Ive been to Austin Texas several times in the past, but each time has been for work and if I'm being honest I didn't see anything outside of my hotel room or the distributor where my event was happening. I was determined that when I headed to Austin for the Kevin Murphy Show I would take a little extra time to explore the area and hit all of the high points. I squeezed all of this into 1.5 days, but you could easily extend parts of this or add on more to your itinerary! So here's how I filled two days for my quick trip to Austin Texas.
Day One: Brunch On South Congress + Murals
Flew into Austin International Airport around 10 am and headed to my hotel room. I had plans to meet some sweet family friends for brunch on South Congress at 11:30. I quickly changed and headed out the door. I grabbed an Uber from there to Cafe No Se'. A modern, but cozy restaurant right in the heart of all of the shopping and murals. After a champagne cocktail and a delicious smoked salmon bagel I walked around and explored the area.
On South Congress there are several popular murals including the Willie for President mural, the I love you so much mural, and You are the He to my haw mural outside of Kendra Scott. In addition to these there are numerous art murals relating to local businesses and artists. We snapped a few selfies, shopped around and grabbed a frozen lemonade before they had to leave. I was so happy to see them and grateful for all of their local suggestions.
A picture of Julie and me on South Congress street. She's so sweet and made sure to show me all around. She lives in Austin and gave me a few options of her favorite places to eat and I chose Cafe No Se', but here were a couple of her other favorites.
Perlas Seafood and Oyster Bar 1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Home Slice Pizza 1415 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
The Welcome to Austin mural and Wildflowers mural were within walking distance, so I walked to check them out and shopped at several boutiques near by along the way. They had tons of vintage shops if that's your thing. It seemed like everywhere you looked there were art scenes or murals or art decor.
At this point I was a bit tired and wanted to grab dinner but decided to Uber it to 6th street to check out the area. I decided 6th street is basically Bourbon Street in Texas. This was the only place that I felt a bit uneasy and paid really close attention to my surroundings, even during the day time. The Willie Nelson and Janis Joplin mural are near here right off of 6th. It's definitely the place to be if you want to bar hop. I checked it all out then headed back to my hotel to change and head to dinner.
I did dinner at Gabriela's downtown. Its this quaint little restaurant with really really good food. They had cocktail drink pouches and drinks in plastic strawberry cups, and strawberry daiquiris in pineapples. I went with the last one, then shrimp ceviche and vegetarian enchiladas. AMAZING. Like really. You should eat here. I called it a night after this. I had been up since literally 3:15 am, but at this point you should grab your friends and either head to 6th street area or the historic district where they have numerous cocktail bars and restaurants.
Gabrielas Downtown 900 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
Day Two Kayaking in Downtown Austin + Blanton Art Musuem
Kayaking downtown was easily one of my favorite things I did there. I headed to the Rowing Dock to rent a kayak and it was so easy and quick. It's a must do if you are in Austin. You kayak a short way and see a full view of downtown. Its really shallow and I saw people standing up in the water and swimming or hanging out underneath the bridges. It was beautiful and just what I needed to get a little peace and quiet from the fast paced life of Austin. I kayaked for a little less than two hours then grabbed an uber back to the hotel. I showered, changed, then hopped on a bird and headed to Cava, a mediterranean cafe set up exactly like chipotle.
From there I headed to the State Capital which was massive and gorgeous. I walked around and explored the area before taking a short break, then headed to Blanton Art Museum. When it comes to art, I have opinions.. I know I know.. like everyone else, while I respect all art my favorite is early European art. I find all of the oil paintings and portraits beautiful and fascinating and Blanton Art Museum had plenty.
I snapped a shot of my two favorite and explored to the Latin American and Spanish Colonial Art rooms, but they had plenty of contemporary art as well.
Afterwards I headed back to The Fairmont to grab a coffee downstairs at the coffee shop and get ready for the hair show that was kicking off at 6 pm. I crammed as much as I could into a day and a half in Austin, but I know I only scratched the surface.
Both nights are fairly open, but I would probably head to 6th street one night and the second night do the Historic District. There are so many amazing restaurants and bars to choose from in Austin. These are a few that I found that I would love to try out next time.
Roosevelt Room 307 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701 - I love Bourbon bars and this one looks especially nice and unique. Would love to have a cocktail here.
Torchy's Tacos 110 San Antonio St Unit #120, Austin, TX 78701 -We had one of these in Houston Texas where I used to live and your life will never be the same after eating here lol. They have the absolute best tacos you have ever put in your mouth. I didn't go there this trip, but I would definitely make a point to grab lunch there if I went back.
Hey Good Looking Mural 90 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 - I didn't get to see this one on my trip