24 Hours In Austin, Texas

| © sonicpenguin/Flickr
Marisa Martinez

While Austin is the live music capital of the world, there is more to it than its music — quite a bit actually. Here is a by-the-hour guide on how to get the most out of Austin in only one day. The early morning wakeup call is optional, but highly suggested.

1. Sunrise

Bridge

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© Ed Schipul/Flickr
The 360 Bridge provides a high up view of the Pennybacker Bridge, the lake, and the city of Austin. For early risers or those who can’t resist an opportunity to watch a sunrise, hiking up to the 360 bridge in the morning is just the right fit, and it beats another Austin staple — traffic.

2. Breakfast

Restaurant, American

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© Krista/Flickr
When it comes to breakfast food, Austin’s very own Kerbey Lane serves a variety of morning dishes that catering to all diets, including vegan and gluten-free regimens. With locations in Austin serving pancakes, bacon, eggs, migas and more, there’s something for everyone. Kerbey also sells their pancake mix in local grocery stores around Austin, so customers can enjoy their pancakes in the comfort of their own homes.

3. Morning

Park

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© sonicpenguin/Flickr
Work off those pancakes at the famous Zilker Park, which plays host to large city events like Austin City Limits and the Zilker Kite Festival. There are volleyball courts and 350 acres of grass for playing sports, and a playground and train for the kids. For more mild activities, there’s the walking the trail along Lady Bird Lake, or simply take a blanket, lay out, and enjoy the view of the Austin skyline from the park. Zilker has paid parking lots, but there is also street parking for those wanting to save money for the trip back.

Lunch

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to South Congress. Down the street from the Capitol building, this neighborhood is a tourist must-see. For a quick bite, grab a huge slice of pizza from More Home Slice — a to-go, by-the-slice New York style pizza haven. If you have a little more time, stop in Home Slice’s full restaurant right next door and order a pizza for the group, and hen the weather’s nice, ask for a table in the backyard.

1415 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX, USA

If you’re not feeling pizza, cross the street to Hopdoddy Burger Bar for a gourmet burger. With options from classic Angus beef burgers to lamb patties and a delicious vegetarian black bean burger, there is something for everyone. Grab a couple orders of truffle fries for the whole table, and Hopdoddy also has several locally brewed beers on tap that you can order while you wait in line. Speaking of lines, the Hopdoppy queue sometimes stretches around the entire restaurant, so wear comfortable shoes.

1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX, USA

Afternoon

While you’re in the neighborhood, you have to do some exploring on South Congress — this area is so popular because there are so many things to see. Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds is jam-packed (seriously, packed) with elaborate costumes, jewelry, props, and shoes. Uncommon Objects is an antique store, which in this case loosely translates to bins and shelves filled with objects you never knew you needed, like vintage keys, Scrabble pieces, taxidermy animals, and old porcelain dolls. The street is also home to a candy shop, a bookstore, thrift stores and more. Check out our full list of things to do here.

4. Snack Time

Dessert Shop, Bakery, Pastry Shop, Dessert

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© Rachel Kramer Bussel/Flickr
Just a few miles away on South First Street, which is home to Gourdough’s and Torchy’s, is a small cupcake shop called Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop. Sugar Mama’s has been “Keeping Austin Sweet” since 2008 and recently added an East Side location after winning Food Network’s Cupcake Wars in 2013. They offer flavors spanning from the traditional chocolate and vanilla to more themed cupcakes like “James Brown” and the “Marilyn Monroe and Black and Tan.” as Their menu also offers vegan sweets and “pupcakes” for dogs.

Evening

The Trail at Lady Bird Lake is great for walking alongside in the afternoon, but be sure to visit before dusk, when the bats come out to play! Just above this spot, the trail on the Congress Avenue Bridge has pedestrian sidewalks along the side that provide a bird’s eye view of the lake and downtown. At sunset, the Austin bat population flies out and provides a typically ‘Austin’ view against the skyline and downtown.

Dinner

You can’t leave town without trying some good old fashioned Tex Mex, and no matter where you end up in Austin, you can find a restaurant offering this delicious cuisine on every block. El Mercado, Trudy’s, and Amaya’s Taco Village don’t disappoint, so sit back after an adventure-filled day, grab a bowl of free salsa, and do your taste buds a favor by stopping in at one of the restaurants on our list of favorite Tex Mex spots.

Late Night

If you’re not quite ready to call it a day, you’re in the right place — Austin is the live music capital of the World, every night you can find live music at some of Austin’s legendary music venues like Stubb’s, Emo’s East, and The Parish. Austin’s famous Sixth Street is also a must-see. On weekend nights, the whole street is closed down to traffic, and hundreds of barhoppers, street performers, and bachelorette parties pour into the street. If you’re looking for something a little more low key, Austin has great some great wine bars to check out as well.

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