Though we strive for accuracy and a healthy dose of professionalism, we don’t pretend to be trained journalists. The Austinot was born in a living room, and we’ve always written like we’re talking to a living room full of our closest friends. Even as The Austinot has grown in popularity and our community has expanded into the tens of thousands, our team has stayed approachable and friendly. We hope you feel like you’re among friends whenever you visit our site.
What Makes Us Different
The Austinot is a hyperlocal blog about the city of Austin and the surrounding area. By “hyperlocal,” we mean that we only write about businesses, organizations, bands, etc. that were founded here in ATX. So even though that new Trader Joe’s may be awesome, you won’t read about it here on The Austinot. We exist to support and promote the homegrown stuff that keeps Austin weird.
Within the hyperlocal sphere, our article topics range widely from museums to nightlife, from restaurants to fun activities. If you’re new to The Austinot and you want to get a quick sense of our subject matter, scroll over the navigation bar buttons at the top of our site (Discoveries, Food & Drink, Entertainment…).
We think that our hyperlocal focus sets us apart from other blogs and news sources. And we want to have integrity about it. Since we only write about local businesses and organizations, we’ll only accept local sponsors based in Austin…no matter how much money those Dallas folks have!
The Austinot was founded in early December 2011 by my husband Eric Highland and me (Brittany), in anticipation of our move from Seattle to Austin. We originally created the site to showcase our online marketing work in a way that would appeal to our Austinite clientele. We planned to put up a few articles to start with, and add a few more here and there as we found interesting things to do around Austin. We didn’t take it seriously, and we had no long-term plan. Heck, even our Austinot.com domain name was chosen on a whim using Wordoid.com. It reminded us a little bit of “astronaut,” with the connotation of exploring and discovering, so we went with it!
We didn’t even set up Google Analytics to record visitor statistics until two months later. Imagine our surprise when the program recorded 20,000 pageviews in February 2012, 30,000 in March, and 40,000 in April! More than a little shocked, we realized that we were onto something. Since people were reading, we decided to keep writing! Now years later, we’re going stronger than ever and we’re so glad to have you along for the ride.
The Austinot Team
I’m an explorer and a kid at heart, kinda like a grown version of the kid in Pixar’s Up. I’ve traveled the world and I love discovering new places and telling others about them, and I revel in getting to know people and their stories. Professionally, I’ve taught about online marketing at national-level conferences and sat on panels that have been broadcast internationally. I’m a 20-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard and I’ve been involved in the sport of professional boxing for over a decade as a promoter.
When not blogging, teaching, promoting fights or working with clients on social media stuff, I’m usually with my wife doing something spontaneous and fun.
Likes: Meeting new people, exploring, traveling, great burgers, swimming holes, Oldies, RC cars, classic cars, vaping, DJing, disc golf and golfing (but I’m horrible at golf, so don’t invite me unless you want a long day on the links).
Dislikes: Wasting time, wasting talent, mushrooms and chick flicks.
Connect with Eric on Twitter, @EricHighland.
Canadian by birth and Texan at heart, I adore Austin and everything in it. I love to explore the city and share little known gems with fellow Austinites and curious visitors. When I’m not adding commas to guest posts, I’m managing my boutique online marketing company, Knektion…and my husband.
I’m especially fond of Theodore Roosevelt, Pablo Neruda, Mozart and my bearded dragon named Trogdor the Burninator.
I love to help people and give them things, and want my life to be all about that. @QuasiBrit on Twitter.
I live by the philosophy that “A Titos a day keeps the doctor away.” My last meal would be candy. All of the candies in the world, washed down with pie. Probably peanut butter pie. Hell on earth would be the women’s restroom in Terminal D at the George W. Bush International airport. Heaven would be a pygmy goat farm on the east side of Austin.
I moved here on a whim; I’ll stay here on instinct. My favorite things about this weird city would be the happy hours, the friends I’ve made, Clarksville and the calf muscles I’ve enhanced. Combating the queso addiction has been a real issue, but I think I’ll get through it…Professionally, I overuse ellipses; personally, I’m really into braid tutorials. Apparently, I like fun facts over bios.
