I had been wanting to go to Austin for a while now, the quirky, Portland-like city in Texas. My birthday was the perfect excuse for an extended weekend get-away for me and my bf. There is so much to do in this city - eat, walk around, lounge, listen to music - something for everyone. I think the thing that I loved the most was the lush florals - giant aloes growing everywhere, beautiful native flowers with bright purples and yellows, against a backdrop of lush greens.
How To Get Around
I had no idea how walkable this city is! Everything seems to be within a 20 minute walking radius. The airport is also fifteen minutes from downtown! The biggest surprise was the electric scooters all over town! You ride them on the bike lane, but most people were riding them on the sidewalk which you are definitely not supposed to do. I actually preferred to walk so that I could get some exercise in, but they are super handy to get across town!
Where To Stay
We stayed at the South Congress Hotel which I couldn't recommend enough! I always prefer to stay at boutique hotels while traveling and this hotel was so thoughtful with its curated restaurant and lounge concepts, comfortable rooms, and great location.
Where To Eat
There are SO many places to eat, but we tried to stick to healthy spots for the most part. Cafe No Se is the cutest brunch place - we went here for my birthday and I kicked off a day of eating with a healthy avocado toast. Stella San Jac was another great brunch place, located in the W hotel. For something homey and French, we enjoyed Blue Dahlia Bistro for brunch/lunch.
For lunch, we stopped by Cava twice! We shared a grains bowl and it was so delicious. The portions are huge and enough for two. The location on South Congress street is so easy to stop by, take a quick lunch, and continue exploring. It's also a great way to save a little money on food. We also stopped by Flower Child Cafe which is full of delicious and healthy food.
For my birthday dinner, we ate at The Carillon restaurant, which is located at the University of Austin. I am so glad we came here because we probably wouldn't have ended up wandering around the college after - it is stunning! We also dined at Central Standard, also created by our hotel - see, I told you we loved it so much!
Where To Explore
Austin is the perfect city to walk around and get lost in. We loved wandering around the Lady Bird Trail and then stumbling upon the Austin Public Library which has a rooftop you can read at. We are big lounge people so loved stopping by Upstairs at Caroline's. They have a great cafe, too. Since it was my birthday and all, I treated myself to an amazing massage at Hiatus Spa. We regularly go to comedy, so we checked out Cap City Comedy which was a great way to end my birthday. Definitely wandered around the University of Austin - the Spanish inspired architecture is swoon worthy. We love cozy places to grab a late drink. Had the best drinks at the Speakeasy above Central Standard. We love doing Yin yoga in Seattle, and took a class at Wanderlust. It was a perfect way to get ready for the flight home.
Where To Shop
Austin is full of boutique, cute shops. You can literally go down most streets and stumble into a row of them. My favorite two shops in Austin were Take Heart Shop. Pop up to Blue Dahlia Bistro for brunch and then stop by here. I also loved Wildflower Organics - so many beautiful, design things for the home. South Congress street has tons of shops - Tom's, Cove, By George. Second street also has a lot of cute boutiques.
I can't wait to come back and visit, and I'd love to know your favorite places in Austin!