Edit Note: this article was written prior to the events that occurred in Downtown Austin, TX on June 12th. For everyone who was affected by the events of the June 12th shooting, my hearts go out to you all. For all of my fellow travelers please remember to always stay safe, practice all safety precautions, and always report any suspicious activities.
With double vaccinations comes great adventures. Like many avid travelers, I was stuck at home for most of 2020, and not in my comfort zone 10,000 feet in the air traveling to a new adventure. COVID has made traveling even more of a hassle than it normally is. We have all heard the stories of the Karen’s and Kevin’s who have held up lines and delayed take offs for refusing to wear masks, the longer wait times going through TSA, border closures, cancelled flights, and of course raising ticket prices. All of these things have kind of made my favorite thing a bit of a nightmare.
I usually never mind travelling. I drink my 6am wine at the airport bar. I never pay for extra perks (paying priority boarding is a scam and I will die on that hill if I need to). All and all, whenever I travel, I usually mind my own business and expect the bare minimum. I have not set foot in an airport since November of 2020, and even then, so much has already changed as we are nearing the end of the COVID pandemic. We are getting back to relatively normal and the airports are showing it.
I thought that after being away from the skies and not traveling as often as I was that I would feel differently about flying, but to me everything just felt like second nature to me. It felt great being in an airport, with the $10 bottles of water and overpriced bags of gummy bears. After about a six-month hiatus from traveling, I was on my way to visit a place I always wanted to visit- Austin, Texas.
This was only a quick three-day girl’s weekend so many things were left to be done for another trip. I definitely would want to come back with my parents and siblings and do everything again plus some things that were highly recommended by my awesome tour guides and my friends from social media.
If you find yourself in Austin for a couple of days, here are some great spots to check out.
Magnolia’s Café has become a well-known staple in Austin. With great food, great company, and a great history, it is no wonder why Magnolia’s has become an amazing experience for everyone. Magnolia’s has been open for almost 50 years and has a rich history of being a fun and creative place for the staff and for local artists.
Prima Dora: Purveyors of South Austin Culture
Located right next door to Magnolia’s Café, you will find the craziest, coolest, and artistic shop in all of Texas. Prima Dora has the most unique gifts, accessories, and art from local artists. Every gift and item is just as weird, unique, and personable as Austin truly is. I could’ve spent all of my lifesavings in this store
My loves pretty much only include arcade games, swing-sets, and crafted beers, and this is exactly what Cidercade offers. We found this place on a whim while trying to find the closest AC unit after spending most of the day in 85-degree heat and riding scooters around. It is only a $10 cover to get in and includes unlimited game time. From 80’s pinball machines, ski ball, Galactica, and so many different games, there is so much to choose from. All of the beer and ciders are made local and they offer so many different brews. Outside you will find seating areas that overlook the river and downtown buildings- and of course, a few tables have swings! I now have yet another thing on my must haves for my future house.
Speakeasy Tour- Firehouse Lounge, Bar Illegal, and J. Stephens
Austin offers many types of tours and drinking ventures. We decided to get a tour from a local to show us some popular speakeasies around downtown Austin. Our tour guide brought us through secret entrances and hidden rooms behind bookcases, washing machines, and back alleys. Each speakeasy is unique vibe and amazing drinks.
Dirty Sixth Street
Okay, I am not the type of person who likes downtown bars/club scenes; however, I was with my two high school friends and I felt like we all needed to be traumatized together. You know, like a group project. When people say that Austin is weird, they are not exaggerating. There are so many bars, so many games, and so much live music and all-around good times.
If you go to Texas and you don’t get barbeque, then what are you doing? This place is known for their BBQ sauce and live music. So many famous bands and artists have performed here, and the venue is great! “Their Mac ’n’ cheese is amazing”- Allyson every five minutes after leaving Stubbs
1886 Café & Bakery – The Driskill hotel
I will say I have never waited and spent more money on a coffee and bagel in my life, but it was definitely worth it. this famous café has amazing food and one of the best cold brews I have ever had. The café and the hotel itself are absolutely stunning and makes for some really pretty pics.
I have never been to a bar that actually has shots of moonshine for purchase, let alone an entire flight!
Everyone and their mother winds up at the springs on a perfectly sunny day and it is understandable as to why. The water is cool and the vibes are immaculate. We took a paddle boarding trip we saw on Airbnb and it was a great way to spend the day. Around the creek you’ll find rope swings, sea turtles, and great swimming areas on your way to the springs.
Things to do that we didn’t get to do but recommended by locals
Mexican art museum
Floppy Fisk Repair Co.
Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center
Obviously, there is way more things to do in Austin, but for a quick holiday weekend, this was definitely one for the books. There are not that many places I visit that I would want to go to again, but Austin is one of the exceptions. The food, the art, the culture, and the people had made this a place to remember and a special place in my heart. Thank you to all of the new friends and places we found in Austin. I hope to see you again soon. Stay Weird Austin!