Austin has definitely been on my hitlist for a while. Sadly we weren’t there during SXSW but we still got a really good feel for the city. It’s become known for the phrase ‘Keep Austin Weird’ and you can see why – it definitely feels very alternative to the rest of Texas – which is a good thing! We really loved the great mix of restaurants, bars and shops, and also the outdoorsy activities you can get involved with.
A great place to start for brunch, they have a lovely outdoor patio and great vintage pharmacy decor inside. I recommend the fried egg, bacon and avocado sandwich with a banging wasabi bloody mary that will definitely kick start your day!
There is so much creativity in Austin with amazing street art everywhere. The Hope Outdoor Gallery really showcases this, as the only community paint park of its kind in the US. Such a positive and inspirational space.
Hotel San Jose
South Congress Avenue (SoCo to the locals) is the neighbourhood to head for hip vibes. Great for a wander – lots of cool boutiques and restaurants. We headed to the very cool Hotel San Jose for their monthly jazz brunch, which was a great introduction to the area. Definitely check out Uncommon Objects too for their crazy selection of antiques and curiosities.
Early Bird Lake
A great way to escape the Texas heat is to get out on Early Bird Lake where you can hire kayaks or paddle boards. Always wanted to try paddle boarding, it was lots of fun, and gave great views of the city.
This is where you need to head for bars. I’ve never really seen anything like it, the street is a row of houses which have been turned into bars, each completely different – what I imagine frat houses to be like! You can’t help but do a bar crawl to check them all out, they even have street food vans positioned at the perfect spot for when you’re read for a snack!
You can’t visit Texas without having BBQ that would just be silly. There’s so many options to choose from in Austin. We did try and go to the famous Franklins Barbecue but you have to be seriously dedicated, people start queuing up from first thing in the morning, and you still have no guarantee that you might get food! We ended up going to Iron Works BBQ, conveniently located by Rainey Street for some post booze eats. It was just as good as I hoped, and this place feels like the real deal too.
Had to give a shout out to this place, the craziest and most awesome Toy Shop I’ve been to. Plus they stock Jolly Awesome cards 🙂
Lone Star Court
This is where we stayed, like a cool modern take on a 50s cowboy motel. Its a bit out of the centre of town, but has a great vibe with firepits and live music in the evening round the pool. It’s also next to a big mall – The Domain, and there is a great street for food – Rock Rose Avenue, would recommend Thai Kun for killer spicy Thai food.
Austin you did not disappoint – Team Jolly Awesome will definitely be back!
– Katie 🙂