Confession: I made it all the way to Texas for 72 hours and I never had a bite of queso.
I know, tragic. But I did get a healthy dose of Southern hospitality, country music and the best weather one could ask for. Austin was one of those impulse trips. I’ve visited the city a dozen times but hadn’t been back since I moved to NYC in 2013. What I decided was – it was as if LA and NYC had a baby and fed it nothing but Southern sauce – voila Austin. That laid back, work hard, ambitious outdoorsy kinda thing. Definitely a look I could get used to.
With Austin’s southern Texas weather, it’s hard not to be outdoors. Especially, this time of year its 80’s perfection. In Austin there are tons of outdoor activities. From kayaking and paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake, to walking around its +4mi trail path, there’s no excuse for being inside. Sorry #Lemonade – Lady Bird calls. There’s also Hamilton Pool, a natural swimming grotto perfect for picnics on warm days. (For more ideas Buzzfeed has a killer bucket list here).
One of my favorite and overly touristy things to do is to visit the Texas State Capitol building. It’s positioning at Congress avenue makes for some gorgeous twilight photography.
As a laid back city, Austin also has quite the buzz being home to both the University of Texas and so many start-ups and brand HQ’s (Facebook, Whole Foods & HomeAway – to name a few). But, while an exciting city of opportunity – when the working is done, it’s done. Texans totally get that work/life balance by also ringing in the weekend with cocktails a few hard earned cocktails!
The first night – I headed over to Perla’s. With Miraval rosé on the menu – it was basically a perfect start to pre-summer with a few seafood light bites to kick off the evening. Dinner was at LeNoir a farm to table restaurant with an incredible seasonal menu. Saturday brunch was Josephine House with their unreal lemon ricotta pancakes and almond milk lattes to cure me of Friday night’s sins. And, after an even longer night out on Saturday the burger from La Condessa with Avocado and egg hit the spot!
WHERE TO STAY:
The Driskill, Hotel Ella, Westin Austin Downtown, Hotel Saint Cecilia
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK:
Breakfast: Josephine House, Cisco’s, Magnolia Cafe
Lunch: ZTejas, Second Bar and Kitchen, La Condessa, Maudie’s Tex-Mex
Dinner: LeNoir, Ranch 616, Fixe
Drinks: Perla’s, Woodrow’s, Steampunk
WHERE TO SHOP/DO:
The Domain, Zilker Park, Lady Bird Hike & Bike Trail, Texas State Capitol, Bullock Texas State History Museum, UT Campus
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I’m off on another adventure at the end of the week! Check back on Wednesday to see what’s next and make sure to follow my travel antics on Instagram and Snapchat! (@LaurenAPruner)