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Seeking suggestions for dining out and something to do for one (mostly) full day in Austin, TX

HoggirlHoggirl 1682 replies196 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
We are traveling to Austin the first weekend in August to attend a wedding. Ds is flying in from CA and meeting us for the weekend. Staying at the Omni Barton Creek Resort. The three of us will do HH and dinner out and ??? on Friday and have until about 4:30 or so on Saturday before we need to get ready for the wedding Saturday night.

We have been to Austin before but usually to visit these dear friends whose son is getting married, so they have previously tended to our wining, dining, and entertaining needs. I am not really into active, outdoorsy activities (no hiking suggestions, please). We’ve been to the capitol building, but it has been a looooong time ago.

Anyone have some suggestions for us? We love Tex-Mex!
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Replies to: Seeking suggestions for dining out and something to do for one (mostly) full day in Austin, TX

  • LizardlyLizardly 2505 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The Bob Bullock Museum (Texas history)? Followed by the Blanton on the UT campus for some art? It will be hot, so not suggesting outdoors things to do during the day. Taco Deli for breakfast/ lunch or Torchy's Tacos for lunch.

    Have you seen the bats come out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge? It is free and starts at sunset, but you may have to hang out a while for them to start streaming out.
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  • txstellatxstella 1095 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The Barton Creek Resort is very nice, but, while it is not too far out, it is isolated so I’d recommend renting a car or using Lyft/Uber. Mexican restaurants close to you are Lupe’s (good fajitas) and Los Palomas. Places close by that are very popular in the neighborhood are Jack Allen’s, Honey Ham (breakfast tacos) and Taco Deli. Downtown has lots of restaurants. ATX Cocina is excellent (expensive). But there is also a Torchy’s Tacos (my favorite). If you go downtown, I recommend going to the new downtown public library and onto the roof as the view is gorgeous. There is parking at the Trader Joe’s.

    Heat will be a big problem. You could go to Barton Springs Pool, go on an evening river cruise or see a concert at the Austin City Limits venue. Another very popular spot is Esther’s Follies. Further north, the Domain is a great outdoor shopping/eating destination.

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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19165 replies457 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You could take me to lunch!

    I know you're not into hiking but what about a walk on the hike-and-bike trail? So pretty and great people watching.

    Otherwise, if you want to be inside I second the idea of either the Bob Bullock Museum or the LBJ Library. I love the LBJ and have been many times. Right now there is a traveling exhibit on Motown. I haven't been yet but hope to go.

    My suggestion for Saturday is to wake up late, go eat breakfast at Juan in a Million on the eastside and then go to the LBJ Library. Juan in a Million and its Don Juan taco were featured on Man v Food and is a longtime community staple that's getting a little hipstery but is wonderful. (I like supporting locals.) You'll be an easy, three-mile drive to the LBJ Library. Spend three hours there and then drive back to get ready for the wedding!
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38100 replies2086 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    I'm from Austin and still love sightseeing when I go home!
    You might have fun driving around Westlake Hills and looking at the incredible homes in a VERY hilly area - it's something. You can drive over the Loop 360 Bridge, too - it's gorgeous. Mount Bonnell has beautiful views of the Hill Country and the Colorado River, but you do have to walk a short distance.
    My other "must do" when I'm in Austin is to go to the Oasis Restaurant, which is on a very high cliff overlooking Lake Travis. But it sounds like you're set for dinner - drinks might be nice, too, though.
    Barton Springs is incredible, but the pool will be VERY crowded on a Saturday.
    (my parents live a few miles from there and I just about lived there when I was in middle school).
    Have fun! Be prepared for the heat. That's why I don't live there anymore. :)
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  • HoggirlHoggirl 1682 replies196 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 15
    @Youdon'tsay - well, that would be fun, but I’m going to stick with ds for the limited time I have with him! ;)

    I had forgotten about the Presidential Library! My mil would completely approve since she is a docent at a different presidential library. She has visited all of them! Ds and I are both musically inclined, so thanks for the Motown tidbit as well. Thanks for the breakfast suggestion. I’m sure ds will want to sleep late coming from the West Coast.

