There are lots of places you can read about Austin and the unique things to see and do here, but this article is about the big question people always have about Texas:
Yes, it gets hot.
The question is, how can you handle it? Well, it’s really not that bad if you know how to beat the heat. Every building is air conditioned and can be downright chilly, so you have to wear pants in the office and then get in your hot car at the end of the day to go home. Yuck. That’s actually the worst part of the Texas summer. But the benefit of the Texas summer is unparallelled: months of bonafide excellent swimming weather, beautiful natural bodies of water to swim in that are not cold, and a mild winter which is really just pleasant weather with a few cold fronts where you have to wear a coat for a few days. I’ve worn shorts on Christmas Day!
You need to get a few things
- A sun shade for your car’s windshield. And some towels for the steering wheel and seats. And cover your shift knob if it’s metal. Your car will become your enemy in the summer – try to park under shade and keep the windows open or cracked if you can. This is also why you don’t need towels when you swim – you will want to be wet when you get in the car!
- A YETI tumbler with straw or cheaper knockoff (Bed, Bath and Beyond’s 20% off coupons are handy!). You can put an iced drink in your car and leave it in the sun all day and the ice will still be in it when you are ready to go home. I also use these insulated cups at home. Ice is your friend!
- Tevas for hiking in creeks and going to the lake, and Tevas or other comfy sandals for walking around town. You need waterproof shoes that you can hike in and wade in and even swim in. You don’t want to wear socks. You need to be in water if you are going to go outdoors and there are tons of places to go!
- A Camelback hydration system. Not just for hiking: For music festivals or just long days wandering around. It may look dorky, but you will be grateful for it. There are even refill stations at many events you’ll go to.
- Swimshorts. You should just wear these everywhere in the summer because you never know when you might have an opportunity to swim. Seriously, it’s fine. And a sports bra for the ladies.
- Good sun protection/mosquito repellant. The sun is no joke, especially for people unaccustomed to its power down here. Even a half hour in the sun can burn you. Don’t take the risk. And DEET is your friend. Mosquitoes can carry West Nile, a potentially deadly disease. They are the WORST.
- WATER. You need to go swimming every day, ideally. And that can happen! There are, in order of awesomeness: Beautiful natural swimming holes like Krause Springs, creeks to wade in like Bull Creek, lakes to swim in like Lake Travis, waterfalls like Sculpture Falls, neighborhood public pools to swim in like Northwest Pool, splash pads like the Liz Carpenter Fountain, water parks like Schlitterbahn, tubing like down the Guadalupe River, and you need to make friends with someone like me, who has a pool in their backyard. Or a boat. Everyone needs a friend with a boat.
You can make it!
So all of that sounds daunting, but it’s worth it and so much better if you prepare! Most of my friends who visit during the summer think it’s not as bad as they thought.
Here, this will inspire you: