As the official capital of Texas, the unofficial world capital of live music, and one of America’s fastest growing cities, Austin juggles many cultural identities. But locals have always maintained that what makes Austin authentically Austin is its weirdness. And though many complain about the gentrification-yuppification of Austin, there are still many truly odd aspects to the Texan capital. If you still have your doubts, just look at the Keep Austin Weird campaign. But for a glimpse of weird, check this list of the strangest things to do in Austin.
Vince Hannemann began assembling his cathedral of junk in 1988 in his yard and hasn’t stopped since. This is no mere pile of junk however – not only is Hannermann quite discerning about just what junk makes it into the structure, but the structure has been deemed structurally sound by city engineers and contains stairwells, vaulted ceilings and multiple observation points. Make a reservation and leave a donation to visit the Austin icon.
No trip to Austin would be complete without dining on some Tex-Mex, but Maria’s Taco Xpress offers more than just a plate of tacos al pastor. From the giant papier-mâché of Maria announcing its presence to Sunday’s Hippie Church (which is exactly what it sounds), Maria’s Taco Xpress is Texas’ weirdest taco joint.
Chicken Shit Bingo is not a euphemism for a quirky game of bingo. We repeat: Chicken Shit Bingo is not a euphemism. The Little Longhorn Saloon’s Sunday bingo games are a classic Austin activity and just one of many reasons to visit this dive bar, which also serves cheap drinks and live music. Definitely a solid addition to weirdest things to do in Austin.
The jackalope is real – or at least it is at Austin’s premier artisan sausage joint, Frank. In addition to its famed antelope-rabbit-pork sausage, Frank also makes more traditional brats and vegan and vegetarian options.
Austinites would not be satisfied with just any old karaoke, so The Highball took karaoke to the next level of kitsch with its themed rooms. Themes range from Twin Peaks to Nintendo’s Mario, but no matter your room’s theme, you can sing to whatever song you want.
Located on the shores of Lake Travis, Hippie Hollow is Texas’ only clothing-optional park. It gained popularity as a nudist park in the 1960s, leading it to shed its original name of McGregor County Park for the much more appropriate Hippie Hollow. Austin’s LGBTQ community sponsors the park’s widely popular Splash Day on the first Sundays of every May and September.
The Museum of the Weird is exactly what it claims to be – a small gallery of all things kitsch and bizarre. Think bigfoot, the jackalope, sword swallowers and more. Naturally, the owner of the Museum of the Weird also owns the Sfanthor House of Wax.
Let’s be honest – mini-golf courses are always a little bit weird. Austin’s Peter Pan Mini-Golf ramps up the kitsch factor with its quirky handmade statues and because it’s BYOB, the adults have just as much fun as the kids.
Get ready because Oasis is scheduled for a Summer 2016 opening in Austin right around the corner. In the meantime, download the Oasis app for iOS and Android for more international goings-on or visit to peep our curated short term apartment.USA