We know that Austin is still considered the little dark horse in the great big Lone Star State. We know that Austin is overwhelmingly proud of its unique identity and openly casts its eyes down on those transplants trying to change its landscape.
Apparently we do that to vacationers too. Well, at least to jaded travel writers.
This past week, Huffington Post published David Landsel's list of "10 Terribly Overrated Travel Destinations (And Where To Travel Instead)." At the top of the list — which includes such illustrious international destinations as Buenos Aires, Berlin and Costa Rica — is Austin.
The reason? According to Landsel, a contributing editor at Airfarewatchdog.com, Austin is trying too hard.
Drum roll, please, for this legend in its own mind, a mildly entertaining university town and state capital with fever dreams of greatness, a city whose entire purpose for breathing is to not be like everything else around it. When you're trying to set yourself apart from a place as large and as bold as Texas, you have to work really, really hard. Which could explain why everyone walks around here looking so stressed. Sprawling Austin is one of those unfortunate places that seems really smashing on paper. And then one ruins things by going. You have now been advised.
Although Austin is still "trying to set [itself] apart," Landsel offers up an alternative for traveling "bold" Texas, citing Houston as the best place to "experience Texas at its most interesting."
A city with "fun-loving locals who are generally anything but uptight," Landsel praises the Houston museum culture, as well as its food and drink scene. (He, of course, gives a proper nod to Austin-based chef Tyson Cole and his transplant restaurant Uchi.)
Still, he says, Houston is "a city so ugly that sometimes you may be tempted to put a bag over its head." (Couldn't resist that last dig at Texas, could you Landsel?)
Sure it stings a little bit for a proud Austinite to top a "worst of" list, but we'll survive — and without a furrowed brow. After all, we don't need to put a bag over our skyline to enjoy the city, and we'll have one less jaded traveler crowding the street.