Shop my Suitcase
I was so excited to make my way back to Austin last weekend. I’ve been probably wow, ten times since moving to Texas seven years ago. This trip was extra fun because I was able to show my parents, who had never been to Austin, the great city!
We were lucky enough to have a few friends who live in Austin who gave us AMAZING recommendations for where we should eat and play while on our trip! I also asked my Instagram fam for recs and you delivered! I’m sharing those here as well so thank you for all your suggestions and recommendations!
Austin has become really popular for a lot of reasons. I read a statistic that there are 200 people moving to Austin every single DAY. That’s a lot of people and the city has completely transformed even within the seven years I’ve been going! Pierce and I were talking about how there are seriously cranes everywhere building up the city.
I really love Austin because there is just SO much to do. From the amazing food to the outdoor activities, it’s really all the best parts of Texas in one city. There is just so much to do and you’ll spend most of your trip outside.
Where to Stay
My family are big Mariott people. We always stay at Marriott’s but there are tons of cute AirBnB’s around too! We stayed at two different hotels. Pierce and I stayed at the Sheraton which was an ok location but not super walkable to everything downtown. My parents stayed at the cutest hotel but it’s definitely a splurge, the Austin Proper Hotel. We also checked out the JW Marriott and the Marriott Downtown which also were in better locations than the Sheraton just too expensive for the weekend we were there (it was UT game day and graduation).
If you’ve never been to Austin, I would recommend staying downtown because it really is fun to be in the heart of the city. If you want a more local experience you can stay in an Airbnb in Clarksville which is a new up and coming area where lots of young people live.
The Austin Proper hotel was outstanding. Every intricate detail was so thought out. They even have a private hotel bar just for guests called Goldie’s, shown below!
What to do During the Day
There is so much to do you seriously can’t go wrong! There are so many outdoor activities you can do on the Lady Bird Lake that runs through downtown Austin. You can rent kayaks or paddle boards or take a small boat tour. We opted for walking along the lake on Lady Bird Lake Trail and it was absolutely gorgeous! We walked on the opposite side of the lake that faced downtown. It is such a great view of downtown and kind of helps you get your feel for the city’s layout.
Zilker park is another great area to check out! There are so many parks but Zilker is most famous for hosting the ACL festival that happens in the fall every year.
You can also float the river in the summer. There are tons of spots to do this but this is one I’ve done before a few years ago for a friend’s birthday. It’s BYOB, dog friendly and a great way to spend a hot afternoon. You can find more information here.
I’ve also gone to Austin in the past and spent time on Lake Austin and Lake Travis and rented a boat with a big group for the day! Here is a smaller group company here and a bigger group rental where you can rent a barge here! Pics from past Austin trips floating the river and on Lake Austin below!
Austin is known for their vodka (hello Titos and Deep Eddy’s). I’ve never done this, but it’s been on the top of my list! You can go tour the breweries for Tito’s, Deep Eddy’s, and so many more! They are a little bit outside of Austin, so you’ll need a car but they are a great way to spend an afternoon.
There are also breweries closer to downtown Austin too!
- Central Machine Works
- Zilker Brewing
- Lazarus Brewing
- Better Half Brewing
- Holdout Brewing
- Austin East Cider’s
- Deep Eddy’s Brewing
There is also some great shopping in Austin! South Congress is a super cute place to check out and spend a morning. We hit up South Congress after our hike on Lady Bird Lake Trail it’s only about a 14 minute walk from the start of the trail.
You can check out the famous Austin Motel or stop into some of the shops. Cove Austin is the cutest little boutique on South Congress. This is also where the “I Love You So Much” mural is super famous! We grabbed an ice tea next to where the mural is and they have misting fans which was so nice.
The Domain and 2nd street downtown are also great places for shopping, walking around and grabbing coffee.
What to do at Night
Rainey street is a must see! It is the cutest little area that I’ve always had the best time out at night. You can also hit it during the day like we did and grabbed a bite to eat while watching some afternoon football.
All the places on Rainey are old houses that have been converted into restaurants, shops and bars! It feels like you’re walking down a short neighborhood. Some of the favorites and crowd pleasers at night are Container Bar and Unbarbelivable (which has a slide).
East 6th is more dive bar vibes and we went here Friday night! We checked out Upstairs Caroline and Group Therapy which is on the rooftop of Hotel ZaZa.
Some other suggestions from friends and IG fam:
- Peacock Bar at the Austin Proper Hotel
- Corner Bar
- Garage Bar
- Liberty Bar
- Zilker Brewing
- Underground Boiler Nine
- Rooftop at Bob’s
- The Market
- Roosevelt Room
- Pete’s Piano Bar
Where to Eat
Oh man, Austin food is out of this world. You must hit up at least one food truck while you’re here as this is where they became famous! We grabbed chicken from Tommy Want Wingy but beware mild is HOT HOT!
Irenes and P6 are two must see cutest aesthetics for brunch! Irene’s has a cute neon sign and backdrop for photos. P6 is the cutest place for drinks but my parents and I went there for brunch and were so impressed! They have great brunch. P6 is on the 6th floor rooftop of an old parking garage connected to a popular hotel. I would make ressies if you want to go for sunset happy hour but we were easily able to make brunch reservations.
- Two Hands
- Cafe No Se
- Swedish Hill
- Easy Tiger
- Matt El Rancho
I would absolutely recommend hitting a food truck for lunch. If you want to eat before or after your walk on Lady Bird Lake Trail, we grabbed tacos at Taco Joint and it was incredible.
If you find yourself in Clarksville, Swedish Hill is adorable and we ate there on Sunday for drinks and lunch. It’s the cutest little cafe and don’t skip on their prickly pear gelato!
Friday night we ate at Clark’s Oyster Bar and it was amazing. Some of the best oysters I’ve had in a minute! It’s also the cutest aesthetic with these yellow umbrellas but make a ress it’s a smaller restaurant!
Saturday night we ate at Lonesome Dove. There is a location in Fort Worth, but we’ve never been and decided to try it out! It’s by the same owner of a popular restaurant group in Fort Worth (Woodshed/Gemelle if you’re familiar). We really enjoyed it! Pierce got duck ravioli and my dad got the pork. Don’t skip on the carrots with goat cheese – holy yum!
Other suggestions (in no particular order):
- Il Brutto
- Ramen Tatsuya
- Austin EastCiders
- June’s All Day
- Elizabeth Street
Austin is great and we were able to bring our dog Miller because most places in Austin are dog friendly (even stores!). I would suggest you make a reservation everywhere you can because it does get crowded especially on the weekends!
We had such a great trip and I hope you find yourself in Austin soon! It’s such a great place to check out.