Keepin' Austin Weird
Updated: May 5, 2022
Austin is one of the most unique cities I have ever been to. It's like a funkier, hotter Nashville. My boyfriend, Bill, and I took our trip to Texas in October to commemorate my 23rd birthday and our first time to the Austin City Limits music festival. It was a weekend filled with the best tex-mex, HOT temps (103°), and the weirdest—but coolest bars. Here's the run down:
You gotta get some breakfast tacos when you're in Austin, it's a must. This place has a lot of variety on their menu and just hit. the. spot.
Yes, this is the site of the iconic "I love you so much" mural (pictured to the right), but it also has REALLY great coffee. Try their signature Belgian Bomber or Iced Turbo.
South Congress Shops
We walked in and out of shops all along the strip of South Congress Ave and we had a blast. They have really cute boutiques and art shops, and don't forget to stop into Allen's Boots and try on some cowboy boots. ;)
Also along South Congress is Hotel San Jose. There is an outside bar/patio in this hotel and it is, for lack of a better word, vibey. There is a small pool you can lounge by if you wish, or just chill under the red umbrellas. Bill opted for a refreshing Aperol spritz, and I got a "spooky" marg, their October special (it was spicy). Totally recommend.
This was our favorite place in Austin, no questions asked. Bill and I think this is the best tex-mex that has ever graced our lips and that's saying a lot considering the amount of Tex Mex we eat. We went twice while we were only in Austin for like, 4 days. You HAVE to order the Bob Armstrong Dip and the Knockout Martini, you will not regret it.
Barton Springs is a huge, and I mean HUGE, public spring-fed pool. With a year-round temperature of 68°, it was exactly the relief we needed from the sweltering heat. We waited until the last day to go, and boy were we wishing we had gone every day. It only costs $5 to get in, there are lifeguards on duty, and it's so nice.
The Bats at Congress Ave Bridge
In the summer (and even in October), right around the time the sun goes down, huuuuge colonies of bats can be seen flying east along the Colorado River. Be patient, they will fly out eventually and it is truly a sight to see.
An important thing to note is that a lot of Austin's bars and nightlife are outdoors. They have built-in water misters, everyone is sweating buckets, and everyone has tequila or lone star running through their veins. I loved it. I know you will too.
This bar was super cool, we went inside to try to escape the heat but haha! jokes on us! There was no AC! But we did stumble upon a cool grunge-cowboy band and it was a really good time.
Easy Tiger has a really dope outdoor beer-garden space. There were outdoor games like ping pong and corn hole and a creek that runs right through the dang thing! This was a great place to have some beers with friends and just chill.
Funny story: our friends who were showing us around Austin said "we're gonna take you to a rooftop bar," and we were like "okay cool!" Turns out it was a two-story high building so the rooftop was a little shorter than what we're used to in Chicago, but we appreciated the effort nonetheless. P.S. There's a see-saw there.
Floppy Disc Repair Co.
This is a secret speakeasy that is otherwise unmarked and looks like a floppy disc repair shop on the outside. On the inside, though, there are swings and really unique cocktails. It's so secret, that Bill got yelled at for using his disposable camera. So worth it. Your hair smells pretty ;)