If you’re looking for a getaway with lots of adventure and great food- plan a weekend in Austin, Texas! This was our second time visiting this amazing city, and it did not disappoint. Austin has so much to offer and has become our favorite city to visit.
When To Visit Austin
You definitely want to take note of a few things when deciding on when to plan your weekend in Austin. We visited Austin at the end of September and the weather was amazing. Our past trip was in April and the weather was just as good. I would say Spring and Fall are great times to visit, as it won’t be too hot or cold. There are certainly some great places to cool off in the summer heat, but we preferred to walk and bike a lot, which works much better in milder temps.
You will also want to check the calendar for any special events going on in Austin. They have several festivals and concerts, so you’ll need to decide if you’re okay with larger crowds and higher lodging prices. You will also need to visit during certain times of the year depending on what you want to see (such as the bats under the bridge) so make sure to do your research before choosing a date.
Where To Stay In Austin
We chose to stay at an Airbnb off of South Congress Street and it was perfect! If you are planning a weekend in Austin, I definitely recommend staying at The Wren’s Nest. This was the absolute cutest place and the owner could not have been nicer. It was clean, well-decorated, spacious, and she even stocked a few drinks in the fridge and snacks on the counter. And the location was perfect for all that we wanted to do.
I would recommend checking out the different things you want to do in Austin, and how you plan to get around, and then make a decision on the best location to stay. There are several nice hotels throughout the area- the Hilton downtown is gorgeous. And there are plenty of condos and houses in great spots.
Getting Around Austin
We walked or biked everywhere we went in Austin, besides to and from the airport. Biking and walking are built into their traffic system, making it easy to get around that way.
We rented bikes from Austin Bike Tours and Rentals. This place was highly rated with good reviews. The actual rental shop was a trailer on the side of the road, but don’t let that fool you. The staff was friendly and the bikes worked out great! They came with locks, lights, helmets, and assistance if needed.
You can also choose to rent a scooter, but this was too scary for me, lol. Please be cautious of this though, as several people operating the scooters were less than qualified, and we almost got hit once. And of course you can always rent a car if you prefer to drive yourself around.
The Perfect Itinerary For 3 Days In Austin
Friday: Tacos, Pizza, Kayaks + Bats
We flew into Austin around 12pm on Friday. With the time change, it was really 1pm back home, so we were hungry! We were able to get an Uber very quickly and it was just a short 15 minute car ride to our location. We quickly dropped our luggage and walked up to the famous Torchy’s Tacos (less than a 5 minute walk from our Airbnb). We each got a taco and split the queso dip, which I highly recommend!
Then we headed back to the Airbnb to get settled and relax.
When we were all settled and ready to venture out, our first stop was Home Slice Pizza. This pizza is the best! I have my all-time favorites from growing up in Ohio, but this ranks in my top 3. We grabbed a slice before heading out on the bat tour and I’m pretty sure we got it two other times during our trip.
The first time we visited Austin, we stood on the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset to watch the bats fly out. It was something I randomly came across while searching for things to do in Austin. Apparently, 1.5 million bats live in this bridge and fly out every night from March to November to get food. It was pretty cool to see from the bridge, but we weren’t in the best location the first time around. When researching for this trip, I decided to book a Kayak Bat Tour. This would allow us time on the water, along with a different view from under the bridge.
I much preferred the view from the water. We booked the Kayak Tour with Aaron & Friends and it was nice to be with a local who knew some history of the bats and the best spot to see them. When they started flying out, groups were shining red lights up at the bridge and it was spectacular. Watching how fast they moved and their flight patterns out, it was a very neat experience. I didn’t get any good photos of the bats, as they were moving too quickly, but the videos I got were awesome.
After the tour, we started the walk back to our Airbnb (we weren’t getting our bikes til the next morning.) We worked up quite the appetite, so of course we stopped at Torchy’s on the way home and grabbed another taco, lol.
Saturday: Tacos, Downtown, Swimming + Breweries
We woke up Saturday morning and headed downtown to pick up our bikes. We decided to stop at Veracruz All Natural on the way. Guess what they have? You guessed it- breakfast tacos! These tacos were delicious and they even had yummy juices and smoothies too. We went with the Mr. Verde Juice and it was so refreshing.
