This episode of Discover Austin pays homage to The Drag near the University of Texas. This beloved stretch of Guadalupe Street, across from campus, has served the students of UT for decades.
Other Discover Austin topics that appear in this episode: Iconic Murals – Jeremiah the Innocent
Greetings, I’m Craig Smyser. I’m on The Drag for this episode of Discover Austin.
The stretch of roadway known as The Drag is the portion of Guadalupe Street, that strictly speaking, runs between 21st and 25th Streets. On the eastern side is the University of Texas at Austin and it is because of the university that the Drag is what it is. It started simply as businesses along Guadalupe catering to college students who needed basic things like food, clothes, and books. It is located near some of the original buildings on campus so it really was the closest the businesses could get without being on the campus itself.
UT students remember the Drag as it was when then they attended school, yet it is always changing. Shops and restaurants come and go all the time along the Drag, though some are here for a long time. The one constant is that the Drag evolves to cater to the students of the present. As is human nature, the Drag is beloved as a time capsule for those who passed through for a few years.
When Austin was more of a quiet college town, The Drag featured many locally owned shops and restaurants that helped contribute the Keep Austin Weird mantra. Over the past 20 years, as Austin has continued to grow and property values have increased, many of the once favorite local institutions on the Drag closed their doors sometimes replaced by chains of a more corporate nature. Of course, the new places still cater to the UT crowd. And the UT crowd is as much a part of the Drag as the shops. Thousands of students swarm through the Drag shuffling between their apartments and campus. They hang out during breaks, eat & shop in the evenings and weekends, and maybe even study over a cup of coffee.
While you may not frequent the Drag too often, every Central Texan should experience this well known spot. So take some time to walk along with the UT students and enjoy the vibe of the west campus atmosphere. I’m Craig Smyser, thanks for joining me for this episode of Discover Austin.