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How To Spend A Weekend In Austin

360 Bridge | © Randall Chancellor/Flickr
360 Bridge | © Randall Chancellor/Flickr
You can’t possibly experience all that Austin has to offer in one weekend, but you can come close. Follow this guide for a weekend well spent in Texas’ capital.

Friday Night

Start Friday evening at a unique Austin restaurant like the farm-to-table gem Eden East, which is located on Springdale Farm, an organic urban farm in East Austin and a perfect spot for dinner under the stars. They operate on weekends by reservation only and offer a prix-fixe five-course menu that naturally changes with the seasons. They’re also happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions. You can BYOB or enjoy complimentary drinks always made with fresh juice straight from the in-season farm fruits. If you’re looking to continue the nightly fun, head to the nearby Drinks Lounge for some pool, drinks, and atmospheric outdoor seating.

Eden East at Springdale Farm © Kristen Pol/Flickr

Saturday Daytime

Start your Saturday with an unbeatable brunch at Elizabeth Street Cafe. The French-style café and bakery is not only Instagram cute but also serves a delicious brunch menu. Try their banana-stuffed crepes or sticky rice with ginger sauce and poached eggs. Afterwards, check out The Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake. Walk down the Boardwalk Trail and take pictures as you admire the unparalleled view of Austin’s skyline.

The Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake © sbmeaper1/Flickr

Next, visit the Blanton Museum of Art to witness some of the best exhibitions in Texas. Known for their contemporary, modern, and Latin American galleries, their permanent collection changes frequently, giving visitors a diverse and new experience each time. You can also get a glimpse of the UT campus while you’re at it.

Blanton Museum of Art © Ethan Lundgaard/Flickr

For some exercise and picturesque scenery, head to the 360 Bridge Overlook. The hike is relatively easy, and once you hit your desired altitude, there are some fantastic panoramas of Austin and the 360 Bridge. Depending on what time you arrive, it’s almost always worth it to stay for the sunset. At the very least, you’ll get quite a view and several great pictures.

360 Bridge © Randall Chancellor/Flickr

Saturday Night

For dinner, enjoy an evening at Fonda San Miguel – easily the most beautiful restaurant in Austin with equally delicious food. They can accommodate large parties, and the service is always good. Try their grilled shrimp appetizer wrapped in bacon with white cheese and jalapeños. They’re also well known for their Ancho Relleno San Miguel, an ancho chile filled with chicken, olives, capers, plus almonds and topped with cilantro cream sauce.

If you’re up for more fun after dinner, visit Hole in the Wall, a local dive bar with live music daily. It has a slightly gritty atmosphere, but the experience is truly local and authentic.

Sunday

Start your Sunday at HOPE Farmers Market in East Austin. Here, you’ll find farm-fresh produce, wholesome pastries, local artisans, kid-friendly activities, free yoga, and yes, more live music. Then walk or drive on down to Eastside Cafe. This homey restaurant serves brunch from 10am to 3pm Sunday and Saturday. Try their smoked salmon benedict or apple-almond waffles.

Now it’s time to drive towards West Austin where you get the best of the Texas Hill Country. Enjoy the scenic drive on your way to Mayfield Park, a gorgeous little park with friendly peacocks roaming around ready to greet you. Then make a stop at Mount Bonnell where you’ll find the best panoramic views in Austin.

Mayfield Park © edward stojakovic/Flickr

As if all those beautiful vistas weren’t enough, there’s one more place you must visit before going home. The Oasis at Lake Travis will complete your stay with nearly every seat in the restaurant providing a front row seat to the lake and the magnificent sun setting over the water.

The Oasis at Lake Travis © Gary J. Wood/Flickr