Looking For A City Like Austin, Texas? Here Are The Top Options

Austin’s explosive growth and popularity over the past decade has led many people to search for similar cities that offer Austin’s irresistible blend of vibrant music and food scenes, outdoor opportunities, and that funky “Keep Austin Weird” vibe. If you love what Austin has to offer but are looking for alternatives, this comprehensive guide will showcase the top cities across America that can serve as a suitable Austin substitute.

If you’re pressed for time, here is a quick summary of the most Austin-like alternatives: Portland, Oregon; Asheville, North Carolina; Madison, Wisconsin; Boulder, Colorado; San Diego, California. Keep reading to learn more about what makes these cities special Austin alternatives.

Portland, Oregon

Known for its laidback, progressive culture and abundance of hipster coffee shops.

If you are looking for a city with a similar vibe to Austin, Texas, then Portland, Oregon might just be the perfect fit. Known for its laidback and progressive culture, Portland has become a haven for artists, musicians, and creative individuals looking to express themselves.

The city is filled with quirky neighborhoods, vibrant street art, and a thriving food and craft beer scene. Just like Austin, you’ll find an abundance of hipster coffee shops where you can indulge in your favorite pour-over or cold brew.

Offers easy access to the outdoors with urban green spaces and proximity to the coast and mountains.

One of the things that makes Austin so appealing is its proximity to nature, and Portland offers a similar experience. The city is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with easy access to urban green spaces, hiking trails, and parks.

Forest Park, located just minutes from downtown Portland, is one of the largest urban forests in the United States, offering miles of trails for hiking, biking, and exploring. Additionally, Portland is situated just a short drive away from the coast, where you can enjoy picturesque beaches and breathtaking sunsets.

If you’re a fan of winter sports, the nearby mountains provide opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing during the winter months.

For more information about Portland and its attractions, you can visit www.travelportland.com.

Asheville, North Carolina

If you’re looking for a city that combines a quirky artistic vibe with a thriving craft beer and music scene, look no further than Asheville, North Carolina. This charming city has become known for its eclectic mix of artists, musicians, and creative individuals who have made it their home.

With a strong emphasis on supporting local businesses and a vibrant community of artisans, Asheville offers a unique and vibrant atmosphere that is sure to appeal to those seeking a city like Austin.

Quirky artistic vibe with thriving craft beer and music scenes.

Asheville is often referred to as the “San Francisco of the East” due to its progressive and artistic community. The city is home to numerous art galleries, independent theaters, and music venues that showcase a wide range of talent.

From street performers to world-class musicians, Asheville has a thriving music scene that rivals that of Austin. Whether you’re into rock, folk, jazz, or blues, you’re sure to find a venue that caters to your musical taste.

Additionally, Asheville is a haven for craft beer enthusiasts. With over 40 breweries in the area, the city has gained a reputation as a beer lover’s paradise. From small, family-owned microbreweries to larger, well-known establishments, Asheville offers a diverse selection of craft beer options that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the local beer scene and sample some of the unique brews that Asheville has to offer.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains with hiking trails and stunning vistas nearby.

One of the biggest draws of Asheville is its stunning natural beauty. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city offers breathtaking views and a plethora of outdoor activities. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply enjoy taking leisurely strolls, Asheville has a variety of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels.

From the challenging trails of the Appalachian Mountains to the serene paths along the French Broad River, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Not only does Asheville offer picturesque hiking trails, but it also provides easy access to some of the most stunning vistas in the region. Just a short drive from the city, you can find yourself surrounded by panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains or standing atop a waterfall.

The beauty of the surrounding nature is truly awe-inspiring and is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

Madison, Wisconsin

If you’re looking for a city that offers a vibrant music scene and a diverse culinary experience like Austin, Texas, then Madison, Wisconsin is a top contender. This city is known for hosting a massive music festival similar to Austin’s ACL (Austin City Limits) called the “Madison World Music Festival.”

This annual event brings together renowned artists from all over the world, creating a lively atmosphere that music enthusiasts can’t resist. Whether you’re into rock, jazz, or world music, Madison has something to offer for every taste.

Hosts a massive music festival like Austin’s ACL and has a huge dining scene.

Madison’s music scene doesn’t stop at the festival. The city is teeming with live music venues, ranging from intimate clubs to larger concert halls, where you can catch local bands and touring acts throughout the year.

The Orpheum Theater, Majestic Theatre, and High Noon Saloon are just a few of the venues that regularly host live music performances. So, whether you’re a fan of indie rock, blues, or electronic music, you’ll find a thriving music scene in Madison.

