Texas marks state #4! Again, at the beginning of the year, I made a goal that I would visit 5 new states this year. So many beautiful places to explore in the U.S., and I’ve barely scratched the surface. A few months ago, we planned a trip to Disneyworld and World of Harry Potter for New Year’s. Since that trip is SO freaking expensive with all the theme park tickets (thank god we had travel vouchers so our flight was taken care of), I didn’t think we could squeeze in another trip in the fall.
Luckily, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas for a work event at the beginning of December. My first business trip ever! Wow, when did I become an adult? I worked all week, but then the weekend was all paaaawty time. Since I was traveling alone (FIRST TIME EVER) for a few days, I thought I’d feel super cool as a strong, independent woman. Hell yeah, freedom! Turns out, I don’t really enjoy eating dinner alone. I strolled into a ramen shop and sat in the corner at the bar. I choked on the spicy soup and my eyes teared up, so I was crying, coughing, and alone in the corner. Thankfully, Justin joined me late Friday night so I wouldn’t embarrass myself anymore through the weekend. Below are my recommendations on what to see and eat in Austin!
Hamilton Pool – So stinking breathtaking. This was my favorite thing we did here. The hike is not hard at all, much to my chagrin – I needed a good workout after eating an ungodly amount of barbecue the day before. However, the view is GORGEOUS. Just look at the pictures and tell me you don’t want to go here.
Hope Outdoor Gallery – We almost missed our flight back home because of this place! So cool if you love graffiti. You can also buy some spray paint and attempt some Banksy!
Lady Bird Lake – We walked around Lady Bird Lake for about 2 hours. It’s a nice, flat trail – perfect for running and biking. The weather this time of year was PERFECT and I wish I brought my running shoes.
Barton Springs – I wish it was summer because I would love to swim here! Apparently in the summer, this place is PACKED with people swimming and tanning on the grass. Gorgeous outdoor pool.
Rainey Street – The cutest place to bar hop ever! It used to be a sleepy little residential road, but now all the homes are converted into bars/restaurants. Each bar feels extremely homey! My favorite bar was Icenhauer’s, where they had specialty Christmas drinks. I had an Irish coffee and Justin had a spiked eggnog. We enjoyed our drinks around a firepit and met other travelers. Every single bar we went into were so quaint – we also went to Clive Bar which had a live band, and the Container Bar which was completely made up of shipping containers. Really unique bar street!
Sixth Street – Cray! Sixth Street is a bit less expensive than Rainey street, but it’s also much more ratch. It’s comparable to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, but a lot less dirty.
The Salt Lick – BOMB ass barbecue. It’s $25 for AYCE barbecue…seriously stuffed my face. We wanted to try Franklin Barbecue in Austin the next day, but we were too sick of meat after this trip and didn’t feel like waiting in line for 3-4 hours. Yes, the wait there is worse than brunch in San Francisco. The Salt Lick is about a 30 minute drive from downtown Austin, but it’s worth it – I mean look at Justin’s face of bliss below. There was live music outside, it’s BYOB so you can drink all you want, the wait was maybe about 20 minutes for the two of us, and the food was el delicioso.
Moonshine Bar & Grill – Yummy! I had a team dinner here after our event and it was so good. Highly recommend for a nice dinner spot.
Pueblo Viejo – Austin is like food truck heaven. There are food trucks EVERYWHERE. We wanted Mexican food, so we came here for brunch tacos. The Pueblo Viejo Style taco is DA BOMB and so unique!
Juiceland – Juice franchise in Texas. Get the chai chia smoothie. These smoothies cleansed our souls and prepped us for the monstrous amounts of meat we consumed at Salt Lick.
Those are my recommendations! I fell in love with Austin immediately. It’s such a cute city with a ton of fun things to do, great places to eat, and such hospitable people. I wish I got to explore a little bit more, but I will most definitely be back. AUSTIN, I LOVE YOU.