We’re covering all the fun things to do in Austin! We keep it weird as we travel to Austin Texas with stories and adventures from two separate trips to the capitol of the lone star state. There are so many things to do in Austin that you’ll want to visit again and again! From great good, to beautiful nature, to the cowboy lifestyle, just one weekend trip to Austin will have you saying yeehaw! In this episode we tell you where to stay in Austin to enjoy the most of this beautiful city and the amazing hotel pools it has to offer.
Take a Trip with These Fun Things to Do in Austin
Welcome to the Travel Squad podcast. Today. We are taking you to the lone star state, specifically to the state’s Capitol. Austin, Texas.
1 (1m 6s):
Austin is a perfect weekend or trip. There’s so much to do in C in around the city. And it’s really easy to navigate. Austin also wins the best barbecue award in my book.
2 (1m 18s):
I didn’t have any barbecue. And I went to Austin. No, I had plenty of tacos, but I absolutely love Austin. It’s a city I knew I would love before I ever went. When I went, I loved it. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I think in 2022, I’m going to finally make my move and call it my new hometown.
3 (1m 36s):
Big move right there, Kim big
2 (1m 38s):
Move. But it’s amazing. There there’s so much nature. There’s so many good restaurants. There’s live music. There’s equal amounts of nature and party. It’s like everything I could ask for.
3 (1m 47s):
It’s no Miami though. Kim, what about Miami? It’s
2 (1m 50s):
No Miami, but there’s also not as much humidity
3 (1m 52s):
And no hurricanes,
2 (1m 53s):
No hurricanes. Right? And actually, as far as that goes, you know, the Houston Corpus Christi can very, does get hit pretty bad with hurricanes. Also for the most part comes out unscathed from a lot of weather events.
3 (2m 5s):
Let’s inland. So I mean, there may be major thunderstorms and downpours and maybe you inhale. Yes, but no hurricanes. That is for sure. So you’re avoiding it on the Gulf there in that Houston area you’re talking about definitely not Miami, but I’m excited to talk a little bit about Austin here, Brittany and I had gone for our anniversary on a weekend or trip. You had gone before with a friend Kim to Austin. Yes.
2 (2m 28s):
Hyped it up so much. You guys were like, we gotta
3 (2m 30s):
Go. We gotta go. Austin has one of those unique cities within Texas. I mean, I hate to stereotype. Texas is just Texas, but Austin is that one unique city. That’s not like Texas. And what I mean by that is Austin as a little bit more of a liberal city. And I’m not talking just like in terms of politics, but in terms of like lifestyle and
2 (2m 49s):
Is keep Austin weird.
3 (2m 51s):
Yes. Like Portland keep Portland weird. Right? Yeah. And so they just adopted that and brought it over to Austin. So that’s what I mean by
1 (2m 58s):
That. So we’re going to dive right into the tips. So let’s go ahead and start you off with one.
3 (3m 3s):
And this is Texas. We got some big tips here for you.
2 (3m 5s):
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the tip. So first tip is that if you are planning to keep yourself central to the downtown area of Austin, you really don’t need a car. You can get around everywhere by walking or Uber.
3 (3m 20s):
Yes. And the airport is not very far from downtown either. So it may be a little bit more expensive with a cab ride or an Uber Lyft, but you’re going to be saving that money because parking downtown is expensive in hotels. Rest assured he stay in a hotel downtown, you’re paying at least 15 to 30 bucks depending on the place per night that you’re staying.
1 (3m 39s):
But if you’re not staying in downtown, or if you are planning to explore where the outskirts of the city or surrounding areas, you will need a car.
2 (3m 47s):
And there is a lot on the outskirts to explore.
1 (3m 50s):
And Jamal mentioned it earlier. Parking is expensive. It was $30 a day. When we were at the hotel we were at when we were there for three days, like that’s almost a hundred bucks.
2 (3m 59s):
Weather-wise, Austin’s pretty nice. But in the summer it can be very hot, like hundred plus degree weather
3 (4m 6s):
When we were there in August for our anniversary, Kim hottest shit really humid also. And then the irony of it is later in the day that big thunder storm came in, that I was talking about. So do keep that in mind, you know, certain places in the U S are known for summer thunderstorms. Austin is one of those places torrential downpour came through. But for the most part, yes, very, very hot during the summer,
2 (4m 28s):
Mind the heat so much though, like we grew up around Sacramento where it also got really hot in the summer. So I don’t know. It felt normal to me that
3 (4m 35s):
Well, mine heat, but when we were there, it was a little bit more humid. It’s the humidity. And they always say that is what kills you quite honestly. I mean, sometimes when we go to Vegas and it’s like 105 degrees, it’s a dry heat. I don’t really feel, it doesn’t feel like terrible. It’s bad. Don’t get me wrong. But you know, 90 degrees with humidity and Austin is pretty bad.
1 (4m 54s):
I don’t mind so much, as long as there’s like shade, if you’re in direct sun the whole time, that’s when it’s terrible.
