Best Things to do in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas, is definitely having a moment right now. I have always wanted to go there and finally did. It’s about a three hour drive from Dallas, and a two and a half hour drive from Houston. I did a ton of research online and spoke to a lot of my friends to curate the perfect itinerary for my three-day trip. It’s a great place to go with your significant other or with friends. See below for what to do in Austin. I wrote an article about traveling during the pandemic which you can find here.

Photo credit: @taqueromuchoaustin

Where to Eat in Austin:

Churro Co.: Order Date Night which is churros tossed in popcorn sugar, topped with vanilla ice cream, caramel drizzle and a dash of sea salt. I went to the food truck and it was delicious!

Old Thousand: Order Brisket Fried Rice (Smoked Beef Brisket, Chinese Pork Sausage, Scallion and Egg). They have outdoor heat lamps so it’s the perfect place to go all year round.

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden: Order the Chicken & Apple sausage that comes with brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, applesauce, brandy, garlic aioli and caramelized onions. They have a huge patio with live music.

Via 313: Order half the 500 (Pepperoni, Jalapeno, Pineapple Rings) and half carnivore (Smoked Pepperoni, Natural Casing Pepperoni, Ham, Sausage, Bacon). It is now located inside The Alibi (they changed location in early 2021).

The Salt Lick BBQ: Order Thurman’s Choice which included brisket, pork, ribs and sausage. There was really good live music as well. Note it is a 30 minute drive from downtown Austin but so worth it.

The Peached Tortilla: Order the Banh Mi Taco (Vietnamese braised pork belly, pickled daikon carrot, sriracha mayo, cilantro) and BBQ Brisket Taco (dry rubbed brisket, creamy apple slaw, smoky roasted peach bbq sauce). It’s a cozy spot and very Instagrammable.

South Congress Cafe: Order the crab cakes egg benedict with crispy prosciutto. SO good. We sat on the patio and it had a really good overall vibe.

Other Restaurant Recommendations in Austin:

  • Taquero Mucho: This is literally Instagram heaven.
  • Veracruz: It is voted one of the best tacos in the U.S. and they have several locations.
  • Odd Duck: Get the red snapper ceviche.
  • Ramen Tatsuya: Apparently Austin has amazing Ramen!
  • Tacodeli: Great tacos and they also have it in other cities such as Dallas and Plano.
  • Granny’s Taco: So. So. Good. It is out of a food truck!
  • Juan in a Million: Get the Con Queso breakfast that comes with two eggs served any style with queso, carne guisada, refried beans, potatoes and two flour tortillas.
Photo credit: @taqueromuchoaustin

Where to Stay in Austin:

  • OMNI Austin Hotel: The hotel is located in downtown. It has over 300 rooms, a pool, restaurants and fitness center.
  • Fairmont Austin: It’s definitely a much larger hotel with over 1,000 rooms, a rooftop pool, fitness center and several restaurants.
  • ARRIVE Austin: Make sure to check out Vixen’s Wedding and Lefty’s Brick Bar.
  • The Line Austin: It has a pool, it’s pet-friendly and very big on wellness.
  • Holiday Inn Austin-Town Lake: This is a more budget-friendly option. It’s located next to a highway so make sure to ask for a room where you won’t be able to hear the noise.

There are various hotels in Austin (including the majority of the properties I listed) that are currently doing special offers for travelers who are comfortable doing staycations, nearcations and domestic travel overall. I would definitely look into all of them before making a decision! There are some great savings available.

Photo credit: @visitaustintx

Where to Explore in Austin:

  • Rainey Street: It’s great to walk around Rainey street during the day and at night as well. It has delicious restaurants and a great bar scene at night.
  • Downtown: It has a variety of restaurants and a lot of good hotels are located here.
  • South Congress: In addition to various dining destinations, South Congress also has shopping and bars.
  • Sixth Street: Voodoo Doughnuts are located there which are amazing. However it turns into a sort of Bourbon Street vibe at night. Not my style but a lot of people like it!

I will say I was pretty surprised about how walkable of a city Austin is. I always love to walk around new places and think it’s the best way to familiarize myself with the destination. Traffic can be an issue at times so fair warning!

Photo credit: @visitaustintx

Best Travel Essentials:

  • YETI Tumbler: I usually fill mine with ice until the top and then just fill it with water. I LOVE cold water and that the Yeti leaves it cold for hours and hours.
  • Packing cubes: It’s a game changer. It makes packing so much easier and makes it really simple to find what you are looking for when you’re unpacking.
  • Box of disposable face masks: We are all going to have to wear face masks for the foreseeable future so I highly recommend buying disposable masks for a trip.
  • Disinfecting wipes: I always like to wipe everything down as you can’t be too safe.
  • Compression socks: They are great for long flights.
  • Hand sanitizers: These are great to have even if you’re not traveling.

*Note these essentials work for both men and women, and all fit into a carry-on. They work for road trips, domestic travel and international travel. I also included some COVID-related essentials.

Feel free to email me or leave any questions in the comments section! I would love to hear from you if you’ve been to Austin. What are your favorite places?




  • terrifiedamateur
    March 28, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Absolutely incredible, Kika! So many tantalizing details. Among the standouts, the crab cakes benedict at the South Congress Cafe sounds amazing.

    I get the impression, too, you only are describing about 1% of what you found. Which means you probably could spend te next twenty years or so describing things to do in Austin. No complaints here, if you do.

    • kikacarvalho
      March 28, 2021 at 6:40 pm

      Thank you so much!! That’s so sweet of you to say and so glad you found it helpful.

  • Samiya Sadiq
    March 30, 2021 at 1:23 am

    Incredible information

  • The Obsession Begins
    April 1, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    That churro looks delicious!

  • Suzanne
    April 25, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    I completely agree about the Yeti tumbler — keeps water freezing cold forever!

  • AshChase19
    August 27, 2021 at 1:47 am

    It’s always confusing when you go to a new place what to do, where to stay, what all to eat… and on and on. Thanks it was very helpful 🙂

    • kikacarvalho
      August 27, 2021 at 3:24 am

      I’m so glad it was helpful! 🙂

  • Weekend in Georgetown, Texas - new site
    December 5, 2022 at 12:44 am

    […] is that you are only a few hours away from incredible cities. I have posted about what to do in Austin and where to go in McKinney. I spent the weekend in Georgetown, Texas, only about 2 hours and 45 […]

  • […] Check out some of my other travel posts: Austin  […]


Leave a Reply