They say don’t mess with Texas, but boy i say mess with it, mess with it good sister. The crowning jewel in Texas’ tasteful pageant crown is it’s capital city Austin. A bustling oasis of culture, natural beauty, music, out of this world tex-mex eats and the always under-appreciated world of cowboy western clothing (did someone say assless chaps? Shit, me. out loud. bye).
As an experienced campaigner (debatable), i do have a few stellar Austin recommendations i have ripped off qualified pals and the interwebs to hand deliver to your greedy selves.
For those of you unfortunate enough to have not nosed dived without inhibition into the wonderfully nutritionally-deficient world of tex mex, brace your boot scootin’ yourselves.
While i painfully refrain from delivering a three-year long dialogue on the healing powers of queso, i must however, give you a queducation. Queso is a hot, cheesy dip served just about everywhere you go and is not to be looked past. My deep-running passion for queso has resulted in most of my food recommendations revolving around this culinary masterpiece.
During our stellar Austin stay we made Guild Apartments on Lavaca St our home base and hooley dooley are we glad we did. With underground parking, a deliciously refreshing outdoor pool to soak in and spacious, open plan apartments, this place is the shit.
If you’re looking for an activity to get you out and about, grab yourself a paddle board on Zilker lake. Tread the fine line between loss of all dignity and paddle-boarding pro as you wade down the river with the most epic views of the Austin city skyline. Keep an eye out, or potentially just a peripheral glance if you wish to stay dry, for the friendly local turtles sunning themselves along the lake shore – there’s squillions of the cute lil’ bastards!
If you’re into water activity without the activity part, venture out of the city to San Marco Lake where you can hire a tube, bring a floating esky and sail your dainty ass down the river. The best way to spend a stinking hot summers day and get away from the big smoke. Nothing better than boozin’ n tubin’.
Barton Springs Pool and Barton Creek are natural spring pools just outside Austin city that you can soak your impressive Texas back n crack sweat off with. The Barton Springs Pool is a public springs in a cordoned off area. With a small entrance fee, the pool is super dooper popular during the warmer months.
For those of us who are more inclined to drop your dollars on edible and/or material items (sentence me to life, guilty guilty, guilty), Barton Creek is a cheap-mans alternative. Slightly less crowded and slightly more canine populated, the Creek is literally the tyre swing lake experience of your childhood dreams.
Just jump in and enjoy!
A leisurely stroll down South Congress Ave will have you droppin’ dollars like its happy hour at your local strippers. With a glorious array of funky boutiques, traditional boot barns and eclectic cafes and eateries, it’s easy to get lost in a trance-like haze.
If you’ve worked up an appetite with a jam-packed schedule of binge eating, drinking and shopping like i did, there are a number of wonderful spots just ready to aid you in your quest against hunger.
Chuys is an all-timer at delivering hot, tasty plates of cheesy queso, quesadillas, nachos and so very much more, you’d be crazy to skip it. With a wacky taste in interior design and free salsa and chips for everyone who sits their beautiful butts down in store, this is the place for me. I wholeheartedly hearted the baja tacos and be sure to try the mexican rice and beans – dreamy.
Fresas is yet another Mexican inspired haunt i double dare you to visit. A more upscale eatery, the Mexican street corn was the stuff of my
assless chap wet dreams. The green apple guacamole is a must do and never under any circumstances, agree to share one with the table. Big mistake my friends. Did i mention it’s pretty, really pretty.
Elizabeth Street Cafe is for anybody looking to break up the heavy flow (sorry, inappropriate time for menstruation jokes) of tex-mex. With Vietnamese roots, this beautifully decorated cafe serves up stunning fresh, pho, buns and bahn mi’s. I opted for the roasted mushie and grilled tofu bun and boy did i eat well.
Torchys tacos is the a must go, must feast and must binge kind of place. Queso without question and their guacamole is pretty stinkin’ tasty to boot. It’s a cheap and cheerful student haunt whose tacos will make you want to slap your mama.
Lastly, if you’re looking to booze it up and embarrass yourself in public, hit 6th street for a healthy dose of bars, late night food spots and thick American accents. With a liking for beer gardens, cheap drinks and bar games, Austin’s nightlife scene is wild and always a dang good time.
There we have it pals, a sure fire way to gain a healthy dose of holiday weight, an even healthier dose of cheese and a touch of sun and fun. Austin is perfection with a heap of music and jazzy tourist attractions i have seemingly skimmed over. Enjoy this shortlist of my favourite Austin activities and let me live vicariously through you in your Texan adventures.