Nitroracer (Forum Supporter)
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/7/22 9:49 p.m.

I'll be taking a trip to Austin Texas later this month to vacation for a few days and I'd like get get some input on what sights to see while I'm in town.  I like to stay active when I vacation so hiking and kayaking are something I would like to do if the weather is nice enough - I think its a good bit warmer than Pennsylvania in the spring time.  Any specific trails, parks, or attractions I should put on my list of things to see would be appreciated!  What is your favorite restaurant or place to grab a drink and listen to some music?  Any good comedy clubs?  I know COTA is a short drive from town, but I'm not sure I can convince my wife to take a detour to see a racetrack on this trip.

Sunflowerbw
Sunflowerbw New Reader
4/7/22 10:18 p.m.

In reply to Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) :

Bats at the Congress Street Bridge!

https://www.austintexas.org/things-to-do/outdoors/bat-watching/

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/7/22 10:22 p.m.

Must do Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood.  It's a 25 minute drive, but so much better than the satellite store in Round Rock.  They do all the cooking in Driftwood and transport it to the other store.  Best to get it straight from the pit.  Another good BBQ spot is Rudys.  Get the creamed corn and Cutter's Brisket.

I heard that NXNW restaurant closed which is a bummer.  Really amazing food.

Go to Stubbs if there is music playing, but skip the BBQ.  I find it to be touristy, overcrowded, long waits, and awful BBQ.

Out East (past I-35) on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th is some really gritty neat stuff... food trucks, a laundromat turned into a bistro, good unpretentious Austin food.

Do a dinner or drinks out at the Oasis on Lake Travis.  It's way up above the lake and try to catch a sunset.

Saltgrass is a lovely restaurant.  It's a chain, but at least it's a TX local thing.  Great steaks.  In a similar vein, La Madeleine is a cafe-style french place that has awesome grub.  Same goes for Chuy's.

Barton Springs at Zilker Park is a neat thing to see.  Natural springs that is also a public pool.  Very neat little walk-through museum/science thing that gives you all kinds of good info on the geography of the area.  You'll feel almost like you're in PA.  Remarkably similar geology.  Zilker Botanical Gardens are also lovely.

Check for Music playing at the Belmont.  If you want an evening out for fun drinks, I suggest West 6th.  6th Street is the (sorta) Bourbon St of Austin.  East 6th is where all the college kids go to drink til they vomit. West 6th is more of a 30s-50s crowd.  5th and 4th have some neat bars on the west side as well.

You should be there when the bats are around.  South Congress bridge is home to the largest colony of brown bats and at dusk tens of thousands all take flight.  It's a sight to behold.

 

Cchambers13
Cchambers13 Reader
4/7/22 10:27 p.m.

I was just down there a couple weeks ago doing a fly-n-drive for my new (to me) DD. Guy lived by Zilker Park and Botanical Garden. Looked like a cool place to explore but we were on a time crunch.

Had amazing BBQ at Southside Market & Barbecue, it was 30ish minutes east but would recommend 100% for good brisket... well, good everything. 

Weather was a very dry 85 degrees and felt like mid-late summer to me vs. Not even green yet and 40 degrees back in the NC mountains I call home. 

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
4/8/22 7:58 a.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

Must do Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood.  It's a 25 minute drive, but so much better than the satellite store in Round Rock.  They do all the cooking in Driftwood and transport it to the other store.  Best to get it straight from the pit.  Another good BBQ spot is Rudys.  Get the creamed corn and Cutter's Brisket.

I heard that NXNW restaurant closed which is a bummer.  Really amazing food.

Go to Stubbs if there is music playing, but skip the BBQ.  I find it to be touristy, overcrowded, long waits, and awful BBQ.

Out East (past I-35) on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th is some really gritty neat stuff... food trucks, a laundromat turned into a bistro, good unpretentious Austin food.

