The Definitive Guide for Your Trip to Austin, Texas

So you've heard that Austin is a pretty cool city - lots of young professionals, lots of outdoor activities and lots of bars and nightlife on 6th Street. You think it might be a cool place to take a trip.

Well I'm here to tell you that you should. And I'm also going to tell you the things that you should do while you're visiting Because yes, there's more to do than drinking your face off on 6th Street. Although you'll definitely want to check that out as well. 

In early December, Peter and my friend Melissa joined me on a 5 day getaway to Austin, Texas and like the Type A individual that I am, I did a ton of research, planning and itinerary building. I tried to be flexible, take into account the interests of 3 different people and to leave time for the inevitable suggestions from locals that we would have to find the time to fit in. 

You'll have to ask Peter and Melissa how I did. But when our time was up and it was time to head home, I felt we had seen a ton of the city - but also could have spent even more time exploring! 

So what are the things you need do for the complete Austin experience? Here we go. 

12 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

1) Bar Hop on 6th Street 

Let's just get right down to it. 6th Street is to Austin what Bourbon Street is to New Orleans. It's the Vegas Strip of Austin. It's bars, clubs, late night pizza, and more bars. 

Before I left, I read a Thrillist article ranking the bars on 6th Street according to which sucked the most. Not exactly a gleaming review of what we were in for. A lot of people consider 6th Street a bunch of terrible, fratty bars frequented by college kids and dudes having Bachelor Parties so I wanted to find the hidden gems. I mean, the nickname for 6th Street is "Dirty Sixth," after all. 

But I'm happy to report that we spent 3 nights happily bar hopping 6th Street and enjoyed our time.  The best part? Austin is the Live Music Capital of the WORLD - so everywhere you go - you'll be listening to extremely talented, live performers.

Maggie Mae's 

Our first night, we stopped in a bar called Maggie Mae's that I had read about in my research. If you're from a city or town where space is limited - Austin bars will blow your mind with their vastness. Maggie Mae's had 3 levels with at least 5 different bars. There was a DJ, a live band, a rooftop, dancing, big screen TVs - it was craziness. 

The one con was being told we couldn't use the bathroom when they closed at 2 a.m. and we were headed out. But it's OK because like typical New Yorkers, we ignored the rules and walked into the bathroom. 

Pete's Dueling Piano Bar

Although I'm pretty sure this is a place no true Austinite frequents, Pete's Dueling Piano Bar is a hell of a good time for tourists.  Two talented pianists taking requests and encouraging the audience to sing along - I didn't stop singing for 3 hours. 

The cocktails are a little pricey, but if you go on a weeknight you'll avoid the cover charge.

Pete's Dueling Piano Bar Austin

Easy Tiger

We made our trip to Easy Tiger on a Wednesday afternoon, so it was pretty dead, but it's a cool German place with a huge beer selection, bakery, sausages, ping pong and outdoor seating (pretty common in Austin). 

Chupacabra Restaurant & Cantina 

This was a late night stop for tacos before heading home - the tacos are massive and they have a margarita flavor on tap. 

The Chuggin' Monkey

WIth a name like that, are you surprised we stopped by for a drink? OK, we actually stopped in because Peter liked the sound of the band. And they ended up being great - it's like he has an ear for music or something...

Other than that, it was a pretty standard bar. Though apparently, owned by The Bachelor's Brad Womack. 

Iron Cactus

Peter had a craving for a frozen margarita (let's be real, this isn't so much a craving as an eternal longing) and we ended up at Iron Cactus after plenty of Yelping. Though we were saddened by their lack of nachos (they only had crab fritter nachos) their margaritas were pricey for Austin but worth it for deliciousness. Melissa and I got ours on the rocks but Peter's frozen mango marg was the real winner. 

2) Bike Ride Everywhere 

We were incredibly lucky that our AirBnB provided beautiful bikes for us to use during our stay. Without them, we would have racked up far more Uber rides. 

AirBnB Austin

If you're taking a trip to Austin, I highly suggest renting bikes for a day or two to get to places around town that are just a little too far to walk between.  

