Music style and tastes vary greatly, making it difficult to suggest one quintessential music experience, but here’s a start. The proper accommodations are crucial for the live music fan. They need to be cheap, centrally located, and near a restaurant that serves breakfast all day.

Once you arrive in town, immediately consult the music section of the Austin Chronicle.Musicians and fans alike love to stay at The Austin Motel (1220 S. Congress Ave., 512/441-1157, $69-154) on South Congress Avenue because it meets all these criteria. Once you arrive in town, immediately consult the music section of the Austin Chronicle. All venue listings and festival and event information are found in the pages of this weekly rag. Chances are that at least one band or musician of interest to you will be performing while you’re in town.

After a night of live music followed by a visit to one of Austin’s many dive bars, you’ll probably wake up after noon. If you stay at the Austin Motel, saunter up the street to Home Slice Pizza or Güero’s Taco Bar for great grub.

You probably can't snag any tickets to Austin City Limits, but you can catch other great acts at the Moody Theater.

You probably can’t snag any tickets to Austin City Limits, but you can catch other great acts at the Moody Theater. Photo © ღ-ℂℏ℟ḯʂ-ღ, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

If you want to continue with a music-themed visit to Austin, be sure to check out one of the most popular music stores in the country, Waterloo Records (600 N. Lamar Blvd., 512/474-2500). If you’re a vinyl collector, check out Antone’s Record Shop (2928 Guadalupe Ave., 512/322-0660, 10am-10pm Mon.-Sat., 11am-8pm Sun.) or End of an Ear (2209 S. 1st St., 512/462-6008, 11am-9pm Mon.-Sat., noon-8pm Sun.). While in town it’s imperative that you pay your respects to local music legend Stevie Ray Vaughn on the south-shore trail of Lady Bird Lake. On the banks of the Colorado stands a life-size bronze statue of the guitar god.

While in Austin all music lovers invariably ask themselves, “I wonder how to get tickets to a taping of Austin City Limits?” You have a better chance of sprouting wings than acquiring tickets to a taping of this famous PBS program. However, on off nights, the famous stage with the Austin skyline as the backdrop is utilized as a traditional venue called the Moody Theater (310 Willie Nelson Blvd., 512/225-7999 venue, 877/435-9849 tickets), where anyone can see great national acts perform.


Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Austin, San Antonio and the Hill Country.