We love planning a weekend in Austin TX every couple of years! The capital of Texas has so much to offer — whether you’re going with your family, girlfriends, or as a couple, you’re sure to have a great time! Our Austin itinerary is really tailored for foodies, couples, or a girls’ weekend getaway.
Since we’re in Nashville, it’s easy for us to pop down to downtown Austin for a long weekend! Southwest has a direct flight to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, too!
Below are the best places we’ve found to eat, shop, and discover new, funky things — after all, the city’s slogan is to Keep Austin Weird!
When to Go to Austin, TX
While you can visit Austin, Texas anytime, the Fall and Spring offer the best weather. The temperature is pleasant, and there are also special events during each season.
For example, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is in October, and the South by Southwest Festival is in March.
The only downfall to coming in the Spring or Fall is that it’s busier than the Summer.
With that said, the Summer is hot and humid! You should expect 90s to 100 degrees — especially in July and August.
So while you may avoid some of the crowds and college-vibes (University of Texas is in Austin), you may not like the heat. It’s a great time to check out one of the natural swimming holes though!
The last option is Winter. It’s relatively mild weather. You’d need to check the weather before your trip to see if you’ll need a jacket or shorts.
Where to Stay
The first time we visited Austin, we stayed downtown at the Fairmont on Red River Street.
It was for a conference, and it was a very nice hotel. We loved the luxury touches. They also had a full restaurant so you weren’t just limited to the gift store if you wanted a quick bite.
If were to stay downtown again, we would choose the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt.
It’s just a great price point, and we love their vibe! Plus, they do a daily (Free!) happy hour for guests!
We found ourselves either walking or Uber-ing to South Congress Ave a lot though!
South Congress Hotels
So now we like to stay in that area; however, parking is very limited over there.
Austin Motel is very young, fun, and Instagrammable.
For us, we liked The South Congress Hotel for a boutique spot.
If you’re on a budget, the Hyatt Regency Austin is convenient to both downtown and South Congress. It’s also clean – just a little older and off the strip.
How to Get Around
If you’re staying downtown or on South Congress Avenue, you can probably walk or Uber anywhere.
If you wanted to venture out further, you may want to rent a car. Just in keep in mind parking is limited.
Long Weekend in Austin TX
Depending on how long you are staying, you may want to change the order of our 3 day Austin itinerary. Keep in mind some businesses may be closed on Sunday.
Explore South Congress & Find the Murals
We start the day around mid-morning with breakfast tacos at Torchy’s Tacos or traditional options at South Congress Cafe on South Congress Avenue.
After breakfast, it’s time to do some shopping!
South Congress Ave is so unique and cool! They have all different kinds of shops including a great thrift shop — Prototype Vintage Design — and a cool candy shop called Big Top Candy Shop.
Along the way, you’ll spot some really cool street art and murals.
- WillIe for President: 1415 S Congress Ave
- Mr. Rogers: 1421 S Congress Ave
- I Love You So Much: 1300 S Congress Ave
- Smile: 1511 S Congress Ave
- South Congress: North wall of South Congress Hotel, 1603 S Congress
Grab late lunch and cool off with a slice of pizza and a Lone Star beer at Home Slice Pizza.
After lunch, we liked to go back to the room for a nap or to get ready for a night out!
However, if bats don’t freak you out – you’re in for a weird experience at sunset!
If you’re in Austin between March and early November, you could go see the infamous Mexican free-tailed bats. When the sun is beginning to set, you can see the bats fly into the night sky from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge!
The Lonestar River Boat offers evening bat watching, as well as, moonlight cruises and sightseeing cruises.
We love the boat option because you’ll be right on the water, Lady Bird Lake, to take in the unique view of the bats.
If you’re hungry before going out, check out Güero’s Taco Bar for great Mexican food!
We loved their fajitas, and they also have great drinks and live music!
In the evening, we love the live music at The Continental Club.
Pro tip: The Continental Club is cash-only!
Now you’ve gotten to experience a lot of Austin first-hand. Why not go on a guided tour to experience it from a local?
- Secret Austin Food Tour
- Austin’s Museum of Ice Cream Tour
- Keep Austin Weird Scavenger Hunt
- Weird Austin City Tour
- Salt Lick BBQ & Winery Tour
- Beef & Brewery Tour
- Austin & Texas Hill Country Sightseeing
You could also experience some Texas history by visiting a museum or the Texas State Capital building.
Some popular museums are Blanton Museum of Art, Mexic-Arte Museum, Museum of the Weird, Bullock Texas State History Museum.
We also recommend Gourdough’s Public House for dinner!
It’s a local favorite, and you have to save room for dessert! Their doughnuts are out of this world!
In the evening you could go to the bars on 6th Street or break out your cowboy boots and hit up a honky tonk like White Horse!
Start the the day at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery (opens at 6:30) or Biscuits & Groovy (opens at 9).
Then get ready to explore Zilker Metropolitan Park area.
The Zilker area has so much to offer.
You could take in the sights and smells at the Zilker Botanical Garden (buy tickets in advance) or take a hike on the Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake.
You may also like the Zilker Hillside Theater, Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, or Barton Springs Pool (limited capacity). They also have kayaks and paddle boards for rent.
For lunch check out The Picnic.
The Picnic an outdoor eating area with several food trucks in one area. It opens at 11, so it’s a great spot for a late breakfast or early lunch.
After lunch, we like to start Happy Hour a little early!
If you’re open to a short drive (About 30 minutes out of Austin), you could also go to Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood and grab BBQ at Salt Lick after.
In the evening, enjoy Rainey Street for dinner & night life.
Rainey Street is such a cool, eclectic spot full of parties, food trucks, and live music. Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden have a full menu plus 100s of beers to choose from. Their outside area is also really cool and laid-back. Right now it closes at 5 on Sunday’s though!
We also love Via 313’s pizza in the Rainey Street Food Truck Lot, and you have to have Little Lucille’s doughnuts after a good time at the bars!
Other Unique Foodie Spots in or Around Austin
- Polvos mexican
- Uchi Sushi (Great happy hour!)
- Easy Tiger (cheese & bread)
- Prohibition Creamery
- Stubbs BBQ
- Taco deli
- Nobile Pie
- Kerbey Lane Cafe
- Food Truck Parks
We had the best time in Austin and hope you do, too.
It was such a great place for a girls getaway, and when I went back with my husband, we did a lot of the same stuff! I hope to time our next trip with one of the musical festivals!
When my husband and I did a weekend in Austin TX, we also did a few short day trips from Austin including Waco and San Antonio!