2 (4m 59s):
Everywhere has AC
3 (5m 0s):
That’s very true. But when you’re out and about and walking, that’s when it’s really a problem. But here’s the solution for you and with the tips is that Austin does have a lot of natural swimming holes. So they have those natural swimming holes. Maybe you’ve seen it on Instagram or anything like that. A lot of the limestone structures where you can go swimming. A lot of it is in shaded areas. Sometimes not. However, if you are going specifically for that and the cool-down just look online on which place you want to go. Some of them do require tickets, advanced reservations, but most importantly, during certain times of the year, they can be polluted with algae. So they do naturally clean themselves. I mean, they’re natural ecosystems, but during certain times of the year, you’re not going to be wanting to go in there.
3 (5m 42s):
So if that’s what you’re specifically going for, do you research and make sure that that’s not going to happen to you,
2 (5m 47s):
We’re to stay in Austin. So normally we kind of go for like mid range, budget type places. But for some reason, both of us on our two different trips went all out on the place we stayed And they were great places to stay.
1 (6m 1s):
So Jamal and I stayed at the Fairmount hotel and this was a really great place to stay. We had views of rainy street views of lady bird lake. We had views of the, that bridge as well. So it was a really nice hotel, really cool pool to lay out in lounge as well. And we booked it with our chase Sapphire reserve card and it gave us a lot of perks.
3 (6m 24s):
Yes. So when we booked it through our chase Sapphire reserve, and again, we’ve talked about this credit card before, if anyone is a frequent traveler, I highly highly recommend it for you. It does have a very large annual fee, but the fee more than pays for itself. I feel like if you’re utilizing it correctly, point being, they have a service through that credit card where you can book at what they call the luxury hotel collection. And when you book through there, through that service, having that card, it gives you a lot of free perks, free breakfast, free hotel credits, free room upgrades also. So we utilize it for that. And normally Brittany and I don’t really go balls to the wall, but it was our anniversary trip. So I think that’s one of the reasons why we ended up doing it, but such a great hotel with all those views that Brittany was talking about and really, really nice.
3 (7m 8s):
And they gave us some plush, bathrobes, Kim, right up your alley on that end of things.
2 (7m 13s):
That’s amazing. The hotel that I stayed at when I went with my friend, Jamie has called the line and this is right on the downtown side of Congress street bridge, where the bats come out on the other side. So our room was facing lady bird lake. We had a view of the bridge. It was amazing. The other side of the hotel has a view of downtown Austin. It’s an amazing hotel, super hipster, creative artsy vibes the pool in the back, beautiful lounge deck. It has Veracruz tacos there. They have a bar, they have a DJ and the backside looks out to the Arboretum where everyone’s walking once they get across the bridge. So it’s really, really cool, probably around the same price range, three to 400, maybe more depending on the day that you go, but I would highly recommend this hotel.
3 (7m 55s):
So Kim, you mentioned Veracruz tacos. We’ll get to it later. It’s not a specific style of taco. It is a specific company and they have multiple locations And they happen to have one at the line hotel. We’re going to touch upon Vera Cruz later, because believe me, I have something to say about Vera Cruz, but we’ve mentioned twice now, lady bird Blake. And when you look online on things to do in Austin, you’re going to see lady bird lake. And let me tell you something. I learned a little bit later. Lady bird lake is not even a fricking lake. It is just a portion of the Colorado river that runs in front of downtown Austin. So the Colorado river is what runs between there. And there is no lake it’s part of the river. Why do they call it a lake that I do not know that I can’t tell you.
3 (8m 37s):
There’s lots of cool activities to do in that area of lady, bird, lake of the river. But at the same time, don’t be deceived. It is not a lake.
1 (8m 45s):
So we’re going to jump into some food and drink talk. But Kim I’m really disappointed. You didn’t have any barbecue while you were in Austin.
2 (8m 53s):
No, I didn’t. You know, I went a vegetarian, so that might’ve been it. Okay.
3 (8m 58s):
Yeah. That makes sense. Because I think you went to Austin after we had stopped in Texas at Brittany sister’s house and we did Texas barbecue. I knew you liked it. So I’m shocked to hear, but it makes sense why you didn’t go. But when you go back to Austin or when you make it, your future home, Kim, you have to have barbecue out there. So let’s get right into the barbecue. I mean, how can you go to Texas without barbecue? Unless you’re in a situation like Kim. So let’s hit the ground running first place that we would recommend to get in Austin is Franklin’s barbecue. Now because of COVID they were requiring that you only do two go order pickups. And they only did so many per day when we were there. Unfortunately it was completely sold out.
3 (9m 38s):
So we didn’t get to try it. But if you talk to anybody who knows anything about barbecue in Austin, they will highly recommend Franklins. So if you go there before we, as the squatter able to go back and try it, let us know, but everybody raves about it.
1 (9m 52s):
The second place that was completely raved about online was called love barbecue. We drove by it to see if we wanted to go there. And oh my God, the line was crazy long. It was going outside of the door, winding down the street. And we’re like, no, this is a little too crazy. We’re going to spend hours just waiting in line. And we were already hungry and every barbecue place, like every popular barbecue place, lions are crazy. So we had actually driven by another place called Terry Black’s barbecue. And when we had originally gone by their line was also super crazy. And we’re like, are we going to be able to eat any barbecue while we’re in Texas? Are we just going to spend the whole time waiting in line? But then there was that torrential, downpour and thunderstorm. And while that was happening, Kim, we were like, you know what, no, one’s going to wait in line in this.
