We just got back from 5 days in Austin, Texas with my family and had a blast! Hunter was the only one who had been there before, so we enjoyed exploring a new city and surrounding area and doing just about everything yall recommended. We seriously packed a lot into a few days, so if you’re about to visit the Austin area, here’s my list of recommendations:
- JW Marriott: I don’t have other options since this was my first time to Austin and this is where we stayed, but I loved it! It was a block from the river and right across the bridge to South Congress, so we were able to walk just about anywhere in Austin. We enjoyed their rooftop pool & outdoor games, bar, concierge suite onsite restaurants & comfortable rooms.
EAT + DRINK
When traveling, we do a LOT of eating and drinking.. In fact, we pride ourselves on finding delicious food to eat and trying not to repeat a place unless it really was that good. These were my favorite spots of the trip:
- Upstairs at Caroline: This was a trendy open air spot where we stopped for an early dinner. Local beers, great tacos and a fun atmosphere with games. Get the quinoa & cauliflower “chorizo” taco – it was my favorite of the trip!
- Seco2d Bar + Grill: After walking during the hottest time of the day, we stopped here for drinks and stayed for dinner. The patio was covered and great for people watching without sweating. Get the meat + cheese board, prosciutto & water melon salad and liter of rose on tap!
- Terry Black’s BBQ: You have to go to a historic BBQ place while in Austin and this was the one we chose. Pro tip: Order a drink while you wait in line (it’s cafeteria style), esp if you’re in the outside part of the line. Get the brisket (duh), creamed corn, banana pudding, sausage, peach cobbler and green beans. Okay, I loved everything I tried there, so you really can’t go wrong.
- Osteria Pronto: We came here for dinner on our last night and it was my favorite meal. Italian was a nice change from all the meat & tacos we’d eaten, and add that with great wine and melt in your mouth dinner… you have the perfect way to end the trip! Get the tortellini or bucatini.
- Cedar Room: Home of the original Mexican martini (margarita / martini mash up) and that’s exactly what you should get. You basically get 2 drinks in a shaker for 1 price (only $11). Appetizers are also good if you need a snack.
- Bangers Sausage House & Beer Garden: Obviously you’re going here for the beer (there’s 100 on tap!) and your server will be super helpful to make sure you find one you’ll love. The creamed corn and pretzel are also delicious if you need a snack. If we hadn’t had lunch right before, I would’ve tried their sausages!
- Get a beer on Rainey Street: In my opinion, you should just skip 6th street (unless you’re on a bachelor bachelorette party) and grab a drink on Rainey Street instead. The bars are all mostly craftsmen homes converted into bars and it’s way more unique and fun than what you’ll find on 6th.
- Attend a concert at ACL: When the trip was booked, we looked to see who was performing at Austin City Limits while we were in town and Steve Miller Band + Peter Frampton were. Ahhhh! Tickets booked. Moody theatre is small, so any seat is great and we sang the night away, just 2 blocks from our hotel.
- Rent a scooter: We saw people riding around on these scooters that were randomly parked all around the city and on the last night decided to check it out. I’m so bummed we didn’t do this sooner! You download the Lime app, scan the QR code on the scooter you find and go – it’s seriously that easy! The best part is that they’re solar charged, so after a pump or 2 from your leg, the scooter will take off with no more work on your end. Seriously, why didn’t we do this sooner to get around??
- See the bats: Every night between 8-8:30pm over a million bats wake up and fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. This sounds a lil crazy, but it’s totally worth it to check out and see for yourself. Walk out to the middle of the bridge to get a great spot away from the crowds and you’ll also get great sunset pictures as well.
- BYOB putt putt: At Peter Pan mini golf you can bring a drink and play 18 (or 36) holes! The west course is harder and has more of the crazy statues than the other side. By the end of the round, you’ll be laughing hard. Pegs was our back to back putt putt champ!
- Find the street art: There’s so much cool street art all around Austin and we used that as a way to wander the streets when we first got there. I have a whole post coming soon with what we found!
- Tour the Capitol: Monday morning the 3 of us girls walked the mile up Congress Avenue to the Texas State Capitol. We managed to time it perfectly to go on a free guided tour of the largest state capitol in the nation and also saw a Texas Ranger graduation in the House of Representatives!
- Longhorn Cavern: About 70 min outside of Austin in Burnet Country are the Longhorn Caverns. We bought tickets for the tour and checked out the area beforehand. The 90 minute tour was a little long, but the cave was really interesting and we definitely got our steps in that day.
- LBJ Library: Mom wanted to check out the LBJ Library on UT’s campus so she headed over there while the rest of us went to Rainey street. She really enjoyed it, so if you want a lil more history in your trip, check it out!
- Waco: I couldn’t include everything I wanted to about our trip to Waco in 1-2 sentences here, so you’ll be seeing more on Magnolia soon, don’t you worry. Short story: Definitely worth the trip from Austin!
Have you been to Austin before? If not, you should put it on your list! I promise there’s something for everyone.. just be ready to sweat if you’re there in the summer 😉