Austin was the first real destination of our honeyyear with Rose. We picked Austin for a few reasons:
- We have never been to Austin. It was also my first time in Texas, and I always wanted to see it.
- It is a reasonably warm place to travel in January, averages about 60°/40°.
- We were intrigued by its live music culture.
We decided to stay near downtown (close to the 6th street area), and it was a good decision. We were able to see so much only by walking. After an afternoon arrival and an early dinner, we walked to the state capitol. It was a pleasant surprise to find the building open for visitors on a Saturday at 9 pm. It is an interesting and very large building, there are familiar faces on the walls, and surprisingly to me, there are reminders of the civil war on the building and the grounds.
Next 2 days, we walked, bussed and ride shared around the city. It is really easy to get around. It is worth mentioning RideAustin, the local ride-sharing company. We gave it a try however it is no different than any other similar option. Unless you live in Austin it is probably not worth it.
Some interesting and not so interesting parts of our trip were:
- Zilker Park, large park close to downtown. However, that is about it. Unless you like parks with lots of dogs there is not much of a reason to see it.
- South Congress (SoCo), it is the are on the Congress Avenue on the other side of the river. It is a pretty area to see with lots of local shops and food options.
- The University of Texas has a great campus at Austin. It is also a nice walk away from the Congress building.
Things to do, things to eat:
- Mozart’s Coffee is a lakeside coffee shop with great views, slightly away from the downtown. It is highly recommended for a few hours of relaxing time.
- Eat BBQ. We liked Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que Austin, but there are many other options.
- The Clay Pit offers a modern Indian cuisine and located in a historical building with a story.
- Hotel The Driskill is an elegant building and the oldest operating hotel in Austin (since 1886). It offers lots of dining options and you can use those as an excuse to see the building. We went there for the bakery and enjoyed the food as well as the atmosphere.
- Do not over plan and leave room for some in the moment decisions. Ask for recommendations from locals (waiters, hotel staff, drivers); or just try things that you would not normally do. And you will be pleased. That way, we enjoyed a fun improv show at The Hideout Theatre and had tasty tacos at The Taco Project. Needless to say, both are recommended.
Also some low lights from our trip:
- There were a lot of live music options, but the ones we encountered were not appealing to us. We are not much into the live music and nightlife scene, that could also explain why we felt that way.
- Reasonably warm place part of the plan worked for us and the weather was great. However, on our last day, Austin was preparing for a major once in a decade snowstorm which caused some flight delays.
- Prepare for Cedar Fever, it is a pollen allergy that affects lots of people during that season.
Hope that this post will be helpful for planning your Austin trip. If you have any tips about traveling to Austin please share with me!