Lady Bird Lake Ann and Roy Butler Hike & Bike Trail

There is an incredible 10-mile path around Austin that you can bike, walk or run for gorgeous views and fresh air. Every day we explored a different part of this trail - bringing us (and our bikes) on rocky terrain to a beautiful waterfall, over pedestrian bridges, and on a paved boardwalk with great views of the city. 

We probably could have been more strategic in our explorations had we realized how many different points of interest this one path connected. As a runner, this 10 mile path was like a dream. Can I train for my next marathon while living in Austin, please? Check out this map to come up with a game plan.

3) Explore Zilker Park 

Zilker Park is the Central Park of Austin - if we want to go with a comparison to NYC. But really, it's much more woodsy with a lot more open space than Central Park. 

There's a ton to do in Zilker Park, and we only did a fraction of it. 

($5 Admission and Closed on Mondays)

This place was gorgeous and when the sun came out, we wished we had been brave enough to bring our bathing suits. The man-made pool is fed by underground springs - maintaining a year-round water temperature of 68-70 degrees. It's around 900 feet long and only closed on Thursday's from 9 am - 7 pm for the intense maintenance that needs to be performed. From November - March admittance is free and it's open from 5 am - 10 pm throughout the year. Entrance fees during the spring and summer months are around $8 for non-residents.

There are also places around the park to rent canoes and kayaks, picnic areas, a little mini train ride, hiking trails and the botanical gardens. 

Barton Springs Pool Austin

In the Winter, there's the "Trail of Lights" which I would have loved to check out, but we never made it. 

4) Check Out Local Farmer's Markets

Almost every day of the week you can find a farmers market in Austin. We had so much fun riding our bikes to one on Saturday morning and perusing the booths while filling up on free samples. You can even get BREAKFAST TACOS. 

I was obsessed with the kegs of kombucha and I ended up buying zero souvenirs but left perfectly happy with my reusable glass jar. 

Buddha's Brew Kombucha was heavenly! 

Buddha's Brew Kombucha was heavenly! 

Check out all the local farmer's markets here

5) Visit Texas' Flagship Whole Foods Store

If you're anything like me - grocery shopping is the best day of the week (minus the part where you see your total on the cash register). 

Perusing produce and shopping for spices is more enjoyable than trying on jeans or bathing suits, that's for damn sure! 

Was the flagship Austin Whole Foods Market on my Austin itinerary? You better believe it. I was like a kid in a candy store going from free sample to free sample to free sample. They had a smoothie/acai bowl station, a taco bar, salad bar, bakery, oatmeal station - everything you could ever want. And did I mention 25 cent giant cookies? 

We stopped twice during our stay. 

6) Eat. A Lot. 

Austin is known for it's tacos, migas (a breakfast dish) and BBQ. I personally make it a mission to discover insane donuts wherever I travel. Therefore, these were the main culinary missions while in Austin. I'd say we succeeded - with some Bloody Mary's, late night nachos and pancakes and killer brunches making their way in our bellies along with the previously mentioned Austin-staples. 

Here's how the chow went down.

Tacos

We had a tally in our trailer to see how many tacos we would consume in 5 days - answer? 24. That's a solid sampling of tacos. 

Torchy's Tacos 

Torchy's is a chain that has 12 Austin locations and when we arrived on Saturday afternoon the line was out the door. It moved quickly and we were soon chowing down on our first 8 tacos of the trip. 

We unanimously decided that "The Independent" was the best taco of the bunch. Ordered on a corn tortilla instead of flour (because, duh) The Independent consisted of deep fried portobello mushroom strips with refried black beans, roasted corn, escabeche carrots, queso fresco, cilanto and avocado - drizzled with ancho aioli.

Torchy's Tacos

Among the group we also tried the Monk Special (a breakfast taco with eggs, bacon, green chiles and cheese), The Democrat (shredded beef barbacoa topped with fresh avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, onions and a wedge of lime with tomatillo salsa), and a few others that I can't quite remember. 

