What to do in Austin, Texas
Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Giving tips to a couple of colleagues of mine, I wrote down this brief list of a few things to do in Austin, as I enjoyed them on my TexLou Road Trip. Later, the journey led me to San Antonio, Lake Travis and eventually New Orleans. When I’ll have time I’ll write down everything (I know, I’m saying so to myself since last September), but this is a first list of places and activities smelling like juicy BBQ and tasting like soft guacamole! Enjoy! (I’m jealous of my colleagues there now!)
Invest in taxi rides, otherwise, you won’t enjoy Austin at all. It’s the USA: no car no life. Spaces are wide, so always check where things are before moving, as they can be very far away.
I was impressed by people’s hospitality and sincere positive attitude, green areas, very good food, vibrant atmosphere… and the heat. It was September and it was hard to walk around, as it was soooo warm.
Despite the heat, always carry something to cover your shoulders: the air conditioning is unreasonable indoors.
It’s a park where you can have a swim in the Colorado River. It is lovely, well equipped, kept and very safe. If it’s already warm you can go for a dip!
They say it’s haunted! You can just go and see it from the outside maybe… I think we did so.
We went there for the suggestion of some locals and it was such a great tip… BEST-BBQ-EVER. If you tell them it’s your first time at Rudy’s, they will give you a special… treatment! ;) Try the slow-cooked sweet corn. They don’t use plates, just pieces of paper, but the meat is so good you don’t miss civilisation! You need a car or taxi to get there from downtown.
SOCO - SOUTH CONGRESS
Good for shopping and hamburgers. And besides the shops, there is a little crafting market.
HENRY RANSOM CENTER
A very small free museum in the city. It’s a candy: I loved it, as it has really few things, but all of them were so interesting. Their collection has the very first picture in the world (!), a very rare copy of the Gutenberg Bible, and a painting from Frida Kahlo. There was also an exhibition from photographer Elliot Erwitt I loved. A very short visit, but definitely interesting.
(People are not allowed to take pictures in the museum. Indeed.)
Very cool, it’s an abandoned area all covered by graffiti. Very colourful and nice, absolutely safe. You can see the skyline and the whole city from the top. Go in a taxi because there is nothing in the area.
Tex Mex food, a very cool atmosphere, live music, free dancing. Delicious and very funny.
LITTLE LONGHORN SALON
Definitely a place for locals, go just for drinking (they don’t serve food) and listening to Texan music. They told us they do a weekly live show where people bet about which nest a hen will lay her egg on.
Street food. My husband went there while I was working and he told me he was amazed. He took something like fried avocado and he said it was one of the most delicious things he had ever had. The name of the truck or the food could be The Mighty Cone, not sure.
HAMILTON POOL PRESERVE
One hour driving from Austin, but definitely worthing: it’s a natural pool caved in a rock, magnificent. They work to preserve it as natural as possible: so you won’t even find a trash bin, only 100 people at a time are allowed and you need to book (and pay) online. There is a waterfall and anyone can go behind it and under the water spurt! Around the pool site, there is a little preserve you can go hiking. A river, trees, nature and a perfect silence everywhere.
In the Lake Travis area, so not really far from Hamilton Pool, it could be your perfect dinner and drinks after an afternoon at the preserve. It’s Tex Mex kitchen, and the restaurant climbs up the cliff overlooking Lake Travis. If you can make it for sunset it will be lovely.
I’ll salute you with two very self-explanatory Texan mottos from my fridge door: