Destination Guide: Austin

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Earlier this fall, I had an opportunity to visit Austin, Texas when my parent company decided to host our annual conference in the city. I was eager to check out the capital of Texas, not only for its awesome food, but the culture and atmosphere as well. Austin did not disappoint, and I need to go back since I did not have enough time to explore all the neighborhoods I wanted to!

Things to Do:

Art Installation on the bike path along Lady Bird Lake

Art Installation on the bike path along Lady Bird Lake

  • See the Bats off of Congress Avenue Bridge – Alas for us, this did not work out since there was a party boat who had its lights on the entire time. If you are lucky, go to the Congress Avenue bridge around dusk to see hundreds of bats fly out from underneath the bridge into the night. The best time to view them is between March-November between 7:30-8:30 PM

  • Explore South Congress Avenue – There are lot of neighborhoods in Austin and the only one I had time to explore was South Congress. There are tiny boutiques, places to grab drinks and food and a few boutique hotels in this area of Austin. It is an awesome place to spend an afternoon! Some of the highlights included exploring vintage items at Monkey See, Monkey Do, grabbing some ice cream at Amy’s Ice Cream and having drinks on the patio of San Jose Hotel.

  • Kayak Lady Bird Lake – There are a few companies that operate down on Lady Bird Lake, really a reservoir on the Colorado River. Our conference was at the Hilton downtown, so we walked towards the water and stumbled upon a boathouse that rented paddle boards and kayaks by the hour.

  • Visit the Capital – Take Congress all the way to 11th and you will stumble upon the Texas State Capital. If it’s too hot to walk, Austin has plenty of options, including rentable scooters and their own rideshare called Ride Austin (seriously, download it. A portion of the cost of your ride goes to local shelters)

Places to Eat:

Iron Works BBQ

Iron Works BBQ

  • Guero’s – Some of the best Mexican I have ever had! This is on South Congress and gets busy, so get there early!

  • Iron Works BBQ – Since this was right by our hotel, as well as the convention center, it seemed like a quick place to grab a bite. It had pretty good BBQ, if you are into it. Also, I was there on a Monday-Wednesday and didn’t have enough time to stand in line at Franklin BBQ, the most famous joint in town.

  • Modern Market Eatery – We ate here on our last day after needing a break from tacos and BBQ. The food was healthy, an appropriate portion and in a walkable area. Everything we needed at the time.

Places to Drink:

Firehouse Lounge

Firehouse Lounge

  • Firehouse Lounge – Located within an old firehouse hostel, you want to walk towards the bookcase and slide it. Ta-dah! You are now in the coolest lounge/hidden secret. Try the old fashioned – it’s great!

  • Bar Illegal – There’s a bunch of bars on Rainy Street and this is one we ended up at. Since there are so many different places to walk into, try out a few different ones to see what you like!

  • Easy Tiger – If you are looking for a chill spot to hang out, Easy Tiger is the place for you. Plenty of beer on tap and pastries upstairs.

This is just the start of all the places you could explore in Austin! If it’s not on your list of cities to visit, make sure to add it, ASAP!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Austin? Comment below!

Because Adventure Travel Feeds the Soul,
Amy K and the Hashtag 59 Team

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