Spring is on its way. That means the weather will be getting warmer, the sun will be getting hotter and it’s time to step out of the office, put down the emails, and have some fun.
However, to have an enjoyable vacation this spring, you don’t have to go extreme. Blow-out trips to Long Beach or Miami just don’t hold the allure that they used to. Nor the affordability. Not to mention you can rarely get a full week off anymore.
A “staycation” right here in Austin is the perfect compromise. You get to celebrate and blow off some steam without blowing out the bank. Austin has some great sights and experiences, right at your fingertips.
Just because you live locally, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat your ‘staycation’ like any other trip. Get out of the house and into vacation mode by checking out some affordable hotels downtown or get out of your comfort zone and stay in an area you aren’t as familiar with.
Where to Stay
If you live inside of the main city, you should see what’s happening over in South Lamar or South Congress or get more central and find a spot near the university. There are plenty of hotels like the Key to Austin Bed and Breakfast, the Hotel San Jose or Brava House Bed and Breakfast that boast a quick walk (or scooter) to local restaurants and bars.
Or if comfort and space are more your speed, try your luck on Airbnb, you might be able to snag an entire home or apartment. The possibilities are nearly endless and wherever you decide to stay, you won’t be far from the action.
Where to Eat
Let’s be honest, food is one of the most important parts of any vacation; we eat three times a day! If you are local to the area you probably have a few favorite spots or pricier spots reserved for special occasions, now is your chance to be bold and finally visit those places you’ve been eyeballing or discover somewhere that’s been under your radar.
If you’ve been working up an appetite for an upscale experience look no further than Lenoir, a small but mighty foodie’s paradise that specializes in what they call ‘hot weather food’. With the option of a four course menu, your party may be wise to make a reservation or go more casual with a trip to their wine garden. For an updated twist on classic foods there is Launderette, an award winning eatery which offers everything wood-grilled delicacies to an ornate avocado toast.
Taking a departure from American fare, let your taste-buds explore high-end mexican food found at Contigo’s unique Fareground Food Hall location-a hub that offers six restaurants to choose from. Or go European with artsy French cuisine at Justine’s Brasserie, where ambiance, flavor, and culture find perfect harmony.
Casual diners that still seek quality should visit Hopfields, where upgraded pub-fare takes the stage. With mismatched chairs and wooden bench tables, the comfortable atmosphere is the perfect accompaniment to craft beer and award-winning dishes. Want extreme casual? Grab a quick bite at Dee Dee, an Austin based food truck serving up authentic Thai street food that doesn’t sacrifice excellence. Another fun spot is Vigilante Gastropub & Games, a unique experience where you can eat and play all at the touch of a button.
What to Do
The Crazy Street Art
It’s pretty well known that you can find awesome street art all over Austin. You’ve probably seen some of it already. However, there are a few gems hidden all across the city that are just breathtaking. These installations are a great place to start if you’re planning to get to know the city better. Check out places like Frank’s public art project (4th & Colorado) that lends a wall to a new artist every month, with only 48 hours to create their masterpiece.
Tau Ceti psychedelic installation is the tallest art piece in Austin. It stretches 103 feet straight up the side of a 10 story parking garage at Brazos and Second. Once you see it, you won’t be able to look away. The Art of Beeing is another funky art piece that is definitely worth checking out.
Beards, flannel shirts, and craft beer fit right in at places like Urban Ax. The feeling of winding up, letting your ax fly, and hearing that satisfying thud as the blade sinks into hardwood is one you won’t want to miss. This BYOB venue is the closest you can get to feeling like a Viking without buying a time machine.
Austin Craft Breweries
Austin is a well-known bar city, with its famed Sixth Street shenanigans. But, much like ax-throwing ventures, micro-breweries have been exploding across the country, and Austin is no exception. So if kicking back with a beer is more your speed, the city has some of the most vibrant breweriesjust waiting for you to come find them.
If you want to dive even deeper into the world of beer, you can try a brewery tour. These tours, like the Austin Brewery Tour and BBQ Adventure, take you around to some of the best breweries in town and give you an experience to remember.