Austin – What to see and do!

I’ve decided to split this post into two as it’s long and slightly overwhelming to write up. I had this idea that Texas was full of cowboys, people on horses and BBQ, although I’m sure that might be true in certain places – Austin is definitely not like that at all. Austin is quite possibly one of the coolest and hip cities I’ve ever been to. It reminds me of a mix between Portland, OR and Williamsburg, NY. There’s a real hipster feeling to it with breweries, live music, thrift/unique stores and healthy living. The people (at least in the areas we went to) are very cool with their tattoos and stylish clothing – I felt very out of place as I’m not that trendy. It’s a really accepting and friendly city and if you have the opportunity go check it out before it becomes a new mecca and potentially gets ‘mainstreamed’ – gross.

One of the first places we hit up was called Spider House. They have a ballroom and a cafe area so we just grabbed some drinks and relaxed in the sweet sunshine. Apparently Lone Star beer is a big deal there? We had no idea what it was but our waitress was stunned that we hadn’t heard about it so definitely check it out whilst in Texas (it’s kind of like PBR but a Texan must-have). The space itself is very eclectic with mishmash outdoor/indoor furniture, a video game area and baths with peeing statues.

One of the major Austin pastimes is swimming! It’s the best way to escape the intense heat and also a great summer, summer, summer time (bit of Will Smith there). Barton Springs is a man-made pool in Zilker Park and possibly the most popular. It’s inexpensive (a few dollars) and you can just laze around for hours on the grassy mounds or jump in for a swim or a float. I pretty much sunbathed the entire time and avoided being a lobster which was very relaxing. If you don’t feel like paying there is a part of the pool (more like a creek) that is free and is essentially the ‘hippy’ side where dogs are allowed and there’s music and a more ‘wild’ experience haha. There’s a very skimpy fence separating the two areas and you can see a sneaky photo of it below!

South Congress is an area that is full of yummy restaurants and fancy stores. It’s mainly one major road with the capitol at one end. Along it are cool signs and the famous ‘i love you so much’ graffiti. We popped into different vintage market stores and checked out their goods and also opted for some sweet, sweet lemonade as it was boiling hot that day. If you need to do some souvenir shopping walk up and down here and you’ll find something uniquely Texan.

On the opposite side of South Congress is the begining of downtown which I guess has more of the mainstream/high street stores. It also houses various different guitar statues around as after all Austin is the live music capitol of the USA. The bridge that connects South Congress and Downtown is also very famous at nighttime as there is a ‘bat ascension’ (I’m not sure what to call it haha). Around sunset each night in the late summer thousands upon thousands of bats fly out under the bridge and a big black cloud of them emerges to take over the night sky. It’s a truly bizarre experience and if you’re there at that time of year go see the bats!

Austin is the capitol of Texas and therefore home to the state capitol. It dominates the skyline and can be seen from all different points of the city (and is therefore a good reference point to figure out where you are). We went inside and it’s just a typical, regalesque government building.

If you’re after a very unique experience then you should check out The Cathedral of Junk. I’m honestly not sure how to go about explaining what it is haha. An artist started taking scraps/leftover materials and playing with it to make sculptures. It ended up taking over his backyard and becoming this masterpiece where people now get married, have parties, browse like an art gallery etc. It’s very large and very impressive and although not my cup of tea, my two friends really enjoyed it. If you want to go you do have to make an appointment (it is in his house after all).

I’ll end this with this beauty of a photo from July 4th. We went to the race track to see the fireworks and bumped into Uncle Sam himself. I love how patriotic and buzzed (not only from alcohol but also the spirit of the day) people get for the fourth. Everyone instantly becomes so loving and generous! Next up I’ll post some food recommendations for Austin yumyum!


