I have to admit that before visiting Austin, I didn’t know much about it. And now that I do, I wish I had more than 2 days in Austin.
My brother visited Austin a few times over the years and assured me I would fall in love with it… and I did. Why is Austin so lovable? Well for one, it’s a lot different than the other large Texas cities, and a lot different than the rest of Texas. It’s artsy, laid back and delightfully weird…and even if you aren’t visiting during SXSW or the Austin City Limits Festival, you can still find live music here any day of the week.
So what should you fit in if you only have 2 days in Austin?
Go Nuts On 6th
6th Street is the center of the nightlife scene in Austin. There are a lot of great rooftop bars with live music, as well as dueling piano bars, secret speak easys, and historical hotel bars. I recommend bar hopping around 6th so you can see as much as possible. Here are some highlights:
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar – Was my first dueling piano bar and certainly not my last
Driskill Hotel – Classy hotel bar with cowboy decor, not my scene but worth a mention
The Parish – Great live music
Maggie Maes – Rooftop patio with live music
Easy Tiger – German beer garden with a rooftop
Midnight Cowboy – Craft cocktail bar & modern day speakeasy
The Jackalope – Had some unforgettable bar food here.
Shake Off Your Hangover at Spider House
Spider House is a quirky and artfully decorated outdoor cafe that serves up snacks and cocktails. It’s the perfect place to regroup after a night out, and you wouldn’t want to miss getting pictures of the eclectic Austin decor.
Location: 2908 Fruth St
Try Out Your Graffiti Skills
Known as Baylor Street Art Wall, this large piece of graffiti is a condo project gone wrong and is now a canvas for local graffiti artists. Climb to the top to get a great view of the city, who knows, maybe you’ll even find a spare paint can 😉
Location: 11th & Baylor Street
Take A Break at Lady Bird Lake
Almost every great city has a secret nature hideaway, and the Lade Bird Lake Trail is Austin’s. It runs along the lake’s shoreline and is the perfect place to walk, bike, or just relax. There are also kayak and paddleboard rentals found here. If you walk here around dusk, you can take a side trip to Congress Bridge and watch the bats fly out from underneath it at dusk.
Grab Some Day Drinks at Rainey Street
Rainey Street is filled of historic homes in downtown Austin that were turned into a series of interesting bars. Find everything here, from Germany Beirgartens like Bangers to bars made out of recycled shipping containers like Container Bar. Make sure to stop by Bungalow to take a picture in front of the infamous “I hate you so much” wall or step into Clive to get a look at it’s rich interior.
Have Your Fill of Tex-Mex
Being so close to Mexico has it’s advantages, and one of them is having amazing Mexican food. Stop in Polvos to have your fill of Margaritas or grab lunch at Torchy’s, Taco Mex, or Papalote to compare the best tacos in town.
Take A Trip to Hamilton Pool
Hamilton Pool may be the most beautiful swimming hole I’ve ever seen. It sits surrounded by gigantic limestone and is filled by a 50-foot waterfall. The cost to enter Hamilton Pool is $15 per vehicle, and it is located 45 minutes outside of Austin.
Here’s a map to help you out: