My husband and I lived in an Austin, Texas suburb [Round Rock] for about a year in 2014 and 2015! Wow, what a fun city! If you’re thinking of visiting, GO! Bachelor/bachelorette parties, girls trips, family getaway, a weekend away with your love, it’s really great for anyone! There is so much to do, and the city is constantly changing [I’ve been back twice since leaving and can’t get over how much has changed each time!]. Here are a few of my favorite places in Austin and some fun things to do if you’re visiting! *Please ignore the overly edited Instagram photos from 2014. I lost my photos and had to rummage through history 😉
- Food – Honestly, I’m not going to even try to recommend restaurants to eat at, because the food scene in Austin is constantly changing. One thing that’s for sure? You won’t be disappointed by the amount of amazing options. I’d check out sites like Thrillist or Eater for the latest must-try restaurants when you’re visiting! Although I will give you a few of our favorites from when we were there. BBQ – Salt Lick [two locations]. Tacos – Torchy’s Tacos – alllll over.
- Food Trucks – One thing you won’t be short on is food trucks to try [including these donuts from Gourdoughs, above]. Austin is known for the ridiculous amount of food trucks, even several from well known chefs! There are literally 1000s of food trucks throughout the city, so you can wander and see what you find, or use an app to see where a truck with the type of food you’re in the mood for is currently located!
- Lady Bird Lake – Lady Bird Lake [also known as Town Lake] is a great place to work on your fitness, see some great views of the city, and who knows – maybe run past a celeb or two [alright, alright, alright!]. There is a trail that goes nearly the entire way around the lake, as well as a boardwalk that goes out into the water. Step off the trail to visit Zilker Park. Or step [or swim] into the water for Stand Up Paddleboarding or Kayaking!
- 6th Street – Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World [sorry, Nashville]. And one of the iconic streets is what helped give Austin that name – 6th Street. 6th Street is usually closed down on the weekends to cars, so it’s all walkable. There are a few areas of 6th. Dirty – where you’ll find plenty of college age kids and people who are REALLY trying to have a good time ;). West 6th – West 6th is a big more upscale, and not quite as rowdy as dirty 6th. People would meet here after work, on the weekends for brunch and mimosas, etc. Finally, there’s East 6th. I really don’t know much about it, because when we lived there we were told “don’t go east of I-35”, but from what I understand, now it’s becoming the hip new area! You’ll have to check it out and let me know!
- Rainey Street – We absolutely LOVED Rainey Street. Basically, it’s one short road where all of the cottage style houses have been converted into bars. The. Coolest. It gets pretty busy on the weekends [ day and night], but 100% worth it.
- Congress Ave Bridge Bats- Around dusk, you’ll see people standing on all sides of the Congress Avenue bridge downtown. Why? Bats! About 1.5 million of them! Yep, at dusk [from X month to X] 1.5 million bats emerge from the bridge and you can watch them fly into the night sky. A pretty cool site.
- South Congress [aka SoCo] – Take a stroll along South Congress for a bite to eat, a quick beverage, and pop into many of the unique shops [and take your pic next to the famous I Love You So Much wall!]. The Kendra Scott flagship store is even there! It’s a unique strip, and won’t take more than an hour to see it all, but it’s a neat place if you’ve got the time!
- East Austin – As I mentioned above, when we lived there we were told don’t go East of I-35. However, this last time I was there we actually did a bike and brew tour on that side and quickly learned that that’s the new up and coming area people and business are flocking to! So I don’t know much about it, but you’ll have to check it out!
- Bike and Brew Tour – Wanting to enjoy some brews on two wheels? Sign up for a bike and brew tour for an afternoon, where your guide will take you to a few breweries and guide you along [safely] on your bike! We loved doing this and getting to slowly cruise around some back streets! This is the one we did!
- COTA – Circuit of the Americas is a hot spot particularly if you’re into car or motorcycle racing, or even concerts! This may have been one of my husband’s favorite places 😉 From MotoGP to Formula 1 to concerts, it’s a great reason to visit Austin and plan your trip around it!
- Day Trip to Waco – If you’ve already traveled all the way to Texas, you might as well go visit Chip and Joanna! Waco [aka all things Magnolia, Fixer Upper, etc] is only about 1 1/2 hours drive, so rent a car and head up I-35. We didn’t really find there to be more than a day’s worth of things to do in Waco, so for us, one day out of our trip was all we needed to see all that Magnolia had to offer!
- Festivals – Austin is known for several festivals, such as ACL Fest and SXSW! Keep dates for these events in mind if you’re looking to travel to Austin, as that might effect your lodging and food availability!
As one of LIY’s Content Creators, Lauren also doubles as our Amazon Queen and her Facebook posts are the reason why we’ve all hit checkout more times on Prime in the past year than we’ve told our significant other “I love you”. With dreams of living on the water [an inflatable pool is currently keeping said dream alive] and a deep appreciation to 2000’s hip hop, Lauren is always up for an adventure while secretly hoping she can hang out in the tub with a glass of wine.