We did a little shopping downtown to start the day. A few of my favorite spots were Toy Joy– which was filled with so many random toys and games. We also loved Austin Rocks and Luxe Apothetique– which has a good mix of clothing and nice souvenirs to look through. Kyle decided to get these hilarious ‘We Got The Beet’ socks, lol.
Our next stop was lunch at Irene’s. This was one of our favorite lunch spots from our last trip, so we decided to go again. We had a beer, split a yummy sandwich, and gazed around at the 5 or 6 bachelorette parties that were taking place- sooooo many girls dressed alike, lol. So fun to watch too!
Barton Springs Pool was on my list when we came a few years ago, but we never made it. I was excited to check it out and it was quite the scene. It had an old school feel, very laid-back atmosphere, but y’all- that water was cold! I mean cold. Luckily it was still in the upper 80s during the day, so it felt somewhat refreshing, lol. You do have to pay to use the main pool, but you can also just hang out on the other side and lounge in the shallow end for free.
The famous Purple Margarita from Baby Acapulco is a must try! I don’t know what’s in this thing, but it tastes great, and you only need one, lol. In fact, the menu strictly says ‘Limit 2’ so trust me on this one. We stopped and grabbed one after the pool and then headed back to our airbnb to relax before the rest of the evening.
The rest of Saturday night consisted of brewery hopping, which is one of our favorite things to do. Kyle and I love trying out new beers, so we biked to a few different spots. We got a flight at Central District Brewing which was great. We stopped at Lazarus Brewing– more good beer- but wish we would have tried their tacos which I found out later were some of the best. We finished the night at Zilker Brewing, right down the street from Lazarus. I would recommend all of these places.
Sunday: Tacos, South Congress, BBQ + Nightlife
Sunday morning started at Jo’s Coffee. This is a popular spot with good coffee and some breakfast items. They are also home to the famous “i love you so much” wall which is a must-do photo op. We ate a couple of breakfast tacos (imagine that) and planned out our day.
We decided to do a little shopping on South Congress street and take in all the sites. There are several shops, places to eat, the very popular Amy’s Ice Creams, and people watching is always a good time.
We stopped at both Terry Black’s BBQ and Sandy’s for lunch. There are several popular places for BBQ around Austin- Terry Black’s being one of them. We got the brisket and chopped bbq and it was amazing. We also split a burger and fries at Sandy’s and I just loved the old fashioned vibe. There are so many good places to eat in Austin, so we opted for smaller meals or split things, so we could try more food throughout the weekend. I recommend doing this.
We relaxed at the airbnb for the rest of the afternoon, watching football on the iPad, and getting ready for the night. Then we headed downtown to check out a few sports bars on 6th street.
We started at Hold Out Brewing– good beer and food menu. Next- we biked to Rustic Tap– such a cool vibe. They had bar stools and tables, but also camping chairs all around with TVs everywhere. We grabbed a drink and watched some of the football game. The next three stops were all very quick: we played a few games of skeeball at Kung Fu Saloon (Kyle won), we competed in pop-a-shot at Parlor & Yard (I won) and then grabbed yet another couple of tacos from a food truck at Little Woodrow’s. Overall- a very fun night!
We had a little bit of time on Monday morning before heading to the airport. Little did I know that I had saved the best for last with breakfast tacos at El Primo. I only knew about this place because it was recommended by our kayak tour guide, and it happened to be right down the street from where we were staying. These were hands down the best tacos I had the whole trip! And y’all- we had A LOT of tacos (seven times to be exact).
We dropped off our bikes downtown, grabbed another juice from Veracruz All Natural, and walked back to our place to catch an Uber. We headed to the airport, excited to get home to our kids, but sad to leave after such an awesome trip.
More Fun Things To Do In Austin
I only included our itinerary for this trip, but I thought it would be helpful to list a few places from our previous trip a few years ago, as well as, places we’d still like to visit. We are thinking of adding an extra day next time, so we can rent a car and travel a little outside the city.
- Hopdoddy Burger Bar
- Moonshine Grill
- Micklethwait BBQ
- Wright Bros. Brew & Brew
- Whip In
- Odd Duck
- Alamo Drafthouse
- Rowing Dock: Kayak-Canoe-SUP
- Zilker Park
- Rainey Street
- Hamilton Pool
- Rio Vista Park
Austin is such an amazing city and I can’t wait to return for more fun adventures. If you have the chance to go- go! You won’t regret it 🙂
KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD!
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