The husband and I had the grand pleasure of visiting Austin for 4 nights and 5 days so I could attend the Paleo f(X) conference, which I wrote about last week. We took three days off work — like legit, I didn’t even check my email once! You should be proud! — so we could have some unencumbered fun.
The buildings in this town totally took me by surprise. There was such a variety of styles! Some super modern, reminding me of Rotterdam, and others so old and traditional.
A building on the UT campus
View of the city from UT
The awesome front of UT main building
Some modern buildings
The gorgeous capitol
THe inside of the capitol
Even the hinges are fancy
An old theatre
We stayed in a really hip little neighborhood that featured a confusing mélange of housing styles — some old fashioned bungalows and cottages, some very run down, all mixed in amongst hyper modern geometric boxes. All of the following photos are of houses on the SAME STREET. Totally wacky and we love it!
What a beautiful city! In many ways, it reminded me of Nashville, with the hills and trees everywhere. But the park system here seems more advanced, and as a whole the city caters to healthy, outdoor living a lot more so than Nashville does. So many bike lanes and sidewalks and walking trails and outdoor play spaces. This seems like a place that encourages fitness and living in harmony with nature.
We walked over 35 miles over 5 days, which was not only great for our bodies and an awesome way to become intimate with a city, but was actually really easy to do in Austin (some places make it more difficult).
Giant agave plants!!!
They made it so easy to walk around, with lots of pedestrian bridges and walkways.
The beautiful river
Barton Springs pool
I search out street art wherever we go, and it wasn’t hard to find in Austin. I’m also a fan of murals, sculptures, and anything a city does to make itself unique and showcase the spirit of its people.
We ate our way through this city, from the moment we dropped stuff off at our AirBNB to sitting at the airport on our way out. We didn’t stop eating or drinking, and we were able to experience the wide variety of food and culture that Austin offers. Tacos, bbq, seafood, healthy food, it was all delicious.
Austin has a ton of, for lack of a better word, outdoor food courts. This is something I think Nashville could support but we just don’t have; it reminded us a lot of our time in Budapest. There was one right down the block from our AirBNB where I had the most amazing shrimp taco of my life. (We went back to the next day for another.)
We find that one of the best ways to get to know a city is by sitting at restaurant bars and always talking to the bartenders about their favorite spots. How do they spend their free time? Where do they like to eat? What made them move to this town? Conversations with Lyft drivers also reveal much about a city’s character. We learned that Austin is a friendly, healthy, artistic, vibrant city full of festivals and outdoor activities and a chill “you do you” vibe that attracts lots of outdoorsy, liberal, creative people.
Contemplating life at Backbeat
Drinking a Bee’s Knees, my new favorite cocktail, at Backbeat
Corn fritters at Loro (SO GOOD)
Brisket at Loro
We got to Loro early that day, like 4ish. When we left, THIS was the line. Go early if you can!!!
Delicious tacos and garlic fries at Mellizoz taco truck
Justin provides the password for us to enter the Milonga Room
Delicious cocktail at the Milonga Room
Look who I found!
One of the many awesome food courts
Cool vibe at Weather Up
Amazing homemade tortillas a Polvo’s
Justin had to get a late night slide of pizza at Home Slice
The inside vibe at Almocar
Oysters at Almocar
Enjoying one of the food courts
Loving all of this food and having a super relaxing time
Crudo at Mongers
The most amazing piece of fish with killer pesto at Mongers
Drinks at Elizabeth Street Cafe (try the macaroons too!)
Pool Burger, tiny and efficient
Had to have a mai tai at Pool Burger
Kombucha and Champagne at the San Jose Hotel
Below is a list of all of the establishments we visited during our 5 days in Austin (the ones with asterisks are those that Justin visited by himself while I was at the conference).
68 Degrees Kitchen
7th Flag Coffee
Elizabeth Street Cafe
The Malonga Room
Polvo’s Interior Mexican
San Jose Hotel
Still Austin Whiskey Company*
Terry Black’s BBQ*
Whole Foods (smoothie)
The blue spots, non-food related places we visited, include: the Blanton Museum of Art; the Texas Capitol; HOPE Outdoor graffiti gallery; Barton Springs; Zilker Park; the Palmer Events Center; the Greetings from Austin mural; BookPeople; 2nd st district; South Congress Books; and our AirBNB on Monroe St.
Have YOU been to Austin? Where did you stay? What did you eat? What did you do? Favorite spots? Favorite activities? Where would you skip and where will you return? What should we do next year when I return for Paleo fX?