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9 Best Cities Like Austin & Austin Alternatives [2024]

9 Best Cities Like Austin & Austin Alternatives [2024]

Cities Like Austin: Hey there, fellow adventurers and wanderlust seekers! 

If you've ever been enchanted by the quirky charm, vibrant music scene, and undeniable energy of Austin, Texas, then hold onto your hats because we're about to embark on a thrilling journey to explore cities across the United States that share a slice of Austin's magnetic appeal. 

From bustling cultural hubs to foodie paradises, these cities have their own unique stories waiting to be unveiled. 

So, buckle up for an exciting ride as we delve into these incredible cities like Austin Texas, but with their very own twists and turns!

List of Cities Like Austin

1. Madison, Wisconsin

Close your eyes and imagine Madison, Wisconsin – a city where the tranquil beauty of lakes meets a thriving arts scene. 

It's like encountering Austin's cool northern cousin, with a serene lakeside embrace.

Best Places to Visit

  1. State Capitol: Step inside the Wisconsin State Capitol and be prepared to have your breath taken away. This architectural gem boasts a stunning dome that'll make you look up in awe.
  2. University of Wisconsin-Madison: Immerse yourself in campus life and who knows, you might just stumble upon a Badgers game. The electric atmosphere here is infectious.
  3. Olbrich Botanical Gardens: Need a moment of peace and serenity? The Olbrich Botanical Gardens are your ticket to paradise, complete with a mesmerizing Thai Pavilion.


Madison's culinary scene is an adventure in itself. 

Don't forget to savor the iconic Wisconsin cheese curds, and explore farm-to-table delights that'll leave your taste buds dancing.

2. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Welcome to Minneapolis, Minnesota – often dubbed the “Mini Apple” due to its dynamic urban culture, thriving arts scene, and abundant adventures. 

It's like Austin's lively sibling from the north!

Best Places to Visit

  1. Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Prepare to be dazzled by this treasure trove of art. It's a world where creativity knows no bounds, spanning centuries and cultures.
  2. Walker Art Center: If contemporary art and design make your heart skip a beat, the Walker Art Center is your wonderland. Get ready for a visual rollercoaster.
  3. Chain of Lakes: For those who crave the outdoors, the Chain of Lakes is your haven. Whether you're walking, biking, or just soaking in the stunning lake views, nature beckons.


Minneapolis is a playground for foodies. But brace yourself for the Juicy Lucy burger – it's a juicy, cheesy masterpiece that's going to blow your taste buds away!

3. Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, is where lakes meet mountains, and every street exudes charm. 

It's like stepping into a laid-back version of Austin, sprinkled with natural beauty.

Best Places to Visit

  1. Church Street Marketplace: Imagine a street where cars dare not tread. It's Church Street Marketplace, alive with shops, cafes, and street performances. It's downtown magic at its finest.
  2. Lake Champlain: If you're a water enthusiast, Lake Champlain is your paradise. Enjoy cruises, water activities, or simply lounge by the serene lake – the choice is yours!
  3. ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain: Dive into interactive exhibits that celebrate the wonders of Lake Champlain and its natural beauty. It's a journey into the secrets of nature.


Get ready for a taste explosion. 

Burlington is the place to savor Vermont's famous maple syrup and indulge in farm-to-table dishes that'll make your palate sing.

4. Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado, is where outdoor adventures meet a thriving arts and music scene, much like Austin's unique blend of culture and nature.

Best Places to Visit

  1. Red Rocks Amphitheatre: Experience a concert in this iconic natural amphitheater, surrounded by stunning rock formations. It's a musical adventure like no other.
  2. Denver Art Museum: Immerse yourself in a world of art, from traditional to contemporary, in this renowned museum. It's a visual feast for art enthusiasts.
  3. Garden of the Gods: Take a day trip to this natural wonderland with towering sandstone formations that'll leave you awestruck and inspired.


Denver offers a diverse culinary scene, but don't miss the chance to try Colorado's green chili and explore the city's craft beer culture – it's legendary!

5. Eagleton, Indiana

Eagleton, Indiana

Eagleton, Indiana, captures the essence of close-knit communities, much like Austin's cozy neighborhoods.