Do a dinner or drinks out at the Oasis on Lake Travis.  It's way up above the lake and try to catch a sunset.

Saltgrass is a lovely restaurant.  It's a chain, but at least it's a TX local thing.  Great steaks.  In a similar vein, La Madeleine is a cafe-style french place that has awesome grub.  Same goes for Chuy's.

Barton Springs at Zilker Park is a neat thing to see.  Natural springs that is also a public pool.  Very neat little walk-through museum/science thing that gives you all kinds of good info on the geography of the area.  You'll feel almost like you're in PA.  Remarkably similar geology.  Zilker Botanical Gardens are also lovely.

Check for Music playing at the Belmont.  If you want an evening out for fun drinks, I suggest West 6th.  6th Street is the (sorta) Bourbon St of Austin.  East 6th is where all the college kids go to drink til they vomit. West 6th is more of a 30s-50s crowd.  5th and 4th have some neat bars on the west side as well.

You should be there when the bats are around.  South Congress bridge is home to the largest colony of brown bats and at dusk tens of thousands all take flight.  It's a sight to behold.

 

Curtis literally said everything I was going to suggest. Austin is an amazing town. That part of Texas is magical imo. 

drock25too
drock25too HalfDork
4/8/22 9:44 a.m.

At least drive past Porsche Austin on 183 at night. 6 stories or Porsches. Top floor has windows all around and cars under lights. Pretty cool to see. BIL helped build the place took me down there when we were there for the Cup race at COTA. 

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
4/8/22 9:45 a.m.

Check who's playing at Antone's if you like blues/rock music.  Sadly, Stevie Ray Vaughn doesn't play there any more.

Close to downtown there is Barton Creek Wilderness Park with lots of trails.  Take a map as it's easy to get lost in there with just Google maps.  Zilker Park is worth a look too.

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
4/8/22 10:47 a.m.

Rally Ready driving school is outside of Austin in Bastrop

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UberDork
4/10/22 7:51 p.m.

So, for food and music log into www.do512.com It'll give you all of the shows in town. There is a lot of music choices here overall. For the food, what are you looking for? For solid BBQ, a side trip to Lockhart is never a bad thing.

No offense to Curtis, I have never had good BBQ at saltlick in my 20 years here. That do make good sides but not even in my top 5 places to consider. 

The food truck scene is strong here if you are into that with corrals all over town. 

Holler with what you want to do and there are a few of us here local. I live just up a little bit from the new Porsche dealership they mentioned.

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UberDork
4/10/22 8:38 p.m.

For the hiking, There is over 400 miles of trails in the local area. What part of town are you planning on staying in? The classics are the Greenbelt with multiple drop ins and plenty of choices there. It's more what will be close than anything else. 

Also, there are SUP and kayak rentals on Lady Bird Lake right downtown if you are into that.

Cap city comedy club is open again in the Domain area. https://www.capcitycomedy.com/ 

 

Nitroracer (Forum Supporter)
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/10/22 8:45 p.m.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone, GRM never disappoints!  The knowledge here is limitless.

I was able to uncover a few of these by searching touristy websites, but its always nice to hear it from people who have been on the ground or lived in the area.  The names of a few specific restaurants and music venues help when you're trying to decide where to go and nothing looks familiar.

As for food, it sounds like BBQ is one of the big draws but I don't want to have it everyday I'm in town.  I like the one-off restaurants with interesting food - Chambersburg, Pennsylvania doesn't really have much of that.  My favorite spot here is the Falafel Shack which serves Mediterranean dishes.  I'm fine with paying a couple bucks extra for something healthy, quality, or unique.

I'll be staying in St. Edwards a few blocks down from South Congress.  My overpriced rental car will get us around the city otherwise.

 

What would be some favorite Breweries in the area?  Sours, Pilsers, Lagers, Wheats are our thing, not so much IPAs.

    

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/10/22 10:01 p.m.