1 (10m 35s):
3 (10m 36s):
And you know what? People were still waiting in fucking line for their Texas barbecue at Terry blacks. Granted the herd had thinned just a little bit. So it made it more palatable of a wait. We still waited about 45 minutes. Thank
2 (10m 48s):
God. And you were hungry
3 (10m 49s):
And we were hungry. Well, it was either that or wait an hour and a half plus for the longer lines up there were. And especially if we went when it was not raining at that point in time. But let me tell you something as much as we wanted to try Franklins and the barbecue, I am so stoked that we tried teary blacks. Quite honestly, it’s some of the best barbecue. I think I’ve ever had specifically at this Austin location. Brisket is king over there. That’s what they say. That’s their tagline. And I believe it, their brisket is out of this world. One of my favorite things to have when it comes to barbecue, we had the pork ribs. How
2 (11m 19s):
Are the ribs?
3 (11m 20s):
The ribs were good. Ribs were good. Were they exceptional? And out of this world? Like their brisket? No, but very, very satisfied with it that much I can tell you,
1 (11m 29s):
Mac and cheese was good. It was nice and creamy as well. It was definitely good. Cole slaw was decent. It had a very vinegary taste. Jamal really liked that. But you know, if their highlight was of sides, they’re creamed corn.
2 (11m 43s):
3 (11m 44s):
2 (11m 44s):
Thought you were going to say peach cobbler,
1 (11m 46s):
No side sides.
3 (11m 47s):
No, Kim we’re talking still about the cream corn. It was very, very good. But we did have the peach cobbler for it was really, really good, but it’s not like the Texas barbecue we had in Dallas. When we were with her sister where it was the all you can eat, peach cobbler included. You had to buy it solo, but it was still really, really good.
1 (12m 6s):
There was also another barbecue place called Brown’s barbecue. This is actually a food truck and there was no line, which was amazing. So it’s a good option. If you are short on time or if you like to avoid lines, the brisket, there was also good. Their sides were okay. So sides that Terry blacks were much better, but if you’re in a rush and he still want Texas barbecue, this is a good one.
3 (12m 28s):
Yeah. And the barbecue was fantastic. Just the sides. Maybe it was an off day. So I don’t want to rag on Browns too much, but really, really good barbecue specifically. And what I really liked is even though this was a food truck, it’s in front of a bar. So they have an agreement, worked out with the bar. So if you order the food, you can go inside. You don’t even have to order a drink, but how am I supposed to go in a bar and not get myself a drink? So we were able to go inside, escape the heat and enjoy our barbecue there because we did two rounds of barbecue and Austin,
2 (12m 57s):
One weekend, two rounds of barbecue.
3 (12m 59s):
Why not? Right? Would have been four of the other two places could have taken us. Kim.
2 (13m 4s):
Now Austin is well-known for its tacos. I did my research and this is what they said before I ever went to Austin. So this is the impression I had going in coming from San Diego, California, where we are right next to Mexico. And I’ve eaten a lot of tacos. Austin tacos were different.
3 (13m 22s):
They weren’t good. I’m just going to come out and say it. You know what, Austin and Texas, when you talk about your TexMex food, I hate to say it. It’s not very good.
2 (13m 29s):
I think the one noticeable thing is that they use small flour tortillas. They don’t use corn.
3 (13m 35s):
That’s fine. That’s not really it. I just think all in all the flavors are just completely different
2 (13m 40s):
And I had to make it really artsy.
3 (13m 41s):
Yeah. And I get that. It is a unique regional thing. And I’m not hating on that because I think each region should have their own thing. But for everybody, when you go online and look at Texas tacos or Austin tacos for that matter, everybody’s raving about it. And I do not know what the hell they’re talking about. I’m just going to be completely honest with you. Brittany was like, all right, we’re here. They’re famous for it. We got to try it. I was on board with it. You had already gone to Austin mentioned it too. And I think, I even remember you saying like, you know, they were just, okay. And then Brittany showed me a photo. And as soon as she showed me a photo of what it looked like on the menu, I knew. Yeah. I knew for sure, I didn’t want to go there, but I trooped it out, went with Brittany, had it and I could have easily done without.
3 (14m 24s):
So I’ll tell you what, if you’re a Californian, don’t go. If you’re from anywhere else where they don’t really have good Mexican food, you may enjoy it. But as a California don’t waste your time.
2 (14m 32s):
I had Veracruz tacos only because it was served at the pool at the line hotel. And that’s what they serve. So we ordered food, I got Molay tacos, chicken tacos, and then something for Jamie that was vegetarian, totally underwhelming. And just like the
1 (14m 47s):
2 (14m 48s):
Oh, very overpriced, like five or $6 a taco. And they weren’t that good. I also went to Torchy’s tacos, which is another well-known place in Austin. I got a fried chicken taco. And you go into that, knowing this is not your average taco. So I thought that was decent. It’s the same kind of flour tortilla crunchy. Maybe it was even like a cabbage with the fried chicken. That’s pretty good
3 (15m 11s):
With the fried chicken chem. That’s all you need.
