Thoughts By Natalie

wanderlust: a guide to austin

I recognize that while I’m not a fan of living in Austin, it’s certainly a prime tourist location and a fun place to visit. Thus, as I prepare to leave this place, I thought I’d put together of my favorite Austin spots before I forget them all! Here is a collection of the best places I’ve discovered since living here:

Crú Wine Bar
If you happen to be in town on a Thursday night, definitely plan to stop by Crú for their half off sparkling wine special. Their patio seating and prime location in the heart of the 2nd Street District make it the perfect place to sit back, sip wine and people watch. Also, it’s a perfect spot for a date night with your love, or a low-key girl’s night out with your bests.

Jo’s on 2nd Street
Nearly every weekend, Brian and I find ourselves walking to Jo’s for coffee or lunch. Since we live just a mile or so away, it’s a convenient spot to go for weekend eats. What we love most about it is the outdoor patio (located right next door to Crú, in fact), which is prime for people- and dog-watching; there are some really silly pups here in Austin! Also, Jo’s has something for meat lovers, vegans, and even the dairy-sensitive—they make a mean almond milk latte, if you ask me!

Tacos and Tequila
Before moving to Austin, I absolutely hated margaritas. But that all changed when I tried them at Tacos and Tequila. Made with fresh lime juice, agave and high quality tequila, their classic margaritas are absolute perfection. If that’s not your thing, they have about 20 other kinds of margarita-inspired beverages they’d be glad to make for you. Aside from drinks, they also have a delicious menu filled with fresh, well-seasoned ingredients. My favorite? Southwest Veggie Skewers…complete with a mango habanero sauce. Yum!

Barton Springs Pool
Nothing cools you down on a hot Texas day quite like a trip to Barton Springs Pool—a three acre natural pool that remains around 68 degrees year-round. Surrounded by green grass and enchanting trees, it’s an ideal spot to park yourself for the afternoon with friends (I recommend setting your towel down near the diving board for some real entertainment!). One thing to note: you pretty much can’t bring anything in with you other than a drink (which must be non-alcoholic and in a plastic re-sealable container with a twist-top lid), so make sure to eat up before you get there.

Lady Bird Lake
You can’t visit Austin without taking a walk around Lady Bird Lake. A beautiful stream of water running right through downtown, it’s perfectly shaded and always bustling with happy Austinites getting their daily exercise. It’s dog-friendly, bike-friendly, and an ideal place to go with a big iced coffee and a girlfriend to chat with.

Houndstooth Coffee
I stumbled upon this coffee house on accident—only having heard about it through a blogger who claimed it was her favorite cafe in Austin. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Definitely. I can honestly say they have the best espresso I’ve ever tasted. Not to mention, they have the coolest vibe of any coffee shop I’ve been to (though, what did I expect from a place with a fedora hat as their logo?).

Have you ever been to Austin? What are your favorite spots?

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  • Brian Borton
    August 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Jo’s is such a good spot. We need to go there one more time before we leave. Perhaps we’ll spend the money from the bike rack we just sold on craigslist? Haha.

    • Natalie Lynn Borton
      August 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Haha, yes! Great idea! Let’s have lunch there this week :) xoxo