Veronica Meewes

Correspondent

  • Austin, Texas, USA

Veronica Meewes is a correspondent who lives in Austin and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Meewes is a freelance writer specializing in travel, lifestyle, and food and beverage. She studied writing, art and sociology at Sarah Lawrence College in New York before traveling the country and landing in the sunny live music capital of the world, where the smell of brisket wafts through the air and breakfast tacos grow on trees. She has written for Serious Eats, Food & Wine, The Today Show, The Austin-American Statesman, CultureMap Austin, Edible Austin, Austin Lifestyle and more. For updates and links to her work, follow Meewes on Twitter (@wellfedlife) or visit her blog, www.mywellfedlife.com.

  • On June 25, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What’s the best time to visit Austin?

    South by Southwest typically falls in mid-March and the weather is usually perfectly mild and slightly warm at that point in the year.  April (and often May) bring fields of beautiful wildflowers, though the heat begins picking up in the month of May.  By June, it can be up to 100 degrees, and this heat typically continues through September.  Central Texas is very prone to draught in this extreme heat, so often the swimming holes will dry out in the dry summers.  By October, the weather is beautiful once again and perfect for exploring Hill Country vineyards, taking a day trip out to Fredricksburg or Wimberley, or hiking the Greenbelt or Enchanted RockDia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is also widely celebrated in Austin, as is Halloween in general, so the end of October would be a great time to visit!
  • On June 25, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn's Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (east of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between June and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to the well-priced Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress and the lovely Laced with Romance is certainly worth the short cruise over to South 1st Street.  King’s Road, which opened recently right smack in the middle of Sixth Street, has a good selection of choice vintage tees.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best bars in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes There’s a T-shirt sold in souvenir shops on Sixth Street which reads “Austin: a sleepy little drinking town with a live music problem.” In other words, if you enjoy putting back a few, you’ve come to the right city.

    The craft cocktail revolution continues to grow and thrive in Austin.  Midnight Cowboy is a former brothel-turned-speakeasy right in the middle of the action downtown.  Make reservations on their website in advance and follow directions to the signless, swanky hideout. Nearby, Weather Up takes ice art to a whole new level and Second Bar makes a mean mule (and much more!) Recently opened Whisler’s has a creative and ever-changing cocktail list and Qui’s drinks are just as artfully and thoughtfully prepared as their food. South of the river, the ZACH Theatre creates concoctions designed to match each production, and their Serra Skyline Lounge has a beautiful view of the city. Up north, Contigo slings classy patio cocktails, Tigress is an unassuming gem boasting vintage glasswear, and the expert mixologists at drink.well never fail to impress with their skill, speed, and knowledge. (They also serve some of the best bar food in town, including a very limited daily selection of artisanal Twinkies).

    For beer, Whip In has been keeping Austin weird since the 80’s and is not to be missed.  Once a convenience store, it has now morphed into a Tex-Mex-Indian gastropub and wine bar boasting one of the best beer selections in town. Up north, Draught House has been an Austin institution for the past 45 years! Think part microbrewery, part pub, and dogs/tailgating friendly. On Rainey Street, Banger’s has a whopping 104 beers on tap, and Craft Pride right next door is your go-to spot for specifically Texas brews. Campus-area Crown and Anchor is the sportiest bar I have affection for, Hopfields is a charming little gastropub, and Dog and Duck is the most legit Irish pub in town. North Loop’s Workhorse is a quaint beer bar heavy on the locally crafted selections, and newly opened eastside Quickie Pickie has a handpicked rotating selection, all just $5.00 a glass. Downtown, the Elephant Room is the best place to listen to jazz while sipping on a Belgian brew, and Easy Tiger on Sixth Street is part ping pong patio, part biergarten and part bakery (which makes their pretzels and beer cheese a requirement).

