Austin, Day One –
He and I landed and received our rental car with a few hours to spare before our check-in time at our AirBnb. So I decided that a stop at Graffiti Park would be the best place to kick-off our five day mini-vacation to Austin.
Graffiti Park (or technically, the Hope Outdoor Garden) is one of the most unique places in Austin and a trip there would be new every time. It’s a wonderful little spot full of concrete walls that have been painted by street artists. The paintings are always changing and evolving. Other than the paintings, you can spot many quotes that are either incredibly moving or incredibly funny. You never know what beautiful things you may see. I absolutely love standing at the bottom of the hill and looking up to see a rainbow of colors covering everything in every direction.
A bumpy but quick climb to the top is well worth it when you get to check out the most perfect view of the Austin skyline! Up at the top you can usually find some of the better pieces, as well as see kids skateboarding on the flat concrete. I think it is amazing for this city to provide a medium for street artists and a creative place for their youth.
After that, we went a few streets over to 80,000 square feet Whole Foods headquarters. There is so much to do and see and smell and sample here, which makes it hard to go in for just a quick look-around. I grabbed some sweet treats from the bakery (a coffee macaroon and a life-alterating mini, salted-caramel cheesecake) and we headed to the bar area for some local brews. The bartenders there were so friendly and willing to give us samples of any beer we desired! I’m officially obsessed with Whole Foods and during this trip we found ourselves coming back often.
We drove to our AirBnb in what might possibly the best neighborhood in America: East Sixth. Just east of Downtown, this neighborhood is packed with street art, coffee shops, and some of the best dive bars in the city. Our house was only six blocks from where all the action is in the neighborhood. Generally, we always went out at night to these amazing bars. There were so many that we never had to go to the same one, even though kind of we did as we formed favorites quickly.
Once settled, we headed to 5th and 6th street for some delicious drinks. We had fancy cocktails at Wisler’s, craft beer at Yellow Jacket Social Club (a favorite for Austin-resident Elijah Wood), and ended the night at my personal favorite, The White Horse.
Whisler’s is a beautiful bar, inside and out, with bartenders showing off their craft making some fancy drinks. Yellow Jacket Social Club is the ultimate dive bar: rude bartenders and a heavily-tattooed crowd with an outdoor patio and cheap drinks that more than makes up for it. And finally, we ended the night at The White Horse. Last time I was in Austin The White Horse stole my heart and I was dying to go back. It is a honkey-tonk bar that always has quality live, local music. They have a large dancefloor where couples, young and old, two-step all night long. If it dancing isn’t your thing, order a different kind of two-step: a can of Lone Star Beer (a cheap beer made and sold only in Texas) and a shot of whisky for $5. In the patio of this bar was a Mexican food truck that served delicious tacos and nachos, we thoroughly enjoyed and devoured our meal before grabbing more drinks.
It was great having our AirBnb so close to the city’s best nightlife as the walk home was easy and short!