Austin… What can I say? We last visited three years ago, and that decision was made on a whim. I’d been curious about the area for a while, and we watched an episode of No Reservations and were sold on the idea of BBQ. Priorities.
Two weekends ago we decided to head back, based on a whim. Our friends are road tripping from Florida to California, so we met them in Austin last weekend. We stayed in the Austin Motel, because it’s central and not too expensive. Plus it has parking so we could abandon our car for the most part.
When you live in a metropolis like South Florida, you can’t help make comparisons when you visit other cities. Places like Austin are a welcome respite because you can count on a great food scene, but people are more friendly. Parking and driving is much easier. There are quirky areas and great music. Plus, breakfast tacos. And real BBQ (which, as a Southerner, I place a lot of value on).
There’s so much to do in Austin, and a lot of it is outdoors. No, we didn’t stand in line for BBQ at Jacksons. We stopped at Rudy’s on our way back from Hill Country and ate brisket in an air-conditioned building. Texas summers are hot.
We didn’t go to Barton Springs. We tried to go to the Hamilton Pool instead but it was closed. So we ended up taking our cooler of beer to a nearby state park where we swam in a shallow river while minnows nipped at our feed. It was beautiful, quiet and not packed with people. We did see the bats. I’ve read that the best place to watch the bats is from atop the Congress Bridge. I’d disagree. The next time I would grab a kayak like the people we saw on the river. It would be a more dramatic view, and it would be physically cooler and less crowded.
We only had a few days, and I wish we had a few more. The next time we go, I want to spend a few days just exploring Hill Country and hitting different springs. Or maybe I would want to keep heading west like our friends, and explore the entire Southwest.
Either way, if you haven’t been to Austin, you should. It’s a great town with lots of things to do, great food, great music and great people.