I had quite a few everyday adventures this past weekend when I was visiting my boyfriend in Austin. It is easily one of my favorite cities in the states that I have visited, mostly for its quirky spirit, great food, and endless amount of things to do outdoors. Being from the concrete jungle that is Dallas, I greatly appreciate Austin’s preference to always be outdoors and love that just about every restaurant or bar has a massive patio often accompanied by views of Lady Bird Lake.
We woke up Saturday morning and headed for Lost Creek for a hike before lunch. After a mile or so of hiking, we were standing on the edge of a cliff looking over the green belt and creek (see pictures above). It was my favorite kind of way to start out the day. We also spent some time wandering around the park that runs next to the creek, and saw plenty of people swimming, tubing, and bringing out food and some afternoon refreshments to set up camp for the day. We grabbed lunch at The County Line, a BBQ place that is right on the water. Although it gets an A for its atmosphere, I have to say that it isn’t my favorite BBQ I have had, but still a solid post hike lunch spot.
Saturday night, we had one of the most memorable and delicious meals we have had in a long time at Second Bar + Kitchen downtown on Second Street. I am a serial restaurant review stalker, and I have seen this place written up over and over again. It has been on my hit list ever since. Second was so good that we talked about our food and debated whose was better (mine was) quite a few times the next day. We started out with a garlic and chive potato gnocchi, which set the standard pretty high for our main courses. I had the braised beef short rib that had this mind-blowing balsamic brandy glaze that is caramelized on the top of it, and my boyfriend had the vertically roasted chicken breast that had citrus infused corn salad beneath it. It was truly a challenge to try not to lick the bowls. Another reason Second is on the top of my list right now: a list of two bite deserts that curb your need for something sweet, but don’t leave you feeling like you need to be wheeled out of the restaurant.
I grew up driving down to Austin with my family at least once a year to stay for an extended weekend because both of my parents are big fans of the city as well. I will have to come up with a proper Austin City Guide at some point, but for now here is a list of some of my other Austin favorites that I would recommend you try out next time you visit.
- Swimming in the ice-cold water on a 100+ degree day at the Barton Springs Pool
- Spend an afternoon shopping and eating your way down South Congress. My personal picks: Allen Boots, By George, and Kendra Scott Jewelry
- Try a round of vintage mini-golf at Peter Pan (my dad used to go with his grandparents when he was a kid!)
- Texas pecan pancakes at the Four Seasons
If you are looking for a few other things to do around Austin, here are some of my recommendations for things to do in the Hill Country.
Photos // All photos taken by Lindsey Chandler/The Everyday Adventurer