So much more than SXSW...
Wild Child (Credit: Tamara Lichtenstein)

SXSW kicks off this week, bringing with it a cavalcade of artists, bookers, A&R people, label reps, and other music industry types.

The city of Austin, Texas is bracing itself for the invasion, but somehow it always manages to cope - perhaps because it's a pretty damn cool place all year round.

Alexander Beggins from Wild Child calls the city home. Here are his seven facets of Austin life SXSW goers probably ignore...

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As an Austinite for the past ten years, I feel confident in my ability to shed light on some gems to check out in town during the tornado that is SXSW.

As much as I love SXSW, and I do, it is easy to get caught up in everything happening downtown and kind of just live on 6th Street. To give some context: 6th Street is a place that, on any normal night in Austin, a local would avoid.

So without further a due, here are seven places to consider hitting up to get out of the madness and enjoy Austin how the locals do.

1. Polvo's Mexican Restaurant - 2004 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
This one might be obvious but you’re going to need TexMex and you’re going to need a giant vat of queso. All the fixin’s on the side to throw in and the margaritas are top notch, try the avocado marg.

2. Barton Creek The Greenbelt - 2201 Barton Springs Road (Trail Head)
After Polvo's, you might need to burn some calories, and what better way to do that them enjoying some of Austin's urban oasis, Barton Springs Green Belt. You can hike around for hours and find cliffs to jump off of and the crispest rejuvenating water. Bring a cooler full of beer and bluetooth speaker and you’re all set.

3. Switched On - 2400 E Cesar Chavez St #200, Austin, TX 78702
If your a music head, specifically a keyboard player, you have to check out Switched On. It’s a small little synth shop on the eastside that will make your head spin. Thom Yorke goes here every time he’s in town. Just saying... Also, some of the guys from the synth band S U R V I V E work there, or I should say used to work there, before the penned the theme music for the massively popular show Stranger Things... To dream.

4. Dominican Joe's Coffee Shop - 515 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
My favourite coffee shop is Dominican Joe’s. Big place and great coffee. A great spot to chill out on your computer for a couple hours and people watch. Parking is tough but sometimes you can park across the street in the lot that belongs to Austin's only, and now defunct, male strip club La Bare.

5. Feathers Boutique Vintage - 1700 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
If you’re a girl who loves vintage clothes, you have to check out Feather’s Boutique on Congress. My ex works there so make sure to say "hi"... no really... be nice and say "hi". It really does have the best vintage in town though.

6. Goodwill Blue Hangar Outlet (The Bins) - 6505 Burleson Rd, Austin, TX 78744
If you couldn't afford to shop at Feathers (few can) or if you're into discovering vintage treasures before they get marked up 900% and end up at a boutique, check out The Blue Hanger, also referred to as “The Bins." It’s where all Goodwill stuff goes to die. It’s about 100 giant blue bins (hence the nick name) full of clothes and junk and you sift through it and always find something great. You pay two dollars per pound. It’s a magical place, you feel like a treasure hunter. Pretty much my entire wardrobe is from there now.

7. Pinballz Arcade - 8940 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758
Lastly, go check out Pinballs. It’s an adult arcade that’s B.Y.O.B. So enough said. It's a good place to hide-out from the SXSW crowds or nurse a hangover after a late night with a record executive who keeps "expensing" everything, although that seems to happen less and less these days.

8. (Bonus) Juice Land - 1625 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
If you need a refresher or if you feel your heart slowing down because of all of the brisket and queso you've been eating, head to Juice Land. They named a juice after us, it's really excellent. And you can add CBD oil, which I didn't know was legal. On behalf of Wild Child, enjoy Austin, just make sure you leave at the end of the week.

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Stay in touch with Wild Child HERE.

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