Rose Ballard


Paul Suttles

Visiting Austin

Outdoor Life

One of the best things about Austin is the access to great outdoor activities.
  • Hike and Bike Trail- Don't forget to bring some walking shoes! This is our favorite thing about Austin. The 10 miles of trail that loops around Lady Bird Lake (actually part of the Colorado River) is mostly crushed granite but there is also a great boardwalk section. Don't miss the view at the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge which is a short walk from the nearby streets or Lou Neft Point. There are lots of bike rental companies around austin in addition to the B-Cycle bike sharing.
  • Auditorium Shores (aka Vic Mathias) Park- Downtown park on the trail with an amazing view. Easily accessible with restrooms near the East parking lot.
  • Zilker Park- Giant park near downtown that connects to the Hike and Bike Trail. Play volleyball, have a picnic, ride the mini train, rent kayaks & canoes, or swim & lounge at the famous but chilly Barton Springs Pool.
  • SUP, Kayak, Canoe, or paddleboat - There are many options to get on the water!
  • Lady Bird Wildflower Center- About 20 minutes south of downtown. Beautiful way to see the Texas wildflowers in the spring!

Museums and Architecture

  • Blanton Art Museum- Beautiful collection of art on the UT campus. We're excited to see the new Ellsworth Kelly exhibit. Bonus: Thursdays are free if you are coming to town early!
  • The Contemporary Austin Art Museums- 2 Museums at different locations. Visit the Jones Center downtown or the beautiful Laguna Gloria sculpture park just 15 drive from downtown. The grounds and lovely building are well worth the trip in the spring!
  • Mayfield Park- See Peacocks roaming the grounds at this park just next door to Laguna Gloria!
  • Bullock Museum- Texas history museum and more at the UT campus across the street from the Blanton. They also have an IMAX!
  • Texas State Capital- Stop by to check out the iconic dome and grounds or go on a free guided or self guided tour.
  • The Thinkery- Interactive Children's museum surrounded by plenty of great restaurants and a park in the new Mueller area.
  • The New Central Library- 5 floors of architecturaul and bookworm fun. There's also a rooftop deck that shouldn't be missed! Bonus points for being next to the Seaholm Power Plant.
  • Seaholm District- Adaptive reuse of Austin's power plant that includes restaurants and outdoor amenities close to the trail. Shameless plug- this is the power plant project that some of you heard about that kept Rose busy for quite a while.

Eat like a Local

Austin is home to so many resturautns it is hard to narrow down a few to share. We recomend using Yelp, and checking out Austin Eater too.

Around Austin

South Congress Ave- The main drag of 'SOCO' runs North South between Academy and Johanna streets. Walks the streets to see a variety of street performers, funky shops, cafes, and music venues. Weekends are especially lively, with pop up shops lining the sidewalks as well. Parking is limited to street and a small garage behind Hopdoddy- watch out for the crazy back up angle parking!

2nd Street District- aka Willie Nelson blvd. This section of downtown is home to the Austin City Limits TV show tapings at the Moody theater, the Willie Nelson Sculpture, boutique shops, and delicious restaurants. The new Bridge at the West end now connects to the new library the seaholm district.

Rainey Street- This small street is full of old bungalows turned unique bars and restaurants, food trucks and a shipping container bar. For a more relaxed time go during the day or on the weeknights. Friday and Saturday nights Rainey street is a busy and fun place to be.

Eastside, East 6th & East Cesar Chavez- Our favorite area to hang out for a mix of dive bars, delicious old and new restaurants, graffiti art, and breweries. Check out Eater's guide to food and drink here.

Central 6th Street aka dirty 6th- The central portion of sixth street is Austin's version of bourbon street. This is more of a spectacle and not a spot we recommend spending much time in. Including it here so you can't say we didn't warn you!

North Loop- On the North side of town, this is a great spot for an afternoon of vintage shoppings.

Ann Gardner