[Guest Blogger, Jeneba from Haute & Styled, shares what she thinks you should do while you're in Austin!]
So, you’re in the weirdest city in America for the weekend and wondering "what things both weird and normal can I get into?" No worries! We have the run down!
No trip to Austin is complete without visiting 6th Street & SoCo (South Congress) - which is where Austin gets its other nickname as the "Live Music Capital of the World." Here, you will find tons of great bars and restaurants, dancers, street musicians, local vendors, and many other weird happenings. During the daytime in SoCo, be sure to hit up local foodie hot spots, like Magnolia and South Congress Café. For great shopping opportunities, hit up gentlemen favorites: Stag and Service and By George and Feathers for the ladies. Other must-visit women’s vintage clothing boutiques include Charm School Vintage and Room Service Vintage.
When it comes to eats, Austin’s food truck scene offers it all (its actually part of the art and culture of the city)! Some notable mentions include Way South Philly (known to have the best Philly cheese steaks outside of Philly), and North Austin Trailer Yard at W. Anderson & Lamar - a conglomerate of food trucks and trailers. It’s a 10,000 square foot area filled with the likes of gourmet doughnuts, authentic Japanese noodles and Greek Gyros. There is also WiFi and free parking. Great, cheap, working (blogging) lunch spot if you have some time to kill over the weekend! Another Austinite must is Anthony Bourdain-approved BBQ spot: Franklin BBQ (which is renowned by food critics nationwide for their brisket, baked beans, and potato salad). We hear it’s plate-licking good!
Be sure to pack a swimsuit, because going to Barton Springs is a must! Escape the dog days of summer at this natural pool, fed from underground springs. This local hipster hot spot is perfect for sun bathing, swimming, and of course people watching. Don’t miss Hamilton Pool (pictured) for a less-crowed public swimming option. The collapsed grotto and canyon has been turned into a historic swimming hole by Travis County Parks Department and features a 45 foot water fall. Located about 30 miles west of Austin, but well worth the trip for great swimming, picnicking, relaxing, and people-watching.
If you are like me, then what you want is something off the beaten path. The2nd District is just that with over 50 locally owned specialty shops, services, and dining options! The 2nd Street District is downtown Austin’s version of SoHo and includes 225,000 square feet of restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. With a super chic and cool feel, this place has something for everyone, literally!
If you are not into the bar scene, but want to hang out late night, be sure to check out Red Room Lounge for your after hours needs. Red Room Lounge is an exclusive wine bar and is one of Austin’s best kept secrets. The menu is restricted to wine and non-alcoholic beverages and you must bring your own food for pairings. This bar is in one of downtown Austin’s oldest buildings and is very inconspicuous, but is a wine lovers paradise nonetheless. The Elephant Room is a renowned nationwide for being a hub for Austin’s underground jazz scene. This cozy and intimate basement venue is open seven days a week and is the number one place to be to get your jazz fix.
Feeling like taking in some arts and culture? Check out the Blanton Museum of Art, located on the UT campus, is one of the largest collections in Central Texas including a permanent collection of over 17,000 works of art.
You can’t pack all Austin has to offer in 72 hours, but here is a really good start! Enjoy!