Transportation can be one of the trickiest issues at SXSW, but has gotten better in the past few years as Austin’s infrastructure has improved somewhat, and with the work of several organizations around the event. If you’re interested in learning some of the ways to get around SXSW using something other than a car, check out Elliott’s post at Austin On Two Wheels: SxSWxBike.
I was excited to see there is going to be a bikeshare service participating this year, too. In urban areas and especially at large events, driving and parking can be a huge inconvenience, so take a look and consider using one of the other options available. The three years that I attended, the best option for our family was to find an out of the way place to park each day and then either walk or take the bus to each venue, depending on our relative location. Some of the locations, such as the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, made this approach much more difficult because of how Austin’s bus routes work – it’s generally been easier to travel north-south than east-west that way.
Enjoy Austin and the show. And watch out for variable weather. It nearly always rained a lot during SXSW when I was there, and I hear this year is no different so far! While you’re in town try to experience some of the more local eating and shopping establishments, not just the ones near your hotel. Take a walk through Hyde Park, the South Lamar and South First areas, and others that are just a bit more “out of the way” and won’t necessarily be so crowded with tourists. It’s a great city that has been really struggling with growth over the past decade.
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