The place even served mimosas and Bloody Mary's for $4! 

Taco Deli 

Taco Deli was another joint I had heard great things about that has multiple locations in Austin - 5 to be exact! 

We headed to the Spyglass location after trekking/hiking/biking through Zilker Park to reach it. Then, Melissa and I did a deck of cards workout to really get our appetites going. 

I wish I could tell you what everyone ordered but I can't remember anything except the delicious "Papadulce" vegetarian taco that I devoured. Loaded with roasted sweet potatoes, grilled corn, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, toasted pepitas and chipotle camote sauce - this was my favorite taco of the trip! 

Taco Deli Austin

Taco Deli's tacos are on the smaller side but they pack a powerful punch of flavor AND smaller tacos means you'll just have to try more of them! 

Chupacabra Cantina Y Taqueria 

We stopped at Chupacabra after our last night out on 6th Street and ordered far too many tacos. These tacos were by far the largest we ate and overflowing with ingredients. 

I know we ordered the Hippy Taco (refried black beans, rajas, avocado, cotija cheese, jacama slaw and habanero sour cream) and the Honey Jalapeno Fried Chicken (hand-breaded chicken tender, honey jalapeno sauce, jack cheese, bacon, jalapenos and chipotle mayo) along with one of the pork-centered tacos. 

This place knew their clientele and created some absurd flavor combinations that sounded appealing at the time but were maybe just a little bit over the top. We chowed down regardless. 

Bomb Tacos 

Bomb Tacos was a food trailer parked in the back of Bar 96 on Rainey Street. Peter and Melissa both ordered tacos and neither were impressed. Sad tacos :( 

Doughnuts / Donuts 

Which spelling of doughnuts do you prefer? I donut care because either way they are delicious. 

For the past year or so I've been obsessed with trying different doughnuts. It seems that every city in America has "the" doughnut spot you need to check out. I'm still dreaming of the day I make a cross-country trip for the sole purpose of checking out America's best doughnuts. In the meantime, New York has enough to keep me full of sugary breakfast pastries. 

So naturally, while I was in Austin I added two doughnut joints to the itinerary.

Gordough's Doughnuts

This place was ridiculous! There are a bunch of different outposts, but we visited the Gordough's Public House location in downtown Austin. The doughnut trailer is attached to a bar/restaurant and this particular spot serves not just donuts but doughnut MEALS - sandwiches between doughnuts and burgers with doughnut buns...even salads served with a hot garlic doughnut. I kid you not. 

We were there for dessert though and decided to sample 3 sweet doughnuts. We didn't realize what we were getting ourselves into by opting for 3 doughnuts - these things were massive. 

Each came out as a deep-friend dough mass topped with tons of toppings. The donut itself wasn't my favorite - it tasted more like a funnel cake than anything else, but the presentation, novelty and toppings made up for it. 

So what did we order? A good mix, I think. 

Ring O' Fire (Chipotle Infused Brownie Batter, Chocolate Icing, Brownie Bites, Salted Butter Caramel Sauce and Cayenne Candied Pecans) 

The Freebird (Cheesecake Filling, Cream Cheese Icing, Graham Cracker Crumbles, Fresh Strawberries and Blackberries) 

Granny's Pie (Cream Cheese Icing, Caramel Pecans, Bananas and Graham Crackers) 

*Side Note: We weren't away when we left for Austin that we would be seeing pecans on EVERY menu. Apparently, Texas is a HUGE exporter of pecans. Who knew? 

Voodoo Doughnuts

Peter, the Oregonian grad student, has told me how popular and delicious Voodoo Doughnuts are in Portland. Well, lucky for us - Voodoo Doughnuts just recently opened up a location in Austin. 

 They're closed from the time they sell out on Sunday until Wednesdays at 7 a.m., so we made our visit on Wednesday morning before we left Austin and had a ton of doughnuts to choose from. 

In fact, Voodoo, a cash only chain, makes over 50 different doughnuts! 

