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MV’s Guide to Austin: The Ultimate Honky-tonk Experience

Howdy, y’all, and greetings from Austin, Texas — a dynamic city home to cowboy boots, barbeque, and weirdness. From the city high rises to the quiet suburbs, the streets lined with bars, and the bodies of water, Austin is the best of all worlds and will treat you real nice during your stay. This guide is a special one, after all Texas is Maggie Villamaria’s home state and Austin is her college town… 

There are no bad days in Austin, and there are also no bad meals. This city is top-of-the-line when it comes to food. Start your day off with a brunch of champions at Paperboy. And let us be the first to say that no one does a Texas Hash like them. Accompany your hash with one of their pastries and most definitely the lavender latte, you will not regret it. 

Two Hands is another ideal place for brunching. You won’t miss it sitting right on South Congress, covered in blue tiles. Honorable menu mentions at this delightful establishment have to be: the banana walnut bread and the tomato toast. If you fancy melt-in-your-mouth-ooey-gooey-goodness, head right on over to Two Hands. 

Next up on your itinerary has to be some exploration of Austin’s water activities. Whether it is renting a boat on Lake Austin (ATX Boat Rental) with friends, paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake (Texas Rowing Center), or hanging out by Barton Springs and basking in the sun — you are guaranteed to feel the peaceful and happy energy of this city. Watch out though, you may run into some topless people at Barton Springs because above all else, we’ve got to “Keep Austin Weird.” 

By the end of your trip, ATX will have both your heart and your stomach. It is time for lunch! Opt for one of the two most traditional Texan cuisines: barbeque or Mexican. If you are craving smoky, saucy, and messy, go to Terry Black’s BBQ or Franklin's Barbeque. Both of these spots do Texas cuisine justice, and you’ll be able to tell by the long lines out front (don’t worry, they move fast)! 

And if a tangy and delicious salt-rimmed margarita with guacamole is more your vibe for a mid-day meal, we would recommend Matt’s El Rancho: the undisputed ATX monarch of Tex-Mex food. The crowd at Matt’s ranges from tispy college students to 75th birthday parties, but everyone is enjoying the queso and tacos just the same. For a more upscale and low key place, try Suerte. Honorable menu mention: suadero tacos. These Austin restaurants will have you saying muchas gracias!

Austin is home to some of the best shopping spots. You can spend hours upon hours walking up and down South Congress Street. There is always something going on here. From candy shops to candle stores and boutiques galore, put on your shopping goggles to properly navigate this goody-filled street. If you are seeking out some vintage, consignment, and thrifting places: Moss Designer Consignment, Blackfeather Vintage Works, Pavement, and good ‘ol Buffalo Exchange. Keep your eyes peeled to unearth Austin’s hidden gems.

It's time to be active and maybe shed some of those BBQ calories! Austin is all about remaining mobile — it is a hub for yoga, running clubs, and line dancing of course. Make your way over to Broken Spoke Dance Hall for some fun. Don’t worry if you don’t know the two-step, there will be a cowboy or cowgirl in there to show you how it's done. Another fun activity is the Austin Roller Rink. Time travel back to the 1980’s and roll around while singing to Cyndi Lauper!

For dinner, pick from Austin’s hottest spots: Neighborhood Sushi, Aba, Qi, Uchi, Sammie’s, Jeffrey’s, or Clark’s Oyster Bar. Depending on what you are craving, these restaurants are top tier in varying food genres.

Now it's time to get down and go out! Sixth Street and Rainey Street are going to be the most lively and packed places. There are three sides to Sixth Street, dirty (old) Sixth, West Sixth, and East Sixth. Each side offers a distinct vibe, but are all equally rowdy and chaotic in the best way. On Rainey Street you can find live music and a laid-back vibe. ATX’s nightlife is one of its most important aspects, so take it in for all of its glory!

Alright, alright, alright! That pretty much sums it up: food, water activities, shopping, more food, and some country charm in between. We bet y’all will be saying “y’all” by the end of your trip. 


Xx,

Maggie 

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