Monday, July 23, 2018

Your Travel Guide to Austin, Texas

Welcome to your travel guide for navigating the city of Austin, Texas from… a TOURIST. After visiting Austin for work and receiving so many wonderful recommendations I wanted to share them with y’all. The purpose of this guide is to give you quick tips about places to visit that include shopping and eating (which I did a lot of) when you only have 3 days.

Shop the post:



 (center at The Domain) 

(restaurant at The Domain) 


(more foord trucks on Rainey Street)

 (the food was delicious!)

(after dinner drinks on Rainey Street)

(the only picture I got from 4th Street)

What to know: 
General facts.
Austin is huge. It covers over 2,000 miles and has more bars per capita than any other state. Due to the location of our work conference we stayed 10 miles outside of “downtown Austin,” while 10 miles may not seem far, the hotel shuttles won’t bring you there and it usually is a $20/cab/uber/lift ride. Austin is home to the Kendra Scott headquarters. Now having been to Austin, I would recommend either staying “downtown” by Rainey or Congress Streets or renting a car. While we discovered the public bus, the routes take approximately an hour/10 miles and are not user-friendly to navigate.  Texas heat is legitimately a thing. I naively suggested that walking 0.6 miles in the afternoon wouldn’t be bad. Let’s just say I was wrong. 

Where to go & what to do: 
The Domain. 
This is a newer outdoor shopping mall that also offers a variety of indoor, outdoor, or open-air restaurants. Some of the favorite shops were the Amazon bookstore (prime members you get to shop the online sale price in the store), the Diptyque store, and Free People. We didn’t get to make it to the Erin Condren store (which is supposedly HUGE) but it is on my list for my next visit. Honestly, I think The Domain was my favorite place we visited. We didn’t have nearly enough time there to explore. 

4th Street. 
I can’t believe more people didn’t recommend 4th street to us! We stumbled upon fourth because it’s where the bus dropped us off and we LOVED it. There were so many chic places to eat, we struggled to make a decision and pick just one place. We eventually settled on a food and wine bar, which offered flights of wine! I had never experienced a flight for wine before and thought this was a super fun way to sample a more expensive wine I wouldn’t typically treat myself too (If you are wondering, the flight is equivalent to one glass of wine). The streets were lined with trees decorated with soft white (Christmas) lights. Plus, almost every street corner featured a hip rooftop bar illuminated with lights, of course. The lights totally made the aesthetics and 4th street a great place to visit. 

Rainey Street.
This street came HIGHLY recommended by many friends and followers prior to my trip and I’m so glad we made it a priority. I recommend heading to this street as a final destination since many of the food trucks open around 7/8pm, some don’t even open until 10 pm! This street totally gave me all the Texas feels. It was lined with creative and posh food trucks and numerous places to grab a drink and listen to live music. 

South Congress.
Another street filled with shops and restaurants! We didn't have nearly enough time to explore South Congress properly. This is a must-see for tourists and a popular place amongst the locals. It gives all the Texas feels.

Where we stayed:
The Arboretum.
This is a fairly new development that offers a variety of fabulous restaurants and ‘chain’ stores. It appears to be ever-growing. However; while I was able to walk to Starbucks every morning comfortably, it was the least “Texas authentic” experience of the trip. 

Where we didn’t go: 
Bat Bridge. 
In South Congress, there is a huge bridge that attracts hundreds of bats that all depart together at various times during the day. You can view the scene from various parts in South Congress. Apparently, you can even take a boat ride under the bridge while all the bats are departing. Sounds a bit intimidating to me! Truthfully, we probably would have gone to visit this site, since it is such an Austin staple, but ultimately, we ran out of time, and this sight was not a priority for us. I much prefer shopping and eating.

6th Street. 
After asking many locals for recommendations about where to go downtown, we were informed to avoid 6th street by some, while others highly recommended it! The 6th street has officially earned itself the reputation of being a party street. The city even closes down the street to traffic at night to accommodate the large masses of people who visit it! 6th street is totally an Austin staple and within walking distance from the bus stop on 4th. With that being said, while I’m sure it’s lovely, the 6th street didn’t sound like a scene meant for a work trip. 
           
Overall, I truly enjoyed my time in Austin, Texas and cannot wait to visit again.



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