    Admittedly, I spend most of my time in dive bars around town.  Carousel Lounge is a surreal little carnie-inspired spot in the northeast that is BYO-liquor (they provide set-ups), as is far-north Buddy’s Place (complete with shuffleboard and many miscellaneous decorations collecting dust in the shadows). It’s always Christmas at Lala’s where ornaments and lights manage to twinkle in the smoky darkness, and Poodle Dog is practically a pool hall (and also BYO-liquor). My favorite eastside haunts are Yellow Jacket Social Club, Liberty, and the White Horse. Downtown, Casino El Camino will make you the most ridiculous bloody mary you’ve ever seen (and great burgers to accompany your PBR), red light-soaked velvet paintings deck the walls at Jackalope, and Mugshots has hands-down the best photo booth in town. Austin would never be the same without Barfly’s, The Horseshoe Lounge, Ego’s, Ginny’s Little Longhorn, Donn’s Depot, The Broken Spoke, Deep Eddy Cabaret, and Hole in the Wall.  And for something way off the beaten path, seek out the Dry Creek Cafe on Mount Bonnell Road.

    For wine, I like to direct visitors to Henri’s, a cute little shop serving wine, cheese, and charcuterie. The basement housing Red Room Lounge is inviting and mysterious, with a program run by a master sommellier. South of the river, House Wine is just as cozy as it sounds (and yes, run out of a little house). Whip In has nights featuring various varietals, often to the tune of the sitar or a local band. 

    Several classics that are always worth a visit include The Cloak Room (a Capitol-area dive bar where politicians can be found on the regular), Continental Club (a small, classic venue on South Congress), the uber-hip poolside patio of the Hotel San Jose, and the bar of the historic (and haunted) Driskill Hotel.

    As far as breweries go, Live Oak is centrally located on the eastside and specializes in Czech and German-style beers.  Check their website for information on free Saturday tours and tastings. Jester King is worth the Hill Country drive to experience their one-of-a-kind farmhouse-style ales (they also offer tours every Saturday), and neighboring Argus Cidery is the only place in Texas crafting champagne-style hard cider. They also recently opened a tasting room with a rotating picnic menu (by reservation).
  • On June 25, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best bars in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes There’s a T-shirt sold in souvenir shops on Sixth Street which reads “Austin: a sleepy little drinking town with a live music problem.” In other words, if you enjoy putting back a few, you’ve come to the right city.

    The craft cocktail revolution continues to grow and thrive in Austin.  Midnight Cowboy is a former brothel-turned-speakeasy right in the middle of the action downtown.  Make reservations on their website in advance and follow directions to the signless, swanky hideout. Nearby, Weather Up takes ice art to a whole new level and Second Bar makes a mean mule (and much more!) Recently opened Whisler’s has a creative and ever-changing cocktail list and Qui’s drinks are just as artfully and thoughtfully prepared as their food. South of the river, the ZACH Theatre creates concoctions designed to match each production, and their Serra Skyline Lounge has a beautiful view of the city. Up north, Contigo slings classy patio cocktails, Tigress is an unassuming gem boasting vintage glasswear, and the expert mixologists at drink.well never fail to impress with their skill, speed, and knowledge. (They also serve some of the best bar food in town, including a very limited daily selection of artisanal Twinkies).

    For beer, Whip In has been keeping Austin weird since the 80’s and is not to be missed.  Once a convenience store, it has now morphed into a Tex-Mex-Indian gastropub and wine bar boasting one of the best beer selections in town. Up north, Draught House has been an Austin institution for the past 45 years! Think part microbrewery, part pub, and dogs/tailgating friendly. On Rainey Street, Banger’s has a whopping 104 beers on tap, and Craft Pride right next door is your go-to spot for specifically Texas brews. Campus-area Crown and Anchor is the sportiest bar I have affection for, Hopfields is a charming little gastropub, and Dog and Duck is the most legit Irish pub in town. North Loop’s Workhorse is a quaint beer bar heavy on the locally crafted selections, and newly opened eastside Quickie Pickie has a handpicked rotating selection, all just $5.00 a glass. Downtown, the Elephant Room is the best place to listen to jazz while sipping on a Belgian brew, and Easy Tiger on Sixth Street is part ping pong patio, part biergarten and part bakery (which makes their pretzels and beer cheese a requirement).

