Being a Tourist in Austin!
I already shared my Austin Food Tour over Thanksgiving, here’s what we actually end up doing while visiting the city.
We have nothing on the agenda for Austin. NADA. So we wake up, eat breakfast at home, then one meal out, and another of leftovers. We watch so much TV at night on the big screen in on AirBNB that promptly, upon return, Abe and I purchase a new TV and sound system because we love it. In between, we do things that don’t require a lot of money or planning.
Allen’s Boots – Located on South Congress, this is the place to see what your head looks like wearing a cowboy hat and what your feet look like wearing cowboy boots. I don’t make the plunge, but I do find enough inspiration to order these Frye Booties back home, which I love.
Uncommon Objects – Next door to Allen’s Boots, this might be my favorite shop in the entire world. Not exaggerating. You can spend days walking through the carefully-curated antiques, jewelry, frames, home goods, gadgets. It’s better than a museum because you can actually buy everything there.
Baylor Street Art Wall – We happen upon this public graffiti wall on a neighborhood walk and feel like The Goonies discovering it. You can find it at 11th and Baylor Street, where you can purchase cans of spray paint (or you can bring it yourself). Even Abe’s mom leaves her mark.
LBJ Presidential Library – The bonus about visiting this museum is you get to see the University as well. It’s well-maintained and quite impressive; plus there’s an Oval Office reproduction.
Driskill Hotel – Built in 1886, this hotel feels haunted to me. Just because it’s so old (the oldest in Austin) and lavish. And would be a really good place to watch (or play) “Clue.”
Book People – We walk to this independent book store almost every morning during our stay. There are floors filled with anything you’d want to read, plus a cafe that has way-above-average coffee and tea.
Alamo Drafthouse – I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for this theater. Not only because you can order food and drinks while you’re watching your film, but because my own movie Surrogate Valentine made its World Premiere there at SXSW. FYI the Greek Salad I eat (and Abe’s root beer float) are both pretty darn good.
Congress Avenue Bridge Bats – So here’s the thing. We go to see the bats. A lot of people are there waiting under the bridge to see the bats. The sun sets. The bats never show up. The people are still waiting. We decide to leave, since we won’t be able to see the bats in the dark. Did the bats ever emerge? We will never know. But I’m going to assume that November might not be the ideal time to view Austin’s famous bat population.
Austin State Capitol Building – There is a lot happening outside when we visit. One dude singing “God Bless America” in an operatic voice, and a teenager in a fuchsia pink dress taking photos for her Quinceañera. Plus two guards with huge guns. But inside, it’s a lot more calm. You can take a free tour, too.
Video: Things I Did in Austin, Texas