I call Austin, the weird cousin of San Diego minus the palm trees and the beaches. But, it matches up in the food scene and maybe exceed when it comes to fusion flavors or trying something new. It’s totally my kinda city, bustling with natural beauty, delicious fusion food and music everywhere. For this weekend trip, I wanted to do something completely different for my family compared to our earlier trips – ditch the hotel chains and same old restaurants we visit every time and try everything local!
Our trip started with a little excitement of renting an Airbnb house for the first time after being hesitant for a while. I wanted to be extremely careful and selective and my first experience did not disappoint at all. We rented a spacious room in this beautiful glass house with a gorgeous view from the balcony. We were greeted by one of our host Teedoh, who is an ADORABLE dachshund. Valerie, who owns the house made us feel right at home. The first thing she said was that you guys are my buddies for the weekend, consider this your home. The most favorite part of that house was the balcony with a beautiful view. Also, my daughter got so attached to Teedoh that her final goodbye was a little emotional. She has been asking for a pup since past 2 years now and this gave her a chance to fulfill her wish for a short time.
The thing about renting a house is that it is generally less expensive and more spacious and it makes you feel like a local. I am hooked and already looking forward to more such trips.
This was my fifth trip to Austin in past thirteen years and I have forgotten many places that I ate in the past. After researching a quarter million times on internet and consulting local friends, below are some of the places that I have been to and highly recommend –
Mount Bonnell – For good hike rewarded by a breathtaking view.
State Capitol Building – For Texas history, free guided tours, and beautiful architecture.
South Congress Avenue – Known as SoCo with a lot of unique stores and restaurants. Don’t miss the Kendra Scott Flagship Store on the same street.
Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center – Beautiful photography.
Congress Avenue Bridge – Also known as the Bat Bridge, a must see kids activity.
Baton Springs Pool – A man-made swimming pool perfect for a summertime picnic with the family.
6th Street – Experience the amazing nightlife here but make sure to leave your kids at home.
Alamo Draft House – A unique theater that serves good food while you are watching old cult classic movies.
The food truck scene is pretty strong in Austin. Don’t underestimate the food truck business here. Some of the food trucks that started early have become a multi-million dollar chain in Texas and growing nationally such as Torcy’s Taco.
The must visit food trucks are Torchy’s taco for yummy tacos, Chi’Lantro for fusion Korean and Mexican food, G’Raj Mahal Cafe & Lounge for authentic Indian food, Hey Cupcake, East Side King for Asian fusion food and Jo’s in downtown for coffee and delicious breakfast.
For vegan/vegetarians, highly recommended food trucks are – Vegan Nom, Vegan Yacht (a must), Nomad Dosa, G’Raj Mahal Cafe & Lounge.
For upscale fine dining, just in case you are in the mood to celebrate – Uchi for “out of the world” sushi, Hugo’s for authentic Mexican food, and Oasis for the view and to have a good time with friends and family.
Also, Whole Foods flagship grocery store in downtown is a unique experience in itself. I know what you are thinking — grocery is the last thing I want on a vacation! This is a totally different kind of grocery store with unique products and a huge spread of delicious food to select from.
While returning back to H-town, we took a quick stop at our favorite Indian temple Barsana Dham. It is one of the best-hidden secrets of Austin, I love how peaceful and serene it is and oh you can also feed peacocks there.
I plan to visit soon again and have many places to try on my list here. If you have a suggestion for a place that you absolutely love, please leave a comment below!
Thanks for coming on a virtual trip to Austin with us. Hope you had a fun time!
Note: This is not a sponsored post.
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