The capital city of Texas is best known for having a personality of its own, one bursting with foodie and fashion finds, outdoor activities and “Austintatious” art creations, a booming sphere of pro sports experiences (we see you Formula 1 and Austin FC), and seven days a week of live music to boot. Did we mention it’s sunny nearly 300 days a year? It’s time to GET AWAY!
It’s no secret that people are flocking to Austin. What’s not to love about the warm weather, vast culinary scene and the ability to recreationally paddle board through the city limits? Add to that the attractive walkability it offers, letting you fuel your explorative side amid the hustle and bustle of the downtown scene without ever needing a ride.
Sunny most days of the year, Austin is recognized for a myriad of outdoor experiences which you can experience both in downtown Austin with scenic views of the skyline, as well as the surrounding area, including local treasure, Lady Bird Lake. Kayak, hike, bike and swim your way around the great Austin outdoors and enjoy one of the city’s most fantastic offerings that inspires people to get outside and play together.
When it comes to luxury accommodations, one of the most stunning hotels in Austin is the Commodore Perry Estate. This striking and historic property, once a 10,800-square-foot private mansion known to host Jazz era social extravaganzas, has been transformed into a modern and European-influenced spectacular resort now open to the public. Enjoy the architectural details, white-glove service, in-room Austin purveyor displays, and sophisticated, Southern-style meals.
Speaking of meals, Austin is renowned for pleasing palates, with an exceptional restaurant scene, including barbecue and tacos as its true soul foods. Pair your tacos with queso and the must-have margaritas for an authentic Tex-Mex meal, or indulge in Austin’s quintessential barbecue. It all started with Franklin Barbecue, helmed by Aaron Franklin who was the first pitmaster to win a James Beard award for Best Chef, which was inducted into the American Royal Hall of Fame and was credited for ushering in a new era of food into the city. Austin’s slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone brisket is a mouth-watering experience not to miss.
Beyond barbecue and Tex-Mex is an entire mix of palate pleasers, from upscale Mediterranean and Asian to James Beard award-winning eateries. Geraldine’s inside Hotel Van Zandt is one of Austin’s iconic Rainey Street destinations. Equal parts restaurant, bar, rooftop and live music venue, Geraldine’s overlooks beautiful Lady Bird Lake and offers 4th floor cabanas, a nightly concert lineup and a chef’s contemporary menu.
Perhaps a hidden gem is Austin’s mark on the forefront of the booming food truck scene, a foundation for famed, award-winning chefs getting started before getting the funding to open their own brick and mortars. Whether you indulge in one in a gas station parking lot or parked next to a music venue, you’ll find them all over town, serving up a variety of dishes to be devoured.
But first you should start your day with a cup of joe from Jo’s Coffee. Known for its iconic “i love you so much” mural-clad exterior on South Congress Avenue, patrons come for the hot coffee, good food, cold beer and people-watching. The creative menu includes everything from its house blend to its Cowboy Cookie Cold Brew you can pair with a hash brown or local-favorite “migas” taco.
As for Austin’s retail and local maker scene, the possibilities are endless and elevated. 2ND Street Districtboasts a mix of boutiques and shops to get your fashion fix and new home decor. For the gentlemen,embrace the full district experience, shoppingLeague of Rebels, a bespoke experience with tailor made lifestyle wear, or Bonobos, the pioneers of custom fit chinos. Then enjoy a fresh shave fromAustin’s premier Finley’s Barber Shop.
For the women, shop local and find the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love from LuxeApothetique, then drape yourself in artisan jewelry from Eliza Pagebefore falling for the modern designs from Blu Dot.
Follow some retail therapy, head over to Upstairs Circus, a unique concept where DIY meets the bar; pick your project, enjoy a libation, create a masterpiece and be merry.
Or shop The Domain district in North Austin, a newer shopping center offering upscale hotels and fantastic restaurants. Shop luxury brands such as Saint Laurent Paris and Gucci and reward yourself with sweet and savory bites from a multitude of eateries. Nearby is the home of the new Austin FC Major League Soccer team, so you can take in a professional soccer match as part of your metropolitan experience, cheering on the club team partially owned by Matthew McConaughy. Even if you’re not a soccer fan, the energy is incredible, and the stadium is a stunner.
Other Austin districts worth checking out include well-known South Congress Avenue. You can stroll boutiques and additional eateries and check out the uniquely converted bungalows that now offer day and nightlife entertainment destinations.
While East Austin is a larger neighborhood, the depth of culture here is noteworthy. Six Square is Austin’s premier Black Cultural District near the beautiful grounds of the Texas State Cemetery. And, as one would expect, you’ll find a plethora of great restaurants such as local favorites la Barbecue and Bird Bird Biscuit that was just listed as one of Yelp's Top 5 restaurants to eat at in America.
Now let’s talk about live music. Whatever your scene is, you’ll find it here and, well, everywhere. From your airport arrival, to the open air around you, and then hopping from neighborhood to neighborhood, Austin is filled with live music. You’ll find musicians performing at world-famous festivals, intimate clubs, coffee houses, and even the corner taqueria. With hundreds of live music venues, you have plenty of options available to soak up the sounds. ACL Live at The Moody Theateris home to the beloved Austin City Limits television show and hosts about 100 concerts year round. Tour the venue, select your show and find everything from country to rock, hip-hop, rap, jazz and blues.
With its true passion for its unparalleled live music scene, its championing of local creators and small business owners, and its celebration of its enriching arts and culture offerings, Austin avows a personality all its own and should be next on your playlist. We love it so much!
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