    Admittedly, I spend most of my time in dive bars around town.  Carousel Lounge is a surreal little carnie-inspired spot in the northeast that is BYO-liquor (they provide set-ups), as is far-north Buddy’s Place (complete with shuffleboard and many miscellaneous decorations collecting dust in the shadows). It’s always Christmas at Lala’s where ornaments and lights manage to twinkle in the smoky darkness, and Poodle Dog is practically a pool hall (and also BYO-liquor). My favorite eastside haunts are Yellow Jacket Social Club, Liberty, and the White Horse. Downtown, Casino El Camino will make you the most ridiculous bloody mary you’ve ever seen (and great burgers to accompany your PBR), red light-soaked velvet paintings deck the walls at Jackalope, and Mugshots has hands-down the best photo booth in town. Austin would never be the same without Barfly’s, The Horseshoe Lounge, Ego’s, Ginny’s Little Longhorn, Donn’s Depot, The Broken Spoke, Deep Eddy Cabaret, and Hole in the Wall.  And for something way off the beaten path, seek out the Dry Creek Cafe on Mount Bonnell Road.

    For wine, I like to direct visitors to Henri’s, a cute little shop serving wine, cheese, and charcuterie. The basement housing Red Room Lounge is inviting and mysterious, with a program run by a master sommellier. South of the river, House Wine is just as cozy as it sounds (and yes, run out of a little house). Whip In has nights featuring various varietals, often to the tune of the sitar or a local band. 

    Several classics that are always worth a visit include The Cloak Room (a Capitol-area dive bar where politicians can be found on the regular), Continental Club (a small, classic venue on South Congress), the uber-hip poolside patio of the Hotel San Jose, and the bar of the historic (and haunted) Driskill Hotel.

    As far as breweries go, Live Oak is centrally located on the eastside and specializes in Czech and German-style beers.  Check their website for information on free Saturday tours and tastings. Jester King is worth the Hill Country drive to experience their one-of-a-kind farmhouse-style ales (they also offer tours every Saturday), and neighboring Argus Cidery is the only place in Texas crafting champagne-style hard cider. They also recently opened a tasting room and a rotating picnic menu by reservation.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best bars in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes There’s a T-shirt sold in souvenir shops on Sixth Street which reads “Austin: a sleepy little drinking town with a live music problem.” In other words, if you enjoy putting back a few, you’ve come to the right city.

    The craft cocktail revolution continues to grow and thrive in Austin.  Midnight Cowboy is a former brothel-turned-speakeasy right in the middle of the action downtown.  Make reservations on their website in advance and follow directions to the signless, swanky hideout. Nearby, Weather Up takes ice art to a whole new level and Second Bar makes a mean mule (and much more!) Recently opened Whisler’s has a creative and ever-changing cocktail list and Qui’s drinks are just as artfully and thoughtfully prepared as their food. South of the river, the ZACH Theatre creates concoctions designed to match each production, and their Serra Skyline Lounge has a beautiful view of the city. Up north, Contigo slings classy patio cocktails, Tigress is an unassuming gem boasting vintage glasswear, and the expert mixologists at drink.well never fail to impress with their skill, speed, and knowledge. (They also serve some of the best bar food in town, including a very limited daily selection of artisanal Twinkies).

    For beer, Whip In has been keeping Austin weird since the 80’s and is not to be missed.  Once a convenience store, it has now morphed into a Tex-Mex-Indian gastropub and wine bar boasting one of the best beer selections in town. Up north, Draught House has been an Austin institution for the past 45 years! Think part microbrewery, part pub, and dogs/tailgating friendly. On Rainey Street, Banger’s has a whopping 104 beers on tap, and Craft Pride right next door is your go-to spot for specifically Texas brews. Campus-area Crown and Anchor is the sportiest bar I have affection for, Hopfields is a charming little gastropub, and Dog and Duck is the most legit Irish pub in town. North Loop’s Workhorse is a quaint beer bar heavy on the locally crafted selections, and newly opened eastside Quickie Pickie has a handpicked rotating selection, all just $5.00 a glass. Downtown, the Elephant Room is the best place to listen to jazz while sipping on a Belgian brew, and Easy Tiger on Sixth Street is part ping pong patio, part biergarten and part bakery (which makes their pretzels and beer cheese a requirement).