2 (15m 13s):
And then I went to another place called Joe’s coffee. This is the place that has that famous. We love you so much mural outside. It’s really just not much of a mural. It’s just painted on the wall. And there, I got a breakfast taco, which is like a mini breakfast burrito. So how could you go wrong with that? It was delicious bacon, eggs, cheese, mini flour, tortilla salsa. Amazing
1 (15m 35s):
Her to fuck up a breakfast taco,
2 (15m 36s):
Right? Yeah. I mean, so they got that and I got this Vietnamese coffee. It was like a blended thicker, delicious fucking coffee. I got a small and a one taco. I actually went back and got another small coffee in another taco while we ate it there.
1 (15m 49s):
3 (15m 50s):
I wish we would’ve known about the spot because you have me really intrigued by it now, Kevin, but I just want to go on a side tangent real quick. I wouldn’t call it a tangent side. Note what Brittany said, how hard could it be to fuck up a breakfast taco? Well, we were recently in Sedona. It wasn’t a breakfast taco. It was a breakfast burrito at a shop and major fuck up. I mean, they can’t happen. So I mean, it has to be a rarity, but it definitely
2 (16m 12s):
3 (16m 13s):
It was just trashed. The eggs were way hammered and over cooks, not enough cheese in it, too much potatoes. It just made us so, so dry. It was bad. It was bad. But anyway, I mean, that’s our honest opinion regarding the taco situation in Austin. So you’ll read a lot about it online, but if you want my honest opinion stick with the barbecue, Texas knows how to barbecue. I don’t think they know how to talk. Go though.
2 (16m 36s):
Just know what you’re getting into with the tacos. It’s not going to be your Mexican style tacos.
1 (16m 41s):
Yeah. So I mean, I know we did hate on the tacos a little bit, but we did go to a place, didn’t have tacos, but they did have other food. It was called barley swine. And as we mentioned, Jamal and I went for our anniversary weekend, we were celebrating 14 years together and six years married. But my sister actually told me about barley swine and they have a nine course tasting menu. You
2 (17m 6s):
Guys love tasting menus,
1 (17m 7s):
Love them. They are continually changing their menu. And it’s definitely a foodie hotspot and you would need to make reservations, but it was so good. We enjoyed our time there and I would highly recommend going there and I would go back.
3 (17m 21s):
Yeah. If you’re looking for a more elevated place to eat, I would recommend barley swine. Also I enjoyed it a lot. So I think that gives you guys a good little bit of information regarding the food scene out in Austin.
2 (17m 32s):
The food scene is huge. I mean, you could literally take an eating and drinking tour of Austin. Do nothing else there, even though there’s tons of other things to do.
3 (17m 40s):
I think I saw a or tour that was like an eating tour of certain foods, things that they have. Yeah, for sure.
2 (17m 45s):
I actually took the car and drove 45 minutes outside of downtown to this place called the Oasis on lake Travis. Beautiful place. It’s this multilevel kind of like venue has all these different restaurants, bars, shops. And when you’re on one of the topper layers, you look back at the building and it just looks like Europe.
1 (18m 6s):
2 (18m 7s):
It’s so pretty. And it’s right on the lake. And there’s like all these gates with heart locks all over. It’s super pretty. And so we had dinner there one night had fajitas and margaritas and it was great. There’s also one other place I want to mention that is very unique and very cool in downtown Austin. It’s called . And again, it’s some Mexican food, but it’s not the food that draws you here. It’s the drinks and the atmosphere, everything is pink. Like they had a phone booth, it was just covered in flowers. Totally pink. Everything’s beautiful. You want to Instagram everything. They had these drinks that come in almost like Capri sun and it said, bitch juice on it. And they’re just cute. And you just want to drink and eat there.
3 (18m 48s):
That sounds right up your alley. He described that and just like, oh, can we for sure go there. Well, if you’re on the adult oriented drinks and you don’t really want the bitch juice, as Kim was talking about and want some beers or something, they do have a craft brew scene out in Austin. The one brewery that Brittany and I went to was absolutely amazing. I really loved it. The interior in terms of like breweries was nothing special and left a lot to be desired, but the beers were really good. Like Brittany, he drinks beer, but she doesn’t love beer. We had it left and came back another day because Brittany liked it. So, so much. So when Brittany is intrigued by a beer, I know it’s a good beer. And that was at central district brewing right in the heart of downtown.
3 (19m 29s):
They had an amazing sour beer. And I think that’s what Brittany had and loved.
1 (19m 33s):
Yeah, it was called violet crown. It was a black current kettle sour. It was amazing. I had, I think two, one day and then I loved it so much. We went back the next day so I could get it again.
2 (19m 45s):
There’s a couple of other party neighborhoods in Austin that you’ll definitely hear about. If you’re researching the first one is sixth street and this, you can imagine like bourbon street and NOLA. It’s a big long street with tons of bars, rooftop, bars, smaller bars, dancing bars, like all the bars. And I would say not where the classy people go to have a Manhattan after the office, but it’s definitely where you go to get crazy. And you know, you have to see it if you’re there. When Jamie and I went, we were walking down the street and it doesn’t get going until later in the evening. So think like at least 10 o’clock is when it will start getting crazy.
