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barton springs

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.

Day One

Morning: Counter Cafe's cakes and eggs or pastrami benedict are a mandatory a.m. must-do. Stroll South Congress with a coffee from Jo's and pop in to Lucy in DisguiseHeritage BootsMi CasaParts & LabourBig Top Candy Shop and all spots in between.

Mid-Day: For lunch, nothing but the famed meatballs at Enoteca, truffled mac n cheese at Mrs. P's Electric Cock or a margarita 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 trail around Lady Bird Lake. Rent a kayak or paddle board to watch the millions of Mexican free-tail bats under the Congress bridge or treat the kids to an afternoon at The Thinkery or the Austin Zoo.

Evening: Dine and indulge on Rainey Street with interior Mexican at El Naranjo, outdoor Indian at G'Raj Mahal or sausage and beer at Banger's. Stick around the neighborhood-turned-nightlife area. Grab a martini at Clive, marvel at the Container Bar and enjoy a mason jar of sangria at Icenhauer's.

Day Two

Morning: Rent a Rocket Electrics bike and cruise over to Manor Road, or sign on for one of their fantastic tours. Get a coffee from Thunderbird and then walk to Mi Madre's for amazing breakfast tacos.

Mid-Day: Head up to North Loop for retro shops Room Service VintageHog Wild and Blue Velvet before grabbing lunch at outdoor eatery Contigo or a delectable sandwich at Melvin's Deli Comfort. Feeling outdoorsy? Head to McKinney Falls or Pedernales Falls and enjoy a picnic next to the water.

Evening: Splurge on a prix fixe at Dai Due Butcher Shop and cupcakes at Sugar Mama's Bakeshop. Then walk Austin's famed Sixth Street and see which live music venues, bars and shops pull you in. Or have locals show you around bite by bite on an Austin Eats Food Tour.

Day Three

Morning: Second Bar's breakfast pot roast or Cenote's chipotle benedict will fortify and prepare you for a dip in Barton Springs, a 68-degree natural-fed pool in Zilker Park. Laze, lounge and people watch.

Mid-Day: Lunch at la Barbecue could ruin you for all other carnivore experiences, but it's worth it. Take the family to Peter Pan Mini-Golf and practice your putting skills. Then get some culture time in at the Bullock Texas State History MuseumTexas State Capitol or the LBJ Library. Check out the Contemporary Austin or the Blanton Museum.

Evening: Across the interstate, join Austin epicureans for dinner at Yellow Jacket Social Club or East Side King. Afterward, Whisler's has cocktails to match its cool interior and White Horse will have you two-stepping in no time.

View more itinerary ideas and plan your perfect Austin stay.