    Admittedly, I spend most of my time in dive bars around town.  Carousel Lounge is a surreal little carnie-inspired spot in the northeast that is BYO-liquor (they provide set-ups), as is far-north Buddy’s Place (complete with shuffleboard and many miscellaneous decorations collecting dust in the shadows). It’s always Christmas at Lala’s where ornaments and lights manage to twinkle in the smoky darkness, and Poodle Dog is practically a pool hall (and also BYO-liquor). My favorite eastside haunts are Yellow Jacket Social Club, Liberty, and the White Horse. Downtown, Casino El Camino will make you the most ridiculous bloody mary you’ve ever seen (and great burgers to accompany your PBR), red light-soaked velvet paintings deck the walls at Jackalope, and Mugshots has hands-down the best photo booth in town. Austin would never be the same without Barfly’s, The Horseshoe Lounge, Ego’s, Ginny’s Little Longhorn, Donn’s Depot, The Broken Spoke, Deep Eddy Cabaret, and Hole in the Wall.  And for something way off the beaten path, seek out the Dry Creek Cafe on Mount Bonnell Road.

    For wine, I like to direct visitors to Henri’s, a cute little shop serving wine, cheese, and charcuterie. The basement housing Red Room Lounge is inviting and mysterious, with a program run by a master sommellier. House Wine down south is just as cozy as it sounds (and yes, run out of a little house). Whip In has nights featuring various varietals, often to the tune of the sitar or a local band. 

    Several classics that are always worth a visit include The Cloak Room (a Capitol-area dive bar where politicians can be found on the regular), Continental Club (a small, classic venue on South Congress), and the bar of the historic (and haunted) Driskill Hotel.

    As far as breweries go, Live Oak is centrally located on the eastside and specializes in Czech and German-style beers.  Check their website for information on free Saturday tours and tastings. Jester King is worth the Hill Country drive to experience their one-of-a-kind farmhouse-style ales (they also offer tours every Saturday), and neighboring Argus Cidery is the only place in Texas crafting champagne-style hard cider. They also recently opened a tasting room and a rotating picnic menu by reservation.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best bars in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes There’s a T-shirt sold in souvenir shops on Sixth Street which reads “Austin: a sleepy little drinking town with a live music problem.” In other words, if you enjoy putting back a few, you’ve come to the right city.

    The craft cocktail revolution continues to grow and thrive in Austin.  Midnight Cowboy is a former brothel-turned-speakeasy right in the middle of the action downtown.  Make reservations on their website in advance and follow directions to the signless, swanky hideout. Nearby, Weather Up takes ice art to a whole new level and Second Bar makes a mean mule (and much more!) Recently opened Whisler’s has a creative and ever-changing cocktail list and Qui’s drinks are just as artfully and thoughtfully prepared as their food. South of the river, the ZACH Theatre creates concoctions designed to match each production, and their Serra Skyline Lounge has a beautiful view of the city. Up north, Contigo slings classy patio cocktails, Tigress is an unassuming gem boasting vintage glasswear, and the expert mixologists at drink.well never fail to impress with their skill, speed, and knowledge. (They also serve some of the best bar food in town, including a very limited daily selection of artisanal Twinkies).