1 (20m 22s):
2 (20m 23s):
Yeah. So it’s not for everyone. But the one thing I remember, I don’t remember what any of the bars were called. The only thing I remember is that at one place we paid $16 for not one, but two double red bull vodkas,
1 (20m 37s):
Fucking them hard,
2 (20m 39s):
Double hard. And that was exciting.
3 (20m 42s):
Another famous party district in Austin is going to be rainy street. Now rainy street, when we were staying at the Fairmount and Austin, we had views of it during the day. It’s very unsuspecting. You know, again, it’s geared towards the nightlife. So you’re not really going to see much happening there, but during the evening, it’s all lit up. They have strewn lights, all about the streets and from one bar to the next. And what was really unique is maybe you guys have seen this new building technique where people take shipping containers and they make like homes and buildings and things like that. Well, on rainy street, I felt like 50% of the bars were made with that. They were shipping containers and they were stacked all uneven and in these weird different ways. And so it just created a unique ambiance of the party district that they had down there.
1 (21m 26s):
It’s also was looking like a residential neighborhood. And so some of the places that weren’t converted from container homes were actually just old homes that were converted into bars, mini hotels, or even restaurants, Jamal. And I didn’t go to party, but we did drive down it to check it out. And there was a ton of food trucks that you can go. And so if you hop from bar to bar and you get a little hungry, got to soak up, some booths hit up a food truck before making your rounds to the next place.
2 (21m 54s):
The street I would say is a little step above sixth street in terms of like it’s a little bit more older, not as wild. It definitely still is, but depends on what kind of night you’re going for and what kind of people you’re traveling with.
1 (22m 7s):
I heard it’s like the new Nashville in terms of like bachelorette parties. Bachelor parties
3 (22m 13s):
Makes a lot of sense. It was only two blocks.
2 (22m 16s):
You just didn’t see enough of Nashville. You didn’t go to the good,
3 (22m 18s):
I only went to Broadway. I know there’s a local spot. And yes, you are very correct. We did not hit that. But with Brittany is going to compare it to Nashville in that sense, it’s about one to two blocks. Exactly. Like Broadway street is a Nashville. So it’s a very good comparison.
1 (22m 32s):
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2 (23m 46s):
Other than eat and drink, there are tons of nature and different activities that you can do out and around Austin.
1 (23m 53s):
Yeah, both of the hotels that we stayed at had views of lady bird, lake and the boardwalk. There’s actually a boardwalk there, Jamal and I checked it out, has really great views of downtown Austin. Looking across the lake. If you’re into exercise or you want to take a walk, there’s a 10 mile loop that goes around this area. And if you want to be out on the lake, you can paddle board or even kayak. I actually wanted to try paddleboarding for the first time, cause I haven’t done it, but what didn’t sell me is you can’t go swimming in the water. So you can’t like jump at and you can really just stay on the paddleboard or in your kayak. You can’t get out into the water.
3 (24m 29s):
So couple of things you mentioned across the lake or get on the lake a couple of times, again, it’s the river. So here’s the confusion of lady bird lake and making us think it’s a lake. It’s again the river, but two, why don’t you tell us Brittany, why you can’t get into the water? Because when we were talking about things to do in Austin paddling down, the river was one of them that I really, really wanted to do. And then when we found out that we couldn’t get in, we decided against it. We knew it was going to be hot and why be on the water? If I can’t get in the water while I have my fair skin burn, as we know I burn. So what’s the purpose and reason why you can’t get in.
1 (25m 3s):
I think it’s just too polluted. It’s not good to get in the water.
3 (25m 6s):
That’s a shame. Yeah.
2 (25m 7s):
Hopefully they, they get that together sooner or later. Zilker park is another big point of interest in Austin. This is where they have the Austin city limits festival. It’s a huge park think bell bull park, golden gate park. What’s the one in New York central. So this is their version of that. And it is really big. They have huge sprawling lawns where people are laying out and picnicking. This is where they have Barton Springs, which is that very famous, big swimming hole. It’s actually natural, but they’ve made some man-made parts of it. And everyone that lives in the city goes there to swim for the summer. It’s really beautifully. You can spend a whole weekend just there.
3 (25m 43s):
I love cities that have great city parks and Zilker park is one of them for Austin. So highly recommend. But again, if you’re going during the summer, maybe you don’t want to be out there in the heat. So that might be, yeah. I was going to say that could pull off during that time, but yeah. Is there a lot of shade in the area that you were in?
2 (25m 59s):
There is a lot of shade and not only Barton Springs. Cause when I was there, it was closed because of COVID. So we couldn’t even go in there, but it flows into an actual little river. So you can take your dog down there, go into that portion of the river and yeah, there’s trees lining the whole.
