When it comes to Austin there are endless activities to experience. From it’s eclectic live-music, lively nightlife, gorgeous parks and lakes. You can take a dip in Austin’s natural pool during the day and enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the city by night. Full of youth, energy and great food, there’s a reason why it has recently became one of the most popular destinations for millennials.
Here is my ultimate Austin travel guide on where to eat, drink, swim and stay!
Where to Stay
My husband actually decided where to stay and chose The Line Hotel. The Line Hotel is a trendy, fun, centrally located hotel in Austin.
What I loved about the hotel:
- The location! it’s walking distance to so many bars, restaurants and parks. My husband and I only ubered once our whole trip. We were able to walk, bike or scoot everywhere. We walked to the Congress Bridge (“Bat Bridge,” Google it), Rainey Street, Dirty 6th, The Capital, even South Congress (SOCO)!
- The modern decor and art from local artists.
- Heated, salt water pool with a view of the bridge over Colorado River.
- The multiple fireplaces to stay warm at night.
- The delicious Veracruz Tacos that you can order to the pool. Also, their yummy margaritas.
- The coffee shop (‘Alfred’) located right in the lobby.
- Free bike rentals with your stay!
- Free water in the lobby (it’s the little things)
There are honestly endless amounts of great restaurants in Austin, so you really can’t go wrong! Here are my personal recommendations from my visit:
- 🥗 The Well – For healthy food and aesthetic decor.
- 🥩 Terry Blacks BBQ – The best BBQ! There will be a line, but it goes fast.
- 🍔 Anthem – Unique Latin & Asian pub bites and great cocktails.
- 🌮 Upstairs at Caroline – Tacos and rooftop views.
- 🍹 Zanzibar – Small bites, great cocktails, amazing views.
- 🌮 Veracruz All Natural – Popular taco spot.
- 🥡 Wu Chow – Chinese. We didn’t have time to go, but we heard great things!
- 🍤 Eddie V’s Prime Seafood – Upscale seafood for a fancy date night.
Where to Shop
Located south of Lady Bird Lake is the very unique South Congress Ave (SOCO). Filled with tons of boutiques, eateries, galleries and music venues.
Here are just some of the stores we visited on South Congress:
- 📍Triple Z Threads
- 📍Tesoro Trading Company
- 📍Monkey See, Monkey Do
- 📍Kendra Scott (grab a Frosè while shopping)
- 📍Love Shack Fancy
I would suggest walking the whole strip and checking out every store. There are so many unique boutiques and shops. Grab a Frosè or a bite in between shopping.
If you know me, you can’t keep me away from water and sun bathing for too long. So we decided to check out Barton Springs Pool while in Austin. Barton Springs Pool is a recreational outdoor swimming pool that is filled entirely with water from nearby natural springs. Cool, right?
Things to know before visiting:
- Located in Zilker Park’s
- $9pp entry fee (purchase online)
- There are no chairs, just grassy areas to lounge on
- Bring your own towels
- No food or alcohol allowed, only non-alcoholic bottled drinks.
- The bottom of the pool is slippery so wear water shoes
- The pool measures three acres long and ranges from 0’ to 18′
- 68-70 degrees year round
- The pool is fed from underground springs, so it’s all natural!
- Hours (double check before you go): MON & THU 5am – 8am, TUE, WED, FRI, SAT, SUN 5am – 10pm
🤫 If you don’t want to pay to swim in the actual pool, you can enjoy the creek on the other side of the Barton Springs Dam. It’s the same water, just no grassy areas.
If you’re in Austin, Rooftop bars are a MUST! Here are some of my favs:
- 𝗣𝟲 offers brunch on the weekends and a great view of the Colorado River. It’s the perfect spot to grab a drink and watch the sunset! @thelinehotel
- 𝗭𝗮𝗻𝘇𝗶𝗯𝗮𝗿 will transport you to island vibes with lush, tropical decor and drinks served in fun cups! Take in the views of downtown while eating some fresh pineapple salsa. @zanzibaratx
- 𝗘𝗱𝗴𝗲 𝗥𝗼𝗼𝗳𝘁𝗼𝗽 head here if you’re looking for an elevated lounge. Take in views of Congress Ave and Lady Bird Lake while enjoying craft cocktails and tasty bites. @edgerooftop
- 𝗨𝗽𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝘁 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 has a more laidback and fun atmosphere with a pool table and cornhole. Make sure you order some delicious tacos and chips! @upstairsatcaroline
Where to Party
- Rainey Street – What’s unique about Rainey St. is the fact that the bars you see today were once homes that were converted! I really loved that about this street. Oh, and did I mention that there are food trucks for those late night cravings.
- 6th Street – If you want more of a live music, historic vibe, head over to 6th St! You’ll find that the street is closed off on the weekends so you can safely bar hop and mingle all the way down the block.