Of course, we’re biased, but we think Austin is the best dang city in the country for a conference. It’s so much fun to host the Summit here and see our community experience the city we call home! And fall is a great time of year to be here.
We highly recommend flying into ATX the weekend before Summit kicks off or staying for the weekend after the event ends. You night owls will also have time to explore after our Summit networking events in the evenings.
Here’s our team’s guide to the city of tunes, tacos, bats, and BBQ.
We’re called the Live Music Capital of the World for good reason! You’re likely to stumble upon some great tunes walking around downtown, or you can plan for it by seeing a show at one of our iconic venues.
Austin City Limits Music Festival
The Ed-Fi Summit is intentionally scheduled right before the first weekend of our famous music festival, Austin City Limits! ACL takes over Zilker Park and boasts amazing three-day lineups, with something for everyone. You’ll make new discoveries in the daytime, see popular headliners in the evenings, and there’s a whole section of the fest with family-friendly activities.
Blues at Antone’s
Since 1975, Antone’s has been thee house of blues in our town. Everyone from Ray Charles to James Brown to Stevie Ray Vaughn has graced this venue.
Honky Tonk at the Broken Spoke
Every country legend you can name has played the Broken Spoke! Swing through for two-stepping lessons while you’re in town, or you can grab a table and watch the spectacle happen.
Whether you love city living or prefer to be out in nature, there really is something for everyone here.
Take to the River
The best way to experience downtown Austin is on or along the Colorado River, which runs through the center of town. The Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail wraps around Lady Bird Lake (really a reservoir of the Colorado river) and you can walk, bike, or scooter along the trail for great views. If you’d rather be on the water, rent a kayak or paddleboard!
Take a Dip in Barton Springs
Want to wake up your body and brain between Summit sessions? All it takes is a few minutes in Austin’s gorgeous spring-fed pool, which stays at a refreshing 68-70 degrees year-round.
Stroll Along South Congress
South Congress is a trendy stretch of Congress Avenue adorned with shops like the country gear mecca Allen’s Boots, as well as great bars and restaurants.
Learn the History
Tour the Hill Country
If you’re seeking an escape from the city pace, we highly recommend renting a car or taking a guided tour through the Texas Hill Country. You’ll find rolling hills, wineries, sweet little towns like Wimberly, New Braunfels, and Gruene, and barbecue staples like Salt Lick just outside of Austin. The day trip possibilities are endless!
Food & Drink
Whether it’s Tex Mex, barbecue, or something else you’re after, Austin’s food scene alone is worth the trip. This year’s Summit networking receptions will cover the staples: barbecue and tacos. Here are a few more of our favorites near downtown:
A popular spot to visit on Rainey Street with plenty of space for big parties, Banger’s makes their own sausages in-house and boasts the largest beer selection in the city with more than 200 brews on tap! Their brunch is delish and they have live music outside on the weekends.
Austin runs on Juiceland! It’s the perfect healthy fuel while you’re exploring, and you’ll see locations all over the city.
Whether you fancy a coffee and a pastry or a beer and sandwich, Easy Tiger bakes their own fresh bread and treats. They have nice quiet seating inside and a lively patio in the back.
If you’re a Whole Foods fan, welcome to paradise. You can even hang out or take a yoga class on the rooftop!
If you’re a foodie and love the idea of spending 4+ hours waiting in line for Austin’s best BBQ, Franklin really is worth the hype. Or if this isn’t how you want to spend your day, La Barbecue is another top contender near downtown with shorter lines. These are both no-frills, BYOB establishments.
Why is this in the food & drink section, you ask? Because there’s a beautiful bar and lounge in front of the store! It’s a great spot for shopping and people watching.
We’re happy to provide more recommendations; feel free to contact our team in advance or pull us aside at the conference. See y’all soon at the Summit!