Even if you’ve never been, you know – Austin is where the air is filled with live music, the bellies filled with TexMex cuisine, and the minds are quickly filling up with growing young tech scene. We swung by for a few days at the beginning of the new year – to grasp at some warm weather (it wasn’t warm at all) and indulge in the food and music (so much! you can never have enough though).
The boutiques and shops along South Congress are filled with Old World cowboy trinkets and hipster artifacts.
The blocks of 6th Street are teaming with cover bands, jazz & rock musicians, bouncers “shouting No Cover Charges!” and kids young and old milling about. These streets are blocked off from cars, save the many food trucks that dot the sides – everything from Kimchi french fries, savory lamb gyros, to Elvis (banana, peanut butter, bacon) donuts.
The nature. It’s hidden but it’s there. Rushing creeks, cliff climbing & swimming holes sprinkled within fields of trees.
Austin is a fun lively little microcosm of weirdness – reminding me equally of Berkeley, CA & the Lower East Side in Manhattan. Don’t worry though 🙂 you definitely still feel like you are in Texas… the large sprawling highways, the twangy ya’lls, the leather & boots, the humbling vastness of everything.
Food & Drink:
HopDoddy – A regional chain of burgers & craft beers. Lines are long, especially at the main S. Congress location -but their set up is unique – your line weaves through the bar so you can have a cold one while you wait ….for one of the BEST burgers you’ll ever have. No exaggeration. I had the Magic Shroom Burger & it was magical. Okay, ignore my bad puns & just make sure you go!
6th Street – aforementioned. You can just walk down that street and find so many things to see & do.
Rainey Street – This is an entire block of residential houses that have been converted into bars, with a lot of food trucks in a central lot. Each bar is really cute, unique and fun! Hammocks, cornhole games, outdoor TV’s & drinking craft cocktails in someone’s living room – you can’t beat that!
Luke’s Inside Out – A delicious Korean/Soulfood fusion food truck permanently stationed outside a bar on Lamar St. Sandwiches are named after their respective meats – The Cow, The Pig, etc.
East Side King – casual, funky fusion Asian food here. Their main location is at the back of Hole In the Wall, a gigantic dive bar on the UT Austin campus.
Whole Foods – I never made it here, but have heard this store is pretty tricked out. Makes sense since their HQ are here.
To See, Do & Shop:
Barton Springs Greenbelt – beautiful, expansive park to hike around. Easy (& longer) distances, and all free!
Bats Under Congress Ave Bridge – I’ve heard beautiful things about when the bats fly out from under this bridge at sunset to being their nightly hunts. Unfortunately we weren’t there during bat season.
Hope Outdoor Gallery – Rugged, colorful, 3 story concrete structure covered in vibrant graffiti murals. Reminded me of 5 Pointz in Queens before it was destroyed.
Uncommon Objects on S. Congress Ave – You could get lost in here for hours! So many unique & quirky antiques to persue and purchase. The entire store is stuffed with trinkets, arranged in little nooks & pods throughout. You really feel like you’re exploring someone’s attic. Someone awesome obviously.
Tesoro Trading Company – Right next to Uncommon Objects – this store features craft goods & hand-made souvenirs from all around the world. Cork hats from Portugal, Dia De Los Muertos thimbles from Spain, La Lucha masks from Mexico and so much more.