#TWRtravels; Where to sweat, eat and adventure in Austin, Texas
This past August, I took a trip to Austin, Texas checked all the #TWRtravels boxes as I got to experience this city with my mom for our first-ever mother/daughter vacation.
For the most part my mom and I have the same taste when it comes to exploring new cities. We both like to eat, we both like to drink and we both like to move on a daily basis. So of course, traveling with each other turned out easier than I could have ever expected.
Since we went to Austin in the heat of the summer, we found ourselves in the same routine – move, sightsee, soak, eat, repeat. The temps got up to 100+ degrees, but good thing ATX has plenty of natural springs, lakes and rivers to cool off in.
Austin is also known to have one of the greatest food scenes in the country. So you bet we ate our way through the city and found some of the best restaurants in the coolest neighborhoods
In case you find yourself headed down South anytime soon, I wanted to give you a roundup of our trip, including our favorite spots to sweat, eat, drink and sightsee in Austin, Texas.
Where to Sweat
I found out about Love from a few friends in Bozeman who recently visited Austin. Love was clean, welcoming, offered us free cycling shoes, and was located in a central spot (super close to Better Half!). We even met the owner who showed us around the studio and gave us such positive energy which made for an awesome workout.
This studio has been on my bucket list since I first heard about it from a blogger I follow – Om and the City. We did the Power Flow class at noon, which left us drenched in sweat, but not overly exhausted. It was just what my body needed after we had spent the previous evening eating all the BBQ Texas had to offer.
There’s a huge trail system that runs along Lady Bird Lake *spoiler alert – it’s actually a river…not sure why they call it a lake* You can run, walk, bike or scooter from top to bottom and across the water and around. I suggest going first thing in the morning though as the temps climb pretty fast once it hits 8 or 9 am.
Where to Eat
This was by far my mom and I’s favorite restaurant from the whole trip. Launderette was located in East Austin in a remodeled building that used to be an old laundry mat. The décor was super cute, but not overly feminine, and the margaritas were spot on. We ordered the shaved zucchini salad, crab avocado toast and the perogies – which was the perfect amount of food for two people. You MUST go if you visit ATX.
Café No Se was a spot I randomly stumbled upon the last time I traveled to Austin, and I’m so glad I did. The Café is located underneath the infamous South Congress Hotel and has a mid-century modern, Scandanavian feel. We ordered the BLTE and herb scramble – both were amazing – along with a fresh green juice and a glass of their homemade iced tea.
There are several Juice Lands scattered throughout the city, which makes for an easy and reliable pick-me-up whenever you’re feeling like a little health kick. Their juices and smoothies are all fresh, organic and sugar-free. Trust me, they are super healthy and super good.
Odd Duck came recommended to me from the TWR community on this Instagram post. After doing a little research on the menu and location, it sounded like the perfect option to get a little adventurous with our food. Odd Duck had an eclectic menu, made up of small plates and shareables that had some of the most interesting food pairings I’ve ever seen. We ordered 6 items off the menu and some of their local beers on tap. We left absolutely stuffed, but enjoyed every bite.
Where to Drink
We stumbled upon Better Half while killing some time before our class at Love Cycling Studio. They serve coffee and cocktails along with bites that range from gravy waffles and biscuits to greens and seafood. We only ordered their coffee, but it was so good that we ended up coming back in again a few days later.
We didn’t do a whole lot of bar hopping, but my mom and I both love a good drink to break up the day. Our favorite place was Rainey Street – an Austin neighborhood lined with houses that have been converted to bars, restaurants and eclectic watering holes. We landed in the Javalina Bar first for a couple of beers on tap where the bartender bought us each a drink as soon as he found out we were from Montana (cheers to you, 406). We then walked down to a spot called Augustine, which was a bit more fancier and had really cool front and back patios to hang out on.
Directly across from the Outdoor Voices HQ lies Flat Track Coffee – a local bicycle shop that houses a small coffeehouse and eatery inside. The coffee was good, the people watching was great and the WiFi was strong – I could have stayed there all day.
What to do
I think the reason they call it a lake is because it literally has zero current. We paddle boarded up and down the water with no problem! It was also a perfect way to see the city without dying of heat.
Austin and the surrounding area has a lot of water access, which makes for some pretty sweet swimming holes. We decided to visit one of the more popular, centrally-located ones called Barton Springs. It was sort of like a huge, natural public pool as there was an entry fee ($9 for non-residents) equipped with lifeguards and a community diving board that provided hours of endless entertainment. The water was pretty cold, which made the 100+ degree temps bearable.
South Congress was a great area to do some shopping and thrifting! There’s a store called Feathers Boutique that I absolutely loved. They had a whole section of hand-dyed clothing as well as some pretty cool vintage hats and jewelry. There was also a hat store called Maufrais on South Congress that I was obsessed with, along with plenty of newer stores like Tom’s and Madewell.
With outdoor recreation, city access and plenty of low-key spots to chill, Austin has become one of my favorite cities to visit and explore. And the fact that I got to visit this city with my mom makes it that much more special.