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Cheap Right Now gives a snapshot of a cheap weekend getaway each month.

The novelty of rooftop patios and weekend festivals is starting to wane as the hazy days of the last full summer month sets in, and you are ready for a change of scenery. Austin is your place. Steeped in off-beat culture and the allure of the strange, this Texas town is probably the least stereotypically Texas place you could visit in the Lonestar State. The food scene is unbelievable, the youthful abound, and everything is relatively cheap since there’s no major music festivals happening there this month. So now’s the time. Go forth.

 

Guitar art near the baggage claim. Photo courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Guitar art near the baggage claim. Photo courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Plane, train or automobile — Plane is definitely the best way to get to Austin, unless you’re down for a really epic roadtrip. Find a cheap ticket into the AustinBergstrom International Airport, and make sure you check out the giant Gibson guitars on display near baggage claim. They were decorated by local artists and pay homage to the music culture of the city.

B-Cycling. Courtesy of Ann Harkness.

B-Cycling. Courtesy of Ann Harkness.

Cheap local transit — Austin B-Cycle is the bike share program in the city, and the rates are completely affordable. It’s $15 for a three-day pass and $8 for 24 hours. Austin’s public transit system Capital Metro is also affordable, and operates buses anda rail system. A single ride is $1.25 and a day pass is $2.50.

 

Carnitas and an avocado margarita at Curra's. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Carnitas and an avocado margarita at Curra’s. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Munch on Mexican food — The tacos in Austin are unlike any we have up north. They’re authentic, delicious, bursting with flavor, and hella cheap. And you can have them any time of day or night. Try Torchy’s for the breakfast tacos that cost only a buck or two, and Curra’s for lunchor dinner. Curra’s is known for it’s avocado margaritas, but you MUST try the carnitas. The pork is marinated in Coke, milk and OJ. A strange yet somehow perfect combo. Save a few bucks and share a serving, it’s quite grande.

 

An artist poses in front of her freshly finished work. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

An artist poses in front of her freshly finished work. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Gawk at the graffiti — The Graffiti Park at Castle Hills is like a living entity, constantly evolving and growing. Wear good shoes that will allow you to climb around the park and check out the art from all angles. You’ll likely see an artist at work during your visit.

 

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind," shown in summer 2014. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” shown in summer 2014. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Watch a movie under the stars — Parks throughout the city screen films starting in May and stretching through October (because it’s almost always warm and wonderful in Austin). A movie is showing somewhere in the city nearly every night at dusk, you just have to do the googling and find out where. The best part? They’re free. And don’t forget a blanket to lounge on.

 

Lights at a bar on Rainey Street. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Lights at a bar on Rainey Street. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Rendezvous on Rainey Street — If you’re a total bro or a 19-year-old who thinks it would be super cool to sneak into a club, go to6th Street for a good time. If you gel more with Austin’s hip vibe and just want something chill and low-key, go to Rainey Street. It’s lined with houses-turned-restaurants and bars, and there’s a food truck corral for late night eats. Don’t be surprised to see the next new alt rock band playing at one of the joints along Rainey.

 

Courtesy of Marc Majcher.

Courtesy of Marc Majcher.

Take shelter in the Greenbelt — Escape that Texas sun for a bit in the Greenbelt, a patch of green wilderness that stretches along Barton Creek. There are hikes and bike paths to explore, and even a waterfall. Bring your swimsuit and cool off in Barton Creek, but say a prayer to the rain gods first, as it’s been known to run dry on hot August afternoons.

 

Courtesy of Evan Bench.

Courtesy of Evan Bench.

Bathe in Barton Springs — The Barton Springs Pool is more like a Roman bath than a pool, minus the nudity of course. Natural springs feed the three-acre pool and keep it at an average temperature of about 70 degrees. Pro tip: Don’t go on Thursdays, that’s when they shut down the pool for cleaning. Admission is $3 for adults.

 

Tagged: Cheap of the Month, City, Food & drink, Tips & advice

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