It’s been a while since I’ve made a post on here but I feel like this post is exactly what I need to start getting my creative juices flowing again.
Some of you may already know that my boyfriend used to live in Austin, TX and I was visiting him about once a month for over a year. I quickly fell in love with the city and have been given lots of opportunity to explore all that Austin has to offer. I hope this helps you if you’re thinking about planning a trip here!
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Van Zandt – this hotel is located in the Rainey Street District of Austin with amazing views and beautiful interiors. A standard room here will be around $200.00/night. It’s within 5 miles of most of the major Austin landmarks, which can be helpful if you’re short on time and want to get the most out of your stay.
AirBnB – of course nothing is more convenient and cost-effective than AirBnB, especially for large groups. There are plenty of places to stay for larger groups on their website, with amenities such as pools, hot tubs, etc. that you can find based on your preferences.
South Congress Hotel – trendy, boutique-style hotel on South Congress. The interior design is beautiful and will make you feel like an Austin local when staying here. This was voted one of the best places to stay if you’re going as a couple, at about $200/night.
Hotel San Jose – another boutique-style hotel right in the heart of South Congress, close to downtown. Their website describes it further as “built in 1936 as an “ultramodern” motor court, the property has been transformed into a 40 room urban bungalow-style hotel tucked behind stucco walls and set amidst lush garden courtyards.” A standard room here will be about $200.00/night on average, but you will definitely get a true Austin experience with tons to do nearby.
WHAT TO DO
Go shopping at the local boutiques. A few of our favorites were Jonesy Wood, Milk Boutique and Homegrown Silver and Stone. I really enjoyed the shopping around Warehouse Row and North Shore. We also made a visit to Dirty Jane’s antique mall and found a few treasures for the new house.
Visit the State Capitol– We didn’t visit the Aquarium on this trip, but it’s definitely worth seeing! It’s said to be one of the best aquariums in America.
Stroll Around the Art District – This historic neighborhood is a breath of fresh air. From bakeries to art galleries and more, it was so nice to spend a slow morning in this area. There is also a sculpture garden you can walk through that leads to the most amazing view over the river.
Go On a Hike – Austin has some absolutely breathtaking views! Mount Bonnell, Barton Creek greenbelt, stroll around Lady Bird Lake, Hamilton Pool Road, and more! A quick search based on what type of walk/hike you’re looking for will give you lots of options. As a plus, the city is extremely dog friendly so expect to see a lot of furry friends around!
WHAT TO DRINK
Geraldine’s – This was definitely our favorite bar we visited. It’s a rooftop bar located in the Hotel Van Zandt that plays live music and makes killer craft cocktails. Our favorite drink is “One Night in Bangkok” that has lemongrass infused vodka, Clement Mahina coconut liqueur, and lime juice. We liked to take it out by the pool to relax and take in the scenery of the downtown Austin city lights.
Anthem – I love the aesthetic of this bar, and they have a lot of great, unique cocktails on their menu. I’d suggest this place if you’re going out for the night since it’s right on Rainey Street and near all of the other bars in the area.
Summer Moon Coffee – probably the best coffee I’ve ever had. They wood-fire their fair-trade coffee beans and to make things even better, they have what’s known as “moon milk” which is a secret recipe for their creamer that tastes like absolute heaven. You can get an almond milk version of it and it’s delicious but I’d suggest splurging for the weekend and getting the real deal!
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters – this place is very charming and scenic! We had coffee outside on the large deck overlooking Lake Travis before strolling around the city. It’s an Austin original.
Juiceland – we probably frequented this place a little too much. 🙂 I would get the Noni to Fear or Blue Dream wellness shot when we were feeling a little rough from the night before. Our favorite smoothies were the Honey Beary and the Percolator, which is cold brew coffee, almond milk, banana, and cacao, and cinnamon… I’m drooling thinking about it! A green juice is always a solid pick here too.
Jo’s Coffee – you may know the Insta-worthy green wall with “I love you so much” written on it, which is where one of the Jo’s Coffee locations is in Austin. I recommend the Iced Turbo (coffee, espresso, hazelnut, chocolate, and cream – need I say more?!) or the Belgian Bomber (1/2 cold brew and 1/2 the turbo ingredients above!). Yummmmm. Grab a coffee from here and stop in some of the vintage shops on South Congress showcasing cowboy boots, tarot cards, candles, hats, and more.
WHERE TO EAT
Vera Cruz All-Natural Tacos – the best breakfast taco you will ever have in your life. Well, this was my first breakfast taco experience BUT I am confident that there are none better. They make their tacos from scratch and use all-natural ingredients. This would be the perfect spot to hit up before exploring for the day but it does get busy, so be prepared to wait! It’s worth it.
South Congress Cafe – this place is great for a casual, boozy brunch. The fan-favorite is carrot cake french toast, but we opted for omelets and they were amazing! Their patio is great with lots of shade and plants if you’re visiting in the warmer months.
Irene’s – such a cute, retro spot to grab a bite to eat! Migas, rose, biscuits and gravy, mimosas, Nutella toast, and more… highly, highly recommend!
Terry Black’s BBQ – you can’t visit Austin without trying their barbecue! We went to Terry Black’s and it was definitely an experience. They had all the Southern staples like pinto beans, mac & cheese, BBQ, banana pudding, green beans, and potato salad. YUM!
Matt’s El Rancho – we loved this place when friends were visiting! They have strong margaritas and a lively atmosphere. It was always really packed when we went, but we didn’t have to wait long for seating which was a definite plus! Since it was Tex-Mex, we typically opted for the fajitas and they were amazing.
Austin is an amazing city full of great food, coffee, people, and things to do. I miss having monthly trips there but know that we’ll be back lots in the future. I hope this guide was helpful and gave you some ideas if you’re planning a trip to Austin in the future! Feel free to send me an e-mail or DM me on Instagram if you want to know more.
…until next time!