In college, I had a running list posted on my dorm room door of “Things (ethnicities) I’m Not,” which spawned my tagline: “ambiguously ethnic.” This might have been why I felt the need to study, travel and work abroad for several years. I’m now a recovering vagabond who calls Austin home.
I still travel as much as I can, but it’s hard to get away with so many fun things right in my backyard. I love showing off the city and trying to convince people to move.
I’m the most optimistic realist you’ll meet and I love music, yoga, smiling and taking photos. You can also find me volunteering with Explore Austin and the Young Women’s Alliance. When I’m not doing one of those things, you most likely will find me joy riding my Vespa around town.
If you want to chat about Austin, the Dalai Lama, photography, or life in general, feel free to connect with me through Twitter. Extra points if you can correctly guess my ethnicity.
Native Texan with a healthy appetite for good food and live music! I’d like to think that my deeply romantic relationship with Austin began when I moved here in 2008. Since then, there hasn’t been a day that has gone by without wanting to try something new that the city has to offer. Yet another reason why I’m thrilled to be writing for the Austinot!
When I’m not sharing my Austin adventures via the interwebs, you can find me wrangling friends up to check out a comedy show or hike along the Greenbelt.
After having lived in three different countries and two other states, I can honestly say that my heart is here to stay (as long as tacos exist). But if you have any travel suggestions, that’s a different story!
Three things you should know about me: I love food, I love travel and I am Russian. You would have guessed the latter from my rolling r’s if I were telling you all this in person. English tends to give me away the moment I say a word.
I would always choose traveling over a new dress, new phone or a fancy party. The only thing I am not ready to give up is food. And that is because food is the most trustworthy way to explore cultures. I am the kind of person who starts to research a new country by googling “what to eat in…” instead of “what to visit in…,” who spends hours reading on the origins of pecan pie before trying it and who doesn’t consider waiting in a line of 50 people to get a cronut as a waste of time.
This passion is what brought me to Austin, and for the past year I have been eating my way around the city. You can read about my culinary adventures on my blog, thefoodiemiles.com. Connect with me on Twitter or Instagram.
I’m not the kind of woman who buys a one-way ticket to a place I’ve never been, where I don’t know a single soul. But that is what I did, so maybe I am. More than two years later, I affectionately refer to Austin as home.
As a local food advocate, I feel fortunate to live in a city that has such an incredible local food community and enjoy spending time at various urban farms, including the one on which I live. When I’m not working feverishly to finish an article or gabbing about produce, you can find me at one of Austin’s many great hiking spots with my rescue pup, Prudence.
I tend to do things ‘for the story’ and travel for the photo op. I was once told in reference to my photos, “You live in a freaking fairytale world!” The truth is, I don’t. But I aim to capture the seemingly ordinary from a whimsical, childlike point of view.
View my life summarized in tiny squares on Instagram.
I am a native Texan, world traveler and gallivanting writer. After traveling through many countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa, I moved back to Texas and built my nest here in Austin. Showing people the coolest and most unusual places in town brings out my natural enthusiasm and lust for life. I love sharing my joy for living here with everyone I meet.
Studying languages and cultures and exploring new places sets my soul on fire! My passion for food and drink led me to start a food tour company here, Taste ATX, with a good friend and fellow bon vivant. I spend as much time at our trails, parks and swimming holes as possible during the day. By night I can often be found laughing and chatting with friends new and old, most likely over a glass (or a bottle) of wine and delectable food.
You can connect with me on Instagram.
I dye Easter eggs year round. I learned the craft of pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs) a few years ago here in Austin, and I’ve been etching and dyeing eggshells with my own contemporary designs ever since.
I live on a street where everyone is connected on a listserv that’s full of requests for anything from hula hoops to hangouts. My cat, Moyra, has an extra toe on each foot, so she looks like she’s wearing kitten mittens. I am always in dire need of a snowcone, and I can sense when a snowcone stand is near (follow the bees). I’m one of those people that slowly inches into the water at Barton Springs, and I think it enhances my sense of determination. I moved to Austin after graduating college just because I had a good feeling about it. Therefore, I have fantastic instincts.