We sampled a respectable 5 during our pre-bike ride visit and always my biggest dilemma was the internal debate between a yeast doughnut or a cake doughnut. Luckily, the cake doughnuts were moist enough that I didn't regret the decision to sample one!

Voodoo Doughnuts Austin

Chocolate Ring Doughnut - Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting.

Dirty Snowballs Doughnut - Chocolate cake doughnut with marshmallow topping, dipped in coconut and a dollop of peanut butter in the middle. 

Old Dirty Bastard Doughnut - Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo's and peanut butter.

Bacon Maple Bar Doughnut - Peter told us this was their signature doughnut - Raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon on top. 

Voodoo Doll Doughnut - Seemed like a must order considering the name of the chain! Plus, it looked so cute! Raised yeast doughnut filled with raspberry jelly and topped with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake. 

Voodoo Doughnuts gets a thumbs up from me - tons of flavor options, pretty to photograph, lots of FILLINGS (my favorite) and super sweet (sorry teeth). 

Barbecue 

The place to go for BBQ in Austin is Franklin Barbecue - where tourists and locals alike line up for hours in the mornings just waiting for the place to open. Apparently, it's a bonding experience - people bring coolers and essentially tailgate while they wait. 

With so many other things on my itinerary, we didn't ever find a chance to commit to the hours long wait at Franklin's. 

The other well-known barbecue place in Austin is The Salt Lick - a little bit of a drive from the downtown area. Since we didn't have a car, that wasn't a great option for us either. 

After some research and some inquiries with locals we settled on getting our 'cue on at: 

Iron Works BBQ

The ambiance at Iron Works was spot on - a counter to order at, picnic tables with red plaid tablecloths, no frills, metal trays, Styrofoam cups. 

The menu was exactly what you'd expect and want when ordering barbecue - pulled pork, ribs and brisket with sides like coleslaw, potato salad and mac and cheese. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal in the old iron workshop (now a historical site!) 

Brunch

Brunch is a way of life. Brunch brings people together. Brunch is sacred. In Austin, like in life, my most enjoyed meals took place between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Prime breakfast and brunchin' time that is. 

Bouldin Creek Cafe 

Despite being a vegetarian cafe, Bouldin Creek got thumbs up from all three of us meat-eaters (though Melissa and I love our veggie-centric dishes!) 

Before I discuss the food - can we discuss how ADORABLE and artsy this place is? I couldn't stop looking around at all the cool decor. I loved the vibe of Bouldin Creek. 

I started off with some hot chocolate because my new-found obsession is really real. It was so filling, but so worth it. 

Peter and I immediately spotted the cornbread on the menu and got an order for the three of us to split as an appetizer. It wasn't just any cornbread - it was grilled blueberry cornbread. And it was phenomenal. 

My meal of choice was the tamale breakfast served with two eggs, two sweet potato pecan tamales, warm tortillas and homemade salsa. The filling in the tamales weren't as delicious as I was hoping considering they contained two delicious ingredients, but wrapped up in a tortilla with egg and salsa, I still enjoyed. 

Bouldin Creek Cafe Austin

Melissa ordered the Zucchini Migas and gave it good reviews while Peter got an omelette. 

South Congress Cafe 

All week I was excited for brunch at South Congress Cafe. Lucky for us, we didn't need a reservation since it was a random weekday morning, but I imagine this place is packed on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Throughout my research I had read about a breakfast dish called "migas" that I "had to" try. 

Migas is essentially a scrambled egg dish with veggies, cheese and the special ingredients - fried tortilla strips. South Congress Cafe is known for having one of the best migas in town and I also discovered another important accolade...

South Congress Cafe's Bloody Mary was voted one of the best in the country by the Huffington Post! 

When we arrived we were told we could save 20% by sitting at the bar. Our server/bartender was super friendly and awesome. We were shocked to find that the Bloody Mary isn't even on the menu - I guess when you're known for having one of the best Bloody Mary's in America you don't really need to advertise. 

