If you think Austin’s Sixth Street is only for college kids and tourists, think again. Yes, on any given night, you’ll find the street full of UT students strolling along the street meeting, greeting, hooking up, and more than a few too drunk to be out. You’ll also see plenty of tourists and business types in town for conferences shopping and drinking and arguing with the hawkers outside the bars calling people in. But take a step back and watch. You’ll see a world of different people meandering up and down the throngs of bodies with different purposes and destinations.
When locals talk about Sixth Street, they don’t just mean Sixth Street. They’re referring to the area of downtown Austin where “happenings” occurs. Where else would you go to watch a film other than the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, tour the Museum of the Weird then walk to Mexic-Arte museum (or any of a dozen other museums within an easy walk), dine on fine fair, and end with a nightcap on an upstairs patio garden?
The area around Sixth Street offers such a wide assortment of things to do and enjoy that no one description can cover them all. One item of note: Smoking is not allowed inside most venues. Prepare to stay outside a lot when you visit if you and smoke (restrictions include all modern smoking items). The first time I walked down Sixth Street after the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, I was unprepared for the column of smoke running up and down Sixth Street. Once inside a building, you’ll be safe from the smell and poisons.
Whatever you want to do in Austin, you’ll likely find yourself on Sixth Street as some point. It’s worth the hassle to find a place to park (unless you’ve planned and have a room at one of the hotels). Sitting back with a glass of wine and watching all the people come and go brings many stories to mind. I suppose that’s why I favor it as a place for my characters to go to “hide” among the throngs.