Let’s be real. You want a weekend with your girls without drama, dirty bars, and tacky tourist shops. Everyone’s on a budget, but no one wants to admit it. Maybe you all know each other, maybe you’re each representing a phase in the bride-to-be’s life and this is a first meeting. Either way, if you’re reading this that means someone put you in charge, and it’s your job to make the bachelorette party awesome.
If you have decided to have an Austin bachelorette party you are already on the fast track to an amazing weekend.
Some quick facts:
- Austin has 300 days of sunshine a year. Win.
- 100 new restaurants opened last year alone.
- Everyone is young, pretty, and ready to party. Or at least it can feel this way. 🙂
- 20 minutes to the lake, 45 minutes to the river, and 75 minutes to wine country.
- Plenty of ways to blow the bride away that don’t involve penis straws, a male striptease, or cheap liquor (unless that’s your thing, in which case we have that too)
Where to Stay:
Austin bachelorette party groups in Austin have two main options for lodging: vacation home (such as Airbnb or locally founded Homeaway) or hotel. It really depends on the vibe you’re going for and the neighborhood you want to be in. Here are a few of our favorites.
The pros of downtown lodging are many and obvious. Being walking distance to attractions such as Sixth Street, Rainey Street, and hot restaurants will save a lot on late-night transportation. You’ll be right in the middle of the action, making it easy for the group to split up if someone wants to go home early or forgot their jacket. Potential negatives include noise…it’s fun if you’re making it but not so much if you’re trying to catch some Zzz’s! It is also typically more expensive than other neighborhoods. Last, you’re more or less restricted to hotels with this option, although there are a few condos for rent.
We love: Hotel Van Zandt, The Westin
Hipster, a bit grungy, and filled with street art and lots of food trucks, East Austin has a funky vibe all its own. A favorite part of town for locals and those favoring a more low-key atmosphere, it is still a fun place to hang your hat for the weekend. East Sixth features bars like hipster honkytonk The White Horse and cocktail-king Whisler’s. Some of Austin’s most notable restaurants are also located in this part of town. Another pro is that this is the mecca for Airbnbs (much to the disgruntlement of the neighbors…make sure you show some respect when you come home late night!), there are lots of vacation rentals. Very few hotels. Downside is you’re away from the downtown action (if you consider that a downside) and it does feel a bit sketchy and deserted after dark, even if it’s really not and is plenty safe. Another downside is those neighbors. Being in a residential area means you’ve really got to keep a handle on the noise, because no one is shy about calling the cops on a noisy house…and we have seen groups evicted for rowdy behavior.
We love: Hotel Heywood
South of Lady Bird Lake and north of Oltorf Drive is the place to be in South Austin. The best options are within walking distance of funky South Congress Avenue’s shopping district or even some of South First’s unique hangouts. Upsides here are the full-on local Austin charm. This part of town exemplifies our Keep Austin Weird feels, and it’s peaceful, laid back attitude will make everyone a little happier. Several good restaurants and food trucks around the South Congress area. Short ride to downtown, and this area offers a few boutique hotels as well as vacation rental options. Possible downers are the nightlife…or rather lack thereof. Not too much going on in this part of town after dark.
We love: South Congress Hotel, Hotel San Jose
Staying far out
We’ve seen a lot of Austin bachelorette party groups opt for the far, far away option. Maybe they got a good deal. Maybe it was a super sweet house. Maybe they just didn’t realize how far away it was from everything they would want to do here in Austin. Positives of hanging on the perimeters are obviously price and space. Houses get bigger, you might even find one with a pool. The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful part of our world, so being able to enjoy the stars and the views is top notch. However put a lot of consideration into the idea that money saved on the front end will often be paid tenfold when you’re actually there. Ubers to far away places are expensive, tours will often charge more to pick you up for your place, and you will lose a lot of time (which you didn’t have much of to start with!) going back and forth, often in Austin’s nightmarish traffic.
We love: Hotel Granducca, and all the charming Hill Country vacation rentals
Where to Eat:
OMG Austin has some amazing food. Since restaurants are constantly opening, closing, moving, and improving/decreasing in quality, we thought some guidance might be better than specifics restaurants.
- Make reservations. Our city food scene is nuts, and I recently had to wait an hour for a table for two on a Monday night. If you’re with a group with no reservation, you’re in trouble. And if they say there’s no wait…maybe reconsider your restaurant choice. Jk Jk. But seriously. Make reservations and make them late in the evening (let’s be honest, groups of girls are slow lol). If you’re staying at a hotel, we recommend letting your hotel concierge assist you with reservations before arrival…they get all the best perks and you’ll often get a free appetizer/dessert/drink or at least the best table!
- Don’t skip out on the food trucks. Some of our city’s best food can be found at these restaurants on wheels. Pro eaters in Austin know that food trucks are awesome because groups don’t have to agree on a cuisine (everyone can order from the truck they want), you don’t need a reservation (great for dinners post-river float or other activity where you’re unsure of timing), and best of all…they’re BYOB!
- Dress code in Austin at 99% of restaurants ranges from casual to cute casual. The occasional steakhouse wants you looking a little spiffier, but every other New American, hip venue will be cool as long as you feel cool. Don’t wear swimsuits or pajamas, but other than that you’re good. If you wanna get dressed to the nines, feel free to, but don’t be surprised when the locals do not.
- Foods not to miss out on: Texas BBQ (order the beef brisket), breakfast tacos, kolaches (let our friends over at Batch Kolache help you out with this…would make an awesome morning delivery), and Tex-Mex (with lots and lots of queso, that’s cheese dip for those of you from the North).
- Drink Mexican Martinis
- Drink local. Don’t be the girl ordering a Michelob Ultra in the bar. Girl please. We have hundreds of incredible Texas craft beers. Ask your bartender for a recommendation and help support the local economy, not to mention doing your tastebuds a favor.
What To Do:
Every article you read (and I’m assuming you’ve read quite a few) will tell you the basics: Sixth Street, Rainey Street, hit the lake, float the river, go to Barton Springs. So we’re going to throw some oddball ones at you and maybe help you plan an Austin bachelorette party that is as unique as your amazing bride-to-be. We’re not saying to skip Rainey Street or anything, just that we want to give you some off the beaten path Austin bachelorette party experiences.
- Create, drink, and be merry at Upstairs Circus. This twist on the traditional bar offers arts and crafts along with your libations. Make a cute keepsake to remember the weekend forever.
- Throw some axes. Sure it sounds like a guy thing, but there’s nothing more exhilarating than hurling an axe at a target (maybe or maybe not pretending it’s your ex). Plus, Urban Axes is BYOB and you can bring in food as well.
- Learn the art of aerials at Sky Candy. Trapeze, silks, hoops…let’s get sexy at the circus and discover who is the graceful one of the bunch!
- Test your brains at a local escape room. Pro tip, we recommend doing this BEFORE your first night on Sixth Street rather than after.
- Get out of town! We know your time in Austin is short, but a day in the Texas Hill Country can be the perfect bonding time for your group. Discover wineries, olive orchards, distilleries, and lots of shopping.
- And no trip to Austin is complete without a wild ride on the Twisted Texas Brunch Bus. Austin bachelorette party groups have named it their favorite part of the weekend (if you don’t believe us check our TripAdvisor page!). With a live band on board the bus jamming as we visit three local brunch places, this adventure takes the planning away and leaves only the perfect girls brunch date.
Well we hope this helps get your bachelorette party planning kicked off in style. If you have other questions, we are always happy to help out. Just give us a shout at 512-999-TOUR or shoot us an email email@example.com.
See ya in Austin!