3 (26m 13s):
That’s very nice. Cause what area we saw of Zilker park was kind of just like open in that big spread of lawn area. So that’s why I just want to make sure, cause we didn’t see Barton Springs, but another unique Austin activity is Congress bridge. What is a bridge? Why does anyone really care about the bridge? Quite honestly? Well, I’ll tell you why it’s because this bridge is built over a Batcave and at sunset up to 1.5 million bats can fly out of the cave to go on their evening, proud for food. So it’s a unique activity. You could either stand on the bridge, watch them come out from our hotel room, depending on what hotel you’re staying at. You don’t even have to go on the bridge. You can go ahead and see it. And there’s even tours that you can do where you get into the kayaks or the paddle boards and are on the river under the bridge as they come out.
3 (26m 59s):
Just be sure you don’t get some bat guano on you and you’re right there and under it, but very unique ways to go ahead and witness the bats flying out. And if you’ve never,
2 (27m 8s):
It was kind of cool because the whole community gathers in that area to watch it. It’s like sunset here, everyone stops and waits for it.
3 (27m 15s):
Yeah. It’s really unique. So again, you can either park and walk to it. They do have a parking lot. That’s close to the bridge. We didn’t do that. So I don’t know how much they charged, but I don’t think the parking was free if you’re going to do.
2 (27m 28s):
Probably not. I walked across since my hotel was on the other side of that bridge, we just walked 10 minutes across the bridge.
1 (27m 34s):
You know, Jamal was saying, why is it called Congress street bridge? And then while we were driving down at one time, when we actually realized that you can see the state Capitol, if you look far enough down the street,
2 (27m 43s):
Yes you can.
3 (27m 44s):
Yes. That bridge spans the river. And that street goes all the way to the state Capitol building.
2 (27m 49s):
And then on the other side of that bridge is the south Congress neighborhood.
1 (27m 53s):
Makes sense. Makes sense.
2 (27m 54s):
Yeah. It’s all coming together.
3 (27m 56s):
Speaking of Congress, another unique thing, maybe people, this isn’t up your alley, but it’s one thing we love to do at the squad. When we’re in a capital city, we love to go see the state Capitol building. So we went to the state Capitol building here in Austin. And let me tell you something. They love their Texas stars out there. It’s on the flag and it has damp everywhere as well around that Capitol
2 (28m 16s):
Building do a tour though.
3 (28m 17s):
We did not do the tour. We would have loved to do the tour. We didn’t have enough time and we didn’t look to see if they were even open because of COVID, but they are free guided tours. So you can do that. Yeah.
2 (28m 28s):
I didn’t, I didn’t do a tour either, but I definitely saw it.
3 (28m 31s):
But going back to the stars, they have the whole area fenced off and I don’t mean like a big high fence, like for security. It’s like an aesthetic fence around and every posting has the Texas star on it. So they take it. Yeah. They take it real seriously over there.
1 (28m 44s):
Another thing to do in the surrounding area of Austin is go to Mount bow. Now this is actually the highest point in Austin at a whopping 775 feet. But you can take the 102 stairs to the top, which easy day. Of course we did. And the elevated summit offers really beautiful views of lake Austin.
3 (29m 6s):
Yes. And this one actually is a lake. It’s not part of the Colorado river, but even though you can probably sense my sarcasm when I said the 775 feet is high, I really do recommend Mount bow. Now it is awesome. It gives you unparalleled views that you’re not going to get of the city from just being downtown. Yes. You’re going to see downtown, but even though it’s not very high, it’s still a unique nature area that gives you awesome views of the surrounding vicinity.
1 (29m 31s):
Another thing about Austin is there are so many murals throughout the entire city. There’s over 80 murals. We went to go visit a few. And one that I loved was called your, my butter half and it was a mural of bread and butter. So it’s a really cute photo op for couples or even for best friends. We also went to another mural called greetings from Austin and it’s super beautiful. It’s painted in vintage postcard style and it has iconic features of Austin. Like the Capitol building, the Texas flag, all of those sorts of things.
3 (30m 4s):
You know, there’s murals all over the place. Those couple are some of the highlights, but that’s one thing that I love about cities is the uniqueness to allow for street art like that and murals all over the place. I don’t think we have very many here in San Diego, Dewey.
2 (30m 19s):
They’re sporadic here and there,
3 (30m 21s):
But nothing that’s noteworthy. Like if you come here and look online, you’re going to see, Hey, go here. Whereas you go to other cities and they do, Austin is one of them. Even Boise, Idaho has one. They have the whole, they have freak alley completely dedicated to it, even in Miami county. So it’s one of the unique things about Austin is the street art and murals that they have out on the walls and buildings and it’s spread throughout the entire city. So you could even make just a morning or afternoon of just checking them all out.
1 (30m 47s):
Yeah. They have so many more I heard and I write about there’s a Selena Infineon mural, which I wish I had gone to.
2 (30m 53s):
I would have loved to see that.
1 (30m 55s):
Yeah. You know, we had just finished watching the Salinas series from Netflix. So I was like, Hmm, too bad. I missed that one. And then there’s another one called love from Austin. And it’s this big black wall with the shape of Texas painted on it. And they have a Austin skyline in it as well. So definitely do some research on some of your favorite murals. And if you’re in the city, exploring, checks them out, get some good picks.
3 (31m 17s):
All right. So we’ve talked about the food. We’ve talked about the nightlife and the downtown and the drinks, but if none of that really intrigues you, Austin is known for the nature and the swimming holes that we referenced earlier. And one of the most famous ones in the area that Brittany and I did is the blue hole. And Brittany, why don’t you tell everybody what the blue hole is?
