The Lone Star State's capital boasts one of the biggest clusters of music venues in the country, so make sure to bring your dancing pants. Each year the city hosts the increasingly popular Austin City Limits Music Festival (held in late September) and March's South by Southwest (SXSW) film and music festival. Even though Austin is in Texas, it isn't necessarily o/Texas. Austin is home to Whole Foods, which opened its first all-natural foods market there in 1980. The city is also home to a large population of liberal voters who pride themselves on their progressiveness. Consequently, the social scene is very mixed, with gays and lesbians fully integrated into the city's vibrant art, film, music, and nightlife scenes. Austin's longtime slogan may be "The Live Music Capital of the World," but as of late it has been eclipsed by a grassroots "Keep Austin Weird" campaign that is intended not only to preserve Austin's unique flavor but also to support local businesses and minimize overcommercialization. BILL KEITH
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
1120 S. Lamar Blvd.
Part bar, part restaurant, and part movie theater, the Alamo screens current movies as it offers full bar service in the theater and a robust menu of cinema-themed entrées-all served in the theater, which is equipped with tables.
OH Can Harry's
211 W. 4th St.
Visitors in Austin looking to find a megacLub will be disappointed, but if shirtless shot boys or yuppies on the prowl are what you're seeking, check out Harry's. A good-size dance club with a nice bi-level garden bar out back, it's just a few doors down from the equally enjoyable Rain on West 4th.
401 W. 2nd St.
If it's barbecue you crave, then head to Lambert's, a finer barbecue joint specializing in "modern Texas cuisine" such as natural barbecue, wood-grilled steaks, fresh seafood, familystyle sides, and homemade desserts. There's also live music five nights a week.
2004 S. 1st St.
Serving up some of the best and most authentic Tex-Mex in town, family-run Polvo's is best known for its daily lunch specials, its machacado and scrambled eggs plate for breakfast, and its roasted onion and poblano strips. …