Weekend Getaway: Austin, TX
Fall semester is in full swing and it’s starting to feel like you’re doing the same thing every week. Class. Study. Drink. Hangover. Poor Theme Party Costume Choice. Homework. Switch things up by taking advantage of a long weekend or your fall break (if you’re that lucky) by checking out our Weekend Getaway guides. We’ve already covered Boston and Toronto. Today we’re celebrating Austin.
Austin is somewhere I’m glad to call my home. It’s a city that’s big enough to be exciting, but at the same time small enough to be super friendly. There is always something to do here, making it an optimal destination for Fall Break or a long weekend away from campus.
Why, you ask?
Well for starters, if music is your thing, Austin is definitely the place to be. We didn’t earn the name “Live Music Capital of the World” for nothing. Secondly, we’re far enough south that “Fall” to the rest of the country still feels like summer. Have a cute swimsuit you got at an end of season sale? Bust it out here! Thirdly, the University of Texas, Austin’s major university accounting for 50,000 students, doesn’t have a fall break, so that means NO CROWDS! And, really, Austin is just all around fun. I mean, the slogan for the plethora of funky locally owned business is “Keep Austin Weird!”
If that doesn’t entice you, perhaps this will:
South Congress – More affectionately known as “SoCo,” this, to me, is the best place to shop, eat, and get a great feel of the Keep Austin Weird mentality. More specifically, you can check out Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds; this crazy costume shop that has just about everything imaginable (and we all know that every college student needs to keep a few costumes in her arsenal!). Have a sweet tooth? Check out Big Top Candy Shop, an old fashion candy store that even has a working vintage soda machine! My favorite part of SoCo is the view of the Capital building/downtown skyline. Seriously, bring your camera.
Barton Springs Pool - This natural spring stays at 75 degrees year round. Mmmmmm. One of my favorite parts of Austin is how green and beautiful our parks are, and this is to me the best place to enjoy that. Like I said, it’s still in the 80′s during October, so enjoy the heat before you have to go home to the harsh reality that winter is fast approaching!
Kerbey Lane Cafe – This 24 hour place is great because it pretty much has everything, and is also vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and friendly to just about any dietary need. What makes is amazing, however, is the pancakes. You have never tasted anything like them. So fluffy, so flavorful, and sooooooo good. And you’re in luck because during the fall they have pumpkin pancakes, AKA the best thing that’ll ever happen to you.
Guero’s Taco Bar – You can’t go to Austin and not get Tex-Mex; it’s just not right. Guero’s has some of the best in town, and also has some divine margaritas. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a favorite of Quentin Tarantino and was even in the movie Deathproof.
The Salt Lick – This is isn’t technically in Austin, but totally worth the 25 minute drive out of town. Located in Driftwood, The Salt Lick is most likely the best barbecue you will ever have the pleasure of eating. The meat is fall-apart-in-your-mouth tender and delicious. But be warned: on a typical Friday night it’s at least an hour wait. Totes worth it, though.
6th Street – This is where Austin gets interesting. There are more bars on about 5 blocks of 6th Street, aka “dirty 6th,” than is probably in your entire hometown. They shut the street down to traffic just about every night. With all of these bars in close proximity, there is always a good band playing and cheap drinks to enjoy. No wonder Dirty 6th is a haven for the drunken crazy college kids.
Warehouse district – If you prefer a classier bar experience, go two blocks over to 4th street for the warehouse district. Just as many bars but with fewer people puking in the streets. My favorite place to go after a long night of drinking is Halcyon. It’s small, cozy, has interesting local art on the walls, and, get this, you can make s’mores. They bring out a plate of marshmallows, Hershey bars, and graham crackers with a little mini campfire and skewers. You can order a small order for 2 or a larger order for 4, and it’s so much fun!
So there you have it: a long weekend in Austin. If that doesn’t sound like a great trip, I don’t know what does. Hope to see you soon!