1 (31m 37s):
So if you are staying in Austin, this is one where you would need a car for it’s 45 minutes south of Austin. And you have to have reservations to the swimming area as well. But it’s super beautiful. It’s this a forested swimming area. So the water is a perfect blue. It’s super clear. And then there is like a canopy of trees over this little Creek. And so the water’s a very cold, but you get some reprieve and it just looks so beautiful, like where the trees are lying in the water and you can feel like the roots and all of that. It’s Nikon swimming hole.
3 (32m 14s):
I really loved it. You know, we got out of the car in the parking area. I was like, God damn it is hot. Like I can not wait to get in. And then we got to the water and it was shaded. And even before we got in the water, I’m like, man, I don’t really feel the heat too much standing in the shade of these trees. And then you get in the water and the water is ice cold. And we know how I am getting into cold water. I’m like a little bitch about it. I had to take like 10, 15 minutes to even just get it up to my like chest high on it. And eventually I acclimated and enjoyed it. But you can do a lot of stuff in here. Just the natural swimming. You can bring your swimming tubes and just float down the river, sit in it. They also have some swinging ropes tied to some trees.
3 (32m 54s):
So you can launch off the dock or deck and then flip in with the rope and everything like that. So you can have a really good time out here at the blue hole. And I highly recommend it
1 (33m 4s):
Do there are people swinging from the ropes and they were like doing flips off of them under the water. It’s crazy. But you know, Jamal, my team and I feel like we came a little unprepared. We didn’t get the memo that you should bring. Like, you know, you’re a little floaty and you’re a little tumbler filled with booze because
2 (33m 22s):
Oh yeah. It’s a given
3 (33m 24s):
The locals out there too.
1 (33m 26s):
Yeah. The locals they were doing it. Right. Like you could tell us either those
2 (33m 29s):
Are my people.
3 (33m 30s):
Well, it’s cool. Because once you get to the tree lined area and the blue hole itself, then yeah. You know, there’s not really any areas to lay out. But before that they do have a nice grass area. So you can pick Nick and everything. And I just really want to stress how clear the water is like it is crystal clear. I really wasn’t expecting that quite honestly. But I am going to throw something out here for you guys to be aware of is most parts in the blue hole that you can actually stand some parts you can not, you’re going to have to swim or tread water. And we were at a part where we had to tread water and I was tired of treading water. And so I just grabbed onto one of the trees that was lining the banks of the water right there. And then I had my hand on it for about a couple minutes as Brittany and I were just chilling in that one spot, talking, enjoying the scenic beauty.
3 (34m 14s):
And then I look over where my hand is and literally about five inches away from my hand is the biggest fucking spider I’d ever seen in my life. That is not like a tarantula. And they are just on those fricking trees. Like honestly, disgusting spiders. I don’t even know what the hell I was looking at. It was gnarly out there.
2 (34m 31s):
It was something for you, but
3 (34m 32s):
It wasn’t coming from me. It was just chilling. But it was like five inches away. Like literally it was the size of my fucking hand. Like it was a huge spider. So they are out there be mindful of that. But don’t let that deter you from enjoying the blue hole because I would still go back.
1 (34m 46s):
There’s two time slots to go in either nine to one or two to six. I would recommend two to six because it’s warmer outside nine to one. I think it’d be a little chilly.
2 (34m 55s):
There are several other swimming holes around the area to Jacob’s well is another one that has a lot of good reviews. It’s very famous. Barton Springs. Of course, like we said, with Zilker park, Crouse Springs is another one. And then Hamilton pool reserved. I’m sure there’s many others. When I went, I actually had a reservation at Hamilton pool reserve, but because of the algae blooming, they said that you cannot swim. So I didn’t end up going. So I didn’t want to drive out there for an hour, be in the heat and not be able to get in the water.
3 (35m 23s):
Did they refund you the ticket cost?
2 (35m 25s):
I didn’t actually pursue that.
3 (35m 28s):
2 (35m 28s):
They didn’t cancel it the ticket.
3 (35m 29s):
Well, yeah, but I mean, the attraction is swimming in there, so
2 (35m 33s):
Yeah, I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t pursue it.
3 (35m 35s):
Okay. I was just curious if they did it, but that goes back to what we were saying earlier in the tips. Just be mindful of certain times of the year, certain locations have those algae blooms. So if want to go to one spot in particular, just be mindful of that. When you’re making a reservation,
2 (35m 49s):
There is so much to do in Austin. And I think because it’s growing so quickly, think it’s one of the top cities that people are moving to every day in the United States. And so this list changes, there’s so much more to see, do drink, eat, swim at, you know, the people there that I met were so nice. Southern accent, Southern hospitality, you got to love it. Lots of men, there’s like 120 to every hundred women.
3 (36m 14s):
There you go, Kevin, that’s your style a
2 (36m 16s):
Up. And so if you, as a listener out there are living in Austin hit me up. I would really love to know some tips as I look to relocate there.
3 (36m 26s):
Any final thoughts on Austin ladies before we get into questions of the week,
2 (36m 30s):
That was my final thought.
