Click the link for a google map showing most of the following picks in relation to each other.
Twin & Sculpture Falls Trail
A favorite easy, out-and-back trail not far from downtown.
An Austin standard, a huge natural spring that is cool all year round with a nice changing area. A great place to just relax and watch kids belly flop and listen to the grackles.
Reservation required, check if swimming is allowed that day in advance!
A beautiful swimming hole about an hour’s drive out of Austin, under a giant rock overhang. Lots of hipsters, not for small kids.
Hike to a big rock! Another staple. Takes 1.5hr drive to get there.
More of a hill than a mountain, Mount Bonnell has the best view of downtown with a steep but short walk up and Laguna Gloria Museum (https://goo.gl/maps/73cpL3yS2VU2) at it’s foot. Good for skyline/Lake Travis photo ops.
Cathedral of Junk
This is the opposite of nature, but I was not sure where else to put it. A labor of hoarder love, and unintentional service to Instagram.
Bob Bullock Texas History Museum
This is a place that sounds awful but is surprisingly fascinating in a meta kind of way. Big budget animatronics are involved and you can learn a lot about what may or may not have happened at the Alamo. Do not miss Star of Destiny at the Texas Spirit Theater!
Has multiple stages and food trucks inside, good for drinks/coffee during the day too.
Not so classy in a good way.
Line dancing for those who are interested in performing Texan culture.
An old neighborhood of quaint houses recently retrofitted into bars, comes with a bit of an "Austin amusement park" feel but if you want to bar hop, Rainey Street is a good area to visit. Craft Pride has a large selection of local beers.
Chill hipster haunt known for its draft beer list & jukebox. Darts, Billiards & a spacious patio.
Driskill Hotel Bar
Good for fancy drinks, often has live country music, definite “big fancy Texas oil money” feel in a historical hotel.
Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
A movie theater that serves drinks (alcohol and non) and food during the movie on tables. They have weird showings on Wednesday nights of movies you wouldn't see anywhere else that are free. I also love that they make all their own trailers.
In the warehouse district, serves absinthe mixers that are pretty yum if you're not easily irritated by mixology. Also has Cajun food. Next door, Halcyon serves s'mores at your table.
If lumberjack goth were a thing… oh wait it is a thing.
Hotel San Jose:
Has a great patio area where you can take a break from the whole South Congress scene and have some of the *best micheladas ever*. Get one with Xingu beer.
Uchi & Uchiko
Amazing but pricey sushi and japanese fusion cuisine for a splurge
Nice meats, cozy without bravado.
New joint with Japanese-Texan fusion, not cheap but does not disappoint.
Fonda San Miguel:
Fancy mexican brunch buffet here at $50 a head is not cheap but daaaaamn it's good. The dessert table is kind of like a fantasy.
Seafood: Oysters, Fish and Surf'n'Turf
I have very fond memories of a softshell crab sandwich.
Bouldin Creek Cafe
Both great places to get a super hippie veggie mex-american brunch
Elizabeth St. Cafe
Has an "everything bagel croissant" that is suicidally indulgent. Looks like the kind of place that would have a bagel croissant.
Din Ho Chinese BBQ
Say hi to my parents!
There is a lot of good barbecue in Austin, eat 'til it hurts.
Tex Mex. I love the queso because it's truly spicy which is hard for cheese to achieve.
Boba and Taiwanese snacks. Shoutout to Stella who used to work there!
Chen’s Noodle House
If you are in North Austin and love a good noodle/sesame pork bun this is the place to go. My favorite restaurant in all Austin. (Not to be confused with Chenz, which is terrible.)
Rosita's Al Pastor
Authentic Mexican Tacos and less authentic, but delicious breakfast tacos from a food truck with shaded picnic tables.
Tasty Austin based Pizza joint on South Congress.
Central Texas is famous for Czech pastries. They are not fancy.
The brunch at South Congress Cafe is overrated and not worth the wait.
Don't be tempted to try the wasabi milkshake at the candy shop on South Congress, it is not gross in a good way. Wheatsville Coop on Guadalupe (by Spider House) makes good green smoothies and resembles what the original Whole Foods used to be.
Don't fall into the cake ball trap; cake balls are everywhere in Austin but they are just mushed up brownies on sticks and very disappointing.
Juan Pelota Cafe
A quality cafe inside Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, downtown
Austin's original specialty coffee shop. There are a few.
Locally roasted beans and a daily brewed coffee.
Sorrento’s Coffee Drive-Thru
It's fast! (has kolaches, too)
Downtown, Campus and South Congress locations. The one on South Congress has Tacos.
Austin's most impressive, comprehensive grocery store. Great for grabbing souvenir Texan gourmet food.
My favorite bookstore on the planet.
Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop
Useless plastic, endless joy.
Toys for thought.
Room Service Vintage
Eclectic store selling retro vintage.
The shops in the little plaza around it also have great vintage housewares. This is also one of Jennifer's favorite places to use the restroom.
Good vintage knick-knacks/fun browsing.
Used designer shop with good finds
Pretty good fancy manicures at Sugarcoat Nails. Prefer Great Nails on S. 1st for their foot massage, thanks Felicia for telling me of this.
If you have to get boots you might as well do it here.
Lucy in Disguise
Costumes for rent. Did we mention costumes are mandatory for our event? (Masks are unavoidable.)
Click the link for a google map showing most of the above picks in relation to each other.
That's it (for now)
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