Tuesday, February 4, 2020

What to Do in Austin - the First Time Texas Experience


Hi there and welcome to my new little series "What to do in Austin" the Forking Up edition! In the next few posts I'll be detailing out my favorite suggestions for what to do in Austin, based on what kind of trip you're hoping to have. I hope you'll enjoy reading these new Austin travel guides as much as I enjoyed writing them.

I'm starting with my guide for First Time Visitors to Texas! While Austin is a bit different than other Texan cities (we like to "Keep Austin Weird!") you can certainly find your fair share of good old fashioned Southern fun in our great city. Read on for my suggestions on what to do on your first visit to Austin!

The First-Time Texas Experience Travel Guide

Tamale House East - An Austin institution. The original has sadly shuttered its doors, but the family keeps the East location hopping. There isn't anywhere better to grab brunch, or stop by for a hearty lunch with the titular tamale. The ambiance is wonderful, the patio is gorgeous, and the food is delicious. A perfect start to your Austin adventure!
Location: 1707 E 6th St, Austin, TX

Allen's Boots and Cavender's - enter Allen's Boots on South Congress and breathe in the deep leather scent of the wares lining the shelves. Have a complimentary drink while you browse boots that cost half my rent. If you're able to shell out the cash, it's the ultimate Texas souvenir. If your wallet is more like mine though, head over to any one of the Cavender's locations in town for a stylish pair of boots that won't break the bank.
Location: Multiple, check websites for Allen's and Cavender's

The Capitol - The Texas State Capitol building seems to shine like a beacon at the end of South Congress, which in part is due to the fact that surrounding buildings cannot be taller within a certain radius. It's free to explore, and while there isn't much to actually do there, you can admire the gorgeous architecture inside.
Location: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX

Salt Lick  - Truth be told, there is better BBQ within city limits. If you have a whole morning to spare, maybe try your hand at waiting in the endless Franklin's line for a taste of the city's favorite. But there truly is no better Texas EXPERIENCE than a drive out to the original Salt Lick in Driftwood. The wait will be long, but it's made better by live music and popcorn and lemonade while you wait. Once you enter you're greeted with an open pit, stuffed with every smoked meat your little heart desires. Get a little bit of everything with the Thurman's Choice platter.
Location: 18300 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Driftwood, TX, or check their website for more locations

The Oasis - I remember the first time I visited, The Oasis seemed like a ghost town. It's set up like an outdoor mall, but most storefronts were empty. The joke was that you didn't go there for food, you went for the view. These days the storefronts are open again, with multiple options for food, drink, and shopping. While the food is fine, it's still my suggestion to watch the sunset on Lake Travis with a few drinks and maybe some chips and salsa. For the Instagram crowd, you'll find plenty of photo ops with a gorgeous view of the lake.
Location: 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX check website for menu

Maverick's and Broken Spoke - Let's talk true Texan nightlife! Are you looking for some serious country music? Want to break in those new boots? Then you'll have a blast at either of these dance halls, known for their live music and two stepping. Grab a pint of Lonestar and your favorite dance partner and hit Maverick's for a younger crowd and rowdier time, or Broken Spoke for a slice of Austin tradition and a more laid back (but still fun!) good time.
Location: Maverick's (multiple, see website) and Broken Spoke 3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX

Did you enjoy my Austin Travel Guide? Locals, what am I missing? Let me know in the comments!

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