In January I decided I needed a vacation, preferably somewhere warm. I was debating a couple options and ultimately (and easily) decided on Austin, Texas. I’ve been to Dallas a few times for my last job, but never Austin. Plus, I have a friend who just moved there (Sam) and a friend in Dallas who could drive down for the weekend (Margaret). SOLD.
I decided to book a long weekend in February, arriving in Austin on a Friday and leaving on a Monday. It’s a quick flight from O’hare and definitely a great easy weekend trip.
On Day One, I flew in to Austin and Margaret drove down from Dallas and met me at the airport. We went immediately to a food truck stand for tacos and then pigged out on some Gourdough’s Big Fat Donuts. They are as big and fat as advertised.
Gourdough’s Big Fat Donuts | 1503 S 1st St, Austin, TX
After we filled up on donuts, we embarked on a mini mural tour of Austin, checking off the Austin postcard mural, You’re My Butter Half and I love you so much.
Greetings from Austin | 1720 S 1st St, Austin, TX
You’re My Butter Half | 2000 E. MLK Blvd., Austin, TX
I love you so much (Jo’s Coffee) | 1300 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX
Also I recommend the Belgian Bomber.
Day Two started with brunch at Irene’s. I had avocado toast because I’m basic and it’s amazing.
Irene’s | 506 West Ave, Austin, TX
We stumbled across this Austin mural a couple blocks from Irene’s.
Ride Austin Mural | corner of Neuces St. and W 6th St.
Hamilton Pool | 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd., Dripping Spgs, TX.After brunch we set off to explore Hamilton Pool. It was about a 45 minute drive through the hills. We got to the Hamilton Pool entrance and a park ranger closed the gate on the car in front of us and said it’s too crowded and we needed to exit and possibly try later. Major bummer. So we went to the next entrance Visitor’s Center and asked for alternate options. We found some other area and as we headed back, the Hamilton Pools area was totally open so we pulled up, said “heyyy it’s us again!” to the park ranger, and embarked on a 1/4 mile hike down to the pool.
We went to Shady Grove (1624 Barton Springs Rd, Austin) for dinner. We sat outside (per usual) and had drinks and food. The atmosphere was awesome. There was a movie playing on a screen and music. I had frozen sangria – highly recommended.
We started Day Three with a trip to the HOPE Outdoor Art Gallery. It was AMAZING. This is where I learned that my metallic oxfords have surprisingly great traction. If you go to Austin this is a must see.
HOPE Outdoor Art Gallery | 101 Baylor St, Austin, TX
South Congress St.
After HOPE, Margaret had to head back to Dallas and Sam and I went over to explore South Congress (SoCo).
Home Slice Pizza | 1415 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX
I would go to a pizza place and only take a picture of my shoes… A
s a Chicagoan, I’d like to think I know pizza. Home Slice Pizza is GOOD pizza. Go there.
TOMS Austin | 1401 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX
The TOMS store has the Give mural on the side and a #LOVEWALL by @jgoldcrown in back. I had seen these murals in pics around LA but didn’t even realize there was one in Austin until I bought the special edition TOMS in the store and the saleswoman told me they had one in back. Go check it out!
Smile! even if you don’t want to (Hey Cupcake!) | 1511 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX
We went to Justine’s Brasserie for dinner. It was really good!
Day Four started with donuts (like every good day does). I had to check out Voodoo Doughnuts (there are multiple locations but the 6th street one was closest to my hotel). It’s cash only, so make sure you come prepared.
Voodoo Doughnuts | 212 E 6th St, Austin, TX
After carboloading on donuts, we did some more mural touring before I had to head to the airport.
Hello! | 1102 W Koenig Ln, Austin, TX
This mural was really hard to track down. It’s on the side of an Audio Systems store.
How You Doin’? | E 4th St & Attayac St, Austin, TX
Living the Good Life in Austin | 1114 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX
The final stop before the airport (because TACOS): Mellizoz Tacos | 1503 S 1st St, Austin, TX
… and that’s a wrap! Austin in a long weekend: murals, food and friends.