When we have the itch for a quick getaway Jason and I often head down I-35 3 hours to Austin, Texas. We’ve gone a number of times over the years and each time we discoverd something new. The city is eccletic, artsy, and active- which is what we love! Here are our top 5 favorite things to do (from a non-locals perspective).
Austin Taco Project (soul food taco fushion)
Snooze (Great breakfast, but get their early!)
Marias Taco Cheap, authentic, and fun atmosphere. They have luve music on the patio esch weekend.
Enoteca Vespatio– for desserts and brunch lunch.
The Oasis– Salsa dancing on Sundays! Great food with a sunset view of Lake Travis.
The shops on South Congress Ave, are filled with boutiques, bookstores, eateries, galleries and music venues. Find a parking spot and get ready to stroll from shop to shop. Our current favorites are:
•Joe’s for the Turbo Coffee and the “I love you so much” Mural. (Shown above).
•La Pastierre (on 1st Street) for the Macoons
•Warby Parker for best glasses/sunglasses.
•Kendra Scott (Flagship store) for jewelry!
For the Kids
Austin Children’s Museum: The Thinkery– an amazing children’s museum great for kids 10 and under to roam and explore.
Austin Nature & Science Center Nature is a hands-on experience at this curiosity shop of scientific and natural artifacts located in west Zilker Park, which has an old-school, natural history museum vibe. Unlike in most museums, though, kids are encouraged to touch stuff, rather than being prohibited from it. Major bonus: It’s free.
Mayfield Gardens. Check out the peacocks for free!! It’s a very quick diversion. Bring your camera and wander among the flowers and peacocks. No need to stay more than an hour.)
This is the annual music festival held each October, located in Zilker Park. You can buy a ticket for one, two, three… or all six days! Musicians come all over the world to perfom live in Austin. We let Jocelyn spend the weekend with Grandma & Grandpa and went down to Austin to for ACL. We saw Of Monsters and Men, Vance Joy, The Fray, The Weekend and so any more performers right! BEST CONCERT EVER!!
South by Southwest is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas. We’ve never been to this event but other friends have gone. They’ve really enjoyed the festival.
Bats of Congress Ave Bridge. The easiest thing to do is to pack a picnic and head down to the Statesman’s Bat Observation Center in the northwest corner of the parking lot at least an hour before dusk. Street parking is available nearby, and there are several parking lots, as well, which are a bit longer to walk. There is signage which will tell you more about the bats and you’ll be surrounded by many other families doing the same thing. If you have older kids who don’t mind standing for longer periods of time, you can find a spot on the southeastern part of the bridge about an hour before dusk. The best part is that these options are both free!
Ofo Bike Rental (Zilker Park, downtown, or Congress Ave.) Download the app.once you get there and you’ll see exactly where the bikes are. It’s only $1.00 per hour!
Kayak or Paddle Boarding Wear your swimsuit and slather on the sunblock and gi have some fun. You’re in for the ultimate ab workout while seeing birds, ducks, fish, and more. Get outdoors and have some fun.
This is the highest point in Austin, Texas at approximately 800 feet. The mount provides a vista for viewing the city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills. Even kids can make the 102-stair climb up to the peak, and the trail to the top is only about a third of a mile.
Where to Stay
When we visit Austin with friends, we usually rent an AirBnb house or condo. We can all stay together in one location and split the cost. It’s the best way to get the most space for your money. Use our code: Jason30 to recieve $30 off your next AirBnb rental. We recommed choosing a spot close to downtown or South Congress Avenue to enjoy most of the things I’ve listed above. You can easily park your car, walk the streets, grab a pedicab, hope on a bike, or take an Uber to get around.
So are you planning to visit Austin, Texas soon? I hope this weekend guide gets you started. Also, if you know of other great spots in Austin please leave me a comment below! We’d love to explore them on our next visit. Thanks for stopping by!