Live music, endless street art, southern comfort, and food that is so unbelievably good you can’t come to Austin, Texas without expecting to put on a few pounds. This past weekend I had the luxury of visiting this lively city with my older sister, who attends the University of Texas at Austin. After only hearing good things about Austin my expectations were high, but I didn’t know what to expect. So many things to see and do there wasn’t nearly enough time to finish it all in 48 hours. That’s why I can’t wait to come back in the fall for the Austin City Limits music festival. Here’s my review and overall experience of Austin, Texas and I hope this guide is helpful to the next adventure seeking vacationers.
For the past three years Austin has reached summer temperatures of over 100 degrees for two or three consecutive months, and the weather was headed in that direction. So packing during the warm (and humid) months, pack light and airy clothes. At night it doesn’t get lower than 85, I didn’t bother bringing a sweater.
In the morning we ate at a restaurant called Blue Dahlia, the scene was adorable and the french cafe was a great spot to kick off the weekend. The restaurant is known for their open faced sandwiches. Outdoor seating is available in the front and back, request the front for people watching! Across the street was the famous BBQ joint called Franklins. To eat at this restaurant you need to wait in line for at least a couple hours; we passed by and the line was around 100 people long. The food typically runs out at 12 o’clock, and then the restaurant closes for the day. Most people end up having bbq for breakfast, but nothing wrong with that! We wandered around 2nd street, a lively place for shopping boutiques and more great restaurants are located there. Along Second is the river that goes through Austin, and it really makes the whole city so refreshing. We walked across the bridge and over to South Congress for the famous Gourdough’s Doughnut truck. Look at my picture and zoom in to read the menu (it’s insane) any topping you want on a sweet, warm, doughy doughnut. Mouth watering…The best part about Austin is that everywhere you go, you can’t go without passing all these killer food trucks. Empty parking lots are filled with options and each truck is so unique and so good. Plus they have their own addresses on google maps which makes it really easy to access the ones you want.
On our way home we stopped at the worlds largest and first Whole Foods. I skipped into the store like a four year old because I was so excited. For anyone visiting Austin you can’t leave without coming here, even if you don’t buy anything you leave the store stuffed because of all the free samples. I left with a pressed juice because whenever I drink those I’m convinced it’s a workout in a bottle (I didn’t go to the gym that day…..) That night we went downtown to 6th street, thousands of people fill the streets and live music is at every corner. We indulged in the famous post-party snack, Roppolo’s Pizzeria (greasy goodness.) Late that night my sister still reminded me I hadn’t tried the Texas fad, Queso. Indulging our bodies once again, we ordered this delicacy. I could make an entire blog post just on this damn food. We Californians love guacamole and salsa with our tortilla chips, but that really needs to change. Queso is melted cheese filled with Spanish spices and guacamole in the bottom of the bowl. Each bite leaves your body with a happy sensation. I can’t explain to you guys how good this treat is and I hope everyone is lucky enough to try this one day.
Sunday- I was so excited to get myself a Texas burger at the hotspot, Hopdoddys. Three hours before my flight, the line was a two hour wait…. I didn’t get my Hopdoddys. But, I’m a sucker for sushi, and across the street was a super cool Japanese kitchen, Funky Robot. The interior was just as good as the food, the walls were filled with murals and the furniture and decorations were so bright, some tables even had swings as their seating!
Each time we went to a new spot for food walking around the area was always so intriguing. Street art in Austin is huge and every plain building is transformed into funky works of art, decorated with some sort of colorful mural or message. Of course my sister and I took a picture in front of the famous Instagram hot spot “I love you so much”… yes, I Insta’d the photo. Sadly, it was time to leave this crazy city, 48 hours is not enough time to see everything. Overall Austin is such a sensational town; the music, the food, the smells, and the heat! If you end up visiting you must keep your expectations high and open minded because they will be fulfilled in every way. I love you so much, Austin! -Olivia Vigo