Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

08 August 2017

Visit Austin Weekend Guide || Where to Stay, Eat, Drink and Play

Thank you to the team at Visit Austin for sponsoring this post! We had a blast in Austin, and all thoughts/opinions are of course my own!

There are a few cities in this country that managed to capture my heart after just a few days in town, and Austin was one of those. Austin is a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays, anniversary celebrations or just a quick and easy getaway for a weekend of fun. Austin is friendly and the margaritas flow like water - no, for real, our hotel gave us free margs! I've teamed up with the wonderful team at Visit Austin to bring you the ultimate weekend guide to Austin Texas. In this post, I'll cover where to stay in Austin, where to eat, drink and play in Austin and where to catch the best live music in Austin, Texas! 

Austin Weekend Guide Where to eat, drink, stay and play in Austin


What is the best hotel in Austin
First question, which Austin Hotel is right for me? So, there are a lot. Trust me, I did enough research and jumping back and forth before we left for our trip. There are SO MANY GOOD CHOICES, but in the end, we for sure made the right picks. I say picks, because we moved hotels on the last night. We wanted to stay at a couple of different places, so we had more than one recommendation for you guys!

Reasons to stay at Hotel Van Zandt

1. The location
Hotel Van Zandt is just steps from the super popular Rainey Street. We walked down Rainey Street more than one night on our trip, which is filled with craft cocktail bars, food trucks and live music. Plus, as a bonus, the crowd is a bit older and more mature and you aren't elbowing your way to the bar for a drink. Hotel Van Zandt was SO centrally located, it never took us more than 10 minutes by car or lyft to get anywhere we wanted to go. Plus, this was the view from our room. Yeahhhh....

2. The Rooms
We were upgraded to the king spa suite which was MIRACULOUS. Check out our room, the pictures speak for themselves.

3. The Free Drinks
Yup, you read that right! When you check in they give you a beer on the house. THEN, every day (yup, weekends included) they have free beer, wine and margaritas from 5pm-6pm! How happy of an hour is that? 

4. The Pool
A pool is absolutely essential in Austin, and theirs is the bees knees. Plus, pool drinks y'all. 

5. Watch the bats
Sure, you could go watch the famous Austin bats from South Congress Bridge... OR you could watch them with a frosty beverage from the comfort of Hotel Van Zandt's pool deck. DYK - each night you'll see as many as 1.5 MILLION bats??

6. Free bikes
Rent their bikes -- FO FREE!

We also stayed at the SUPER SWANKY and SUPER POSH Hotel Saint Cecilia. It was everything we hoped it would be and more. It's a very different feel from Hotel Van Zandt, it's very exclusive and you feel like a celebrity could round the corner at any moment. 

If you're looking for privacy and luxury, you're looking for Hotel Saint Cecilia. Each room comes with a record player and the lobby has a full collection of records to checkout and bring back to your room. 

The pool is full service.....
...... wait, the pool. I didn't show you the pool yet. 


The grounds at Hotel Saint Cecilia are incredible. You totally forget that the hustle and bustle of South Congress is just steps away.

Then when you're ready to go explore and play with the other Austinites, the hustle and bustle of South Congress is simply steps away!

The rooms range anywhere from a studio with elegant simplicity, to very fancy and themed pool suites. Here are some shots of our room!

Ok, that's enough on hotels, let's get down to the fun stuff.


I've got the places we went (or attempted to go and ran out of time) plotted on this google map below! Yellow is food, purple is drink. Doesn't mean you can't drink at the food places, and vice versa!

I'm going to take you through the exact path of where we ate on our long weekend in Austin!

1. COCKTAILS || Josephine House
Super charming secluded spot that's perfect for date night or cocktails with the girls. I ordered the Ladybird Cooler.

2. DINNER || Bangers Sausage House and Beer Garden on Rainey St. 
We ordered the fried chicken specialty sausage and the chili cheese fries because why the heck not?
Also, they had a giant local beer selection and a live band! YeeHaw!

3. Cocktails | Half Step
This craft cocktail house was dark and sultry. The live band matched the swanky, romantic, candle-lit feel. Highly recommend with a date!

