We are all guilty of using the internet as our first source to find out what is happening around town. This isn’t a bad thing! The internet can give us so much information on what events are taking place, great restaurants to try, stores to shop at, and what special festivals are taking place in Austin. My secret to keeping it all straight-APPS! I moved here about two years ago from a small town in upstate New York. Let’s just say, not many events or festivals going on there, and as far as restaurants to try-you have a choice between Italian, Italian, or Italian for dinner. This exact reason is what drew me to Austin, but it was not easy navigating my way around. I went from not have any choices, to too many choices! There are so many different cuisines to try, bars, shops, live music venues, parks, and the list goes on and on. I can fill you in on my secret-downloading APPS on my iPhone and iPad to keep me up to date with Austin’s best of the best places.
I am sure most of you already know the common apps for restaurant searching such as “urbanspoon”, “where to eat?”, “yelp”, “around me”, “around town”, and many more. These apps are amazing tools for people like me that are completely overwhelmed with too many choices, or new to the area. Even you native Austenite’s can benefit from them. These apps give you different categories of cuisines, price ranges, locations, what is still open, etc. It’s great to use to find restaurants near your home, apartment community, and even if you are out of town or on vacation. Also, restaurants that are in your budget, I mean we have all found a great place, sat down and read the menu pricing-and wanted to get up and walk out! Or if you are craving French food at 10:00pm and don’t know where to look, try these foodie apps! Some of them also have reviews, which is very important to read and save yourself the disappointed of going to a restaurant that only received 1 star from all of the reviews. Personally, I read reviews to help me choose my apartment community, my car, and my hair saloon; basically I do not purchase anything without reading a review. I know my grandmother would shake her head at me for saying this, but I wouldn’t survive without these restaurant apps!
Now to the exciting part! Did you know there are specific apps just dedicated to Austin? Well, if you did congrats, you are one step ahead of me here, but if not-you are in for a real treat my friend. One of my favorite apps is “Austin Insider”. Basically it’s a magazine style app that has all the local shopping, dining, and events happening in Austin. They come out with a new edition each year, and trust me- it may take me a whole year to do everything in here! The coolest part about this app is the map and business directory because it will allow you to make reservations, find tickets and plan visits to places all right at your fingertips. It also highlights the major events and festivals scheduled for that year. The writers tell you lots of tips and know-hows for first timers, and suggest even more apps to download for those specific events. It keeps you informed of all the best forms of transportation, construction plans, lots of local bios and Q&A’s from restaurant and shop owners or even your neighbor across the street. They also break it down by section of Austin, north, central, south, and all the local restaurants, things to do, shops, adventures, bars, maps, and live music venues to try.
Another great app is “Austin City Walk”, their moto is “lose yourself without getting lost” (very clever I know!) Since Austin is such an active, go green, healthy city-this app helps you create walks to tour Austin. It tells you the distance, how long it will take, and they aren’t just any ol’ walk around the block, the tours they suggest take you to see the heart and soul of Austin. Anything from churches, museums, art galleries, children’s entertainment, antique stores, nightlife; this app has it all. You can create your own walk too! Sounds like a great way to see everything Austin has to offer while staying healthy.
So for all you Austin imports, and even some of your natives, check out these apps! Go to the App Store on your smart phone or tablet and search your city. There are many more out there to try also, I just highlighted some of my favorites, and really no matter where you are, or where you live-there is a special app out there just for you. They are a great way to stay connected to what is hAPPening in Austin-and take it from me- I never leave home without them!