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Austin, Texas

Austin is the state capital of Texas, but thanks to the presence of the University of Texas and a thriving music and arts community, it’s also the cultural capital of Texas.

Earlier this year, part of 2nd Street was re-christened for hometown legend Willie Nelson, and a statue of the red-headed stranger will soon stand in front of the new Austin City Limits studio. Austin is also where Matthew McConaughey used park his Airstream trailer, play his bongos in the nude, and where he has been known to show up to a UT game or two.

Sandra Bullock keeps a home there and owns several businesses including the restaurant Bess Bistro and Walton’s Fancy and Staple floral shop/deli/coffee shop. Lance Armstrong has been spotted training in the hills of the Jollyville section of town, and he’s got his own local bike trail named for him.

It may be deep in the heart of the Lone Star state, but for over a week every March, Austin becomes star- studded for the South by Southwest music, film and interactive conference, complete with A-list actors at red carpet premieres. Just this year when promoting his film " Get Low, " Bill Murray strolled off the red carpet into the 6th Street nightlife, drinking with the locals and out-of-towners, and even tending bar.

Photo: Jeremy Woodhouse | Getty Images & Dan Katz