Explore Austin

Greetings

We’re excited to be in Austin for the first time this year, and want to share some suggestions of awesome stuff to do while you’re in the area for Tiny House Jam. Below are our recommendations for where to eat, what to see, and where to go to have a great time when you’re not at the show. Explore some of Austin’s historic locations or experience new foods, new music, and more. Cool off in the natural pool Barton Springs or shop on South Congress Avenue. Chow down on Franklin’s BBQ or try the Fresh Prince Smoothie at Blenders & Bowls. No matter what you’re interested in, you won’t run out of things to do in Austin! For more recommendations and travel tips, take a look at CultureMap, Do512 and 365 Things Austin.


Getting Around Austin

Getting around Austin is easy thanks to the city’s various transportation options.

RideAustin is a community-based, nonprofit TNC serving the Greater Austin area. Regular riders pay 99 cents per mile and 25 cents per minute with a $1.50 base fare fee (there's a $5 ride minimum). SUV, Premium, and Luxury rates are $2.60 to $3.75 per mile. If you're feeling generous, you can even round your total up to the nearest dollar amount and donate the difference to local charities. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices

Find out more about the different transportation choices here.


Food

Elizabeth Street Cafe
Josephine House

No trip to Austin would be complete without tasting its local cuisine, but if you’re in the mood for a specific dish you’re sure to find whatever you’re craving at one of the city’s various eateries. Check out our restaurant recommendations below or visit OpenTable for more options and to make reservations!

Breakfast

  • Blenders & Bowls– Fresh Prince Smoothie acai, mango, strawberries, mint, coconut water
  • Josephine House– Breakfast Burger house–made bun, fried egg, bacon, greens, harissa aïoli, frites
  • Le Cafe Crepe– La Fromagère Brie, pear, walnut, honey
  • Magnolia Cafe– The Magnolia Omelette Avocado, tomato, olives, cheddar and lemon sourcream sauce
  • Gourdough’s– Fat Elvis Donut topped with grilled bananas & bacon with PB & honey icing

Dinner

  • Elizabeth Street Cafe– Banh Mi Baguette with Mayonnaise, Cucumber, Daikon, Carrot, Sambal, Cilantro, Jalapeño, and choice of different meats or veggie options
  • Franklin BBQ– Brisket by the pound
  • Michi Ramen– Sapporo Ramen Choice of chasu (meat) and toppings (veggies)
  • Juan in a Million– Don Juan El Taco Grande potato, egg, bacon and cheese in a deliciously hot tortilla
  • P. Terry’s– Cheeseburger 100% Black Angus beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, special sauce
  • Truluck– Filet Oscar Royale 7 oz. filet, caviar, crab, asparagus, béarnaise
  • Din Ho Chinese BBQ– Roast Duck
  • ALC Steaks– Filet Mignon The most tender and aged for ultimate flavor with choice of accompaniments
  • Fonda San Miguel– Pescado a la Plancha Grilled fish fillet seasoned with recado and served with salsa verde, rajas, potatoes, carrots & grilled zucchini
  • Thai Khun– Waterfall Pork grilled pork shoulder, tiger cry sauce, red onion, tomato, house pickle

Dessert

  • Prohibition creamery– Tiramisu boozy ice cream
  • Churro Co.– Campfire Churro Churros tossed in graham cracker sugar, topped with Mexican chocolate sauce, whipped cream and torched marshmallows
  • Lick– Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt
  • Bananarchy– Afternoon Delight The flagship banana, the captain banana, the grand tour: All 3 dips swirled together and topped with nuts and graham crackers
  • Royer’s Pie Haven– Texas Trash Pie Coconut, chocolate chips, graham crackers, pretzels and caramel

Music

Waterloo Records
Singer and Guitarist

Austin is a musical epicenter. New bands emerge, rockstars show up randomly in your local bar, and you never know when you’ll discover a new favorite. Here are our picks for where to find some of the best live music or where to shop to bring some home with you!

  • Red River Cultural District– Hottest Austin music packed into just 3 blocks. Nearly every bar and restaurant has live music.
  • See Up–and–Coming Bands– Mohawk, Empire Control Room and Garage
  • Hear Local Music– Stay Gold, Scoot Inn, Antone’s Nightclub
  • Austin Live Music Crawl– Tour led by a local musician in real Austin, where you see 2–3 shows featuring Austin’s best bands
  • Local Music Shops:
    • Waterloo Records
    • South Austin Music
    • Antone’s Record Shop
    • Wild About Music
    • Austin Rocks
    • Back to the Armadillo

Neighborhoods

South Congress Avenue
The Black Heart

With Austin’s recent population boom, new neighborhoods have been emerging left and right. Here are a few to hit during your trip.

