Ryan Holiday is author of the bestselling books Trust Me I’m Lying, Growth Hacker Marketing, and The Obstacle Is The Way. He is the editor-at-large of New York Observer and founder of Brass Check Marketing. He lives in Austin, TX with goats.
You’ve lived all over the place — LA, New Orleans, NYC — why did you choose Austin to settle down in?
There is something very special about the American South. It has a sense of history and community for starters, and it has a pace of life that I think is highly underrated. Having lived on the West Coast, East Coast and the South, I loved a piece of each one of those cultures but was looking to find them all in one place. Austin has a creative scene, it has a food scene, it has a tech scene, it also has all the weirdness and uniqueness that is the South (sports, guns, grits, and so forth). Plus it’s cheap and beautiful.
You wrote a book here. Do you have a go-to coffee shop or place to go if you need to get work done?
I edited one and wrote another here. I wrote a good portion of it at the UT-Austin library which is great and has beautiful views of the capitol. It’s free and open to anyone during the day. I wrote a good chunk of it in my head on runs along Town Lake too.
Favorite place to relax?
Barton Springs or the trail on the lake.
If you had friends coming to town for 3 days, what would you make sure they did in Austin?
Barton Springs. Barton Springs. Barton Springs. It’s probably the single best municipal amenity in any city in the US—I guess Central Park is pretty amazing too but that’s hard to compete with. The only thing close to Barton Springs in terms of swimming would be the rock pools in Australia. And this is here and it costs like $4 (free in Winter).
Other than that, basically its just drinking and eating.
Do you have any off the beaten path Austin destinations to recommend?
Hamilton Pool and Jacob’s Well are both amazing. It’s a bit of a drive but again—something you’d never expect to find in Texas.