In case you couldn’t tell, when my husband and I travel, our trips revolve around food. When we each made our lists of “what to do” in Austin, my husband’s list was fine-dining focused (Qui, Uchi, Barley Swine) while my list was mainly beer (Craft Pride, Hops & Grain) and food carts. But at the very bottom of my list was a separate (tiny) category called “Things that don’t involve eating.”
On that list, there were three items: visit the Barton Springs Pool, walk down 6th Street and hike around Lady Bird Lake.
I am happy to say we did all of those things and more — which is kind of shocking considering how much time we spent eating!
We checked out the Texas Capitol Building, which sprawls across the metro area.
We took the bus out to Zilker Park so I could swim in the Barton Springs Pool — a man-made pool using water from the natural springs. When I first read about the pool I expected it to be a hot spring. But when it’s 90 degrees outside, it’s a blessing that it’s actually a “cool” spring. The temperature rarely varies from a (very brisk) 68 degrees. Which means it’s best just to dunk yourself, don’t try to do it slow — once you’re in, it feels great.
After that we played some miniature golf:
Walked down 6th Street (known locally as the “dirty sixth” for good reason) — which is like Austin’s very own Bourbon Street. Imagine lots of bars, clubs and intoxicated college kids. I’d post a picture here but it’s probably best to just leave it to your imagination…
We rented a car and drove to the Lockhart (the BBQ capitol of Texas as well as a stop along the historic Chisholm Trail ) and the Lockhart State Park:
And I spent a fair amount of time at the hotel’s rooftop pool. During the day it was a great place to relax with a beer, at night it was the perfect spot for watching sunsets.
And we walked. Oh did we walk. We walked so much that I don’t think I gained an ounce on the trip even though we were constantly eating. I think the shortest day we walked 2-3 miles, the longest days we were walking somewhere around 4-5. Mostly we would walked the “Bike and Hike” trail which was gorgeous. It was a perfect way to get from our hotel to downtown — offering glimpses of the city center and Lady Bird Lake through the trees.
All in all, I think we managed to balance out our eating obsession with enough local sights and culture to make it a well-rounded trip!