South Congress Cafe Bloody Mary

Even Melissa, not usually a Bloody Mary fan, ordered one. And let me tell ya - that Bloody was DAMN good. None of this bacon, bourbon, shrimp nonsense. Just a straight up delicious Bloody Mary with great seasoning, a wonderful kick, a simple stalk of lettuce and a happy little olive. 

I ordered my migas "Enchilada" style - with the spicy ranchero sauce on the side. They were delicious and made with eggs, corn tortillas, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, three cheese blend and served with refried black beans and a smoked gouda potato pancake. 

South Congress Cafe Austin Migas

Stellar meal and stellar lighting in the restaurant ;) 

Coffee

When you're biking and moving non-stop with 8 - 9 am wake-ups, you need to stay caffeinated. 

Ok, actually, the reason we stopped at so many coffee places is because Peter is a straight up caffeine addict. So I was sure to scope out the best cups of Joe around town so he could always get his fix - and spare Melissa and I the caffeine crash. 

Cenote

Peter took a trip to Cenote alone while Melissa and I waited in line for a table one afternoon and said it was "super adorbs." Okay, he definitely didn't use those words but he did say it was a trendy little shop with a good cup of coffee. It's built in an old church in one of the oldest buildings in the neighborhood which automatically makes it so fetch

Caffe Medici

There were a few Caffe Medici's that we passed around town and this received the coveted "Best Coffee of the Trip" award from the coffee connoisseur himself. They had his favorite brand of espresso machine I think. Yes, he has a favorite espresso machine. So European. A quick look at their website reveals that Cafee Medici uses Cuvee espresso in 3 group La Marzocco FB 80's.

Jo's 

There are three Jo's outposts in Austin and they not only serve coffee but food and alcohol including wine in a can! We sat out at the downtown location one night watching people walk by and also took a trip to their South Congress location for a picture with their famous "I Love You So Much" wall. 

They're famous for their iced turbos -  cream, chocolate, espresso, coffee and hazlenut. We didn't sample one, but it sure sounds tasty! 

Picnic

Picnic is a paleo food truck that is perched on a little hill with picnic tables and cacti. What brought us their wasn't their paleo food, but their BULLETPROOF COFFEE. 

Have you heard of this new trend? Coffee + Grassfed Butter + MCT Oil. Some people claim that this cup of healthy fats to start your morning can help curve cravings and promote weight loss. 

I was not a fan of the taste, but Peter enjoyed it!

Other

I swear, I didn't have each and every meal pre-planned! We stumbled across two other wonderful places. 

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Right near our AirBnb was a super popular Shake Shack-esque burger joint called Hopdoddy Burger Bar with lines out the door. One night we stopped in for a late dinner and dayum, one of the best burgers I've ever had - though nothing will ever compare with my dad's homemade hamburgers on the grill. 

I ordered a monstrosity of a burger called the Terlingua. Angust beef burger loaded with chile con carne, tillamood cheddar, corn fritos and "sassy sauce." I was clearly feeling the "Everything Is Bigger In Texas" motto that night. 

Magnolia Cafe  

When you've been out drinking on 6th Street and realize there's a 24 Hour Diner on your Air BnB's street - you definitely stop by and you definitely order a large platter of "super deluxe" chicken nachos (against Peter's pleas of, "WE ONLY NEED A SMALL." Overruled by the two girls) and a plate full of blueberry pancakes (EXPLODING with blueberries). 

Magnolia Cafe Austin Nachos

Both of these were mind mindbogglingly good - and I'm pretty sure it wasn't just because of the alcohol we had consumed! Two thumbs up Magnolia Cafe

Botticelli's 

Melissa found this AWESOME spot for happy hour. Botticelli's looked like a tiny little restaurant from the outside, but there was a HUGE outdoor seating area with heat lamps (the first time I was warm that entire day). We plopped ourselves right under one and enjoyed their all day Monday happy hour specials ($5 cocktails!) as well as two orders of their famous STUFFED BREAD. It was killer. 

Botticellis Bread Austin

7.) Go Country Dancing at the Broken Spoke (Or Just Watch)

By far one of the best experiences of the trip was our visit to The Broken Spoke. This place opened in 1964 and the people who frequent it are true Austinites.  

