Austin is the capital of Texas and with the motto “Keep Austin Weird” it’s’ truly unlike any other Lone Star city. The people are a vibrant mix of liberals, The University of Texas college students, musicians, politicians who work at the Capital Building, and well… let’s just say some damn interesting folk.
So start practicing your “ya’ll’s” and “howdy’s” cause you’re going to need them for this two-day getaway in Austin, Texas…
What To Do In Austin: Day 1
The first day is a walking tour of downtown and the surrounding areas, (so wear your comfortable shoes ladies and gents!)
Breakfast at Cafe Crepe of Austin
Start the day with breakfast at Cafe Crepe of Austin. They have big and frothy cappuccinos and their light breakfast Crêpe de Paris (eggs, Swiss cheese, and bacon/ham) is delicious. So much, you might have to go back again tomorrow! They’re conveniently located downtown at 200 San Jacinto.
Walk the Lady Bird Lake Trail
From Cafe Crepe, walk south towards the Colorado River and make a right on East First Street and cross Congress Bridge. Congress Bridge is home to over a million Mexican Free-tailed Bats that fly out from under the bridge at dusk and dawn from March to April.
After you cross the bridge, you’ll see access to the Lady Bird Lake Trail that heads north along the Colorado River on both sides. About a half mile up snap a shot with the larger-than-life statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan – a famous Austin-born guitarist.
There are also, excellent photo opportunities of downtown Austin. Continue to walk along the river until you get to South Lamar Boulevard, cross the bridge, and start your walk back towards downtown.
Lunch at How Do You Roll?
As you’re walking towards downtown, turn left on San Antonio Street and then make a right on West Second Street. You’ll see How Do You Roll? sushi restaurant. The restaurant is revolutionizing fast-food sushi. Your sushi is made to order at a sushi bar and served immediately. They were even featured on the hit TV show SharkTank and got an investment.
Capitol Building Tour
From How Do You Roll? continue down West Second Street and turn left on North Congress Avenue. A mile up is the Capitol Building… you can’t miss it. They offer free tours of the Capitol Building where you get to visit the House and Senate Chambers. You can even take a picture of George W. Bush on the wall… if that’s your thing.
Dinner at the Driskill Hotel
Head back down North Congress towards the river and make a left on 6th Street. The Driskill Hotel – a historic landmark and hotel that was built in 1886 – will be a block up. They have an excellent menu and dining room. You’ll feel like a princess.
Drinks and Music on 6th Street
After dinner, head in either direction on 6th Street for live music and drinks at any one of the bars lining the street. BTW… Austin’s known as the live music capital of the world because of the high number of live music venues. It rocks… really!
What To Do In Austin: Day 2
The second day, you’ll need a car to get around the surrounding areas of Austin…
Barbecue Brunch at The Salt Lick
No visit to Texas is complete without eating BBQ! And my personal favorite is The Salt Lick in Driftwood – about a 30 minute drive from downtown. While traditional Texas barbecue has a dry rub, the Salt Lick is known for their sweet and delicious barbecue sauces.
It’s so good that on the weekends, there is always a wait. But don’t worry, they have an outdoor picnic area with live music to keep you entertained.
The best part…
It’s bring your own bottle (BYOB)! So you can bring champagne and orange juice for mimosas, beer or head next door to the wine tasting room.
After all that barbecue, you’ll want some fresh air and exercise. Head to Mount Bonnell City Park – the highest point in Austin – for the best view of downtown Austin. It’s less than half a mile hike to the top, but you’ll have to power up a series of stairs. From the top of Mount Bonnell, you’ll be rewarded with stunning city views!
For some more outdoor time, head to Mayfield Park – where you can see lily ponds, a historic cottage and countless peacocks that roam the area. There are also other hiking trails if you want to explore further.
Happy Hour at Ruth’s Cris
I know, I know… who is this girl recommending a chain restaurant?!?!
Ruth’s Cris has the best happy hour in Austin! I’m talking five-dollar top-shelf martinis and half-off appetizers like crab-stuffed mushrooms, oysters Rockefeller, and seared Ahi tuna. It’s to die for! Happy hour is Monday through Friday only.
Drinks in Warehouse District
For a more hipster bar crowd, head to the Warehouse District (Lavaca & 4th). The Ginger Man pub is a great way to meet people while enjoying any of the over 70 specialty beers on tap. Around the corner, is Fado Irish Pub which has excellent food and atmosphere You can grab a table by the fire and enjoy a cocktail or food.
There you have it… a full-blown cowboy/cowgirl getaway in Austin. I hope you helped keep Austin weird!