An Austin City Guide for spending 48 hours in that hot, quirky Texas gem of a city.
We had quite the exciting trip to Austin.
A friend and I flew down early to work remotely from there before the other gals arrived and we saw the CNN alert the day before we met up in Austin that the city had announced the mandate for the first time ever.
But, we didn’t let a little boil water mandate stop us! We flew down and soaked in all that Austin goodness….and food…and heat.
The bachelorette was fairly tame. I wanted it to be primarily a girls’ trip, which my friends pulled off perfectly. We had a little of the bachelorette element without going overboard. They even decked out the room while I was out buying a new pair of jeans at Madewell because I hated the ones I brought, classic. Why did I even bring them in the first place? That’s besides the point, I guess.
All in all, it was one of the best trips and I so wish we could do it all over again this year.
We ate, we drank, we danced, we scooted. I think we did Austin right, and it did right by us. If you’re heading down to that funny little Texas gem, here’s how to spend your weekend in town!
I had a little more than 48 hours in Austin, but I was working from there for the first half of my trip. So, this list is a little lengthy – but pick and pull what you’d like from it! Hope you enjoy your trip if you’re heading to Austin in the near future.*
Elizabeth Street Café: This was one of our first stops and, oh man, was it delicious. The colorful little café boasts tasty, flavorful Vietnamese bites in a cozy corner of Austin.
Whisler’s: I wasn’t really sure what to expect by the name, but Whisler’s. was. awesome. Despite it being massive, it felt so secluded and cozy with all the candles and old stone walls. Pro tip: Head upstairs if you’re into mezcal. You won’t regret it. This was a recommendation from our server over at Perla’s and it did not disappoint.
Salt Lick: This is outside of Austin, so you’ll definitely need a car to get out there. But holy cow is it worth the ride! A friend of mine lives in Austin and picked us up to drive us out there. Let me just tell you it’s some of the best bbq I’ve ever had. AND IT’S BYOB! So, we brought champagne as any sane person does when visiting a byob bbq spot in sunny Texas.
Better Half: We only grabbed a snack at Better Half, but oh boy it was delicious. We both grabbed the breakfast sandwich with avocado and I still feel like I can taste it. That sounds kind of gross when you think about it, but I mean it in the best way possible.
June’s: If you’re on South Congress around happy hour, head to June’s. The Pisco Sours are delightful and the restaurant itself is so darn charming. And not in the way realtors say charming about houses that are falling apart. Though the bartender was NOT delightful, I’ll have to share that funny little story over on Instagram!
Hank’s: Hank’s Austin is just perfect. The food, the drinks, the decor…perfect is the only word I can think of to describe it, which, I realize doesn’t describe it at all. It’s airy, filled with neutrals and green, so it’s oddly calming despite being a restaurant/café/bar.
Gourdough’s: Holy cow, y’all. Gourdough’s is G-O-O-D. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever gotten from an airstream. These doughnuts right here are dense as heck and totally delectable. They’re unique and SO large that they’re meant for sharing. At least I would think so.
Austin Eastciders: Whether you like cider or not (does anyone not like cider here? That’s a real question.), Eastciders is a blast. They’ve got a cool spot to call home and the cider is divine. Go there, please. Oh and can you bring me back a 6-pack? I’m actually not kidding.
Put on your walking shoes: I’m not joking. If you’re there and it’s nice out, which is most of the year, then walk! Get outside and enjoy the sunshine, sights, and sounds of Austin.
6th Street & Rainey Street: If you’re looking for a night out and a good cocktail (and perhaps some good people watching), head down to either 6th street or Rainey Street. If it’s Rainey that you make it to, Half Step is weird and great all at the same time. From my understanding, 6th is a bit more touristy than Rainey, and now that I think about it, I don’t think we really went to the main strip of 6th street at all during our trip!
Find a market: If you’re there in spring/summer/fall, you’re sure to stumble upon some sort of weekend market. Peruse the booths, you may end up finding something you love!
Mañana: I’m very particular and I like my iced lattes with oat milk. So, I used Oatly’s handy little Oatfinder and stumbled upon Mañana, which also happened to be about two blocks away. Score. Needless to say, we were there nearly every morning.
Merit Coffee: Merit was so cute! We co-worked from Merit for a bit one day and it was the perfect spot for a quick work session.
Oh and Hank’s, too! I already raved about it in the previous section, but it also gets an A+ from me for their coffee game.
South Congress: South Congress is generally the most bustling part of town, and once you check it out, you’ll see why. It has some of the best eateries, cafés, and hotels in Austin. The main drag isn’t that long, so it’s definitely walkable if you have a little time!
Rainey Street: Rainey Street was a total blast, I’ll leave it at that. Ha!
I love you so much mural: We lucked out, we didn’t have to really seek out the mural because it was mere steps from our hotel! It’s right on the side of Jo’s, if you’re looking to snap a photo or two in front of it. Get there early to avoid the line!
South Congress Hotel: The South Congress Hotel is a modern beauty on South Congress. This is where Mañana is, so we were there pretty much every day. Perhaps next time I’ll actually have to stay there.
Hotel San José: We stayed right next to Hotel San José and holy cow, I’ll definitely stay there at some point. The hotel looks less like a hotel and more like a secret garden oasis in the middle of the desert.
Austin Motel: This is where we stayed! It was quirky and colorful and fit the bill for this trip. The only thing I wish we did differently was bring bathing suits. We were there in October and it was chilly for the first part of the week (when I was working remotely from there with my friend Janet) and then SWELTERING for the second half of the week. We clearly did not realize it was going to be so hot.
Hot take: We went to Torchy’s and I was NOT impressed. Everyone said it was the thing to do and that we just had to go to Torchy’s. Yet, we were so not in love with it! We weren’t even in like with it. Whoops.
What’s on your must-see/must-do list for Austin?!
*Can I come with you?