I was born and raised in Texas (Houston, specifically), but moved to Austin after a decade spent in the far reaches of Arkansas and New York. I love Austin for its wealth of breakfast tacos and endless possibilities for outdoor adventures.
By day, I write and edit educational books for high school students. I also sell Shakespeare greeting cards with my husband (he’s the artist; I’m the editor/marketer). By night, I’m doing karaoke at The Highball, attending free outdoor theater events, volunteering (actually, I guess that’s mostly in the daytime, too) and trying to get out-of-town visitors to come see the bats with me.
I love (in no particular order): road trips, Irish step dancing, unapologetic cat people and growing my own food. So far my gardening has only been successful at producing vegetables I don’t like, so I’m realizing I’ll either have to get better at it or become less picky.
Jersey born and New York bred, I moved to Austin from Manhattan in August 2013. Since arriving, I’ve been rambling about this great city trying to discover every cool nook and cranny Austin has to offer.
Aside from my 8 to 5 as an IT tech, I write TV recaps for Entertainment Weekly, film reviews for two literary sites (as well as my own) and articles for any random place looking for content. I also have three published short stories under my belt with a few more in the works. My hobbies include gaming, hockey, drumming and soaking in Austin’s incredible craft beer culture.
I’m super psyched to be a part of the Austinot team and share my experiences with y’all! (Said un-ironically. Imagine that from a life-long East Coaster!)
I have always loved exploring and reading stories. One of my first memories is flipping through the hundreds of National Geographics that my parents kept in their garage. From then on, I’ve been curious about the stories of the people and places around me. That’s probably why I keep writing about Austin.
As Austin grows and evolves, I want to share glimpses into the people and organizations growing with it. Though I tend to write a lot about non-profits and charities, I’ll write about anything the city has to offer. It doesn’t matter if I have to jump out of a plane (that literally happened), or if I have to break into an abandoned building (no comment), I’ll go there and do it.
My bio is simple: born and raised in Hawaii, graduated from the UT Austin. I love traveling, volunteering, Brazilian jiu jitsu and black coffee.
My name is Eliza. Yes, like Doolittle or Thornberry–take your pick. Originally from Tucson, with a brief interlude at a hillside hamlet in Ohio for college, I was drawn to Austin’s heat and culture and have stayed because there’s still too much food to eat, music to hear and niches to explore.
My infatuation with telling people’s stories began over a box of Barbies with an only child’s whacky imagination, long before I could hold a pen in my now eternally ink blotched left hand. I have a traveler’s itch that no amount of Benadryl will ever calm.
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. But if people watching were a career, I’d be the first to sign up. I’ll drop everything to bake and roller coasters scare me, but complicated recipes never do. Drooling over online restaurant menus is my guilty pleasure. I fancy myself an adventurer. I’ll never stop exploring, asking questions or making lists.
And a big thank you to Jim Nix of Nomadic Pursuits for providing our blog background image!
Is The Austinot Biased?
Yes. We are biased towards small business owners and underdogs (usually the same people). We are biased towards anyone who has been doing awesome things in the Austin community, without receiving recognition.
If you’re just getting to know The Austinot, you may be surprised at how positive our articles are. It’s true. We look for the best in people and put a positive spin on our experiences because we think it’s the right thing to do. We’re not going to lead you astray by promoting low quality businesses or activities – if you dig hard enough, you will find some negative reviews among our articles – but we’re always impressed by the caliber of the people we meet in Austin. We think our raving praise for hard-working and creative Austinites is completely justified.
Are You Paid for Your Articles?
No Austinot writer has ever been paid in exchange for writing an article, and we have no plans to change this policy. Having said that, we are sometimes provided with comped products or services for the purposes of writing reviews. If anything has been comped, you’ll find a disclosure statement at the bottom of the relevant article.