Sign In
Save to wishlist

12 Reasons to Visit Austin over Nashville

Picture of Jessica Devenyns
Updated: 3 April 2018
Sure, Nashville is awesome and whatnot, but it’s just not Austin. There are no tacos, no 365 days of summer and the music just doesn’t even compare. There’s a reason Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, after all! Honestly, everyone who lives here doesn’t even feel the need to justify this city’s excellence. However, since you asked, here are the reasons.

(Just so we’re clear, there are so many more reasons to come to Austin, we just couldn’t them all!)

Our music has more variety

Yeah, OK, Nashville has the country stars, but we have rock stars, blues legends, hip-hop legends and a famous country musician or two. Nuff said.

The Chromatics Fun, Fun, Fun Fest | © Anna Hanks/Flickr

Tech innovation is more techie

Google is here. Amazon is considering their new headquarters here. We’ve got Apple. Oracle just built a new campus. Facebook has made it’s home in the city center. And pretty much everyone else works at a startup. Welcome to Silicon Valley 2.0.

Vodka is obviously better than whiskey

OK, Nashville bars are probably serving up some Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey, and that’s fine and dandy. However, when you want to get serious about some variety in your drinks, you need to turn to vodka. Whether you’re a fan of Deep Eddy Vodka or Tito’s, you know that when it comes time to party, you’re going to reach for that clean, clear liquor that comes directly from Central Texas distilleries. Plus, Tito’s also has a puppy for a mascot. What’s not to love?

Tito’s Vodka Puppy | © Nan Palmero/Flickr

Who wants to go to college when you can go to UT?

In Austin, we bleed orange. In fact, we are such supporters of our university’s sports, we don’t have time to cheer for a professional team (OK, we have professional soccer now, but that’s a new development). However, in addition to having phenomenal sports, the University of Texas is a world-class research center and houses some of the best art in the state. All of this is also available to students for one of the smallest public university price tags in the country.

Nashville has the University of Nashville.

University of Texas | © Larry D. Moore/WikiCommons

Memphis-style barbecue is no match for Texas barbecue

There’s really just no argument here. Barbecue should be smoked low and slow and really shouldn’t require any sauce whatsoever. Also, everyone knows that barbecue should involve beef, not pork.

For that matter, our food is just better

We have so many lauded and James Beard–awarded chefs that we’ve lost count. Even our greasy-spoon restaurants taste like class. Can you say that about Nashville’s restaurants? I don’t think so. So come for the BBQ and stay for the Tex-Mex. The Texas state capital is a great place to gorge yourself silly, which you can do because you’ll walk it off shortly.

Summer is the only season you need

Why would you want seasons when you could have swimming season all year round? Austin has a semi-arid climate which means lots of sunshine – 300 days a year on average to be exact. That means that the average daily high in January is 62 degrees. It also means that the city’s uniform is shorts and a T-shirt with a pair of flip-flops. Bring on the heat, baby!

We can actually walk places

Unlike Nashville, if you’re in the urban core, you can walk everywhere and you probably won’t have to go much farther than a mile. There are grocery stores, art exhibitions, parks, festivals and plenty of dining right on your doorstep. So get out and check it out. Walking is also a better way to see the native weirdness that makes the city so awesome.

Wide-open green space

Although nature blessed Nashville, you have to go out of the urban core to experience it. You don’t actually have to leave city limits to find acres and acres of green space in Austin. With pocket parks as well as the famous Zilker Park, Austin has plenty of green space to keep you grounded and conscious of your surrounding environment. Plus, unlike Nashville, Austinites love to swim. Austin is home to more than 50 public swimming pools, including Barton Springs – the nation’s largest natural swimming pool in an urban area and Hippie Hollow, a clothing-optional beach at Lake Travis.

Auditorium Shores | © Jenn Deering Davis/Flickr

Our city is a work of art

With high-rises popping up every week, you would think the city would lose its personality. Au contraire. Thanks to the city planning department, the old and the new blend together seamlessly to create an interesting cityscape that is pleasing to the eye from almost any point in the city. Plus the center of the city is divided Central Park–style by the Colorado River and a great expanse of green parkland. How lucky are we to have a city that promotes beauty in conjunction with function?

Stevie Ray Vaughn Statue | © Katie Haugland Bowen/Flickr

Austin skies help alleviate depression

With 300 days of sun, it’s no wonder our citizens are so happy. Sadly, in Nashville, unending gray skies in winter and the stark contrast of the naked winter trees offer little solace to those who need a generous dose of Vitamin D.

We’re a little dot of blue in a great sea of red

Unlike the majority of the South, Austin is a little pocket of liberalism. We really live up to our motto: “Keep Austin Weird.” From a cross-dressing transvestite who ran for mayor to the passage of 10-1 that consciously helped minorities, Austin is consistently benchmarked against their peers in cities like San Francisco and Seattle. Plus, the culture of openness that is cultivated here always promises that you’ll have a lively discussion when the subject of politics is broached.

Texas Capitol at Night | © J Dimas/Flickr