HOTEL SAINT CECILIA Nestled behind bustling South Congress street, this boutique hotel is a hidden oasis. The ranch style rooms are each unique with vintage furniture and views of the downtown skyline. Order a craft cocktail by the pool and make sure to be on the look out for celeb sightings.
HOTEL SAN JOSE Also located right on South Congress and built in 1963, the modern bungalow is tucked away behind a lush garden and courtyard. Its a short walk away from loads of activities on Lady Bird Lake and great shopping and dining.
HOTEL ELLA Located on a quiet street near the University of Texas, and just a short Uber ride to downtown, this boutique hotel is full of charm. The restored mansion is the perfect spot to lounge around the pool or on the wrap around patio.
ELIZABETH STREET CAFE This French and Vietnamese fusion cafe is far from ordinary. We love the lump crab spring rolls and green tea! The waitresses wear fun floral dresses and aprons to play the part. Don’t get your meal to go, the restaurant’s decor is just as wonderful as its food! Enjoy your spring rolls and macaroons in the perfectly cheery setting.
HILLSIDE FARMACY Bloody Mary’s and brunch, does it get any better? Not only do we love to brunch at this East Austin gem (expect a wait), we love the people watching. The fried egg sandwich and the “Grapefruit Brûlée” are favorites!
ODD DUCK Everyone knows Austin likes to keep it weird, and Odd Duck contributes to this effort with a truly unique menu that is constantly changing. They use local and seasonal ingredients that will keep you coming back. The cocktails are pretty great too!
Because Austin has such an amazing restaurant scene, also check out these favorite spots: Torchy’s Tacos, Uchi, Hopdoddy Burgers, Franklin Barbecue, Home Slice Pizza, Ables on the Lake (for Texas Teas!) and South Congress Cafe
HAMILTON POOL PRESERVE A hidden oasis outside of the city! Go during the week to avoid long lines. It’s $15 to get in with a car and so worth the trek out there. Make sure to read cautions about swimming before jumping in. There are other trails in the park other than to just the preserve as well!
ZILKER PARK One of our favorite places to hangout! If you love picnics, yoga and dogs running around everywhere, make sure to stop by. There are great views of the Austin skyline and plenty of signature “weird” Austin entertainment. Also, it sits right on Lady Bird Lake!
MOUNT BONNELL Get some exercise while hiking (don’t worry, its a short hike) to the top of Mount Bonnell. You’ll see sprawling views of downtown Austin, 360 Bridge and the lake on both sides. We highly recommended going to watch the sunset!
A few extra views not to miss out on: The Oasis, Barton Springs Pool, South Congress, Rainey Street (full of old houses converted into bars), Jo’s Coffee (the location on South Congress to see the popular “I love you so much” graffiti mural)
El COSMICO Heard of glamping? The 21 acre nomadic hotel and camping ground is an oasis for the adventurous, but stylish, traveler. El Cosmico is made up of renovated vintage trailers, tribal-decor-filled safari tents, Mongolian Yurts, and teepees. Sit around a bon fire listening to traveling bands play tunes all under the bright Milky Way Texas sky.
THUNDERBIRD MARFA The retro and newly renovated 1960’s hotel features a desert style pool in the horseshoe shapes courtyard. Rent a bike to explore Marfa from here or get lost in a book in the breezy poolside lounge.
MARFA SAINT GEORGE The stylish and upscale retreat in the middle of town is a comfortable stay with a delicious restaurant called “LaVenture.”
FOOD SHARK Mediterranean food truck that’s only open on the weekends. Make sure to grab one of their famous falafels.
COMIDA FUTURA With a revolving menu that is driven by the market, this cafeteria styled restaurant resides in the middle of town.
DO YOUR THING COFFEE The cafe is owned by a local musician and designer from Oakland, California who are agreeably really great at one thing- craft coffee. Every 2-3 months an artists work is rotated through the shop for purchase.
PRADA MARFA In the middle of West Texas, sits a Prada store. No shopping can be done here, its actually an art installation by Scandinavian artists Elmgreen and Dragset. The store is actually not located in Marfa, but 30 minutes outside of town near Valentine, TX (1.4 miles northwest of Valentine, to be exact). Drive down US Highway 90 and keep your eyes peeled or you just might miss it!
THE CHINATI FOUNDATION Open to the public from Wednesday- Sunday. The exhibit is the legacy of Donald Judd. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes to beat the Texas heat and walk around the installation.
DOWNTOWN MARFA Filled with Mexican influenced architecture and small town Texan charm, you can easily get lost wandering around admiring the gem of West Texas.
SIDE TRIP: BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
It’s not all flat, mountains actually do exist in Texas! You’ve just got to almost go to Mexico to find them. The dry arid terrain provides the most stunning Texas sunsets and ever-changing landscapes. We spent 2 days in a cabin just outside the National Park to hike and photograph the Milky Way. Check out our blog post of the entire trip!