Best Places to Visit

  1. Pawnee Commons: Take a leisurely stroll through this picturesque park and soak in the charm of community gatherings.
  2. Eagleton History Museum: Delve into the town's rich history and traditions at this charming museum that showcases the heart of Eagleton.
  3. Eagleton Dam: For a tranquil escape, relax by the serene waters of Eagleton Dam. It's a favorite spot for picnics, fishing, and quiet reflection.


Experience classic American diner fare and indulge in homemade pies at Eagleton's local diners. It's comfort food at its finest.

Stay tuned for more exhilarating cities and their hidden treasures that will leave you planning your next adventure!

6. Denton, Texas

Denton, Texas

Denton, Texas, is a vibrant college town where a thriving music scene and an artistic spirit echo Austin's creative energy.

Best Places to Visit

  1. Denton Square: Explore the historic square, where charming shops, galleries, and live music venues keep the city buzzing with creativity.
  2. University of North Texas: Immerse yourself in campus culture, and if you're lucky, catch a live music performance that'll make you tap your feet and nod in approval.
  3. Little Chapel in the Woods: Visit this iconic chapel known for its stunning architecture and serene surroundings. It's a peaceful escape nestled within the city.


Denton boasts a diverse culinary scene, including food trucks dishing out mouthwatering delights, barbecue joints with finger-licking ribs, and live music venues serving up great eats. It's a symphony of flavors!

7. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina, is a haven for nature lovers, artists, and free spirits, much like Austin's eclectic mix of culture and nature.

Best Places to Visit

  1. Biltmore Estate: Dive into history and luxury as you explore the opulent Biltmore Mansion and its beautifully landscaped gardens. It's like stepping into a bygone era.
  2. Blue Ridge Parkway: Take a breathtaking drive along this scenic highway for mountain views and hiking trails that put you right in the heart of nature's wonder.
  3. Downtown Asheville: Wander through the vibrant streets filled with art galleries, live music, and local boutiques that capture the city's bohemian spirit.


Asheville is renowned for its farm-to-table restaurants, craft breweries, and a dynamic food scene that invites you to savor every bite. 

It's a culinary adventure waiting to happen!

8. San Marcos, Texas

San Marcos, Texas

San Marcos, Texas, boasts a picturesque river, a vibrant music scene, and a youthful spirit, reminiscent of Austin's own culture.

Best Places to Visit

  1. San Marcos River: Dive into the refreshing waters of the San Marcos River. It's perfect for tubing, kayaking, or simply relaxing by the crystal-clear streams.
  2. Texas State University: Immerse yourself in campus life, explore the lively arts and music scene, and witness the boundless energy of youth in action.
  3. The Square: Discover local shops, restaurants, and live music venues around the historic square. It's where the heart of San Marcos beats, and the rhythms are contagious.


San Marcos offers Tex-Mex delights that'll leave you craving for more, barbecue that's a true Texas experience, and a range of dining options catering to diverse tastes. 

It's a flavorful journey through Texas cuisine.

9. Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon, is a city known for its creative spirit, thriving arts scene, and love for the outdoors, much like Austin's eclectic blend.

Best Places to Visit

  1. Powell's City of Books: Get lost in the world's largest independent bookstore with a vast collection of books that beckon you to explore literary wonders.
  2. Washington Park: Escape into nature at Washington Park, where lush gardens, the Oregon Zoo, and the iconic International Rose Test Garden await, offering serenity amidst the urban bustle.
  3. Hawthorne District: Stroll through this vibrant neighborhood filled with unique shops, cozy cafes, and street art that adds character to every corner. It's where every turn brings a delightful surprise.


Portland is a foodie paradise with food carts serving up international flavors, farm-to-table restaurants crafting culinary masterpieces, and a dynamic craft beer scene that'll keep you sipping and savoring.

Final Words

There you have it, a whirlwind tour of cities across the United States that capture the essence of Austin's vibrancy, creativity, and diverse culture. 

Whether you're drawn to the live music scene, outdoor adventures, or culinary delights, these cities offer their unique stories and experiences, waiting for you to explore. 

So, pack your bags, unleash your curiosity, and get ready to uncover the hidden gems of these incredible destinations. 

The adventure begins now!