Girls Weekend in Austin

Friday, April 5, 2013

This past weekend, I had a pretty awesome girls weekend in Austin with two of my favorite ladies. We had very little planned ahead of time, but everything came together for the makings of a fantastic trip. Here’s how our itinerary turned out for our weekend getaway in Austin…

Friday night

I was the last one to arrive on Friday night, so the girls picked me up from the airport and we drove straight toMoonshine Patio Bar & Grill for dinner. Moonshine is located in a historic building with great atmosphere and serves tasty American comfort food. There was a half hour wait for an outdoor table when we arrived, so we grabbed a drink from the bar before enjoying our meal on the patio.

After dinner, we went out for drinks on Rainey Street – a series of historic bungalows-turned-bars, which all seem to have a low key vibe and lots of outdoor drinking space. Definitely a unique, fun area to spend some time in!

Moonshine Patio (via) & Lustre Pearl on Rainey Street (via)

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we started the day with a light breakfast and lattes at Annie’s. Although we just had a simple breakfast at the large U-shaped bar, they also serve a more substantial weekend brunch. Following breakfast, we just spent some time wandering the city, including the grounds of the Capitol.

Latte at Annie’s (was larger than it looks!), the Texas Capitol building, and the inside of Annie’s (via)

In the afternoon, we went for beer tasting at Hops & Grain Brewery. Upon arriving at the warehouse where the brewery is located, we weren’t sure we were in the right place since there was no sign – then we saw people wandering around outside with beer and party hats (so even if it wasn’t the right place, it was still a good place to be, right?). For $10, you get a souvenir glass and five (very!!) generous samples of beer – or you can go with a $5 option with a smaller glass you have to return. While you’re drinking, you can explore the rest of the building – glass blowing, a trapeze school, and a mixed martial arts studio are housed there too – or just go outside and enjoy the weather.

Hops & Grain Brewery

We decided we better grab some lunch, even though it was late. We called Franklin to see how bad the wait was, but found out it was already closed. Instead, we ended up having lunch at Live Oak Barbecue. This is a no-frills place and I can’t comment on how it stacks up to other options, but some authentic Austin barbecue on the patio was just what we needed.

Live Oak Barbecue (via)

Next, we headed out for sunset happy hour at The Oasis on Lake Travis – which has a massive, multi-story patio overlooking the lake. We had been advised to skip the food and go for the drinks, and that’s exactly what we did. The view was beautiful and definitely worth the drive – just look at the gorgeous sunset we saw!

The Oasis on Lake Travis (actually took lots of pics here!)

Back in downtown Austin, we had dinner at Roaring Fork, which has great food prepared by wood fire rotisserie. One of the specials was a salmon appetizer that was seriously un-be-liev-able.

Roaring Fork (can you guess which one is from my cell phone and which ones are from here? haha)

We went out downtown and spent the large majority of the night having drinks at HandleBar. This place was so fun! The bartenders have some of the best mustaches I have ever seen, and we spent a good chunk of our time there playing giant Jenga on the rooftop patio. We stayed there as long as we could, until we got kicked out at closing time.

Handlebar (Images from here, except for the one of our bartender!)

Once we got back to the hotel, I determined it was time to eat again. The only open delivery place I could find was Pizza Land. It took two hours for them to deliver (we got a wake-up call at 5am when they finally came), and it definitely wasn’t worth the wait. A quote that sums up the order: “Want an onion ring? They’re the worst onion rings I’ve ever had. And we didn’t order onion rings.” So yeah – skip the late night delivery! 

Sunday

On Sunday we had brunch at La Condesa, a modern Mexican restaurant. Although the inside of the restaurant has great decor, we chose to eat on the patio (noticing a pattern here?). The food was tasty, but after all the drinks and food the night (and morning!) before, I wasn’t feeling ready to eat too much just yet!

La Condesa (via)

After eating, we did some shopping in the 2nd Street District, right around the restaurant. After we had our fill of the shops, we stopped over to stroll around Zilker Botanical Gardens. With just a $2 entrance fee, it was a lovely place to spend a little more time outside before heading back to the airport.

 2nd Street District (via) & Zilker Botanical Gardens (via)

Considering we hadn’t planned much of anything ahead of time, the weekend turned out to be pretty awesome! Of course, I love spending time with my girls anywhere, but Austin was a great place for it – lots of fun places, low key atmosphere, easy to get around, and great weather most of the year. We stayed at the  Marriott Courtyard in downtown Austin, which was in a great location right on 4th Street.

Do you have some favorite spots in Austin? Or have you been on a fun weekend getaway somewhere else lately?

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