Austin, Texas is one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States. Whether it be awesome coffee, electric scooters, beautiful hikes, or breakfast tacos, there’s something for everyone. Read on to find out what to do for a perfect weekend trip to Austin!
Climb some stuff at Austin Bouldering Project
Have you ever been bouldering? I hadn’t before this trip. The Austin Bouldering Project is one of several rock-climbing gyms in the Austin area. The coolest part about ABP? Beyond being a bouldering gym, it’s also a yoga studio, a co-working space, and a weight-lifting gym as well.
Hike the breathtaking Hamilton Pool
The Hamilton Pool is a natural pool grotto and waterfall that’s located in the Hamilton Pool Preserve about 20 miles outside of Austin. To enter into the Preserve, you’ll need to make a reservation beforehand. It costs $15 per car to enter, and you’ll need to pay with cash. Be sure to get the money before driving out into Hill Country!
The hike to Hamilton Pool is very easy, only taking about 15 minutes of easy walking to reach the pool. It was raining when we went, and there was standing water on some of the rocks we walked on. That means step carefully. You can swim in the pool when there isn’t river runoff (and dangerous bacteria because of it). The park ranger will advise you when you enter the preserve. Once you’re done witnessing the serene beauty of the falls, you can…
Cruise around the city on electric scooters
Lime. Bird. Those are two words you’ll become accustomed to very quickly in Austin. Beyond being a type of fruit and a type of animal, those are the names of two electric scooter companies within Austin. You’ll see the scooters on many street corners, in front of restaurants, and even in some yards. The scooters are super easy to use: you download either the Lime app or the Bird app, go through the setup process, and you’re good to go!
How it works is simple, you use the app to scan the QR code on the scooter and then if it’s available, it unlocks! It’s $1 to unlock and $0.15/minute after that. Once you’re done, you can either end your ride (and leave it open to be taken) or pause your ride (digitally keeping the scooter, but still get charged). You can see where the scooters are on the app as well as their battery life! It’s really handy.
We primarily used Lime during our time cruisin’ around Austin. I had a bit of a problem using the Bird app and getting their scooters to work, so I personally stuck with Limes. The scooters have a top speed of about 16 MPH, so they can zip around pretty quickly. Obviously, if you use a scooter, be careful. Always look out for cars, and don’t be dumb. …Like we were.
Check out 1 (or all) of Austin’s breweries
Austin has a ton of breweries. I don’t have a clever quip about it, there are just a ton of them. We visited 8 in total during our time there, and I’ll give you a list of the breweries, a link to their website, and a few brief quips on what I thought about each spot.
- Jester King Brewery: Awesome. Massive, excellent pizza, primarily sour beers.
- Southern Heights Brewing Company: Cool space. Good pale ale.
- Friends & Allies Brewing: Love the branding. Solid choice of beers. Small taproom, but it’s right next to Austin Bouldering Project.
- Austin East Ciders: I personally didn’t drink the cider, but they have
foozeball. Neat, cozy interior.
- Hops & Grain: The beer from Hops & Grain was one of my least favorites. That being said, I also could have been frozen from riding scooters in
40 degreeweather. The brewery itself is huge, which is nice.
- Blue Owl: Probably my least favorite of the bunch. Only serves sour beers.
- Zilker: Great beer, cool inside, plenty of games and playing cards. Really cool actual bar.
- Live Oak Brewing: Good beer, right next to the airport so it’s easy to snag a brew on the way to your flight, I love their branding/typography.
Obviously, be smart when visiting these spots. Don’t drink and drive, drink responsibly, and just be cool. Every person I met in these breweries was super nice, so you should have a great time no matter where you go.
Eat some delicious Breakfast Tacos
According to my buddy Jay, breakfast tacos are something of a ritual in Austin. That was news to me, but I’m not complaining. I had breakfast tacos twice during the weekend, once from Cuvée Coffee (the actual tacos they sell are made by Tacodeli) and once from Jo’s Coffee.
There’s a wide variety of tacos you can choose from, from bacon tacos, to bean & avocado, to potato, and more. I got two Vaquero tacos from Cuvee (with Scrambled eggs, grilled corn, roasted peppers, jack cheese), and two tacos from Jo’s (1 bacon and 1 bean & avocado). All of them were perfect breakfasts to start the day, and you can’t go wrong with choosing either spot.
Sip a delicious Belgian Bomber at Jo’s
What’s a Belgian Bomber, you ask? Only one of the best (and most reviving) coffee drinks I’ve sipped (read: nursed. Hungover…ing…ly). It’s half espresso and half cold brew, so you know it packs an eye-opening java-punch.
You’re not having a stroke, this is the second time I’ve mentioned Jo’s Coffee. Not only do they have fantastic breakfast tacos, they also have a rejuvenating coffee concoction. They have several locations in Austin, so visit one and decide for yourself!
Get a drink or two from Whisler’s
Whisler’s is a reclaimed-schoolyard-building-turned-bar. The dim lighting and eclectic decorations (old Virgin Mary statues, deer horns, odd paintings, vintage chandeliers) give the location such personality. You just feel cool sipping an old fashioned by the main bar. That being said, they serve artisan cocktails and have an incredible food truck, Thau Kun, that’s parked behind the building itself.
Whisler’s vibe is REALLY cool, but it’s relatively expensive and can get very crowded. We were there as a cold front was rolling through, which meant the bar wasn’t as packed (woo!). I’ll leave you with a fun-fact about Whisler’s, I was told that it’s one of Tim Ferriss’ favorite bars. That means, if you go there enough, you might be able to run into him! Just…don’t be weird, okay?
Visit Austin’s famous Graffiti Park
The famous Graffiti Park, located in Castle Hills, has some history. It was originally a construction project that was abandoned part of the way to completion. The vertical, unfinished concrete walls made for a perfect, urban gallery for a plethora of graffiti artists. The coolest thing about the Graffiti Park? The art is ever-changing. People go to the walls every day and paint over sections to create their own pieces. You can contribute to the walls yourself! Several entrepreneurs were selling spray cans for $5 as we clambered up the side of the Park.
All of that being said, the park is being moved on January 2nd, 2019. The Graffiti Park is in the middle of a nice neighborhood, so it would make sense that they want to reclaim the property. The park is moving to another location after January 2nd, so you can still experience it after the move date.
There’s Your Perfect Austin Weekend
Huge thanks to my buddy Jay Ojea for taking us around Austin and showing us these spots. Have you gone to any of the spots on this list? Have any suggestions? Comment below and let me know!