TRAVEL | Experience Austin like a True Texas Local

Your ten-gallon hat is calling y'all down

Texas livin' has gotten a lot of good publicity in the past several years. Millennials are flocking to its wide-open spaces, barbecue food trucks, and burgeoning music scene. Pockets of hipster-friendly neighborhoods are popping up all over the state – but none so much as in Austin.

I can always remember that Austin is the cool Texas city (sorry, Dallas) by the way it sounds like awesome" Lame, but effective. And it's true. Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, in part due to the soaring cost of living in other big cities like San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. Would-be West Coasters are donning spurs and 10-gallon hats (okay, Toms and skinny jeans), and moving down south in droves. It's not hard to see why. The sprawling city of Austin has a lot to offer: cultural activities (Chicken Shit Bingo!), food trucks dishing out lip-smacking Mexican food, hiking opportunities, river fun, and weather that doesn't require a balaclava in the winter. That's not to say there's no extreme weather - it does get hot enough to cook up an omelet on the sidewalk in the summer. While there's a ton of activities to choose from, here are some guaranteed wins to help separate the wheat from the chaff.

Outdoor Excursions

Austin offers a wide variety of activities for those who enjoy the great outdoors. While it does occasionally snow in the winter, most of the year it's either quite pleasant outside or downright hot AF.

Hike the desert trails

Austin's sprawl and wide-open territory means that you're never too far from a trail. You'll find plenty of opportunities to go trail biking, trail running, or flat out hiking in multiple parks and trails that are within a two-hour drive from the city center. The River Place Trail is a favorite for many locals. The trail is easily accessible with street parking, and leads down into a canyon. If there's no one else around, you'll hear nothing but the whoosh of the wind gently rustling the leaves, or as you get closer to the bottom, the soft gurgle of a creek. Pro tip: go in the late afternoon so you can watch the sun set over the hills. It turns everything a shade of gold found only in Texas. Other trails like Walnut Creek and Turkey Creek are also surefire hits. Just make sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen!

Splash around in the Colorado River

Enjoy this warm weather activity while you can. The Colorado River, which flows from the Rockies all the way into the Gulf of California in Mexico, has been slowly shrinking as ever-expanding cities use it for their water supply. But for now, the river is a hotbed of activities including kayaking, paddle-boarding, swimming, and just plain hanging out. If relaxing in an inner tube on a hot day with a refreshing cold drink doesn't sound like heaven, I don't know what does.

Culinary Scene

You gotta eat, right?

Eat an entire roast chicken at Julio's

Julio's restaurant is a casual, under-the-radar joint that serves up the juiciest bird in Texas. Its no-frills environment belies the fact that it's one of Austin's tastiest establishments, and if it's warm out, you can up the ambience by sitting outside. Choose from authentic Mexican dishes like Carne Guisada (kind of like a Mexican beef stew with a tomato base) and just-made-five-minutes-ago guacamole. The real star of the show is the roast chicken. It's so tender you don't even need a knife (or a fork really) to pull the meat from the bones. Slap some meat on a flour tortilla and drizzle it with guac and housemade salsa—add a beer for the perfect gastronomic ensemble.

Feed your sugar and caffeine addiction

Quack's 43rd Street Bakery creates some of the most tantalizingly delicious desserts on the planet. The odd moniker is derived from one of its original incarnation as Captain Quackenbushes' Intergalactic Dessert Company and Espresso Café. Do yourself a favor and dig into a slice of their Vegan Double Chocolate Muffin while they're still available, or try and stop yourself from devouring an entire slice of Peanut Butter Fudge Cake. Their menu is ridiculously comprehensive, offering virtually every confection you can imagine.

Boozin' it up

You're in Texas, so prepare to start drinking like a cowboy.

Drink like royalty at The Roosevelt Room

The Roosevelt Room is a swank spot to try all those cocktails that sound so debonair but that you're too intimidated to order. They go all out with over 60 classic and newly invented cocktails, all served at cozy tables by knowledgeable staff. Ever wanted to try eating some silver? Here's your chance. Order The Black Pearl: Johnnie Walker Black Label, Smith & Cross Rum, and Talisker Storm served in a clove-smoked treasure chest and tipped with, you guessed it, edible liquid silver. If you're feeling peckish, definitely order the Strawberry-Mezcal Cheesecake. It'll have even the most ardent tequila haters clamoring for more.

Go for a dive – It's impossible to go wrong at Ego's Bar. Just slip behind a gas station and under an office building and you'll be all set to karaoke your heart out from 9 pm – 2 am nightly. Drinks are cheap and singing talent is passionate, making Ego's the perfect place to let loose. They're open every day from 11:30 am – 2 am, and with no windows, it's easy to spend all day getting tipsy and playing pinball while you decide what hits you're going to belt out later that evening.

A little culture, anyone?

For days when you feel like getting some intellectual stimulation.

Admire some art at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum

You'll be amazed by the life-like sculptures dotted amongst the beautifully landscaped gardens at Umlauf Sculpture Garden. Take some photos with a whimsical hippopotamus or high five the dancing baby. When you get tired of the heat, cool off indoors with their ever-changing exhibits of Charles Umlauf's magnetic works.

Shop til you drop (or feel like having a drink)

Get ready to spend some dough – Second Street District is what every suburban mall aspires to be. Filled with one-of-a-kind brands like Eliza Page, a jeweler that contracts local artisans and uses sustainably sourced materials, and League of Rebels Menswear (seriously), a sartorial version of Disney World, this is one shopping establishment that prides itself on individuality. If you're the type of person who likes to wear makeup while working out, or just happen to live in a crazy sweaty part of the world, hotfoot on over to Rae Cosmetics. Their line is specifically crafted for women who need makeup that can withstand some serious perspiration.

Austin is a great place to live, and possibly a better place to visit, depending on your tolerance for heat. It has everything you could possibly want in a city: outdoor activities, exceptional food and drinks, and shopping galore. All this, and the cost of living there is still pretty affordable. So put on your cowboy boots and get goin'!

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com

Translator

A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.

Pilot

A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.


What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!

Travel

Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.