In reply to Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) :

512 Brewery has some greats.  I'm not a stout/porter person, but they have a Pecan Porter that just curls my toes.

Tito's vodka is distilled nearby and they do a great tour.

Breweries are plentiful.  I could list them all, but here you go

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/10/22 10:07 p.m.
bmw88rider said:

No offense to Curtis, I have never had good BBQ at saltlick in my 20 years here. That do make good sides but not even in my top 5 places to consider. 

The food truck scene is strong here if you are into that with corrals all over town. 

You're allowed to not like Salt Lick.  Comparing BBQ is like the debate between NY pizza and Chicago pizza.  We like what we like.  I suggested it because it's iconic central TX history (and I love their BBQ)

And yes... show them all the food trucks.  Austin is like the world axis of food truck greatness. 

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
4/10/22 10:49 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Saltlick is def overrated. 

Btw I'll be in Austin Tuesday-Friday this week

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/10/22 11:06 p.m.

It's hard to go wrong with any BBQ in Texas.

But the top 10 list from Texas Monthly is the defacto standard many of my friends use.

Franklin BBQ
Leroy and Lewis BBQ
Interstellar BBQ

All on the list from 2021 and are great choices.

Many of the sights to see in Austin have been covered, but if you want more, make the drive down to San Antonio for even more Texas History and things to see.

dyintorace
dyintorace PowerDork
4/11/22 6:39 a.m.

I was just there for a work conference and a local took me here: https://www.suerteatx.com/#

Incredibly good Mexican food!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
4/11/22 9:50 a.m.

I think Austin is kind of known for hot rods and custom cars, if you're interested in that sort of thing.  There's Austin Speed Shop and Martin Brothers Customs, and probably other shops.  There's a big car show April 22 and 23, the Lone Star Roundup.  There's also a Radwood event at Circuit of the Americas on April 23.

travellering
travellering HalfDork
4/11/22 11:53 a.m.
mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/11/22 12:42 p.m.

We went in 2018, had a great time. Things that we really enjoyed: 

  • Terry Black's BBQ. Recommended to us by quite a few locals while we were there.
  • Barton Springs and Zilker Park/Botanical Gardens
  • Seeing a show at Stubbs. BBQ was OK, not nearly as good as Terry Blacks or even some I've had in Chicago
  • Collings guitar tour
  • Texas Chili Parlor  (if you're a fan of Guy Clark, this is a pilgrimage)
  • Broken Spoke dancehall

 

We were on a time crunch, I was there for work and had to stay within the general downtown area, some of these were work sponsored. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UberDork
4/11/22 12:59 p.m.

Ahhh. St. Eds area. They got a lot of my money over the years in exchange for 2 pieces of paper. 

South Congress is a cool place to just poke around in. It's just north of where you are going to be at. Continental Club is one of the old school Austin originals: https://continentalclub.com/austin

Since you will on the south side, The greenbelt is a good exercise. This trailhead has a lot of parking. https://goo.gl/maps/ZMGwbgFoufaHSQMR9 The more interesting path it to take a left but both ways are good. I trail run there regularly. 

The other option to people watch is doing the lap around lady bird lake. The full lap is 10 miles but you can break it up. All of the walking makes for a good excuse to go have a great lunch/dinner downtown. 

I'll be out of town the second half of the month unfortunately. Otherwise, I'd be happy to take you around. 

 

Nitroracer (Forum Supporter)
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/27/22 9:22 p.m.

Thanks again for the suggestions everyone.  I visited Austin last weekend and had a great time.  I don't think I can eat or drink anything for a few more days, everything was delicious.   We walked down town to see the capital and some of congress, along with the trail along the river.  Got to see the bats by kayak one evening and the botanical gardens as well.  There was a little time to kill before the flight home so we drove out to COTA for a quick peak, that place is huge.  We saw some people out cruising up and down south congress not sure if that was a regular Saturday night thing or special with the hot rods in town for the Lone Star Roundup.

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