It’s finally hit Andrew and I that we only have about a year and a half left to explore Texas before we are relocated somewhere else. With that being said, my Texas Bucket list is finally becoming a priority of ours! We have this little tradition that we spend our Thanksgiving exploring a new city each year and this year we chose Austin. We ate some incredible food, saw the best street art, and listen to some Austin legends. Austin is weird and I hope it always stays that way. I’m finally sharing with you guys our weekend guide and all of the awesome things we got to enjoy!
Andrew and I have become addicted to breakfast tacos ever since we moved to Texas. We just googled “best tacos in Austin” and stumbled upon Granny Tacos! It’s a husband and wife-owned truck and it’s seriously sooo good!
The chilaquiles taco with red, green or mole sauce seems to be the thing, but it’s impressive that it worked broccoli into a breakfast taco. If you are in Austin or live in Austin and you don't go here you are a complete fool. The broccoli, egg, and cheese breakfast taco was surprisingly good, as was the chorizo egg and cheese. Handmade flour tortillas are delicious!
Austin Detours- The Real Austin Tour
As I was planning our trip to Austin, I stumbled upon Austin Detours. I reached out to them about collaborating with me and they accepted my offer! Regardless, I would have paid to take this tour. It’s literally the “bucket list tour” of the city! Your guides take you to all the major landmarks, lesser-known gems that only a local would know about, real neighborhoods, and of course, the food trucks!
This is definitely not a typical “van tour.” Of course, along the way, they will chat about music, food, art, parks, famous people, and so much more! They make sure you actually experience Austin, not just see it through a window. Make new memories and laugh a tan as they show you how they “Keep Austin Weird.”
The Austin Detours, The Real Austin Tour, took us to the capital building! Our tour guide knew so much about the history of the building and those who made history working in the Capitol.
I must say, if weren’t on the tour, we probably would have spent hours being lost inside the Capitol. It is huge! Our Austin Detours guide pointed out all of the iconic things about the capitol building and even took us down the lower level. The Capitol building overall is quite an adventure itself!
Hope Outdoor Gallery
While on our Austin Detour’s tour, we stopped at Hope Outdoor Gallery for a bit to explore. It was a really cool place and we are so glad we stopped to check it out! It's free to explore and you should bring spray paint with you if you want to add your mark!
You probably won't see the same artwork of the pictures I posted because it constantly changes. Our tour told of this history of the gallery and how it is actually being moved… so if you want to see it, you better head to Austin now!
Greetings From Austin Street Art
Austin has tons of street art!
Austin is apparently the BBQ Capitol of Texas… I don’t know if that is true or not but regardless, the BBQ options in Austin are endless! Our tour guide from Austin Detours suggested we try Black’s BBQ for real Austin style BBQ. We got there right around 11 and stood in line for about an hour. Out of all the barbeque we’ve eaten throughout the state of Texas, this was definitely in my top 5! There is indoor and outdoor seating. Andrew and I both got the beef brisket and it literally melted in our mouths! The mac & cheese was legit too! It was worth every minute standing in line.
Kayak Lady Bird Lake
Andrew and I wanted to be outside as much as possible because the weather was absolutely incredible. We saw people kayaking Lady Bird Lake and we decided to join them! It was $30 bucks for both of us to share a kayak for 3 hours.
You seriously cannot beat that price! You can also Standup Paddleboard too! It was so nice to relax on the lake and grab some really awesome photos of Austin’s skyline!
Rainey Street Outdoor Food Trucks
Austin is full of food trucks. Andrew and I have never seen so many food trucks in our entire life! Of course, just like everyone else, we love a good food truck. We noticed this “yard” full of food trucks on Rainey Street and decided to try them out! I tried “Big Fat Greek Gyros” and Andrew tried a Thai style food truck. Both were delicious! I must say that I wish I got the Thai food truck but my Greek salad was still really good. Enjoying food trucks is a must while visiting Austin!
Check out Rainey Street
Rainey Street is hands down the coolest street I’ve ever been to. It’s a typical suburban street except all the bungalow style houses has been turned into hip bars! All the bars have a nice outdoor area with garden games, live music, and plenty of seating areas. You definitely get that feeling of a backyard party at some of the bars on Rainey Street! The street is vibrant with cool and different themed pubs. If you don’t get to Rainey Street while in Austin, then you never really went to Austin!
Andrew and I love coffee and since we moved to Texas, breakfast tacos are now kind of our “thing” Our tour guide from Austin Detours actually recommended Jo’s Coffee! Apparently, the "I love you so much” mural was created after the two business partners had a fight. One of the partners graffitis the wall on her own restaurant to remind her partner how much she loves him – even more than the business.
