Take a fast stroll through the streets of Austin, Texas, and also you’re guaranteed to search out the town’s slogan “Keep Austin Weird” plastered across storefront windows and bumper stickers. While the saying was first coined by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to advertise small businesses, it’s since turn out to be a full-blown lifestyle for natives and visitors alike. After all, Austin is weird in the very best possible way, with an eclectic mixture of bars and restaurants, kitschy stores, elegant hotels, and a renowned live music scene. Town’s also home to a few of the biggest events nationwide, drawing hundreds of guests across state and national borders for festivals including South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, and the Texas Book Festival. To your reading pleasure, we compiled these spots in a guide to having fun—and, in fact, keeping it weird—in the center of the South. Enjoy!
What to See
Greetings From Austin Mural
Did you even go to Austin in the event you didn’t post about it? For a grid-worthy Instagram moment, stop by this colourful wall mural at 1720 S. 1st Street, inspired by a postcard from the Nineteen Forties. Snap a pic, then quiz yourself on whether you’ll be able to ID famous Austin landmarks within the painting: Keep a watch out for the Texas State Capitol and the Congress Avenue Bridge.
Barton Springs Pool
Austin gets hot in additional ways than one, and likelihood is in some unspecified time in the future in your journey you’ll take up any offer to chill down. The locals like to swim, and after they do, they go to Barton Springs. The 900-foot-long outdoor swimming pool situated in Zilker Park (where Austin City Limits is held every year) is stuffed with water from several underground springs. It’s a super place to unwind after dancing all day under the blazing Texas sun.
South Congress Avenue
Courtesy of Visit Austin
South of Lady Bird Lake is South Congress Avenue, a buzzy neighborhood higher often known as SoCo to locals. A walk through this area is mandatory for a few of the very best shopping, live music, and sight-seeing Austin has to supply. Snap a photograph in front of the enduring “I Love You So Much” mural, catch performances at Guero’s Oak Garden, or succumb to the Western trend and buy a pair of real-deal Lucchese cowboy boots at Allens Boots (you realize you need to).
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Where to Eat
An umbrella-shaded, fairy light-adorned patio makes Perla’s a must-see spot, day or night. Situated on South Congress, the seafood restaurant is understood for its raw bar and decadent lobster rolls, with La Grande Dame champagne to pair with each. We recommend stopping in during glad hour from 3 p.m. to five:30 p.m. to beat the evening crowd and money in on deals (like oysters on a half shell for $4).
Matt’s El Rancho
You’ll find classic Tex-Mex fare and delicious cocktails at this low-key, no-frills eatery that’s been an Austin staple for 70-plus years. When you’re overwhelmed by the plethora of menu options at Matt’s El Rancho, order one among the mixture plates, a Matt’s Knockout Martini (tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice in an ice-filled shaker), and the signature Bob Armstrong queso dip for the table.
Terry Black’s Barbecue
Bethany Ellen Ochs
When you’re in search of a few of best barbecue in Texas, locals will say that is it. Owned by twin brothers and fourth-generation pitmasters, Terry Black’s serves up some mean brisket, giant beef ribs, mac and cheese, and, for the grand finale, banana pudding. Warning: Like most BBQ, these things is more filling than it looks.
Rag & Bone Ohara Straw Cowboy Hat
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Where to Drink
Soho House Austin
Courtesy Soho House Austin
When a Soho House opens in a city, you realize it’s having a moment. Although Austin has been gaining popularity for years, the most recent addition to the cult chain of personal members’ clubs, situated within the Music Lane shopping center just off South Congress Avenue, has all of the essentials: an elaborate wood-carved bar, a rooftop pool, and live music from local and visiting artists courtesy of its recent concept, Dante’s Hi-Fi.
Situated on the nightlife mecca that’s Rainey Street, Clive Bar is casual yet scene-y, serving up local beer and cocktails on a sweeping outdoor patio and upper deck against the backdrop of live music.
When you’re in search of decadent craft cocktails in an opulent setting, stop by Goldie’s within the Austin Proper Hotel. Possibly it’s the sunken marble bar and velvet chairs talking, but something about it screams fancy.
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Where to Stay
Austin Proper Hotel
Situated in downtown Austin, the delicate Austin Proper Hotel offers a number of amenities to make sure an unforgettable stay. Boasting views of the Colorado River and inside walking distance of the famous sixth street, the hotel’s prime location is ideal for exploring the town on foot. The property features multiple restaurants and bars; we recommend the Crispy Shallot Hummus on the Mediterranean-inspired The Peacock. Moreover, guests can benefit from the hotel’s fitness center, rooftop pool, and the indulgent full-service Verbena Spa. (The spa staff’s commitment to their clientele shows, as they provide treatments using the natural beauty brand Monastery, which prides itself on using organic and wildcrafted ingredients chosen for his or her ability to deliver the very best results. Not to say, the products’ scents are heavenly.) After an evening out in town, unwind with the spa’s signature “The Gua Sha Facial” or “The Proper Massage,” leaving you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and prepared to your next adventure.
The Line Hotel
Courtesy of The LINE Hotel
Situated on the crossroads of Lady Bird Lake and downtown, this fun and classy hotel attracts young crowds for its poolside DJ and bustling brunch at P6. Suites feature lakeside views and a stacked mini bar. For more to snack on, stop by Veracruz All Natural for authentic tacos and queso. (The migas breakfast taco is a must.)
A soothing retreat from the bustle of downtown, the gorgeous Miraval Austin property is nestled in the encircling Texas hills, outfitted with sweeping rock formations and luxurious walking paths. The digital, device-free resort (don’t fret: designated areas allow using your mobile phone) promotes rest and rejuvenation via fitness and yoga sessions; pools, trails, and climbing gym courses; guided meditation classes; and a full menu of massage, facial, and body care offerings on the Life in Balance spa. Nutritious meals, including smoothies and snacks, are included in the associated fee of your stay, and a nightly resort credit will be applied to spa services and fee-based activities. To benefit from the inclusive packages, rise up early to attend one among the morning sessions within the Yoga Barn or Solidago buildings, then peruse the Sophia or Serenity Labyrinths before snagging a spot by the pool. Don’t forget to order a dinner slot on the Hilltop Crossings Kitchen—you won’t need to miss anything on the ever-changing menu.
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Avoid sunburns with this gentle sunscreen formulated with sunflower extract. The perfect part? You’ll be able to slather it on each your face and body for full coverage.
ATTAR Floral Repair Concentrate
Credit: Courtesy of Monastery
This facial balm is smooth like wax and melts right into a soothing oil when warmed between the fingertips. Its versatile formula will be used on the face, eyes, and lips, making it the right all-in-one solution to your skincare needs on-the-go. Under the unforgiving Texas sun, Attar provides a much-needed respite, helping to hydrate the skin. Free from harmful chemicals, it’s the secure selection for those with sensitive skin who seek an expensive skincare routine.
GOLD Botanical Oil Serum
Credit: Courtesy of Monastery
On the lookout for that effortless dewy look? Gold is a moisturizing oil full of vitamins to nourish the skin. With ingredients like plumeria and raspberry, Gold is sort of a drink of water to your skin. It provides quick relief from sun exposure and calms any redness with its anti-inflammatory properties.