48 hours in Austin, TX
Travel Guide: Austin Edition
Y'all, Welcome to Texas!
Want to get a feel for Texas before your plane lands? Listen to this Texas-inspired Spotify playlist. Bonus: you can download the playlist to listen to while offline in the airplane if you are a Spotify Premium member.
Austin in 3 words: Weird, California, Murals
J and I drove 3 hours over to Austin for a different weekend experience than what we typically experience in Houston, TX.
Start the day with the most important meal
In Austin, tacos for breakfast just make sense. Texas used to be a part of Mexico. It seems like there are just as many Tex-Mex locations as there are "authentic" Mexican restaurants and food trucks. Breakfast tacos = perfect hangover food + budget friendly.
Some famous Breakfast taco locations are: the restaurant, Tamale House, and the food truck, Veracruz. Unfortunately, Veracruz had a 45 minute wait when we arrived after our first stop at Tamale House. We were freezing and decided that the $1 hot-and-ready Breakfast Taco sign across the street at Las Cazuelas was a better alternative. Although we didn't get Veracruz's renowned Migas taco, rated as a top breakfast taco by Food Network, we did get a few dollar tacos with awesome salsa verde.
Republican, Democrat, Independent, or complete foreigner with different political views in your country, the capital building is interesting and the grounds are very nice. Take a free tour every half hour, and visit the State Senate and House. You'll leave thinking, I should run for office!
Get away from politics #optoutside
If the word politics makes you want to hurl a vat of boiling oil across the wall, may I suggest a hike instead?
Complete the River Place Nature Trail for a grueling, but totally doable, hike (as long as you can climb 100+ flights of stairs). It's under 6 miles round trip, but the stairs are no joke.
For a much gentler walk that ends in a open-to-public section of the river damned off, hike the Greenbelt and spend some time with your feet in the water at Barton Springs.
Get some sleep
After a day of adventure, you'll need somewhere to sleep. If you're budget conscious, check Airbnb for the cheapest options. We stayed here for $44/night. I have to say that place was a crash pad, set up by the owner as an apartment with 3 bedrooms all rented out to different people. The bed was okay on comfort, but nothing for the makings of a great night's sleep. The sheets were very thin, like $5 from Walmart thin, and the single blanket was also quite thin in comparison to the air temperature. I've slept better and worse in my life. That Airbnb is a place to sleep, I suggest bringing an extra blanket or pillow if you're roadtripping to Austin. The host was a little sketch, since the picture and name on the listing were not of the same person who actually owned the place. On the other hand, I'm sure some of the more expensive Airbnbs or hotels would provide for higher quality sleep, but less budget friendly.
J and I attempted to stay at the renowned HK Austin hostel run by Nomadic Matt, but it was all booked out when we tried to make reservations. Next time, J and I may spend a few more dollars or use hotel points toward a warmer, quieter stay. If you like to party and pass out as soon as you get home, I'm sure the Airbnb we stayed at would be perfect!
Sure you'll hear all about Franklin's BBQ, but lines will run your 2 hours or greater.
Controversially, Wu Chow for Dim Sum on Sunday was delicious, but we waited an hour and a half. In the future, I'd make a reservation!
General rule of thumb for Austin: make a reservation.
The slogan for Austin is "Keep Austin Weird." Keep up the tradition, but appreciating the street and murals found everywhere. You don't need to go on a mural tour or look for specific famous murals, instead walk around the city and your run into many amazing murals.
Disclaimer: While I own and use most of the products below, if you click and purchase an item I will receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Wednesday to Wednesday Travel.
- HOPE Outdoor Gallery Graffiti Wall
- State Capital Building
- Barton Springs Pool
- River Place Nature Trail
- Airbnb ($44/night)
- Tamale House
- Wu Chow