    @MaineLonghorn - actually we need a dinner spot for Friday night. Dh and I are coming from Florida, so I think we will do okay with the heat. I run 3 miles with a 98 ° heat index. Ds, on the other hand, will not be accustomed to the heat! Is the Oasis Restaurant super dressy? Our friends have always taken us to Matt’s for Tex-Mex. We are fans of the “large Bob.” So, we have not typically done “fancy” in Austin.

    @txstella - thank you! I do think we plan to rent a car. I know traffic is awful in Austin. I appreciate your suggestions of places close to where we are staying. :)

    Thanks for the tips, all!
    edited July 15
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38100 replies2086 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited July 15
    No, the Oasis isn't dressy at all. Very laid back. They have good Tex-Mex and drinks. Be sure to sit on the outside decks if it's not too hot - they have big umbrellas to shade you. There are also a lot of little shops you can go through. It's quite something.

    It's fun to stay for sunset - everyone claps as the sun sets over the lake. :)
    edited July 15
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  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 1050 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Second the Oasis. The sunset is awesome from the cliffs, but will be hot. Margaritas?
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  • LizardlyLizardly 2505 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The LBJ Library! I forgot about that. It is great. Free parking, too.
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  • cgpm59cgpm59 571 replies54 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Hoggirl there is almost NOTHING in Austin that is fancy. The resort where you are staying is probably the fanciest place. :)
    The Oasis on Friday afternoon/evening will probably be extremely crowded. The food is okay, not great, and expensive, but the views are the best in town.
    There is major construction around the Bob Bullock museum; it has an underground parking garage and, frankly, with all the road closures around here, I'm not sure how you get to it. Their website may provide info on that, but if not, I'd call or email ahead of time to ask. The LBJ library has its own surface parking lot and no construction. It is on a hill on the eastern edge of the UT campus and has some pretty nice views too.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20861 replies216 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Get some bbq!

    Recommendations: Franklin BBQ, Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ, Loro (asin/bbq fusion)
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38100 replies2086 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    I think the Oasis food has improved over the years. It was good last month.
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19165 replies457 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 15
    Count me as one who isn't a fan of the Oasis food. Sorry, ML!

    Valentina's is great, but you sit outside so if it's hot that might not be preferable. But I do love it! Franklin's wastes too much time standing in line, IMO, and the guy at Valentina's apprenticed with Franklin so ...

    Oh, and I was joking about taking me to lunch! lol Though I am not far from Matt's. ; )
    edited July 15
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  • HoggirlHoggirl 1682 replies196 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We have booked for Esther’s Follies for Friday night. Show is at 8:00. I think we will probably go to Matt’s before that.

    We’ll do some more thinking about Saturday. It’s good to know about the construction around that one museum. I definitely want to make sure we get back to the hotel in time to get ready for the wedding. I imagine I may “melt” during the day and have to start over.

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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38100 replies2086 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    You can't go wrong with Matt's! Yes, I think you will need to freshen up before the wedding.
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  • MWolfMWolf 1334 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Watch the mass emergence of bats from Congress Avenue bridge. It is amazing, and definitely something you will not see anywhere else in the country.
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  • HoggirlHoggirl 1682 replies196 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @MWolf - I don’t think we are going to work that in this trip. What time does it occur? I need to google where Congress Avenue Bridge is. Unless we can fit it in between dinner and the 8:00 pm show at Esther’s Follies, we’ll have to do the bats on another visit. The wedding on Saturday evening is from 6:00 - 10:30.
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19165 replies457 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The bats generally start emerging at about 7:30, but it's dependent on the amount of rain we've had. The less rain, the earlier they emerge, because they have to fly farther to find food.
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  • HoggirlHoggirl 1682 replies196 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Youdon'tsay - well, that will have to be a, “no,” for us since we booked the follies. Next trip!
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  • thumper1thumper1 74249 replies3248 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 15
    I was at a wedding in that area and we actually walked around the Capitol and inside. It’s a neat building...and grounds. We ate at a downtown restaurant called “Caroline’s”...it was convenient, and actually pretty good. Nothing fancy.
    edited July 15
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