Renowned for its incredible live music, top class culinary delights, trendy American counterculture, and unique boutique hotels, Austin is one of the most unusual and inspiring places in the world.
From the trendiest music venues to the city’s quirkiest eateries, we’re sharing all our favorite insider tips to help you have an unforgettable Austin experience.
Where To Stay
Famed for being the alternative music and culture capital of Texas, the Hotel Saint Cecilia encapsulates the cool Austin vibe like no other. Taking inspiration from the great musicians, poets, and cultural icons of the 60s and 70s, along with traditional Victorian design features, this hotel oozes with charm and character.
Each of the 14 bungalows and suites have their own unique vibe with vintage counterculture decorations, stylish vVictorianfurnishings, private porch or garden, and the best part of all - a luxury Hästens bed (the most comfy place to rest your head in the world!) The hotels location is also second to none, situated just one block away from the South Congress District, providing the perfect launch pad for your Austin adventure.
The entire Saint Cecilia experience is designed to leave you feeling refreshed, invigorated, and full of excitement, with its unusual blend of super chic modernistic luxury and vintage edge. Classy features such as the 50 foot heated pool and stylish adjacent arbor, designer bath robes and kimonos, and even its own ‘lending library’ stocked with vintage LPs, poetry anthologies, and novels, ensure that every guest has an unforgettable experience living the high life in Austin.
What To Do
Spend the Day Shopping in South Congress. From home furnishings to retro clothing, South Congress Avenue is lined with unique and funky stores with a friendly Austin feel. Want a fabulous new pair of shoes for your next night out on the town, stop by Goodie Two Shoes. Need a crazy costume for a special event, you can snag one at Lucy’s In Disguise. Whatever you can dream of, you’ll find it in South Congress.
Get Your Rocks On to Live Music at One of Austin’s Legendary Venues. Dubbed the “live music capitol of the world”, on any given night, there are hundreds of shows happening all across Austin. Downtown Austin is the epicenter of the action featuring many of the best loved venues including Stubb’s, Continental Club, Emo’s, ACL Live and Mohawk. Whether you like hardcore rock or rhythm and blues, there’s row after row of music clubs just waiting to be discovered.
Take a Dip in the Breathtaking Swimming Grotto at Hamilton Pool. For nature lovers, nothing beats a hike and dip at Hamilton pool during the hot summer months. Located within a 232 acre area of protected wildlife habitat, the impressive jade green pool is a popular haunt for locals and tourists alike. Fed by a huge 50 foot waterfall, Hamilton Pool is refreshing and invigorating, and will certainly cool you down during after a 5 mile trail through the dramatic canyon scenery.
See 1.5 Million Mexican Free-Tailed Bats Emerge from Congress Bridge at Dusk. Since the Congress Avenue bridge was renovated in 1980, the iconic structure has become a favorite hangout for over a million Mexican Free-Tailed bats. Each evening, the bridge and surrounding areas are buzzing with excitement as people wait expectantly for them to emerge like a black cloud from their daytime nesting spots in the bridge. This is an incredible sight and something you should make sure you schedule in during your visit.
Two-Step to the Best Honky Tonk Music in Texas. If you’re in the mood for some real traditional country music, stop by the Broken Spoke. A truly iconic country music location which has been hosting live events and dance nights since Bob Willis and the Texas Playboys were touring the circuit, this friendly and vibrant joint is THE place to go for a taste of some good ol’ fashioned country music and two steppin'.
Where To Go
Kick Back and Relax in the Year Round 70 Degree Barton Springs. Barton Springs is another iconic Austin location which is a must for anyone in need of rest and relaxation. Fed by natural underground springs, the three acre pool maintains a perfect year round temperature of 68 - 70 degrees, which is ideal for cooling off in the summer months or for some adventurous outdoor winter swimming. The pool and surrounding protected wildlife habitat is a hive of activity almost every day of the year, attracting a diverse crowd of visitors from all walks of life.
Watch Your Favorite Movie Like Never Before at the Alamo Drafthouse. All movie fans simply must take a trip to the Alamo Drafthouse, a movie theatre which has been dubbed as the best in the world by film icons such as Quentin Tarentino, Elijah Wood, and Richard Linklater, as well as almost every Austinite. Serving food and beer during the film, hosting epic marathons of film series such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and dropping revivals of cult classics into the film scheduling, its a one of a kind cinematic experience.
Satisfy Your Nostalgic Yearnings at the Antique Emporium of Uncommon Objects. One of Austins more unusual attractions is the quirky and totally unique antique emporium of Uncommon Objects. It’s reminiscent of a museum of historic American culture, except all of the items are for sale, and the inventory is constantly being updated by its 24 antique sellers. Browse through this incredible collection of cultural antiques and grab a one of a kind memento of your visit.
Take an Electric Powered Live Music Capitol of the World Bike Tour. Let a musician tell you what makes Austin the live music capitol of the world as you explore the city from a totally different perspective - electric style. The tour is guided by a working Austin musician, and includes a private after ride acoustic performance on the shores of Lady Bird Lake with a champagne or beer toast. All tours begin at the Rocket Electric shop located on East Riverside Drive just a mile southeast of Downtown Austin.
Where To Eat
Eat at Least One Meal a Day from Austin’s Experimental Trailer Eateries. For a true taste of fine dining - Austin style - make sure you make your way to one of the trendy trailer eateries which can be found scattered around the city and taste some of the unique culinary delights on offer. From cupcakes and donuts to salad wraps and smoothies, you can tickle your taste buds at any time of day. One of our favorites has to be the East Side King which is a colorful and free spirited airstream trailer run by Top Chef season 9 winner Paul Qui. If you do swing by East Side King make sure you try the beet home fries!
Are you planning a trip to Austin anytime soon? Let us know what's on your must do list in the comments below...