One of Texas’ most well known streets, Austin’s 6th Street is the entertainment hub of the city. A mishmash of tourists, college students and locals, whether you’re looking to get rowdy, catch a show or marvel at the historical houses, the seven blocks between Congress and IH 35 are sprinkled with one of a kind event venues, tattoo parlors, Tex-Mex gems and bars galore. The Mardi Gras of Texas, anything goes.

The street is unofficially divided into three parts, each with its own character and corresponding patrons. Knowing how to navigate it will save you a lot of hassle, headache, and hangover.

Photo Credit: Tim Donar

West Sixth: Everything west of Lavaca Street. The scene is mostly a young professional crowd, with some bars being overtaken by college students on the weekends. Hit up Little Woodrow’s for the perfect patio or check out Key Bar for great live music.

Dirty Sixth: Starts at Brazos St. and heads east to I-35. The “Bourbon Street” of Austin, this part of town is always packed with young twenty-something’s and UT students and tends to get much rowdier than the rest of the strip. The city closes this part of 6th Street down on Friday and Saturday nights, making it a fun pedestrian only-thoroughfare. Bars are in a constant state of turnover, with some more reliable staples being Maggie Mae’s, Buffalo Billiard’s, and Cheers.

East Sixth: East of I-35 and constantly expanding. One of the fastest growing parts of Austin, new hideaways are popping up every day. East Austin is home to the hipsters, and the bars and their décor will reflect the low-key taste of that crowd. Sip an ice cold PBR at trendy hangouts like Shangri-La, East Side Showroom, and The Liberty (and don’t miss the famed East Side King food truck in the back!)

After you get a feel for the different vibes of Sixth Street and find what section appeals to you, enjoy the chaos and people watching Austin is famous for.