    For beer, Whip In has been keeping Austin weird since the 80’s and is not to be missed.  Once a convenience store, it has now morphed into a Tex-Mex-Indian gastropub and wine bar boasting one of the best beer selections in town. Up north, Draught House has been an Austin institution for the past 45 years! Think part microbrewery, part pub, and dogs/tailgating friendly. On Rainey Street, Banger’s has a whopping 104 beers on tap, and Craft Pride right next door is your go-to spot for specifically Texas brews. Campus-area Crown and Anchor is the sportiest bar I have affection for, Hopfields is a charming little gastropub, and Dog and Duck is the most legit Irish pub in town. North Loop’s Workhorse is a quaint beer bar heavy on the locally crafted selections, and newly opened eastside Quickie Pickie has a handpicked rotating selection, all just $5.00 a glass. Downtown, the Elephant Room is the best place to listen to jazz while sipping on a Belgian brew, and Easy Tiger on Sixth Street is part ping pong patio, part biergarten and part bakery (which makes their pretzels and beer cheese a requirement).

    Admittedly, I spend most of my time in dive bars around town.  Carousel Lounge is a surreal little carnie-inspired spot in the northeast that is BYO-liquor (they provide set-ups), as is far-north Buddy’s Place (complete with shuffleboard and many miscellaneous decorations collecting dust in the shadows). It’s always Christmas at Lala’s where ornaments and lights manage to twinkle in the smoky darkness, and Poodle Dog is practically a pool hall (and also BYO-liquor). My favorite eastside haunts are Yellow Jacket Social Club, Liberty, and the White Horse. Downtown, Casino El Camino will make you the most ridiculous bloody mary you’ve ever seen (and great burgers to accompany your PBR), red light-soaked velvet paintings deck the walls at Jackalope, and Mugshots has hands-down the best photo booth in town. Austin would never be the same without Barfly’s, The Horseshoe Lounge, Ego’s, Ginny’s Little Longhorn, Donn’s Depot, The Broken Spoke, Deep Eddy Saloon, and Hole in the Wall.  And for something way off the beaten path, seek out the Dry Creek Cafe on Mount Bonnell Road.

    For wine, I like to direct visitors to Henri’s, a cute little shop serving wine, cheese, and charcuterie. The basement housing Red Room Lounge is inviting and mysterious, with a program run by a master sommellier. House Wine down south is just as cozy as it sounds (and yes, run out of a little house). Whip In has nights featuring various varietals, often to the tune of the sitar or a local band. 

    Several classics that are always worth a visit include The Cloak Room (a Capitol-area dive bar where politicians can be found on the regular), Continental Club (a small, classic venue on South Congress), and the bar of the historic (and haunted) Driskill Hotel.

    As far as breweries go, Live Oak is centrally located on the eastside and specializes in Czech and German-style beers.  Check their website for information on free Saturday tours and tastings. Jester King is worth the Hill Country drive to experience their one-of-a-kind farmhouse-style ales (they also offer tours every Saturday), and neighboring Argus Cidery is the only place in Texas crafting champagne-style hard cider. They also recently opened a tasting room and a rotating picnic menu by reservation.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best bars in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes There’s a T-shirt sold in souvenir shops on Sixth Street which reads “Austin: a sleepy little drinking town with a live music problem.” In other words, if you enjoy putting back a few, you’ve come to the right city.

    The craft cocktail revolution continues to grow and thrive in Austin.  Midnight Cowboy is a former brothel-turned-speakeasy right in the middle of the action downtown.  Make reservations on their website in advance and follow directions to the signless, swanky hideout. Nearby, Weather Up takes ice art to a whole new level and Second Bar makes a mean mule (and much more!) Recently opened Whisler’s has a creative and ever-changing cocktail list and Qui’s drinks are just as artfully and thoughtfully prepared as their food. South of the river, the ZACH Theatre creates concoctions designed to match each production, and their Serra Skyline Lounge has a beautiful view of the city. Up north, Contigo slings classy patio cocktails, Tigress is an unassuming gem boasting vintage glasswear, and the expert mixologists at drink.well never fail to impress with their skill, speed, and knowledge. (They also serve some of the best bar food in town, including a very limited daily selection of artisanal Twinkies).

