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Oakwood Cemetery
Oakwood Cemetery
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SXSW 2017: places for locals to hide

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Oakwood Cemetery
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The stat is staggering, no matter how many times it's said: 200,000 more people per day. That's the influx downtown Austin gets during SXSW. That's like, what, a quarter of the city proper's total population?

It's fun, exhilarating—and sometimes overwhelming. When that's the case, our map of 10 places where you can get away from it all is something you can probably use.

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1. Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve

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3801 W. 35th St.
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 974-6797
Visit Website

A photo posted by Rianne Ricarte (@riiiianne) on

It's all about the peacocks at Mayfield Park. Stroll around there and the nearby, lakeside Contemporary Austin—Laguna Gloria grounds, and you'll peace out, despite (because of?) the squawking.

2. Pinballz Arcade

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8940 Research Blvd Ste 100
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 420-8458
Visit Website
If overstimulation is actually your thing but you want to escape SXSW crowds specifically, check out Pinballz arcade. It's full of pinball machines, of course, as well as old-school video games and a bunch of other fun stuff. It's a local fave.

3. Cactus Cafe

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2247 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 475-6515
Visit Website
Yes, it's a club, and a legendary one. But the Cactus Cafe is known for developing and showcasing singer-songwriters, and it's a listening room. It has some great shows during the conferences, but no SXSW showcases. Go, be entranced, be restored. (It's also UT's spring break right now.)

4. Room Service Vintage

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107 West Northloop blvd
Austin, TX 78751-1226
(512) 451-1057
Room Service will probably be a little crowded, because it always is, but probably not crazy. And even if it is, you really need to experience the delightful, affordable furnishings, housewares, knickknacks, geegaws, and vintage clothing this long-beloved Austin landmark has to offer.

5. Zhi Tea

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4607 Bolm Rd
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 539-0717
Visit Website
Due to its location on the eastern fringes of Austin's new-ish art-studio/gallery district, Zhi might have a few visitors and activities more than usual during SXSW, especially during Music. It's still hard to imagine it being anything but peaceful and blissful, though, due to the staff's dedication to its featured product, associated philosophies, and the leafy backyard patio.

6. Oakwood Cemetery

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1701 Navasota St
Austin, TX 78702
It's Austin's oldest cemetery, and it's a big, rambling place that takes up two big Eastside blocks. It's full of Austin and Texas history—you will see the names of its residents on some of the surrounding streets, as well as in accounts of the Battle of the Alamo—big trees, and lovely monuments.

A photo posted by Angelita (@100lb_giant) on

7. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Lakeline

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14028 N Highway 183 Bldg F
Austin, TX 78717
(512) 861-7070
Visit Website
Without a badge, you won't get into most of the movie theaters in the central city during SXSW Film. You can still experience the wonders of the local Alamo Drafthouse chain at its Lakeline mall location, which is showing first-run movies far from the fest and is as genuine as the rest.

8. Playland Skate Center

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8822 McCann Dr
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 452-1901
Visit Website
Since opening in 1973, Playland Skate Center has been the place to get your roller-skate on. (At 27,500 square feet, it's also the largest in Austin.) In addition to keeping the rink in great shape, it features a light show, fog machine and state-of-the-art sound system.

9. Umlauf Sculpture Garden

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605 Robert E Lee Rd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 445-5582
Visit Website
In 1991, four forgotten acres tucked in the woods near Barton Springs were turned into an art garden after 20th-century American sculptor Charles Umlauf donated dozens of stone and bronze works to the city. The garden has evolved since then, with xeriscaping, winding paths, benches, and a small pavilion being added. Now it's like a walk in the park. With art.

A post shared by Nida Ventura (@miagison) on

10. Dart Bowl

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5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 452-2518
Visit Website
For almost 60 years, Dart Bowl has been there for Austin bowlers young and old, enthusiastic amateurs and wizened experts who are no strangers to the perfect game. Be sure to try the enchiladas in the snack bar.

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1. Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve

3801 W. 35th St., Austin, TX 78703

A photo posted by Rianne Ricarte (@riiiianne) on

It's all about the peacocks at Mayfield Park. Stroll around there and the nearby, lakeside Contemporary Austin—Laguna Gloria grounds, and you'll peace out, despite (because of?) the squawking.
3801 W. 35th St.
Austin, TX 78703

2. Pinballz Arcade

8940 Research Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78758
If overstimulation is actually your thing but you want to escape SXSW crowds specifically, check out Pinballz arcade. It's full of pinball machines, of course, as well as old-school video games and a bunch of other fun stuff. It's a local fave.
8940 Research Blvd Ste 100
Austin, TX 78758

3. Cactus Cafe

2247 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705
Yes, it's a club, and a legendary one. But the Cactus Cafe is known for developing and showcasing singer-songwriters, and it's a listening room. It has some great shows during the conferences, but no SXSW showcases. Go, be entranced, be restored. (It's also UT's spring break right now.)
2247 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705

4. Room Service Vintage

107 West Northloop blvd, Austin, TX 78751-1226
Room Service will probably be a little crowded, because it always is, but probably not crazy. And even if it is, you really need to experience the delightful, affordable furnishings, housewares, knickknacks, geegaws, and vintage clothing this long-beloved Austin landmark has to offer.
107 West Northloop blvd
Austin, TX 78751-1226

5. Zhi Tea

4607 Bolm Rd, Austin, TX 78702
Due to its location on the eastern fringes of Austin's new-ish art-studio/gallery district, Zhi might have a few visitors and activities more than usual during SXSW, especially during Music. It's still hard to imagine it being anything but peaceful and blissful, though, due to the staff's dedication to its featured product, associated philosophies, and the leafy backyard patio.
4607 Bolm Rd
Austin, TX 78702

6. Oakwood Cemetery

1701 Navasota St, Austin, TX 78702
It's Austin's oldest cemetery, and it's a big, rambling place that takes up two big Eastside blocks. It's full of Austin and Texas history—you will see the names of its residents on some of the surrounding streets, as well as in accounts of the Battle of the Alamo—big trees, and lovely monuments.

A photo posted by Angelita (@100lb_giant) on

1701 Navasota St
Austin, TX 78702

7. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Lakeline

14028 N Highway 183 Bldg F, Austin, TX 78717
Without a badge, you won't get into most of the movie theaters in the central city during SXSW Film. You can still experience the wonders of the local Alamo Drafthouse chain at its Lakeline mall location, which is showing first-run movies far from the fest and is as genuine as the rest.
14028 N Highway 183 Bldg F
Austin, TX 78717

8. Playland Skate Center

8822 McCann Dr, Austin, TX 78757
Since opening in 1973, Playland Skate Center has been the place to get your roller-skate on. (At 27,500 square feet, it's also the largest in Austin.) In addition to keeping the rink in great shape, it features a light show, fog machine and state-of-the-art sound system.
8822 McCann Dr
Austin, TX 78757

9. Umlauf Sculpture Garden

605 Robert E Lee Rd, Austin, TX 78704
In 1991, four forgotten acres tucked in the woods near Barton Springs were turned into an art garden after 20th-century American sculptor Charles Umlauf donated dozens of stone and bronze works to the city. The garden has evolved since then, with xeriscaping, winding paths, benches, and a small pavilion being added. Now it's like a walk in the park. With art.

A post shared by Nida Ventura (@miagison) on

605 Robert E Lee Rd
Austin, TX 78704

10. Dart Bowl

5700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756
For almost 60 years, Dart Bowl has been there for Austin bowlers young and old, enthusiastic amateurs and wizened experts who are no strangers to the perfect game. Be sure to try the enchiladas in the snack bar.
5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756