Welcome to the capital of Texas! Here are a few fun facts about Austin, Texas:
- Austin was originally called Waterloo
- Austin is the fourth largest city in Texas, home to about 2.2 million people in the metro area and rapidly growing
- Austin is home to the largest bat colony of 1.5 million bats that migrate during the spring and summer months, that I recommend seeing from a kayak or paddleboard at sunset
- Austin is home to the largest natural swimming pool in the nation, Deep Eddy Pool
- Austin is a music-lovers dream! Home to over 200 concert venues, SXSW in the spring, the summer concert series, and ACL, Austin City Limits in the fall
Personally, I was born and raised in Texas in a smaller town about an hour and 45 minutes away from Austin, Texas. I grew up visiting Austin numerous times over the years going to ACL throughout college and visiting frequently after college to visit friends, weekend getaways, and for bachelorette parties! Over the years I’ve visited seen this city continue to grow and the skyline continues to change as more tech companies move into the city.
Where to Stay in Austin:
East Austin Hotel (starting around $130/night depending on your dates)
Enjoy this adorable Scandinavian style East Austin Hotel just minutes from Downtown Austin! There are several room types from individual suites to individuals rooms with community bathrooms.
This adorable hotel has various amenities including:
- Location near downtown Austin and the convention center
- Restauant and two bars (one is poolside)
- Rooftop Terrace
- Pet Friendly
- Garage Self Parking ($25/day)
Stay in an Airstream via Airbnb:
Here’s a link to the Airbnb booking. This airstream is a fun accommodation that’s a short drive to downtown and other activities! Plus, you’ll embrace the Keep Austin Weird motto of the city by staying in this unique accommodation!
Where to Eat & Drink in Austin:
Austin is home to incredible tacos, BBQ, vegan and vegetarian food, cocktail bars, and more! Make sure you enjoy a variety of Austin’s cuisine on your next weekend getaway to Austin, Texas!
9th & Lamar: This location has a walk-up window and drive-thru available for you to order your food to go or to enjoy at the park nearby for a picnic.
South First Location: Cute indoor and outdoor seating with delicious healthy options, including some vegetarian dishes!
Looking for a healthy option for lunch? Head over to Picnik for a delicious and healthy meal with this adorable design.
Tiny’s Milk & Cookies:
Stop by Tiny’s for the yummiest treats! I recommend asking the staff what their favorite items are and trying a variety!
If you love hamburgers or are a huge In-and-Out fan, I HIGHLY recommend this Austin classic! Get the combo, it’s affordable and delicious.
If you are looking for a fancier italian meal, add Juniper to your list! The restaurant has a beautiful design, delicious tartar and pasta, and is great for cocktails as well.
Lick Honest Ice Creams
Some of my favorite ice cream in Austin with honest ingredients (no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup)! I personally always get the mint beet ice cream (the bright pink one below) where they color the ice cream using the beautiful colors of the beets instead of artificial coloring.
End the night at Rainy Street (cuter houses, more casual outing) or 6th street (for a more wild night with interesting people watching).
Outdoorsy Things to do in Austin:
Paddleboard or Kayak in Lady Bird Lake
Lake Bird Lake isn’t actually a Lake, but the Colorado River that runs through the middle of the city. In the warmer months, it’s packed with paddleboarders and kayakers! There are several rental options along the river or if you have your own paddleboard or kayak, I recommend entering the river near the Texas Rowing Center or Nash Hernandez Slipway. You can enjoy some incredible sunsets on the river and during the spring and summer months, witness the famous bat colony of 1.5 million bats on the Congress bridge!
Mt. Bonell Viewpoint
This short “hike” or more so a viewpoint is a free and quick activity that is great at sunrise or sunset! Plus, the parking is free.
Hike to Twin Falls & Sculpture Falls
Put Barton Creek Greenbelt Trailhead into your Google Maps. You’ll start the trail here (near Gaines Park) and then enjoy a mostly flat trek to the Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls. I recommend packing a swimsuit to enjoy a nice dip in the water, especially on a hot day! Depending on the season, the falls can dry up a bit, so if you want larger waterfalls go a few days after a good rain!
McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls State Park is a great way to spend half a day outside on easy hikes! Make a reservation and pay $6/adult to enjoy this state park just a short 15-20 minute drive outside of the city.
3 Instagrammable Walls in Austin:
1. Love From Austin Sign
Address: 1912 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
2. Greetings from Austin
Address: 1720 S 1st Street, Austin, TX 78704
3. Blue Stripes
Address: 1500 W N Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
If you have an extended weekend, I recommend one of the following day trips both about an hour from town:
1. Take a day trip down to Canyon Lake
Canyon Lake is a great day trip located about an hour south of Austin, Texas. For this location, head to Comal Park and pay $10 for the entry fee (both cash and credit card are accepted).
2. Lake Travis
About 45-60 minutes out of town, enjoy a day or weekend on the water! I recommend renting a boat and airbnb with friends for the weekend or for a bachelorette party!
I hope this blog inspires you to visit the capitol of Texas and helps you plan your next getaway to Austin, Texas!