Nicosia - Borders & Mosques

Day Out - Aphrodite's Rock

Paphos - Castle & Sights

Day Out - Cinque Terre

Florence - Duomo & David

Day Out - Leaning Tower of Pisa

Day Out - Mayfield Lavender Farm

Taipei - Jiufen and Yehliu GeoPark

Taipei - 101

Yangshou - Li River

Day Out - Longji Rice Terraces

Guilin - Sun & Moon Pagodas

Shanghai - Bund and Temples

Xi'an - Terracotta Army

Day Out - Great Wall of China

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

Beijing - Tiananmen and Forbidden City

Helsinki - Seurasaari

Helsinki - Cathedral & Suomenlinna

Day Out - Lantern Festival London

Vatican City - Peter and the Pope

Day Out - Pompeii

Rome 2 - Colosseum and Forum

Rome - Food, Trevi and Pantheon

Madrid - Bear and Tree

Hotel One Shot Prado 23 Review

AVE Renfe Train Review

Day Out - La Tomatina

Valencia - Aquarium & Gulliver

Air Europa Review

Adventure - Scandinavia 2016

Bergen - Boats and Fish

FlΓ₯m - Hikes and Views

Oslo - Vikings and Ships

Oslo - Vigeland and Ski Jump

Stockholm - Abba & Meatballs

Copenhagen - Land

Copenhagen - Water

Day Out - Frederiksborg Castle

Adventure - Israel 2016

Jerusalem - Places to eat and drink!

Jerusalem - Old City

Jerusalem - Museums and Markets

Day Out - Makhtesh Ramon

Tel Aviv - Places to eat and drink!

Tel Aviv - Outside the city

Tel Aviv - In the city

Day Out - Caesarea

Haifa - Places to eat and drink!

Haifa - Wadi Nisnas & Mount Carmel

Haifa - Bahai Gardens

Day in the Life - Tel Aviv

Day Out - Horashim Forest

#13 - Israel

Barcelona #2 - Montjuic & Barri Gotic

Barcelona #1 - Gaudi

Bristol - Things to eat and drink!

Bristol - Things to do and see!

Day Out - Sherwood Forest

#12 - Xmas

Day Out - Winterville London

Zurich - Outside the city

Zurich - In the city

Day Out - Harry Potter Studio Tour

Adventure - Japan 2015

Tokyo 2

Nara & Hiroshima



Kyoto 2


Tokyo & DisneySea


Boston Islands - What to see and do!

Boston - What to eat and drink!

Boston - What to see and do!

Seattle - What to see and do!

Adventure - British Columbia 2015

British Columbia 3 - Victoria

British Columbia 2 - Vancouver

British Columbia 1 - Whistler

Adventure - Alaska 2015

Juneau - Outside the city

Juneau - In the city

Whittier - Glaciers, Bears & Whales

Anchorage - Outside the city

Anchorage - In the city

Denali - ATVs, Huskies and a Moose

Louisville - What to see and do!

Little Rock - What to see and do!

Oklahoma City - What to see and do!

Kansas City - What to see and do!

St. Louis - What to see and do!

Memphis - What to see and do!

Great Smoky Mountains #2 - Hike and Fog

Great Smoky Mountains #1 - Bears & Dixie Stampede

Lake Erie Roadtrip #2 - Cleveland, Xmas and Rock & Roll

Lake Erie Roadtrip #1 - Toronto to Detroit

Fargo - What to see and do!

Reykjavik - Outside the city

Reykjavik - In the city

NYC Winter #2 - Markets, Lights and Trees

NYC Winter #1 - The Christmas Cluster

Day Out - The First Thanksgiving

New Orleans - What to see and do!

Montreal - Food Walking Tour

Montreal - Dos and Don'ts

Austin - What to eat and drink!

Austin - What to see and do!

Ghent in a day

Bruges in a day

Brussels in a day

Lisbon Day #3 - Tiles and Trams

Lisbon Day #2 - We Hate Tourism and Sintra

Lisbon Day #1 - Parque das Naçáes

Mountain Roadtrip #6 - Potatoes, Temple and Pride

Mountain Roadtrip #5 - Deer, Lakes and Cowboys

Mountain Roadtrip #4 - Yellowstone

Mountain Roadtrip #3 - Dudes, Spirits and Towers

Mountain Roadtrip #2 - Storms, Bison and Mount Rushmore

Mountain Roadtrip #1 - Denver, Snow and Red Rocks

Baltimore - Crabs, Old Bay and Beer

Las Vegas #2 - The Strip

Las Vegas #1 - Neon Museum, Hoover Dam & Fremont St

Day Out - Santacon NYC 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #4 - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #3 - Albuquerque

Balloon Roadtrip #2 - Flagstaff to Farmington

Balloon Roadtrip #1 - LA to Flagstaff