4. BRUNCH | Elizabeth Street Cafe
Colorful and charming. Instagrammable AF! Ordered the french toast.

5. BUBBLES | South Congress Hotel Bar
SMILE for the #DrinksInTheAir shot.

6. PIZZA | Home Slice
Pizza is my boyfriend, you really think I didn't stop to see my man?

7. COCKTAILS | La Condesa
I was on a major paloma kick when I was in Austin! This one was dang good. 

8. DINNER | Licha's Cantina
BYOT (Build your own tacos)
Oh, and chips, salsa and margs -- because what's a taco without those too?

9. Frosé | Hotel San Jose
Grab a famous frosé by the pool at Hotel San Jose! Lots of photo ops at this beautiful, eclectic hotel too. 

The servers all wear stripes and you'll feel like you've transported yourself to Martha's Vineyard. Also, oysters are the greatest gift to the world, ever. 

11. SNACK | Boca Food Truck at Container Bar
These were, without a doubt, the best nachos I've ever had. I will dream of these till the end of time. 

12. LUNCH | Fresa's South First Chicken
Drank too much on Rainey last night? Well hit Fresa's for Sunday tacos, chips, salsa and avocado margaritas. 

13. BREAKFAST | Gourdough's
This is one of the more Austin famous donut shops. We got the Flying Pig which was a maple bacon donut. 

Honorable mentions not pictured but you should for sure hit: 
Snooze, Juan in a Million (so good, thanks for the rec Helene), Kerby Lane Cafe, Voodoo Doughnuts, North Italia.

Here are the fun things we did in Austin, from a food truck tour to live music, to kayaking on Lady Bird Lake! 

1. Austin Eats Food Truck Tour
On Saturday morning, we met a group of about 18 people to do a food truck tour around Austin. You were chauffeured around in a big (air conditioned) black bus, and were offered as many cold Texas beers as your heart desired. We hit tons of stops, I believe it was six total. Everything from kolaches, to a BBQ platter, to Nashville hot chicken and then of course dessert!

THE BEST PART ABOUT THE TOUR??? You skipped ALL OF THE LINES. Our second stop of the day was at La Barbecue and the line was so long that people brought lawn chairs and coolers for their wait. We sat down and were immediately handed as much BBQ as we could eat. That right there is worth booking a tour. 

Austin Eats has tons of other tour options besides a food truck tour. Check them all out HERE.

Here's a sneak peek at what you'll get:
Brisket and Cheddar Kolaches from Kerlin BBQ

BBQ platter from La Barbecue

Nashville Hot Chicken from Tumble 22

Your choice of cupcake (or in my case, pizza cookie) from Sugar Mamas Bake Shop

Austin is the live music capital of the world because it has more live music venues per capita, than anywhere else in the world! Who would we be to not take in a song or two of 40? Although tons of places we went had a band playing my two favorite picks for live tunes were:  

Stay Gold

The Continental Club

Be sure to check out a show (or 12, they're everywhere)  when you visit Austin.
CONSULT THIS LIST, it is the absolute best page for all the live music venues and a complete calendar for your trip!  

3. Get Outside on Lady Bird Lake
Austin is totally centered around Lady Bird Lake which slides right through the city. You can kayak (and get the absolute greatest view of downtown right from the water), canoe, paddle board or CB'S personal favorite - take a guided fishing tour via kayak. 

KAYAK RENTALS HERE. We used Congress Avenue Kayaks. 
You can even rent bikes or walk the trail that circles the lake. Either way, getting outdoors and working off those margs and tacos is easy peasy. 

That's one of my favorite cities, Austin, in a very large nutshell! I hope you got some insight on where to stay, eat, drink and play for your next visit to Austin. If you can believe it, I've got about 100 more edited photos I didn't even post here. If that doesn't prove to you that you've gotta get your booty to Austin, I don't know what will.

Special thanks to the team at Visit Austin for helping me plan such an incredible weekend getaway with CB! 

Any Austin questions, hit me in the comments below!!  


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