What we did in Austin, Texas

Austin is a great city, very clean and hospitable. The locals were helpful and very proud of where they live. In Austin, there is a saying, a city motto ‘Keep Austin weird’ this is to celebrate all that is odd, weird and unique in Austin. The city is so diverse and vibrant with its muralled walls, sculptures, interesting venue, great outdoor spaces, great food and a ton of bars. If you want a party all day all night kinda holiday then Austin is for you, if you want a family-friendly holiday then Austin is for you, Solo traveling then Austin is for you or if you want a city break with a difference Austin is for you.

There is so much to see and do, here is what we managed to see while we were there. Click each title to be taken to the corresponding website.

Voodoo doughnuts

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a doughnut fiend I can’t get enough of them. Krispy Kremes were my favourite but then I was introduced to Voodoo doughnut and feel like I’ve been seriously missing out in the UK. There are so many varieties of Doughnuts in this place all executed perfectly the hardest part is picking what you want.

The shop is located on what can only be described as the party street of Austin, there are bars up and down the length of 6th so you can drink all day fill up on doughnuts then get back on it if you wish. You would do well to hit each bar in a night. Anyway back to Voodoo doughnuts, the inside is a multicoloured feast for the eyes, there’s a stunning mural on the wall and a humongous Amercian neon flag near the counter. There’s a stage where there are live singers sometimes (This may be a weekend and evening thing I’m not 100% sure), the tables have been decoupaged with newspapers and the chairs sprayed in vibrant colours. There are even a couple of doughnut trees.

If you’re planning on going be prepared to wait in line as the queue can get a little crazy, out the door crazy but it’s so worth the wait. We went during the week about 4pm and there was hardly anybody there so we were able to sit in and eat.

I breastfed my baby here too and nobody asked me to move along there were no daggers thrown my way. I felt completely comfortable feeding my son as I fed myself.

Below are the photos of the doughnuts and the actual shop.IMG_0828 copyIMG_0825IMG_0822 copyIMG_0820 copyIMG_0803 copy

Gordoughs food van / Gordoughs public house

This place surpassed the last doughnut place and has me banging on about these deliciously fried doughy rings of calorific pleasure. I have no doubt that if we lived there these food spots would be a regular indulgence and I’d probably have no teeth due to cavities and erosion because of the crazy amounts of sugar consumed on a daily. Luckily and frustratingly for I do not live near a Gordoughs and am destined to reminisce about how incredibly tasty these doughnuts were for the foreseeable future. Honestly, if you love doughnuts and are in Austin you should definitely go here and order a selection of different doughnuts. I had the Squealing pig because it sounded like something I’d never pick so got it and absolutely loved it the crispy bacon with the jalapeno jam mixed with the strawberry jam and cream cheese and all the other yumminess piled on top just made for the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. There are quite a few varieties on the menu we wish that we’d found Gordoughs on the first day so that we could have tried everything on the menu.

The Gordoughs public house is a really nice establishment that sells everything the food truck does plus doughnut burgers and yes they are disgustingly delicious. I would honestly go back to Austin just for a doughnut binge. The staff there were great and it was child-friendly during the day. I breastfed the Bubba there comfortably too.

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State Capitol building

lillefeed_5The Capitol building was built with no expense to the taxpayer. The stone used to build it was donated by a Texas Granite mine in order to keep the materials Texan. Convict labour was used in the construction of the Capitol building.

The actual building and grounds are very beautiful the little details like the enormous custom hinges to the domed roof with its hidden gem of an effect you can only experience when there. There are free tours around the building each day and the staff are real friendly and helpful especially the gift shop staff. Before you go inside you have to go through an airport-style security as this is a government building they need to ensure the safety of everyone there. The domed ceiling was beautiful but I never did find out where the spiral staircase led to.

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The best of Austin tour

This tour was brilliant! The only downside is that we had to pay full price for our 9-month-old. We did take up a lot of room on the bus and luckily we had a car seat otherwise we would have not been able to go.

Justin the tour guide was very funny, informative, personable, and entertaining. He really made the tour what it was. He has so many strings to his bow, traveled around a bit and is still so young. The stories he told were something a little different to what you’d expect from a tour. He drove the bus around pointing out the different areas and where is best for different types of food. It was him who suggested we go to Gordoughs and I’m so glad he did. We went to the State Capitol, Hope outdoor gallery, The Austin postcard mural and many other interesting places. We really felt looked after on his tour and would highly recommend going on this tour.

