Although choc full of history, Austin is more than the state (and hipster) capital of Texas. It’s rich with colorful foods, a half dozen bus tours, and the widest range of music in one city in The Bible Belt. After planning a weekend there in early May, I slowly uncovered rookie mistakes, lucky finds, and must dos for anyone planning to go to the Blueberry in
the Red State.
Probably some of the most famous residents of ATX are the bats. Tucked away under Congress Avenue Bridge is well over one million bats that fly out at sundown to feed for the evening. The swarm, of what looks like black dust, takes off into the sky before the eyes of the hundreds of people who gather to watch. Many wait atop the bridge, while others sit on the sides of the Lady Bird Lake/ Colorado River, to get a perfect view of the flight. I personally recommend chartering a boat out to the front of the bridge for prime viewing. Although a bit costly, your guide will be perfectly in the know and will give you the best view possible for picture perfect bat watching.
If you’re looking for a less expensive way to explore the city, head over to Waterloo Records on the corner of West 6th Street and North Lamar Boulevard. As a collector myself, I found this store to not only be incredibly friendly to tourists, but a staple in the community. A long standing and well known name, Waterloo has everything from tapes to CDs to brand new vinyls. We happened to be catching them on a sale weekend which made the who experience that much sweeter.
Speaking of sweet, head around the corner to Amy’s Ice Cream for a seriously delicious sweet tooth fix. Although it was hard not to feel a tinge of guilt with the Whole Foods Headquarters one street over, Amy’s embodies all the creative, inventive, tastiness of Austin.
If you feel like strolling off your ice cream food baby, HOPE Outdoor Gallery is a constantly changing sight. This paint park is similar to an eye spy without a picture bag. You won’t know a gem until you find it!
If you’re looking for an escape from the crowds in the city, check out The Escape Game on Red River Street. Get a couple close friends together and venture into one of their four heavily detailed escape game rooms. Though it may test your patience (and friendships) you’ll truly figure out how strong your personal bonds are (and who is the smartest of your friend group).
If you’ve conquered and escaped from your room, celebrate with a Segway tour around downtown Austin… if you dare. Now I’m not one for a Segway tour, but I feel like this is worth mentioning considering every single person in my group was raving about their trip. I must caution my fellow Nervous Nellies out there that Segways certainly are not for everyone. I ran into a little mishap at the capital that resulted in a man running out in front of my Segway and catching me from crashing. That was right before I cut a corner too close and wiped out on my back. Ouch to say the least. You’ve been warned. The incident did end with a really nice trained paramedic and capital security guard. He was awesome, but I think I’ll leave the Segways to Jobe from Arrested Development.
These are just a couple among the many sights we got to visit in the beautiful city of Austin. There is so much more to explore in every variety of history, entertainment, and food in one of the most unique cities in the country. There is so much in this city that each person’s experience is uniquely their own. I encourage you to go out there, and design your own adventure in Austin, Texas.