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The Greenhornes | © Kris Krüg/Flickr
The Greenhornes | © Kris Krüg/Flickr | © Kris Krüg/Flickr
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9 Stereotypes About Austin that are Kinda True

Picture of Jessica Devenyns
Updated: 16 March 2018
Whether or not we want to admit it, people visiting Austin often have a few (too many) preconceived notions about what Austin is all about even before they arrive. Some of them are wrong, but there are a few that, as much as we hate to admit it, hit the nail right on the head. It doesn’t help that Austinites constantly throw fuel on the fire by waxing nostalgic about the days of a far-flung past when I-35 wasn’t such a traffic nightmare and finding an affordable place to live was relatively easy. So to help clear up the mystery about what makes Austin tick – we admit it, we’re a quirky bunch – here are nine totally true stereotypes that our city should learn to embrace.

We like to stick to our neighborhoods

It’s kind of true. If we have to cross I-35, good luck getting us to go. It’s not that it’s far, it’s just that most of us really identify with the neighborhoods we live in; that’s why we moved there after all. Plus, it can easily take 30 minutes to go two miles if it’s rush hour. Better to ask us to meet you somewhere that is reachable by bike.

East Austin Food Trailers
East Austin Food Trailers | © Steve Polunsky/Flickr

Casual Friday is always a thing

Unless you’re in the upper echelons of city government or it’s your wedding, you will be looked at strangely if you arrive in a suit. Maybe because it’s hot nine months out of the year, but in Austin, dress code includes jeans and a t-shirt. Close-toed shoes are optional.

The Greenhornes
The Greenhornes | © Kris Krüg/Flickr

Don’t try to take a leisurely drive

If you’re in Austin, you will sit in traffic. We don’t really have rush hour so much as rush day. Unfortunately, the city was not built to funnel nearly 950,000 residents to and from their jobs, so the result is that even if you arrange your schedule so that you start work at 10 a.m., you’re still going to have to sit through a traffic jam.

Worse yet, the traffic doesn’t let up on the weekends because everyone wants to be in town. That said, if you can, the best option is to take your bike.

Austin Traffic
Austin Traffic | © Todd Morris/Flickr

Dogs are people too

Dogs are beloved in Austin, and it shows. Dogs are welcome almost everywhere. Ranked one of the most pet-friendly cities in America, Austin is one of those places where you can sit down to dinner and soon Pete the puppy will sidle over from the next table to investigate what you ordered.

Full Moon Over Downtown and Dog
Full Moon Over Downtown and Dog | © Todd Dwyer/Flickr

Hipsters are everywhere

The city has a love-hate relationship with its hipster status, but if we’re being honest, it’s kind of cool to have these folks around decorating walls with street art and introducing others to the next cool music venue that isn’t mainstream yet.

We ride bikes

Partially because Austin is an outdoorsy city, partially because Lance Armstrong started the bike culture here, and partially because the traffic is horrendous, bikes are an incredibly popular form of public transport. In fact, there is even a city-sponsored B-Cycle option if you’re just visiting and want to cycle around the city in the nice weather.

Gowalla and Bikehugger Mobile Social Bike Ride
Gowalla and Bikehugger Mobile Social Bike Ride | © Kris Krüg/Flickr

Everyone is a musician

Sure the city has tons of big-name acts that call Austin home, but from blues to hip-hop there are so many musicians in this city who will get your toes tapping. Even the amateurs make good music. Maybe your friend plays the ukulele on the street corner or maybe you’re a shower singer; if you’ve been in Austin for an extended period of time, chances are, you’ll suddenly find yourself inspired to make music. It must just be in the air.

We all network, all the time

The city’s economy is based on a creative engine filled with techies and artists. As such, professionals are constantly collaborating. Sometimes you’ll find yourself attending sanctioned networking events like BossBabes ATX, other times networking is as casual as a cup of coffee at Thunderbird. You never know when you’ll find the perfect person for the job, so in Austin we’re always ready.

We’re all a bit strange

There’s a reason why our slogan is “Keep Austin Weird.” From Leslie Cochran to Eeyore’s Birthday party, Austinites like to express themselves in any way that feels natural. Even if it does seem a bit kooky from the outside.

Eeyore’s Birthday Party
Eeyore’s Birthday Party | © Jack Newton/Wikimedia Commons