Search for street art

There are so many murals and pieces of art to find all over this vibrant city showing how art can enhance a place rather than diminish it. I enjoyed spotting the different pieces while driving or walking around, they made me feel like getting creative.

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The museum of weird

What can I say about this place? If you love a good fish hook to the eyelid or a two-headed calf then this is the place for you. I got some real funky socks and great pins from here too. It’s definitely worth a visit especially as it’s on the same street as Voodoo doughnuts.

 

 

 

The Picnic trailer park

IMG_1245 copyWe heard a lot of good things about this trailer park. Austin seems to be home to the mobile food van the difference being that most if not all of them serve incredibly tasty food it’s not a hit or miss scenario. If only some of the food vans in the UK had the same attention to detail and innovation of flavours. We went for a Venezuelan buns which were super yummy. There are a few different food trucks to choose from and there is parking nearby which was super handy.

The Hope Outdoor Gallery

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I love this place! But was told that come June it will be torn down to make way for luxury condos and moved near the airport. This place is a haven of expression. There were so many styles of spray painting. On a Saturday there were stalls there selling art and spray paint cans so you could add your own art to the walls. This place is never the same you could go on the Monday see some amazing murals then go back on the Tuesday and they will all be covered by something else. This is a great place to have a photo shoot as it’s so vibrant and the walls make for some interesting compositions. Warning if you want to get to the top you will need to climb up the muddy gravely hill which isn’t easy in a dress and shoes with no grip. Early morning is probably the best time to go if you want to get photos with hardly anybody about as it can get real busy but to be honest the other people there were helping each other take photos and getting out of the way of other people’s shots which was courteous of them. I got a few good shots which I’m very happy with.

 

Whole foods

We stayed in an Airbnb while in Austin which was perfectly positioned of SoCo which made it walking distance to everything. It was a one-bed apartment with parking that was an additional cost, it was a home from home which is perfect when you have a baby in tow. The host was amazing helped us when we were stressed out and lost. Here is the link to his apartment click here.

While there we needed supplies so we went to whole foods and my gosh we loved it. The variety of different health foods was amazing. I drank a lot of different probiotic drinks and felt great for it. My partner ate mince, broccoli, and eggs every morning which made him very happy. The macarons there were very tasty so many flavours we are them all. This supermarket has a different feel to the ones here in the UK I’m not sure why maybe it was the people who shop there or the multitude of healthy products. Definitely worth checking out just remember that in the States they add on the tax at the checkout rather than on each individual product.

Parts and Labour

This is my kind of shop who also have a website. This shop stock art and products by local artists, we ended up with a lot of art in preparation for our move. I can’t wait to get them up on the walls and bring some personality into the place. There were lots of quirky bits and great Tees with witty images on them.

I-hop

Yes I know I know but I love pancakes fresh toast and this is the place for that. I wish we had these in the UK but then again if we did I doubt it would taste as good. The pancakes with beef tips were on point very juicy. The stuffed yes you heard right stuff French toast was incredible I could have eaten another straight after.

Here is what we missed and would love to come back for.

Bat bridge

South Congress bridge is home to around 2 million Mexican free-tail bats. Each night from around mid-March to early November, the Congress Bridge Bats fly out from under the bridge swarming the skies with their aerial displays. Unfortunately, we went in February so didn’t manage to see any bats. Our apartment was very close to the bridge and we drove over it every day.

Ladybird Lake

If you are into water sports then there are many lakes for you to explore here. If you rather you can just relax on the bank with a picnic or go on a scenic walk along the lake.

Cathedral of junk

A man in Austin decides one day to create something out of junk in his backyard which over the years grew and grew and now he charges people to come and see it. I’ve heard great things about this place but you do need to call a few days in advance to make sure he’s going to be home.

The Alamo Draughthouse Cinema

It’s a cinema with a twist, you can drink alcohol here. A lot of locals recommended going here for the atmosphere and experience, unfortunately with the baby in tow we were unable to do this but hopefully, we can come back and see what the hype is about.

If you have any suggestions on things to do and places to visit please hit me up via the comment section, the contact page, Facebook or Instagram.

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