Accompanying us on our weekend getaway were some of our favorite travel partners and Huston TX natives, Kendall and Lauren. We met them in Austin on a Thursday night so we could have a couple full days to explore and ultimately catch a day of the Austin City Limits music festival. As it turns out, 3 days is not enough to explore as much as we wanted, but it did give us an itch that we need to get back ASAP.
We started Friday morning doing the thing we do best, brunching. We got really lucky and snagged a seat at Counter Café, which was recently featured on diners drive-ins and dives and absolutely worth the wait if you don’t get as lucky. We then scooted over to South Congress and strolled off our food comas by window shopping. We came to the conclusion that you could find just about anything you might want to buy on South Congress. Stag Provisions is not to be missed with their wide selection of menswear clothing caring a variety of USA made brands. Across the street you can find Allen’s Boots, which hold all of your cowboy boot dreams and Uncommon Objects where you can find just that, uncommon objects. Both are Austin staples. Stroll further down the street and you won’t be disappointed with the selection of eclectic shops, restaurants, boutiques, antiques, and music venues.
It was at this point we noticed we had been in Austin almost a full day without drinking any beer so we quickly rerouted downtown to Easy Tiger. Easy Tiger might be the best combination of things. Picture a German beer garden where you must go through a pastry shop to enter. Dreams do come true. At Easy Tiger you can throw back a cold one, munch on chocolate croissants or order things like Snack Boards that contain pretzels, beer cheese and quail & herb sausage. Not wanting to miss an actual local Austin brewery we moseyed over to Austin Beerworks to enjoy a beer in the middle of their working brewery. By visiting the brewery you not only get to enjoy their core beers but also a selection of exclusive and seasonal drafts.
For dinner we started the night at Ranch 616. The talk of the town is their Fire in the Hole shot that involves taking half the shot out of a jalapeno and biting it before finishing the second half. Only in Texas ya’ll.
Austin gives you a lot of options for going out at night. There is 6th street, or as the locals refer to it- “Dirty Sixth,” which in itself reminds me of a cleaner Bourbon Street in NOLA if that paints a better picture. Rainey Street, a row of old bungalows that have been fixed up and turned into bars is a great alternative. Huge backyards of these houses have been converted in to beer gardens, stages for live performances and literal food truck round ups. Finally the divest and most local of the options would be East Austin. Where you can hang out at the hippest honkey tonk, at The Whitehorse or get your fix for live music at Hotel Vegas.
Saturday we spent one glorious day at Austin City Limits music festival. Determined to get the most out of the day we got there early to catch some of the first bands and enjoy all the free space to roam around in Zilker park. Here is a quick rundown of our 12 hours of festing.
Best Parts of the day:
ACL brings in local food vendors for a vast variety of tex mex to bahn-mi
The temperature was damn near perfect. 85 degrees with a little bit of a breeze.
On that note WE REMEMBERED TO BRING SUNSCREEN! (thanks Lauren and Kendall)
Also ACL has a system set up that you can link your credit card with your wristband (see below)
We also got to see, Milo Green, Ryn Weaver, Glass Animals, Shakey Graves, Houndmouth, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Alabama Shakes, Bassnectar and Drake.
Challenges of the Day
ACL has a system set up that you can link your credit card with your wristband, sorry bank account.
Sitting down. Make time to do it.
Water stations occasionally have longer lines than beer stations.
Drunken crazy people, every festival has them, and if you are lucky you will get to catch them on the peak and not the decent.
It was a perfect lazy Sunday to end our Austin adventure, not to mention the wine at Solaro is fantastic. Sadly we then had to hop on a plane back to Salt Lake that evening. I think Barton and I both found something that felt homey about Austin. It might have been being back in the south or the fact that we both are very passionate about tex mex but I doubt it will be long before our next trip to Austin.