We felt extremely out of place, and weren't exactly welcomed with open arms, but it was worth it for a look at a true Texas Honky Tonk Dance Hall. 

Wednesday - Saturday from 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. they give two-step and swing lessons. Unfortunately, we missed them. But we grabbed a beer at the bar (after paying our $12 cover) and sat down at a picnic table where we spent a long time people watching the rotating partners two-stepping across the huge wooden dance floor. 

The bathroom stalls didn't have doors - they had American flag curtains that brushed your knees as you sat. 

People got up to go dance and just left their iPhones sitting unattended on their tables. 

A live band played country music that not even Peter recognized one word of. 

By the end of the night I finally convinced Peter to twirl me around a few times and while I looked like a fool, he looked handsome and we had a good laugh! 

Broken Spoke Austin Texas

This is definitely a must on your trip! 

8.) Take a Walk Around the UT Austin Campus 

Did you know the Longhorns' color has a specific name? That browny-orange color (that I personally find hideous) is referred to as "Burnt Orange." 

University of Texas at Austin

We spent a little while on our first afternoon riding our bikes around campus - stopping by Caffe Medici and Torchy's Tacos before discovering Moojo - a place that makes cheap and amazingly delicious cookie ice cream sandwiches! 

But there is more to do at UT than eat. We stopped at the Harry Ransom Center to see the first photograph (spoiler alert: it's really terrible and we almost couldn't see it and thought it had been stolen) and one of the original Gutenberg Bibles.  Unfortunately, we visited while they were getting ready for their next exhibition, but usually they have more on-site. 

The Longhorns' stadium was closed but we got to peak through a gate. 

There were pretty buildings, statues, fountains, etc. along our walk and an art museum that we were too uncultured to visit. 

9.) Take Pictures with Graffiti 

What we were not too uncultured to do was appreciate the various murals painted on buildings across the city. I loved these, and there were a bunch of famous ones we never even made it to. Each mural has an interesting history and story to go along with it!

Graffiti Castle 

This place is an Instagrammer's dream. It's essentially an unfinished housing foundation that local artists can paint giant murals on. While it's called Graffiti Castle, it's official name is the HOPE Outdoor Gallery. Unfortunately, tourists tend to walk up to the wall with their spray paint bottles to write "Lauren Was X" or cover up real artwork with spray painted hearts - but there are still sections of the walls that have some impressive images painted on them. 

Grafitti Castle Austin Free Hugs

We even got to see one artist in action - it was amazing! 

Wear sneakers - it's no joke climbing the different levels of Graffiti Castle. And go around dusk to see the sunset from the top! 

I Love You So Much Wall

A classic, located on the side of Jo's coffee shop on South Congress (1300 S Congress Ave). We had a full out photo shoot at this one! 

I Love You So Much Jo's Austin

Hi, How Are You?

We spotted this one while we were near the UT campus and I forced everyone to pull the bikes over for a photo op. Little did I know, it's one of the famous murals in Austin. Later that day we even saw t-shirts depicting it! The Hi, How Are You frog mural is on the building currently occupied by Thai Spice (3600 N Capital of Texas Hwy #110). 

Jeremiah Frog Austin Hi, How Are You?

You Make My Heart Sing

This ones on the side of Threadgill's (301 W Riverside Dr.).

You Make My Heart Sing Threadgill's Austin

The two we missed but I would have loved a picture with were the "Greetings From Austin" mural (1720 S. First Street) and the "You're My Butter Half" mural (2000 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.)

10.) Sunday Funday on Rainey Street 

Is there anything better than a good Sunday Funday? 

Yes. 

Sunday Funday after a race! 

Peter and I ran a half marathon and 5K respectively and once we showered we headed to Rainey Street to begin the festivities. Rainey Street is a fairly new popular neighborhood in Austin where homes have been converted into bars and restaurants - giving them an awesome vibe. 