Whether that’s true or not, I’m a sucker for romance so we made a stop for breakfast! Our breakfast tacos were good – nothing special and the coffee was good too! It’s just a fun place with outdoor seating for prime people watching!
Stroll through Zilker Botanical Garden
Perhaps it was just the time of the year but there weren’t many flowers in November. I mean if we are being honest here, Texas, in general, doesn’t have the best Botanical Gardens so my hopes were that high. Regardless, it was a serene walk with some weather. We did see some pretty butterflies in the butterfly garden too!
Aside from the adorable little trails through the different gardens, they had several old log cabins(a schoolhouse, residence and a blacksmith shop) a new Prehistoric Garden and an herb garden! If the weather is in your favor, I would totally add this to your list!
Lady Bird Lake Bike Trail
Since it was such a nice day out, we couldn’t resist renting bikes to enjoy the path around Lady Bird Lake. We just rented public bikes near the Zilker Botanical Gardens because it was so convenient! Pricing wasn’t bad either and the bikes were in really good condition.
Lady Bird Lake is one of my favorite things about Austin and with the path leading us right to the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, we got the best view of the lake and the skyline of the city! This is just another great perk to Austin’s already perky city.
Lunch at Homeslice
Home Slice Pizza is hands down the best pizza I have ever eat in my entire life. I’ve eaten pizza all throughout the United States but nothing compares to this independent pizza joint! While on our Austin Detours- The Real Austin Tour guide suggested this place for the best authentic NY-style pizza in Austin and we are so glad that we stopped by! It was so good that we not only went Saturday for lunch but again right before closing on Saturday. Yep, it was that good!
Browse through the shops at South Congress
South Congress Avenue still has a taste of that old Austin "weirdness" that we all love! Most locals refer it this area as “SoCo”. It’s full of electric shops and restaurants worth your attention! There are many art and curio shops as well as original artwork from painting to sculpture to ceramics as well. Of course, there are some awesome murals around here too! My favorite one was of Willie Nelson. This is just a funky fun party of Austin and we truly loved it!
Thrift Shop at GW Boutique
For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I love a good thrift store! I’ve never been in a Goodwill that had so many name brand clothes and items in my entire life! Andrew and I love browsing thrift stores and antique shops especially when we are in a new city! If you have time, definitely check some out for yourself!
Happy hour at June’s All Day
Our tour guide from Austin Detours told us about the happy hour at Junes All Day so we couldn’t resist to stop in! Every day from 4-6 the entire menu is half off! Yes, the ENTIRE menu! Andrew and I enjoyed some great local beers and the fried baby eggplant appetizer! I ordered the Grilled Chick Paillard and Andrew tried June’s Charbroiled Burger… both were incredible! If we are ever back in Austin, we will back at June’s. I really loved the French atmosphere but definitely, make reservations! Andrew and I lucked out but our seating wasn’t the best!
Austin Detours – Austin Live Music Crawl
I had the amazing honor to collaborate with Austin Detours Live Music Crawl and I tell you enough how great it truly was! It’s a 3-hour tour led by a guide who is a local musician. That’s right, our guide is a local musician! Therefore he took us to three iconic clubs and knew about the musicians playing. He was able to tell us the history of each artist and even the history of the venue!
Expect to visit two or three venues to hear live music and learn about the city of Austin. Your guide shares tips on some of the best places among the 270 live music venues in the city. You'll also hear stories about the city's history and notable characters who have lived there over the years.
Watch the sunrise at Covert Park at Mount Bonnell
We decided to wake up early and watch the sunrise from the peak of Mount Bonnell. It was totally worth it! Although it’s facing away from downtown, the scenery is great and untouched. The trail is short but steep with lots of rock type steps!
There really isn’t much to do other than enjoying the view and in our case, watching the sunrise but it’s still nice to go and check out while you’re in Austin!
Coffee at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
After waking up so early to watch the sunset, coffee was top on my list! Mozart’s isn’t far from Covert Park so we stopped in for coffee and a quick bite to eat. The coffee shop is super cute and located right on the river. They have indoor and outdoor seating and the vibe was nice. The coffee was really good but the food was average especially for the price. I feel like the view and coffee itself is worth your money!
Pennybacker Bridge Overlook
A must admit if it wasn’t for my Texas-raised friend, Lauren, I would have never known about this little hidden gem! It was a steep but super short hike with an incredible view and so much peace. The view isn’t extreme but it’s relaxing and so peaceful. The trail isn't marked but if you put the bridge in your GPS, you’ll see where cars are parked and the little-hidden trail. I bet it would be so pretty at sunset!
Have you been to Austin? What was your favorite thing to do?!