes I really miss the city that always keeps it weird! The beautiful thing about Austin is that everyone is welcome and accepted and embraced- especially if you bring some extra funk! Some places I’m missin’: 1. Barton springs (heaven on earth) 2. Charm School Vintage (super awesome little house in East Austin with vintage finds and a wig shop and a salon all in one!) 3. Torchy’s Tacos 4. Ballet Austin and Tapestry Dance Co. (anyone can drop in and take movement classes at both of… Read more »