I’ve never been a fan of the whole Keep Austin Weird motto. Austin is just too, well, awesome, to be reduced to the word weird. Clearly this adjective is being used in the best way possible, I just don’t personally care for it. To each her own, I suppose.
So why is Austin just so awesome? Where to start? It’s eclectic and hip without trying too hard, its residents are welcoming while bold, and well it’s (in my opinion, of course) the cool kid of Texas (not that I don’t thoroughly enjoy the cities of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, each in their own right–I do). Austin is just so distinct–in a state known for its vastness…big oil companies…big cars…big companies…big hair…big conservatives–Austin is its own little oasis of hippies, liberalism, art, and well, awesomeness, and it’s clear that it’s proud of its individuality and uniqueness.
We stayed at the charming and lovely Austin Inn at Pearl Street. The inn is located in the uptown district of Austin–a bit off of the beaten path–but still close to many points of interest. I should mention that we had a car, since we were traveling from Dallas, so being centrally located wasn’t a huge priority. We stayed in the Gothic Suite–so beautifully decorated with its warm and rich colors. Definitely recommend staying here.
Our Austin Favorites:
*Exploring South Congress Avenue: A variety of great boutiques, restaurants, and music venues dot this trendy street. Great for people-watching and spending a sunny afternoon.
Decisions. Decisions. Playing some serious dress-up at the ever-popular Allen Boots
I think it’s safe to say that we both regret not buying these gems. I mean, Beat It AND Thriller jackets?! How are these jackets not in my closet right now?! #shoppingfail
Sunday BBQ Gospel Brunch at Stubb’s: SO much fun! Fantastic music and great food (and a fair amount of options for pescatarians and vegetarians–for vegans, um not so much). If you’re in Austin on a Sunday, I highly recommend making a reservation in advance.
Continental Club: Called by some the “granddaddy” of live music venues, this historic club has featured musical acts for the past sixty years. It’s a great place to catch some live music. And in case you’ve been living under a rock, Austin is pretty much the place (kind of like Nashville) for live music. We loved the Continental Club but there are tons of other great venues around Austin, too.
We saw the Wagoneers perform at the Continental Club– a country music band who we learned were somewhat popular in the 80s. I must be easily impressed. Every time I watch a live performance of country music, I swear I love country music and can’t believe I don’t have more (read: any) country Spotify playlists or Pandora stations. Once I return home, I immediately forget about my brief obsession with country music (although after I returned from a trip to Nashville, I dare say I listened to country music for a good two weeks) only to dismiss it all together and return to my typical Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake playlists. Despite my on-again, off-again relationship with country music, I guess you could say I’m kind of a Wagoneers fan. Actually, who am I kidding? I am totally a fan.
Ok, that’s a lie. I don’t remember one song they sing. But still.
Uchi: We still talk about this incredible restaurant. In fact, T and I have a forever-growing list of our favorite meals/restaurants, and Uchi is very high on that list. Some of the best sushi we have ever eaten–we opted for the tasting menu and loved every last morsel. The food and sake were exceptional, the service was warm and attentive, and the ambience was relaxed, while sophisticated. Oh and the price! Our bill was so low (in comparison to other top restaurants we’ve dined at) that we called our server over asking him if he had made a mistake and forgot to charge us for some items. He laughed (probably at our naivety) and assured us that our bill was accurate. We were blown away, and of course, extremely pleased. Yes, we’re quintessential East coasters and clearly not used to Texas prices. So maybe not everything is bigger in Texas?!
Zilker Metropolitan Park: Very pretty city park–definitely worth spending some time meandering through its trails and enjoying its greenery and waterways.
Food Trucks: Food trucks everywhere = me a very happy person.
State Capitol: A beautiful building and very representative of Texas pride.
Planning Your Austin Awesomeness:
Where to Eat & Drink: