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 was involved in the sport of professional boxing for over a decade as a promoter.
When not blogging, teaching, 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 music, and my Jeep. You can check out my fledgeling Jeep Blog at Jeepsies.com
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.
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 am Austin born, but was raised as an Army Brat outside of Ft. Hood. I didn’t find my way back to Austin until I attended St. Edward’s University in 2012. At that point, I knew I wasn’t going to be leaving the city anytime soon.
I have been slowly exploring Austin since then and getting involved with fun things that align with my passions. I spend my free time putting together outfits to wear, reading as many books as I can, writing blogs post or novels, and eating at my favorite ramen shop in town. I have a bit of an obsession with giraffes and fashion (not together). And I love getting to do fun things around the city with my friends and family.
I am one of the many transplants from the New York metro area who dreamed of the wild west. So, I started heading in that direction, and ended up in Austin! I have found more of a home than I could have ever dreamed of, and am dumbfounded by all the ways creativity flourishes here.
I have an English degree from Rutgers University, and for a little while after graduating I didn’t think it would be good for much. I started teaching yoga classes and became licensed in massage therapy, and currently have an exciting massage practice. Only recently have I realized that the craft of language has never left me. It’s simply taken myriad forms that, in my pursuit of scholarship, I could not yet imagine.
I love painting (pet and people portraits especially), hoop dancing, throwing darts at maps and traveling wherever they land, and anything esoteric or mystical.
Connect on Instagram: @passageablaze.
I’m Vi, a UI/UX designer based in Austin. While I’m pretty sure that’s my first calling in life, I’m just as certain that food is THE second calling. I moved to Austin in 2015 and have soaked up the city so much that you’d never know I’m a transplant. It took me three weeks to establish myself as the queen of food at my new job. I love the food Austin has to offer, but that’s not the end of our relationship. Thankfully, this town is just as quirky and fun-loving as I am, so we get along well. My husband and I usually have a busy work week, but BOY when the weekend comes, we adventure hard! You can also find me head banging to whatever Spotify has to offer, while navigating through my indecisiveness at a coffee shop with a little help from our pup, Ms. Poe, and partner, Mr. P. You can keep up with our adventures on my 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’m a Native Texan, copywriter, and world traveler. My last name is pronounced /sīnz/ which is where my long-running nickname “Dollar Saenz” comes from.
I’ve been in and around Austin since 2005—which I’m pretty sure makes me a local. Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road” is my life’s inspiration. However, when I’m not penning clever one-liners or traveling, you can find me swimming at Barton Springs, eating from food trucks, or walking around Austin photographing street art and searching for the best margarita in town. I just love revealing the everyday “weirdness” that makes this city so darn great
After spending most of my “adult” life in NYC and LA, Austin now feels like home. My favorite things about the city: the food, the outdoor activities, the tacos, the food, the going-out scene, the food trucks, the barbecue, and the food.
I work for a little tech company called Google, but in my free time I love live music, standup comedy, traveling, and thinking about making plans to one day learn how I can be more efficient with my time. I’ll always be a Boston sports fan, but all these championship parades are getting tiring, you know? I’m proud to say I’ve been banned from Craigslist due to my propensity for writing fake listings. Having a friend ask me, “Do you know why I have 87 voicemails looking for a free cotton candy machine?” gives me joy on the deepest level.
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 on the relevant article.