3 (36m 32s):
Mine would be. I want to go back and experience a little bit more and I don’t want to go in the summer that way it can enjoy it a little bit more. And this time party on rainy. Cause even though we went down and saw it, I’m not talking about like a big, big night, but I do want to go out and do a couple bar hopping experiences.
2 (36m 49s):
Yeah. All right. Everybody it’s time for questions of the week.
0 (36m 54s):
2 (37m 1s):
Question number one. How many days do I need in Austin? Good question. I think you could really spend a week there and do something different every day, but if you’re pressed on time and you’re just talking like minimum, how many days? At least a weekend three-day weekend. Ideally.
1 (37m 16s):
Yeah. Jamal and I did it on our anniversary weekend and we did do it as a three-day. We took Friday off, went Saturday and Sunday.
3 (37m 22s):
Yeah. I would definitely say three days if you want to waterhole hop, if you will, maybe a little bit more time also, but again, it really depends on what it is that you want to do in the city. But I do think that the three days is good any longer than that. I mean, I know Kim, you said maybe a week. I don’t know if I would think a week, but maybe that’s what I know, but that’s why I need to go back the second time to really do a little bit more than what we weren’t able to do on that three-day weekend.
2 (37m 49s):
There’s two things I would love to do. And I don’t know if there’s like one of them still going on with COVID, but one is the famous float down the river. I think it might be the San Marcos river, but everyone gets on their tubes. It’s a total drinking event. I’ve heard it is amazing. Super, super fun. So I’d love to do that. And then before COVID, when we were researching going here and there was a thing called the brunch bus where it was like a party bus that took you on a brunch crawl. And that just seemed like a day.
1 (38m 16s):
So it sounds right. I think
2 (38m 17s):
You need a day for that and a day for the other.
3 (38m 20s):
Well, I would love to do the brunch crawl. That sounds absolutely fun. And reminds me of the stuff that we see here in San Diego where it’s the, I don’t even know what you would call it, but do you know where you’ve self peddle and also drink at the same time as the bars all the way around that reminds me of what? That
2 (38m 33s):
Brunch bus was like a little school too, that they had revamped
3 (38m 37s):
Really fucking cool.
2 (38m 38s):
Yeah. So lots to do. Lots to do.
1 (38m 41s):
So question number two. What’s the culture like in Austin?
2 (38m 44s):
I was kind of alluding to this earlier with Southern hospitality. Everybody’s super nice. I mean, I just thought everyone was really friendly and just chill a little grungy in some parts too. Like I try to equate it to what I know here in San Diego. And I think like a little bit of OB, a little bit of north park,
1 (39m 2s):
It’s a little mini San Diego.
2 (39m 5s):
Yeah. And there’s probably different vibes in different areas too.
3 (39m 8s):
Yeah. And like I said, politics aside when I described it kind of more like as a liberal city, I guess that could kind of give you an idea of what the culture is like there it’s one of the more unique, big cities in Texas that doesn’t feel like other cities in Texas that
2 (39m 21s):
Kind of mix.
3 (39m 22s):
1 (39m 24s):
Big barbecue culture out there in Austin.
3 (39m 26s):
That’s my favorite part of the culture out there is the barbecue culture. Let me tell you that. I love me some Texas barbecue.
1 (39m 31s):
You know, when you do move out to Austin, I’d love to do a day trip from Austin to San Antonio.
2 (39m 36s):
Ooh. And I would love to do one to Marfa.
1 (39m 39s):
I haven’t even heard of her.
2 (39m 40s):
Oh. Martha’s like this really weird creative little artsy talent. That’s like, it’s interesting.
3 (39m 45s):
Okay. Then I have to Google that and check that out. But I think what is it like two hours from Austin to San Antonio? And like, not even very far, I
1 (39m 52s):
3 (39m 52s):
Less like an hour and a half. Oh, wow. Yeah. See. So that’s an easy little day trip also. So yeah, maybe even more time if you’re going to use that as a hub and do day trips, right. Go to San Antonio. I’ve heard good things about San Antonio also, but wrapping it up with question number three for this week is what would you do next time you went? And I think I kind of mentioned this earlier. I would explore more of rainy and actually experience that we were kind of there at the height of COVID and an influx of cases that they were having it there. And so it was erring on the side of caution because we had a later trip in September to Ecuador that was early in the month. So it was kind of playing it a little bit more cautious, but I would love to do that next time and do something on the river, not lady bird lake the river.
3 (40m 34s):
I still don’t know why. I just can’t stand that they called it the lake. But anyway, yeah, paddle boarding or tubing down. I think that would be really, really fun.
1 (40m 41s):
I would love to check out some more of the watering holes. I just love natural areas and Springs and all of that. So I would want to go check out more of them. I know there’s a ton of them. We’ve only listed a few. So that’s what I’d love to do.
2 (40m 53s):
I would want to eat some barbecue and then explore some of the neighborhoods. I didn’t get a chance to. I really stayed downtown a little bit of south Congress. I would want to branch out a little bit more
1 (41m 3s):
And do that river float and the brunch, but
2 (41m 5s):
Oh, of course, of course will be plenty of time to do all of that when I lived there!
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