Brunch at Banger's Sausage and Beer Garden 

We waited a solid 40 minutes to get in to Banger's Sausage and Beer Garden, but once we did, it was totally worth it. A huge open backyard with beer hall styled seating on picnic tables and a live jazz band. A HUGE beer list. And a drool-worthy brunch menu. 

We learned very quickly that bars and restaurants welcome dogs with open arms and Banger's even had a little mini dog park in the back! 

I ordered the beet and goat cheese "sausage" with yellow beets, red beets, walnuts and goat cheese. I didn't love it, but I probably should have picked something different anyway. 

What I did love was the atmosphere, the music and the company. 

Banger's Brunch Austin Texas

Pro Tip: They are famous for their "Manmosa" - a 1 liter glass of champagne with a splash of orange or cranberry juice. 

Sangria and Jazz at Icenhauer's

I had read that Icenhauer's was the place to be on a Sunday on Rainey Street and it did not disappoint. The size of these sangria glasses was unreal! And only $8. Again, we were able to be outside, though the inside was awesome as well and we enjoyed the company of  a bunch of adorable puppies. 

Icenhauer's Sangria Sunday

Bar 96

Another hopping spot to be on a Sunday is Bar 96. Another big open area in the back (with the Bomb Taco truck) and the real reason we went - the string game! 

We met a girl who was pretty damn good at it - and she tried to help us work on our technique. I was a pretty worthless student at that point in the day, but it was still fun! 

Bar 96 Austin

And more puppies. 

11.) Visit a Brewery or Distillery 

There are two breweries that are easy to get to in the downtown area but if you have a car, there are a number of other options for breweries and distilleries (big names like Deep Eddy and Tito's!) 

Hops and Grain 

The Hops and Grain tap room is open 7 days a week from 8 am - 10 pm. Tours are given on Thursday and Fridays at 5 pm and Saturdays at 1, 3 and 5 - they are FREE and last around 45 minutes (all according to their website since we weren't able to make it for a tour!) 

Zilker Brewing

At Zilker we actually sat down and did some sampling - I was a fan of a few of them but I can't remember anything specific. The place was empty on a Sunday night but the bartender was nice to us after our marathon Sunday Funday when I'm sure he just wanted us to shut up and go home. Zilker Brewing is open Wednesday - Thursday from 4 pm - 10 pm, Friday from 2 pm - 12 am, Saturday from noon - 12 am and Sunday from noon to 8 pm. 

Zilker Brewing Company Austin Texas

12.) Take a Touristy Picture at the State Capitol Building

It's not that exciting, but it is a pretty impressive building - it's 308 feet tall, making it taller than the capitol building in D.C. and the 6th tallest capitol building in the U.S. (Louisiana's is the tallest). 

Texas State Capitol Building

So there you have - 12 activities to make your trip to Austin EPIC. 

But I'm not done yet. 

There's a few things to consider before you hit the ground running. 

Lodging

For SURE check out Airbnb. There were TONS of options, although I'm biased and think we picked the absolute sickest, illest, dopest Airbnb in Austin. Heck, maybe in Texas. Maybe even in America. 

The three of us stayed in an amazing airstream trailer - how much more Austin can you get? 

Austin Airbnb Trailer

The space was perfect for 3 people and when we arrived it was twinkling with lights and SO welcoming. Our host, Miles, has set up a bunch of trailers in a little compound tucked away behind an apartment complex. There are tables, hammocks, and an amazing little outdoor TV room with seating, a stereo, games and oh did I mention 2 KEGS of beer? 

Transportation 

Uber in Austin was so simple and by the end of the trip, all of our rides total came to less than $50 each. That's less than $150 total. #Math

The bikes helped a TON but having a rental car for at least a day would have enabled us to go to places like Mount Bonnell (to climb to the highest point in Austin) or The Salt Lick for barbecue. 

A lot of people also suggested we try to drive the 45-60 minutes to check out the San Antonio River Walk. 

You'll definitely want bikes, Ubers or a rental car as things aren't super close together and from what we gathered the public bus system wasn't all that popular. 

AUSTIN, WE LOVE YOU 

Austin Airbnb