In case you didn’t know, the saying goes “Keep Austin Weird.” That is the ironic theme of Austin being the capital of Texas, where the rest of the state is mostly conservative. Austin is the most liberal feeling city in the state. It is where I would escape as a teenager growing up in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, it was between 3 hours or 1-hour drive away from me depending on which city I was in. Though each time I made it to Austin, there was always welcoming people and a different mindset about the city. Where people ride bikes instead of driving and value independent food vendors with high-quality healthy ingredients. Not to forget their endless scene of live music, booming tech industry, and beautiful nature all around the city.
When returning to my home state to show my husband Texas for his first time during 2017 Christmas holidays, I was most excited to show him Austin. Our first stop was Dallas, as I wanted to give him a proper tour from north to south Texas. In Austin, we partnered up with HotelTonight to get a cute boutique hotel on South Congress Ave. at South Congress Hotel. The location could not have been better as there are many delicious restaurants within walking distance and downtown is only a cheap and short Uber ride away. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, South Congress Hotel even offers complimentary bikes to get around the city. Though do keep in mind during the summer months you will be sweating… a lot!
We spent a decent amount of time at the hotel pool considering we got lucky with the 80-degree weather during the end of December. Which is not what we are used to in NYC. Being Texas, of course, I promised my husband some warm weather for the holidays.
Over the course of the 4 days we were in Austin, what we enjoyed most is that everything was so easily accessible by foot. After leaving Dallas, where everything is so spread out and walking anywhere is pretty much a joke. We felt a little bit more at home. Considering we are used to walking everywhere in NYC. My favorite part was there were many colorful locations for photos. When traveling, finding new murals and colorful walls makes me excited to see what outfit I can match best with the location. On this trip to Texas, Dallas was by far the best with their neighborhood of Deep Ellum, but Austin comes in second for sure! There are many cool locations on South Congress Ave. as long you keep your eyes peeled and then there is also HOPE Outdoor Gallery that is graffiti playground.
Now a proper review of Austin wouldn’t be done without mentioning where we ate while we were there.
P. Terry’s - Delicious fresh ingredient burgers only in Austin.
Torchy’s Tacos - Absolutely mouthwatering Texas-sized taco combinations… two is enough.
Home Slice Pizza - The closest to NYC pizza in Austin. So good!
Chilantro BBQ - If you love spicy, you will love this Korean BBQ!
The Clay Pit - Darn good Indian food.
As for where to go out, 4th street is the main hotspot in Austin for the gays and the best part is they don’t charge cover so you can hop between the clubs/ bars finding which place you like best. If you there on a Tuesday, there is Tuesgayz at Barbarella which is only a short walk from the 4th street gay strip. You can take a tour of the iconic 6th street where the straights party on your way to Barbarella. Just keep in mind Austin closes down promptly at 2 am. The time to arrive would be around 11 pm to get at least 3 solid hours of fun.
Four days really isn’t enough to see all of Austin, but for a quick taste that will leave you wanting more. I highly recommend visiting. There is also of course SXSW (huge interactive festival) and Austin City Limits (huge Coachella style music festival) which really transform the city into a tiny NYC. Those are two great reasons to make a trip down south, though I highly recommend staying a few days after the madness those two events bring to really enjoy the everyday Austin.
I’m already looking forward to going back this upcoming winter with my husband when we visit for the holidays again. As always, if you have any questions. Feel free to leave me a comment below or on my Instagram.
Also, for extra Austin tips check out my friend's blog Travels of Adam.