    For beer, Whip In has been keeping Austin weird since the 80’s and is not to be missed.  Once a convenience store, it has now morphed into a Tex-Mex-Indian gastropub and wine bar boasting one of the best beer selections in town. Up north, Draught House has been an Austin institution for the past 45 years! Think part microbrewery, part pub, and dogs/tailgating friendly. On Rainey Street, Banger’s has a whopping 104 beers on tap, and Craft Pride right next door is your go-to spot for specifically Texas brews. Campus-area Crown and Anchor is the sportiest bar I have affection for, Hopfields is a charming little gastropub, and Dog and Duck is the most legit Irish pub in town. North Loop’s Workhorse is a quaint beer bar heavy on the locally crafted selections, and newly opened eastside Quickie Pickie has a handpicked rotating selection, all just $5.00 a glass. Downtown, the Elephant Room is the best place to listen to jazz while sipping on a Belgian brew, and Easy Tiger on Sixth Street is part ping pong patio, part biergarten and part bakery (which makes their pretzels and beer cheese a requirement).

    Admittedly, I spend most of my time in dive bars around town.  Carousel Lounge is a surreal little spot in the northeast that is BYO-liquor (they provide set-ups), as is far-north Buddy’s Place (complete with shuffleboard and many miscellaneous decorations collecting dust in the shadows). It’s always Christmas at Lola’s where ornaments and lights manage to twinkle in the smoky darkness, and Poodle Dog is practically a pool hall (and also BYO-liquor). My favorite eastside haunts are Yellow Jacket Social Club, Liberty, and the White Horse. Downtown, Casino El Camino will make you the most ridiculous bloody mary you’ve ever seen (and great burgers to accompany your PBR), red light-soaked velvet paintings deck the walls at Jackalope, and Mugshots has the best photo booth in town. Austin would never be the same without Barfly’s, The Horseshoe Lounge, Ego’s, Ginny’s Little Longhorn, Donn’s Depot, The Broken Spoke, Deep Eddy Saloon, and Hole in the Wall.  And for something way off the beaten path, seek out the Dry Creek Cafe on Mount Bonnell Road.

    For wine, I like to direct visitors to Henri’s, a cute little shop serving wine, cheese, and charcuterie. The basement housing Red Room Lounge is inviting and mysterious, with a program run by a master sommellier. House Wine down south is just as cozy as it sounds (and yes, run out of a little house). Whip In has nights featuring various varietals, often to the tune of the sitar or a local band. 

    Several classics that are always worth a visit include The Cloak Room (a Capitol-area dive bar where politicians can be found on the regular), Continental Club (a small, classic venue on South Congress), and the bar of the historic (and haunted) Driskill Hotel.

    As far as breweries go, Live Oak is centrally located on the eastside and specializes in Czech and German-style beers.  Check their website for information on free Saturday tours and tastings. Jester King is worth the Hill Country drive to experience their one-of-a-kind farmhouse-style ales (they also offer tours every Saturday), and neighboring Argus Cidery is the only place in Texas crafting champagne-style hard cider. They also recently opened a tasting room and a rotating picnic menu by reservation.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best attractions in Austin?

    photo by Veronica Meewes Though millions of people flock to Austin annually for the various music festivals that take place throughout the year, I always tell guests that the best way to get a true taste of Austin is to visit between fests!

    The Texas State Capitol is a great place to start.  This oldest surviving state building is centrally located downtown, where Congress Avenue and 11th Street intersect.  It is free to enter and browse all the portraits of TX governors in the rotunda or (quietly) spin while looking up at the domed ceiling.. or opt for a guided tour!  If you plan ahead and pick up some snacks at Royal Blue Grocery beforehand, the grounds would make a great place for a picnic!

    South Congress is a must-see for out-of-town visitors.  Known mostly for its shopping and people-watching, the strip has become even more of a foodie destination in the past several years as well.  Weekends are the most fun and colorful, and First Thursdays turn the place into a bit of a block party each month.  There are shops a-plenty and several great restaurants, but don’t forget to check out the food trailers and artists selling their wares from outdoor booths!

