9 Things to Do Between Meals In Austin, Texas

I’ll be honest – on my last trip to Austin, I spent most of my weekend eating (more like feasting!) with Thrillist at their outrageously fun, weekend-long food party, Hotel Thrillist. That’s right, they took over the entire W Hotel in Austin and threw epic feasts, parties, bar crawls, and even had a silent disco - SO MUCH FUN! (And if you’re looking for my favorite Austin restaurants, that’s a whole separate blog post.)

BUT! In between meals, I did find some time to explore my favorite city in Texas. Here are a few of my favorite activities:

Touristy things:

1. Barton Springs Pool – MY FAVORITE PLACE! So cool how the Austin Parks & Rec. Department turned a natural spring in Zilker Park into a large community swimming pool! This is the place to be on a warm Austin day.

2. Colorado River – Keep walking from Barton Springs and the pool feeds into the Colorado River! It’s pretty much always filled with Austin locals paddle boarding, swimming, and having a blast in the water.

3. South Congress Avenue – Cool street to walk around, with lots of great shops and restaurants. Definitely check out the Texas State Capitol at the top of the street and the bats that fly out from under Congress Bridge at sunset.

Going out:

4. Rainey Street – Without a doubt, my favorite area for going out! Historic Rainey Street is lined with adorable old houses (porches and all) that have been converted into bars. Some of them have backyards with games to play (shout out to Lustre Pearl), some have dance floors (hit up the Container Bar!), and all of them have alcohol (isn’t that why you’re there?).

5. Buford’s Backyard Beer Garden – Really cool bar/concert venue right in downtown! Thrillist brought in the band St. Lucia one night while we were in town, but definitely check Buford’s website to see if any bands you like are playing during your visit.

6. Summit Rooftop Lounge – Super fun open-air, rooftop club with great DJs! We had a night we can *almost* remember here…

7. Dirty 6th – Another street (6th street, to be precise) with tons of bars. These ones have more of a country feel, and most of them have live music nightly.

Lodging

8. Westin Austin Downtown – My go-to hotel whenever I go to Austin! I’ve stayed here twice now, and have been blown away by the hospitality and gorgeous accommodations on both occasions. My favorite part? The Azul Rooftop - the tallest rooftop in Austin, with the most gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the city! Cabanas, firepits, DJs, an incredible bar with insane cocktails (one is served in a watermelon!), and delicious poolside food (acai bowls, pork belly, etc.).

9. The W Hotel – I had the pleasure of staying at the W Hotel during Hotel Thrillist! Wow – another incredible hotel in downtown Austin. The W’s modern design was right up my alley – I loved everything from the sleek rooms to the thought-provoking modern art in the lobby. Oh, and I may have drunk one too many daiquiris at their poolside bar – but what happens in Austin stays in Austin, right?

Following along on Instagram? See more from the trip at #CarnivorrTravel.