Hello, friends, and welcome to November!
Last month, my sister and I decided to take a trip during my birthday weekend to somewhere neither of us had ever been before: Austin, Texas. I had wanted to go to Austin for years, and fun fact — I actually applied for a couple jobs there when I graduated college. Although I didn’t end up moving to Austin, it’s definitely on my list of places to live someday!
Austin is so hard to explain in one sentence. The people were so kind, and not the fake sort of kind that I’ve experienced living other places. The food was out of this WORLD! The shopping was spot on. The overall experience was unmatched.
Before going to Austin, I had never really been on a vacation to a place where I genuinely felt really “at-home” while I was there. By that, I mean that it felt like I lived there and essentially had nothing to worry about. Does that make sense?
Anyways, I did a lot of research before my trip and tried to plan out our days, but of course we ended up doing a lot of spontaneous things due to the recommendations of our Uber drivers!
Let’s get my list started for the must-see sights in Austin, Texas!
Texas State Capital
Whether you’re into politics or not, I still think the architecture of the Capital deserves attention. We did a self-guided tour, which I highly recommend. Although we were only walking around inside for about a half hour, I think it was worth it to see inside the building. Plus, it’s really fun to go up the floors and look at the dome.
From the Texas State Capital, we decided to walk all the way down Congress, which I definitely recommend if it’s your first trip to Austin. There are tons of sights to see on Congress and the streets that run off of Congress.
This is a pretty popular doughnut shop that you’ve probably seen on Food Network or the Travel Channel. Although I couldn’t eat anything here because #notglutenfree, my sister said her doughnut was the best she’s ever eaten.
Terry Black’s BBQ
Oh my gosh, you need to go here. I know there are other places in Austin that have great BBQ, but seriously … you need to go here. We waited in line for about a half hour, which is pretty typical. Just be prepared for that when you’re planning to go.
My sister and I got a pound (LOL) of beef brisket and shared it. Best brisket I’ve ever eaten. Plus, the sides were delicious, too! I got the potato salad and coleslaw. Terry Black’s is also really gluten friendly for anyone wondering!
Barton Springs Pool
This is a must-see FOR SURE. Whether you decide to go to Austin in the summer, or wait until fall like we did, you’ve got to go to Barton Springs. The water in the Pool is from a spring, so it’s around 68 degrees year-round. It was a little chilly for us when we went since it wasn’t over 100 degrees outside, but it was still really enjoyable!
Note: when you’re walking into the Pool, be careful. The bottom is really slippery because of all the sediment. I almost face planted into the water a couple times!
If you’re looking for great Italian food downtown, definitely hit up North. This restaurant is also gluten friendly. I got a gluten-free pizza with arugula, prosciutto, goat cheese and honey, and holy sh*t … BEST PIZZA EVER. That’s saying a lot coming from me because 98% of the time, gluten-free pizza is sub-par, but this stuff was ON POINT!
SoCo is South Congress, which is a street that runs through Austin. It’s just outside of downtown and really walkable once you get there. Tons of locally-owned and operated shops and restaurants to check out. We spent about three hours walking up and down the street!
My favorite shops to go in?
Maufrais – Hats! I bought a Stetson from here. Such a cool aesthetic inside as well.
Allens Boots – The coolest boot shop I’ve ever been to. My feet are too monstrous for many of the boots I tried to fit, but my sister bought a really cool pair!
Little Limbo – This store was like my entire aesthetic, inside and out. Lots of local artists stock their products here, so tons of cool knick knacks. I bought a pair of earrings and a cool print that I got framed.
Café No Sé
This is where I decided to have my birthday breakfast and holy moly guacamole — YES! So many breakfast and brunch options, really cute inside and super friendly wait staff. I got the oatmeal hotcakes that were made with gluten free oat batter. Absolutely incredible. The picture speaks for itself.
I was in a really French mood for my birthday this year, I don’t know why. Le Politique did not disappoint. Such a cool aesthetic inside and outside of the restaurant, delicious food and a great wine list. I had the half roasted chicken and it was to die for. No picture for this one because #moodlighting in the restaurant!
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
If you’re looking to get away from Austin for some hiking or outdoor activity, head over to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It’s a great place to go if you have kids, but it’s also fun for adults, I think. There are so many paths to walk around the center, so it’s really relaxing for a Sunday morning. It was absolutely breathtaking, and I feel like my pictures can speak louder than my words in this instance!
Sixth and Waller
Perfect place to sit for a quick bite to eat. I got the Grilled Pineapple Salad and it was a solid 10/10. I also loved the aesthetic in the restaurant because it was really vintage inspired.
Last, but certainly not least, is Torchy’s Tacos. If I could eat Torchy’s every day for the rest of my life, I’d do it. Luckily, there was one within walking distance from our Airbnb, which meant we were there every single day. I don’t think you could go wrong with anything you order on the menu!
Well, that’s all I’ve got for ya! My must-see sights in Austin. I absolutely loved it there and will definitely be going back within the next year or so. If you plan a trip, let me know your favorite places!
Until next time!