Red River Cultural District

  • Barbarella– local club billed as “a dance club for people who hate dance clubs,” come here for a diverse, vibrant mix of music
  • Cheer-Up Charlies– whether you’re here for the kombucha on-tap or the biodynamic wines, Cheer Up Charlies is a fantastic vegan scene to rock out to live music with your friends

Sixth Street

  • Shakespeare’s Pub– live music and a rooftop deck with a love for mixing beer and the bard
  • Tiniest Bar in Texas– tiny bar, huge selection with 3 food trucks and a dog–friendly patio
  • Easy Tiger– beer garden and bake shop where you can get your pretzel, homemade sausage, and local beer fix
  • Esther’s Follies– Musical comedy, magic, & political satire pulled fresh from the headlines
  • Alamo Draft House Theatre– dinner, drinks, movies, and events, consistently rated ‘one of the coolest theaters in America”

Rainey Street

  • The Blackheart– premier whiskey bar and music venue that was voted as one of the best bourbon bars in America
  • Javelina– the last kitchen to close on Rainey street (1:30am!) where you can get great cocktails and inventive food– like their green chile pork tacos or namesake Javelina burger
  • Parlor Room– made for insta-worthy pics with its ‘Drink Up’ sign and black & white tile bar
  • Via 313 Pizza– Detroit style pizza perfect for pleasing your whole crowd, and great for washing down with a cool craft beer

South Congress Avenue

  • Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds– outrageous costume and vintage shop that’s unmissable
  • Home Slice– real NY style pizza with a commitment to authenticity– both in their slices and in themselves
  • Jo’s Coffee– dogs and coffee lovers alike welcome to this iconic spot with the ‘I love you so much’ sign, their slogan is Hot Coffee: Good Food: Cold Beer
  • Elizabeth Street Cafe– bright and airy local Vietnamese cafe and French Bakery with rotating macaron flavors, fresh spring rolls, and a shady garden pat
  • Bouldin Creek Cafe– vegetarian/vegan food that can satisfy even the most determined BBQ seeker. All of their disposable products (including straws!) are biodegradable

Local Spirits

Hops and Grain Brewing
Texas Hill Country Wineries

Not only is Austin just miles away from Texas Wine Country, it’s also got its own breweries, distilleries, and even an urban winery. The local restaurants and bars also commit to stocking as many local brews, spirits, and wines as possible.

  • Hops & Grain Brewing– Sustainable microbrewery offering tours, a taproom with handcrafted ales & grain-based dog biscuits.
  • Infinite Monkey Theorem– Urban, eco-focused winery creating delicious canned wine with a ‘mad-science’ vibe
  • Still Austin Whiskey Co.– Grain to glass distillery that offers tours and a whiskey garden.
  • Black Star Co-op– Community-based brewery offering great beer and award winning ‘pub grub.’ Has a portfolio of over 55 recipes, built for the Texas heat.
  • Whistler’s– Incredible whiskey selection with a huge patio that hosts local food truck, Thai Khun.

Art

Yoga at the Blanton Museum of Art
Bullock Texas State History Museum

With all the fantastic food, music, and sights to see, it’s no wonder Austin has also built an incredible art scene. Check out everything from established museums to emerging galleries in the city built on creative, passionate drive.

  • Volcom Garden– Retail boutique, art gallery, & music venue built to foster creativity
  • The Bullock Texas State History Museum– features some of the most significant artifacts in Texas’ history
  • Co–Lab Projects– nonprofit that provides space, resources, and education to artists
  • Canopy– collection of 45 studios, 3 galleries, and a cafe with an outdoor common area
  • Studio/Gallery Spaces– Art on 5th, Austin Art Garage, Flatbed Press & Gallery, Pump Project Art Complex
  • Hope Outdoor Gallery– nonprofit paint park
  • Blanton Museum of Art– over 18,000 works spanning centuries on the UTexas campus
  • Contemporary Austin– indoor/outdoor museum showcasing events, art, and education

Big City Little Budget Guide to Austin

This video created by the Travel Channel will give you even more tips on the best that Austin has to offer! Watch the Big City Little Budget duo experience major fun with miniscule prices.

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