I recently returned from a fantastic 2+ week trip to Texas, where I visited my brother in Dallas, flew into Houston for a couple days, and ended the trip with a fabulous weekend in Austin. I met up with my friend Kylee, who I became friends and took many adventures with in Korea, and we made the absolute most of our 48 hours in Austin.
Kylee and I left Houston on a Saturday afternoon for the 2.5hr(ish) drive to Austin. We had a few place to stop en route, including Torchy’s Tacos, Buc-ee’s convenience store/rest stop, and a place to purchase legit kolaches. As it was Memorial Day Weekend in the US, we were surprised (and very thankful) that we didn’t hit ANY severe traffic leaving Houston or arriving in Austin.
We finally arrived in Austin around 4 pm and checked into our fabulous AirBnB. This place may not look like much on the outside, but it was spotless, quiet, and did not leave us very far from any of the places we wanted to visit. We had a great stay there and were impressed with the quality that came with such an affordable rate.
On to the itinerary. Kylee gave me total control over our itinerary, as it was my first time there and she could easily go back any time she wanted. I was excited, though a bit intimidated since there was so much to choose from. In addition, there was some pretty nasty weather in the area and we had to contend with holiday hours and closures.
All that being said, here’s what we accomplished during our weekend in Austin:
Immediately after dropping our gear off at the AirBnB, we headed to South Congress. This fantastic strip of shops and restaurants is a great place to spend a few hours and is a very popular spot with the locals and tourists alike. Definitely hit up the Big Top (an old fashioned candy store) and enjoy walking through their wide variety of shops.
Some personal recommendations for food – Torchy’s Tacos (my photo from the one in Houston), Amy’s Ice Cream (for a sweet treat) or Hopdoddy Burger Bar (my truffle and parmesan fries are shown below). Both Torchy’s and Hopdoddy are fantastic choices for a casual, yet filling meal!
On Sunday we had a pretty aggressive itinerary. We were trying to beat the heat AND the rain, so we set off early. First stop – breakfast at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ. This food truck/outdoor eating venue is the best place I ate at during my stay, and the cheapest. I ordered one potato, egg, and cheese breakfast taco that was topped off with brisket ($4). The taco, paired with their homemade bbq sauce, was not only filling but absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend paying Valentina’s a visit!
After eating our fill, we waddled on over (ok, we drove) to the Hope Outdoor Gallery. This graffiti park is definitely a must-visit if you appreciate street art. You can even pick up a can and do a little bit yourself. You can see all there is in about an hour, but make sure you wear comfortable, sturdy shoes.
By the time we finished at the Hope Outdoor Gallery, it was late morning and it was getting HOT! We headed over to the Austin Capital Building for a quick look (and some A/C), and then headed to the very first Whole Foods for a Vietnamese Coffee. We rounded out our busy busy day with a movie at the famous Alamo Draft House and a rockin’ ice cream at Amy’s.
I flew out of the Austin airport mid-morning on Monday. Before I left, Kylee went out and got us a breakfast donut (that is one, singular) from Round Rock Donuts – featured on Man vs. Food… hence needing only one. The donut was absolutely massive and fantastic!!
My weekend in Austin was absolutely jam-packed, but it was wonderful. The shops and street art were pretty great, but the food made me fall in love!
On my next trip…
Obviously, I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do in one weekend in Austin. But, spending the weekend in Austin has really wet my appetite for more. I’ve already made a mental checklist of what to look into next time – Cathedral of Junk (reservations required), Hamilton Pool Preserve, Barton Springs, Austin City Limits, and Franklin’s BBQ. Looks like I’ll need a bit more than a weekend next time I visit!
Have you been to Austin? What was your favorite activity or place to eat?