A TRIP TO AUSTIN
We’re heading deep in the heart of Texas this week to Austin for South by Southwest.
For everyone else who is interested in visiting Austin (maybe when there are actually hotel rooms available!) we’ve compiled a list of our favorite things to do and, of course, eat in Austin.
This mecca for live music, vegan eating, outdoor activities, epic graffiti murals, and everything else males Austin a must-visit on our list of vegan travels.
WHERE TO STAY
There are plenty of fun and unique hotels and air bnb’s in Austin that would be great for your stay, but let’s face it, you’re gonna be way too busy exploring to do much sleeping. If you must spend your precious hours in Austin sleeping, here are our top reccos for places to rest your head:
South Congress Hotel – This brand new boutique, minimalist-chic hotel is in the heart of a popular restaurant and bar district and just minutes from downtown, Lady Bird Lake, and Zilker Park. Seriously chic and convenient… need we say more? Ok fine, we’ll say it! They also have a rooftop bar with a pool!
TRAVAASA – Looking for a more unique resort experience? Set in a beautiful nature reserve outside of Austin, TRAVAASA isn’t your average resort, it’s a destination. There’s guided adventures, wellness workshops, and even a farm garden you can work in.
Verde Camp – Because we love everything earth-friendly and homey, we recommend checking out the eco-friendly guesthouses.
WHERE TO EAT
Coast to coast, foodies everywhere sing the praises of Austin’s food scene. With a motto like “Keep Austin Weird” (which definitely came before Portland btw), and a local commitment to eco-friendly living, it’s not surprising that Austin has been ranked the #1 city for vegans.
Kerbey Lane Café – An iconic destination in Austin for over 30 years, this 24-hour diner serves delicious food and plenty of vegan options. Think vegan pancakes and tex-mex classic queso dip at 3 am…. YES PLEASE! With 7 locations, you’re bound to find one wherever you find yourself morning, noon, or night.
Counter Culture – VEGAN COMFORT FOOD. we just love this place! Counter Culture serves delicious, but often lighter vegan takes on comfort food staples like biscuits and gravy. The food caters to vegans and non-vegans alike, raw dieters, the gluten-free, paleo, and countless other restrictive diets. We recommend weekend brunch, but you can’t go wrong either way.
Sweet Ritual – Talk to any vegan in the know, dairy-free eater, or regular joe shmo and they will recommend Sweet Ritual. Their small batch artisanal vegan ice cream packs some serious flavor. We especially love their sundae creations… Our fav is based on the Dirt + Worms treat we enjoyed as kids and another is called “Glitterbeast”!
BBQ Revolution – You’re visiting the center of Texas Hill Country, so BBQ is a requirement. But BBQ doesn’t always have to mean meat. BBQ Revolution proves that plant-based BBQ can be truly delicious. It’s a slight trek into East Austin, but it’s worth it!
Arlo’s – The “curb-side kitchen” (a fancy way to describe a food truck with permanent seating) serves delicious vegan comfort food with a cute seating area in the middle of downtown Austin. Perfect for a bac’n cheese burger after a long night partying on Sixth Street, you’ll satisfy your burger craving while sitting under some cute instagramable twinkle lights.
Whether you’re looking for a chill cultured night or some serious partying, you’ll definitely find something your speed in Austin. Known as the “live music capitol of the world”, there’s small cultural performances, great outdoor music to enjoy while you sip your beer, and more intense live bands, jazz performances, and piano bars.
Sixth Street – No guide to Austin is complete without mentioning it’s most well known street. With its scores of bars, restaurants, clubs, and performance spots, this is the spot to see live performance with crowds spilling out into the streets, and catch everything from bachelorette parties to frat bros to biker conventions. We recommend the Iron Cactus rooftop for a margarita and view, The Parish for live music, and Buffalo Billiards for some gaming fun.
Rainey Street – Looking for some more laid-back socializing? Check out Historic Rainey Street. Recently redeveloped into a popular restaurant and bar scene lined with old homes with backyards converted in to bars with cute patios for live music and corn hole. We recommend Clive for its seriously beautiful interiors.
Spider House – For something completely different, head to Spider House for an event. Enjoy live music, comedy, film or dance performances, or just chill out on the patio with a craft cocktail.
THINGS TO DO
Austin is truly a cornucopia of people, so the things to do are endless. With flawless weather, plenty of parks, and water features, we recommend spending as much time as possible outdoors.
Zilker Park – This is the Central Park of Austin. Located near the center of Austin, Zilker Park offers everything from walking and running trails to botanical gardens and a natural spring-fed pool. Barton Springs Pool located in the park is one of the coolest places you’ll ever visit. Fed naturally by a spring, the pool is always 70 degrees no matter the weather. You can swim with fishes and enjoy a picnic overlooking the downtown Austin skyline.
South Congress Bridge – In one of the weirder Austin traditions, each night (March-November) at sunset, hoards of people gather on the South Congress Bridge to watch thousands of bats emerge from underneath. The swarm of fruit bats happens each night, which you can also watch from a more comfortable distance at one of the popular bars or restaurants nearby.
Mt. Bonnell – “Mount” is an exaggerated way to describe this large hill on the outskirts of town that offers some great hiking and picture-perfect views of the city and surrounding areas.
Water Sports – Grab your swimsuit and head to one of Austin’s many lakes, rivers, or falls to get a little sun and some exercise. We recommend kayaking on Lady Bird Lake and swimming in McKinney Falls. Feeling extra brave? Head to Hippie Hollow, a nudist beach on the shores of the beautiful Lake Travis.
History – Austin is the capitol of Texas and full of history and culture, so why not spend a morning soaking up its history? Visit the Texas State Capitol, where you will learn that everything is in fact bigger in Texas, including the capitol building… President Lyndon B. Johnson built his Presidential Library at the University of Texas at Austin. Stop in to see all kinds of cool presidential history and an interesting exhibit on space.