When it comes to dining, Madison boasts a diverse culinary landscape that rivals Austin’s food scene. The city is home to a wide range of restaurants, offering everything from farm-to-table cuisine to international flavors.

State Street, a lively pedestrian mall, is a food lover’s paradise, with its array of cafes, food carts, and restaurants serving up delicious dishes from around the world. From mouthwatering barbecue to innovative fusion cuisine, Madison’s dining scene is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Centered around a lively college-town atmosphere with the huge University of Wisconsin campus.

Madison’s vibrant atmosphere can be attributed to its status as a college town, with the University of Wisconsin-Madison at its heart. The university brings a youthful energy to the city, creating a lively and dynamic environment.

The campus itself is a hub of activity, with its beautiful architecture, sprawling green spaces, and a wide range of cultural and sporting events. Whether you’re attending a Badgers football game or exploring the university’s museums and galleries, there’s always something happening in Madison.

Furthermore, the presence of a large student population contributes to a diverse and eclectic community, where ideas and creativity thrive. Madison’s residents are known for their progressive mindset and strong sense of community, making it a welcoming place for newcomers and fostering a spirit of inclusivity.

Boulder, Colorado

Outdoor recreation hub at the foothills of the Rockies, perfect for skiing, hiking, biking.

Boulder, Colorado is a city that offers an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities. Situated at the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains, it is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With its close proximity to numerous national parks and wilderness areas, Boulder provides easy access to activities such as skiing, hiking, and biking.

During the winter months, visitors and residents alike can take advantage of the world-class ski resorts located just a short drive from the city. From beginner-friendly slopes to challenging terrain for advanced skiers, there is something for everyone.

The breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains make Boulder a haven for skiers and snowboarders.

In the warmer months, hiking and biking trails abound in Boulder. The city is home to an extensive network of trails that cater to all levels of experience. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll through the scenic Flatirons or a challenging mountain bike ride, Boulder has it all.

One notable outdoor attraction in Boulder is the famous Boulder Creek Path. This 7.5-mile paved trail follows the course of Boulder Creek and offers stunning views of the surrounding nature. It is a popular spot for jogging, rollerblading, and picnicking.

High concentration of hip, organic eateries and microbreweries.

Boulder, Colorado is known for its vibrant culinary scene, with a high concentration of hip, organic eateries and microbreweries. Food enthusiasts will be delighted by the wide variety of dining options available in the city.

From farm-to-table restaurants that serve locally sourced, organic ingredients to trendy cafes offering vegan and gluten-free options, Boulder has something to satisfy every palate. The city embraces a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, reflected in the abundance of fresh and nutritious food choices.

Beer lovers will also find themselves in paradise in Boulder. The city boasts a thriving craft beer scene, with numerous microbreweries producing a wide range of unique and flavorful brews. Visitors can take brewery tours, sample different beers, and even attend beer festivals throughout the year.

One popular microbrewery in Boulder is Avery Brewing Company, known for its innovative and award-winning beers. Their taproom offers a cozy and laid-back atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a pint with friends.

San Diego, California

Year-round sunshine and warm weather like Austin.

If you’re looking for a city with a climate similar to Austin, San Diego, California is a fantastic option. With its Mediterranean climate, San Diego experiences mild winters and warm summers, making it a great place to enjoy outdoor activities all year round.

The city boasts an average of 266 days of sunshine per year, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun just like in Austin. Whether you’re into hiking, surfing, or simply lounging on the beach, San Diego offers a plethora of outdoor recreational activities for everyone.

Beach city vibe with world-class music, food, and art scenes.

Just like Austin, San Diego has a vibrant and diverse cultural scene that will keep you entertained. Known for its laid-back beach city vibe, San Diego offers a variety of music venues, ranging from intimate jazz clubs to large concert arenas.

The city also hosts several famous music festivals throughout the year, attracting both local and international talent. Food enthusiasts will be delighted by San Diego’s flourishing culinary scene, with a wide range of cuisines from around the world.

From gourmet food trucks to Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Art lovers will also find plenty to explore in San Diego’s numerous galleries, museums, and public art installations.

For more information about San Diego, you can visit the official website of San Diego Tourism Authority.


While no other city perfectly replicates the one-of-a-kind character of Austin, these five alternatives come closest to emulating Austin’s eclectic blend of culture, outdoor opportunities, and welcoming vibe. Whether you’re looking for Austin’s music scene, college-town energy, or abundance of outdoor activities, you’re sure to find aspects of the city you love in these hand-picked alternatives across the United States. So embrace the spirit of exploration and see if Portland, Asheville, Madison, Boulder or San Diego can provide that missing Austin magic you’ve been searching for.

Similar Posts