    We are lucky enough to have access to nature right within city limits.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt has many different entrances throughout Austin which lead to great trails for running, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as swimming holes (when we are blessed with enough rain to keep them full!)  The Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail is a 10 mile trail located right downtown and always bustling with joggers, bikers, and dogwalkers.   Enter nearby Zilker Park to rent kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddleboards to take out on Lady Bird Lake, or fly kites, play sand volleyball, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, or any number of sports on its 351 acres, which overlook the city skyline.  Barton Springs is also a must-see: the three acre, spring-fed pool remains 68 degrees throughout the year, so it is not uncommon to see locals swimming laps in January!

    The Congress Avenue Bridge connects downtown to South Congress, and it is also home to the world’s largest urban bat colony.  Tourists line up on the bridge and at the adjacent viewing area to watch millions of Mexican bats take flight for food when the sun goes down.  The mass bat exodus takes places between around June and October, usually between 8 and 8:30pm.  And for your convenience, there is a bat hotline for updates: (512) 416-5700 ext. 3636

    To say UT football culture is a big part of Austin would be an understatement.  Pack your burnt orange and some cowboy boots if you plan on catching a game.  And even if you can’t score tickets, everyone knows the real party happens all around the stadium, where tailgaters set up early in the morning for some serious barbecuing and cheering around outdoor big-screen-TV set-ups.

    Once the best spot in town to see a vaudeville show or catch a silent movie, the historic Paramount Theatre is now home to film and comedy festivals, artist and author talks, musicals, plays, film premieres and more.   The summer classic film series is a great way to beat the heat and appreciate classic cinema on the big screen.  Make a full date night out of it by catching happy hour beforehand at nearby Annie’s, Second Bar and Kitchen, Roaring Fork, or the Omni.

    Built in 1886, the grand Driskill Hotel on 6th and Brazos was home to many politicians, cattle and oil barons over the years.  The lobby and bar/lounge area are all prime spots for lounging and admiring the very Western art while enjoying a cocktail.  The employees are usually eager to tell you about the historical underground alleys where politicians would sneak in their female company, or spin tails of the many alleged hauntings that have occurred here.

    Circuit of the Americas opened in November of 2012 to the pomp and circumstance of the US Formula 1 Grand Prix.  An observation tower, open to the public, provides a 360 degree view of the circuit, as well as views of downtown Austin.  The Austin 360 Ampitheater sits at the base of the tower and hosts national touring acts throughout the year.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn's Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (east of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between June and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to the well-priced Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress and the lovely Laced with Romance is certainly worth the short cruise over to South 1st Street.  King’s Road, which opened recently right smack in the middle of Sixth Street, has a good selection of choice vintage tees.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn's Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (west of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between June and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to the well-priced Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress and the lovely Laced with Romance is certainly worth the short cruise over to South 1st Street.  King’s Road, which opened recently right smack in the middle of Sixth Street, has a good selection of choice vintage tees.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn's Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (west of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between June and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to the well-priced Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress and the lovely Laced with Romance is certainly worth the short cruise over to South 1st Street.  King’s Road, which opened recently right smack in the middle of Sixth Street, has a good selection of choice vintage tees.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn's Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (west of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between June and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress (and Cream has a second location on Guadalupe near campus). King’s Road opened recently, right smack in the middle of Sixth Street.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn's Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (west of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between July and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress (and Cream has a second location on Guadalupe near campus). King’s Road opened recently, right smack in the middle of Sixth Street.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn’s Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (west of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between July and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress (and Cream has a second location on Guadalupe near campus). King’s Road opened recently, right smack in the middle of Sixth Street.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.
  • On June 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor (and chicken sh*t bingo on Sunday afternoons!) Donn’s Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (west of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between July and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress (and Cream has a second location on Guadalupe near campus). King’s Road opened recently, right smack in the middle of Sixth Street.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.