Have a long weekend coming up? Or are you headed to The Live Music Capital of the World® for vacation? Here's how to squeeze some of Austin's very best into just three days.
Magnolia Cafe's cakes and bacon or Texas Eggs Benedict are a mandatory a.m. must-do. Snap a pic at the iconic "I love you so much" mural then stroll South Congress with a coffee from Jo's and pop in to South Congress Books, Lucy in Disguise, Triple Z Threadz, Big Top Candy Shop and all spots in between.
For lunch, nothing but a juicy two-fisted burger and truffle fries from Hopdoddy Burger Bar, a light and savory avocado toast at Cafe No Se or a slice of margarita pizza from Home Slice will do. Or take your pick from more than 2,000 food trucks parked around the city. Fresh air and stunning views beckon from the hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake. Treat the kids to an afternoon in the sunshine at The Contemporary Laguna Gloria or take a short hike up to Mount Bonnell before visiting the flock of peacocks at Mayfield Park.
Drink, dine and indulge on neighborhood-turned-nightlife Rainey Street with French-inspired comfort food at L'Estelle House, flavorful chicken wings at the Tommy Want Wingy trailer on Lustre Pearl’s patio or sausage and cold beer at Banger's. Grab a local or regional craft beer at Craft Pride, whiskey and a little live blues at The Blackheart, classic cocktail at Half Step, or enjoy a mason jar of sangria at icenhauer's as the night plays on.
Waiting for the bats on the Congress Avenue Bridge. Credit Pierce Ingram.
Rent a Rocket Electrics bike and cruise over to the Eastside, or sign up for one of their fantastic tours. Get a coffee from local Austin roasters Flat Track Coffee and then walk to the Veracruz All Natural food truck for amazing breakfast tacos or Quickie Pickie for fast and fresh breakfast fare like migas or house-made granola.
Head up to North Loop for retro shops Room Service Vintage, Rave On Vintage and Blue Velvet before grabbing lunch at Fonda San Miguel or épicerie Café & Grocery. Feeling outdoorsy? Head away from downtown to McKinney Falls or Pedernales Falls and enjoy a picnic next to the water.
Take a sunset cruise or rent a kayak or paddle board to watch the millions of Mexican free-tail bats under the Congress Avenue bridge (April through October, roughly). Splurge on dinner downtown at Red Ash Italia and dessert at Swift’s Attic. Then walk Austin's famed Sixth Street and see which live music venues, bars and shops pull you in. Or let the locals show you around town bite by bite on an Austin Eats Food Tour.
My Name Is Joe Coffee Co. Credit Julie Cope Photography.
Get your caffeine fix at the picturesque My Name is Joe coffee Airstream before exploring the Texas Capitol grounds and nearby historic sites. 24 Diner's chicken and waffle or Forthright Cafe's wholesome chia pudding will fortify and prepare you for a dip in Barton Springs, the historic 68-degree natural spring-fed pool in Zilker Park. Laze, lounge and people watch.
Lunch at la Barbecue could ruin you for all other carnivore experiences, but it's worth it. Take the crew to Peter Pan Mini-Golf and practice your putting skills. Then get some culture time in at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, Mexic-Arte Museum, Harry Ransom Center or the Blanton Museum of Art.
Across the interstate, join Austin epicureans for dinner at award winning Launderette or The Hightower (don’t skip dessert here). Afterward, Whisler's has cocktails to match its cool interior and White Horse will have you two-stepping in no time.
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