SailPoint’s world headquarters is in Austin, Texas, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. From the best barbeque in the country to the active outdoor lifestyle and burgeoning tech industry, it’s hard to imagine a better place to live, work and play. And the Tex-Mex doesn’t hurt either. One of the reasons I love Navigate so much is that we get the opportunity to show off our fair city to attendees from around the world. In addition to the great identity conversations we’ll have next week, I hope everyone who visits Austin will come away with a newfound love for our city. While everyone has their own list of must-do activities in Austin, here’s my personal take on some of the best things you can experience while you’re in town for Navigate ‘18:
- Experience Austin’s nightlife scene. Everyone has heard of Austin’s infamous Sixth Street Historic District, which is in easy walking distance of the JW Marriott. However, if you’re looking for a calmer scene with craft beer and inventive cocktails, it’s worth a trip to Rainey Street where you can wander between bars housed in charming bungalows, tempting food trucks and some of the best restaurants in town.
- Eat breakfast. It’s no secret that Austin takes its food seriously, and breakfast is no exception. If you’re looking for amazing pancakes (or some of the best queso in town) head to Kerbey Lane Cafe for breakfast. Yes, you can eat queso for breakfast. Get the Eggs Francisco and thank me later. In a hurry? Grab the best migas breakfast taco in town. If you leave Austin without having at least one breakfast taco, you’re doing it wrong.
- Experience the weird and wonderful. You may have heard, but we like to “Keep Austin Weird.” What exactly makes Austin weird? The list is long. To get a taste of the city’s weirder side, visit Peter Pan Mini Golf (don’t forget to BYOB), gaze in wonder at the Cathedral of Junk or watch one of the world’s largest urban bat colonies emerge from the South Congress Bridge at sunset.
- Take in a dose of Texas history. If you didn’t grow up in Texas, you probably missed out on the requisite Texas history classes taught in school. A visit to Austin can help you get up to speed with your Texas trivia. Head to the Texas State Capitol, which is the largest state capitol in the country and stands a full 15 feet taller than the United States Capitol. It’s true, everything is bigger in Texas.
- Taste wine from the Texas Hill Country. All 50 states now have wineries, and many of the best Texas wineries are in short driving distance of downtown Austin. If you’re looking to experience the Hill Country in all its glory, head for the Texas Wine Trail to sample wines from more than 50 different wineries while taking in the beautiful views.
- Get smart at University of Texas. As a Longhorn, I can’t resist an opportunity to promote my alma mater. Whether you’re interested in art from across the ages, want to see a complete Gutenberg Bible, tour the LBJ Presidential Library or take in some live music at the Cactus Café, UT’s campus has you covered.
- Beat the heat. Even in May, the temperature in Austin starts to climb. If you need to cool off after a run around Lady Bird Lake, dip your toes in Barton Springs Pool, which maintains a cool, year-round temperature of 68 degrees. You can also take a stand-up paddleboard or kayak out on Lady Bird Lake or swim a few laps in the historic Deep Eddy Pool.
- Add another stamp to your party passport. Don’t let the wonders of Austin distract you from the reason for your visit, Navigate ’18! Each year we close out Navigate with a party to remember, and this year will be no exception. The theme is “Passport to Party” and while I don’t want to give away too many details, get ready to take your post-conference party skills to the next level.
- Attend the Identity Governance Conference. For identity pros, there’s no better place to be than Navigate ’18. We’re ready to talk shop, including the next frontiers in identity governance (think data and AI), learn best practices from our awesome lineup of speakers and provide hands-on training and breakout sessions for on how identity can work for you and your organization.
- Mingle with the #SailPointCrew. I may be biased, but I think the SailPoint Crew is the best group of people to work with. Navigate ’18 is a great opportunity for our customers and partners to network not only with each other, but also with the SailPoint Crew behind their favorite identity governance solutions. Meet the Mistaken Identity Podcast duo, work out with our fittest crew members each morning, and find out why SailPoint consistently makes the list of best places to work in Austin.
Want even more recommendations on what to do while you’re in Austin? Check out my blog posts from 2016 and 2017, or find me at Navigate ’18 to get the inside scoop. And don’t forget to share your favorite adventures in Austin with the official hasht, #SPNav18. See you soon!