Austin attracts gazillions of visitors each year for its famous events: SXSW, ACL, and now Formula 1 racing. If you come to Austin for a huge event, you'll get a sense of how cool the city is, but by the very nature of huge festivals, you'll miss out on one of the best things about life in Austin, TX: It's easy.
The pace is pleasant. The people are friendly. The music is good. And the weather is almost always sunny. Sure it gets hot, but we've got cold swimming holes and cold beer for that. So relax, put your feet up, and enjoy. If you're anything like me, you'll glance at your watch FOUR YEARS LATER and wonder what time it is, and whether you were supposed to be doing something else.
This itinerary is for travelers who want to see Austin the way we see it: A beautiful, friendly, outdoors town with great food you don't have to dress up for. It's certainly okay to use a car to get from place to place, but a bike (or walking) will make parking a LOT easier. (Easier in the sense that you won't have to do it.) The itinerary is nicely divided up so that you can enjoy different parts of town all together, thus decreasing the need for long commutes.
A Note About the Weekend:
This itinerary is titled "A Laid-Back Long Weekend in Austin, TX" because some of the events listed herein are open only on weekends. Note that this doesn't mean you shouldn't visit Austin during the week. It just means this may not be the itinerary for you.
This itinerary starts on a Friday (Day 1) and goes through late Sunday afternoon (Day 3). The appendix has a note for Thursday night, should you arrive then.
A Note About the Weather:
This itinerary is an outdoors-themed itinerary, and very bike-friendly. Considering we are currently in a certified drought, it is highly unlikely that you'll experience any rain when you come. This author, however, does not hold herself accountable for Acts of God. If it does rain when you come, be glad. We need it.
If it does NOT rain, the other thing you should consider is the heat. Heat stroke is real, so drink water, sit in the shade, swim, and be careful.
Now that you're all introduced to the itinerary, it's time to do what Austinites do, and casually seize the day. Let's get started!