While I was only there for a weekend, I crammed in a lot. This was my first visit to Austin, and it will NOT be my last! If you are looking into taking a trip there, these are my 10 must-do’s!
So, without further ado, I’m fixin’ to tell you what to do in Austin….
Go to the Driskill Hotel Bar for a drink.
I recommend the Texas Orange Blossom and an order of the Truffle Popcorn. This place is so cool! A little piece of history tucked away on 6th street in Austin, it was built in 1886 and has hosted countless well-known people in history, including former President, Lyndon Johnson. When you walk into the lobby it is a captivating sight, and the bar is no different. The cowhide bar stools and dark wood make you feel like you are out west in a high-class saloon. If you’re as lucky as I was when I was there, I got to take a peak in the reception hall before a wedding party arrived. This place was simply amazing–a must do while you are in town.
Try on a pair of boots for the famous, Allen’s Boots.
Even if you are not a cowboy boot wearin’ kinda person, trust me, you are going to want to take a look into this store. Chances are you are going to find yourself in South Congress anyway! Allen’s Boots has row and rows of men’s, women’s, and kid’s boots, and it has very helpful employees to help you find the right fit and style boot.
Eat authentic Mexican cuisine.
Since Texas borders Mexico, you can find some DANK Mexican food in Austin. We initially set out that afternoon with the intention of finding brisket for lunch, but our plans changed once we got in our taxi. The driver insisted that we try this newer Mexican restaurant that is more of a local spot, and it has the best Mexican food in the area. Thank goodness we listened. Try out Curra’s Grill near South Congress. While you’re there, order an avocado margarita and drink it for me . . . Surprisingly so delicious.
Eat lunch at Second Kitchen + Bar
This place is a great spot for lunch, and it is located more in the city area. Congress Street is closer to the high rises and hotels. Especially if the weather is nice, make sure you get a seat outside and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are anything like me, people watching and good food is the perfect combination, and Second Kitchen + Bar is a great restaurant for both!
Run/bike the Butler Trail
You will not regret putting on your tennis shoes and getting on this trail. The entire loop is around 10 miles, but fear not, I didn’t do the whole thing either. It has a lot of little bridges that provide outstanding views of the city. You’ll feel great after your walk!
Shop till you drop on South Congress
No explanation needed… a variety of shops from antique stores to clothing boutiques are located here.
Get inspired at Castle Hill outdoor art gallery.
As long as you do not disturb the artists that are working on pieces, tourists are welcome here. It is just a short taxi ride from downtown. This outdoor art gallery is colorful and unique!
Eat dinner at The Lonesome Dove.
I am not going to lie; I was a tad skeptical of this restaurant before we went for dinner. I looked at their menu online and saw things like “Duck, Rabbit, and Rattlesnake sausage”, and “Wild Boar Ribs.” Being a foodie, I chose not to judge the unusual protein ingredients and give it a go. Let me tell you, 5 stars for this place! You can tell that the chef pays close detail to everything that is prepared. Order the rattlesnake sausage; I swear it is worth it!
Laugh your head off at Esther’s Follies Comedy Club.
Dinner and a show, what more could you ask for?! This was my first comedy club experience, and I was about to fall out of my chair I was laughing so hard. There were sketches about today’s politics, controversial issues, and jaw dropping magic tricks. What’s not to love? While the food was not as good as the Lonesome Dove, the show was worth the sub-par dinner and cheap red wine.
Grab a drink at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar.
All of the bars on 6th street all blended together for me. They all had loud live music, bachelorette parties, and drink specials. I was getting overwhelmed, so I picked the one with the shortest line at the time (probably not the best way to pick a bar?). It ended up that I picked the BEST. This place was so alive and had two dueling piano players that played today’s hits, oldies, and Tina Turner! If you slip them a bill and a song request you will hear it asap. I requested Sweet Caroline (no shame), and it brought the house down. You’re welcome to all those in attendance, I know it was a great request!
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