How many of you think of Austin and immediately think… “weird”. The phrase, “Keep Austin Weird” is engrained in people’s minds its oftentimes the first thing that pops up when you think of this liberal, lively, and funky South Texas town. Luckily, not only is Austin “weird” but it’s also an incredible city! Spending a weekend in Austin will surely allow you to get a taste of what makes Austin so unique, and I hope that it only encourages you to come back for a second time. To spend more than 48 hours in Austin.
A Weekend in Austin – Logistics
Where to Stay
I moved to Austin as a travel nurse, where I spent 8-weeks exploring the ins and outs of the city along with the surrounding regions. While I didn’t even cover half of what Austin offers in 8-weeks, a quick weekend in Austin, TX will give you a taste of what the city offers. The best area to stay in Austin for a weekend would be near South Congress Street or downtown Austin. Both of these areas are in the heart of Austin and have many restaurants and bars that are within walking distance.
I’ve previously stayed at South Congress Hotel and would highly recommend it.
While there are walkable areas in Austin, overall, Austin isn’t an easily walkable city. Especially if you’re craving to see the different pockets and neighborhoods of town, then you’ll need a car. While I don’t think it’s necessary to rent a car for an Austin weekend getaway, you will need to utilize a rideshare platform. Both Uber and Lyft are used widely throughout Austin and easily accessible. Another option for getting around Austin is via Limebike. Make sure to download the Limebike app ahead of time for easy access to the bikes scattered throughout the city.
Austin Weekend Itinerary
On your first day in beautiful Austin, Texas, opt outside to see the city by water. Head down to Lady Bird Lake, an Austin staple giving you views of the tall skyscrapers downtown and other parts of Austin. At Lady Bird Lake you can rent paddleboards, canoes, and/or kayaks from the Rowing Dock, which opens as early as 9 am.
Once you’ve seen Austin from the water and have worked up an appetite, head to Biscuits and Groovy, a food truck located in Hyde Park (and one in Barton Springs), serving their spin on a quintessential American dish… biscuits and gravy.
Once you’re done with breakfast, head towards South Congress Street. Here you’ll find the Austin staple of the iconic Austin Motel, along with the “I love you so much” wall at Jo’s Coffee. Aside from some of the classic Austin staples, along South Congress Street you can pop into many different boutique shops and pop in for lunch at Perla’s.
On your first night out in Austin, dine at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, a Texas, Japanese fusion restaurant with quaint wall decor and a funky spin on serving food and drinks. If you’re up to continue the Austin fun, head out to Rainey Street where the houses are transformed into bars and there is no shortage of food trucks. (I prefer Bungalow on Rainey Street).
On your second day in Austin, begin with brunch at Josephine House, doors open at 10 am. Next, depending on what you’re in the mood for there are different things to do in Austin, and different ways to spend your day. Option one would be to visit nearby Magnolia Market (closed on Sunday), run by Chip and Joanna Gaines. If you opt for Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas make sure to read this blog post so you know what to expect upon arriving.
A second option would be to visit the nearby vineyards in Fredericksburg, Texas. If you’re looking for a day out in the sun drinking Texas wine, then Fredericksburg would be the way to go. For options on private drivers and which wineries to visit in Fredericksburg, make sure to read this post.
The third option for your weekend in Austin itinerary is to stay in Austin and escape the Texas heat by floating down the river. There are many options for floating the river, but I recommend the San Marcos River. You can rent tubes from Texas State Tubes, and off you go!
Once you’re back in the heart of Austin and ready to go out for your last night, stop at Eberly for cocktails before heading on to dinner. Plop down on one of the plush couches and sit back to enjoy your cocktail and appetizers in a gorgeous, relaxed setting. Once you’re finished head to Uchi – voted one of the best sushi restaurants in the USA. To ensure you get seated, make sure to make reservations ahead of time.
If you’re in the mood for going out, opt to go back to Rainey Street or try your hand on Dirty 6th Street.
As you can see, there are many ways to spend a weekend in Austin. With all of the different and unique things to do in Austin, you could come back many times and have a completely different experience! That is something that I love about the city and hope that you will too.
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