Weekend Getaway: Austin, Texas 

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Austin, Texas has become a recent hotspot and because of how easy it is to get there, anything from a week-long to a weekend trip to the Lone Star State is possible. From the {best} BBQ spots in the country to lively bars on Rainey Street and floating in the serene waters of Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Austin is a great spot for friends, couples, bach parties, and anyone looking for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the tri-state area. Read on to learn all about planning a weekend getaway to Austin, Texas.

austin texas

{Photo credit: David Palmieri}

Getting There

Flights out of Newark are the easiest way to reach this happening city. With multiple round trips per day ranging from early morning to late at night, there are a ton of options for travel. Southwest  Airlines typically has the best deals and offer a no-frills option to fly for cheap. Just be aware that when you fly Southwest, you just walk on the plane without a designated seat. If choosing an aisle or window seat is important to you, consider flying another airline like United. The flight from Newark to Austin is anywhere from three to three and a half hours and is a quick easy weekend trip. Keep in mind when booking a flight, Texas is one hour behind the East Coast. 

Where to Stay

The city itself has quite a few hot spots with many options for hotels and other house rentals. Staying close to the city center is best if you’re on a mission to find top-notch local food and bars. 

Downtown Austin 

It’s not surprising that most 20-somethings stay in this area as it is filled with more bars and taco joints than Hoboken. Being in close proximity to Rainey Street {Hoboken’s Washington Street with southern charm} and The Dirty Sixth {East and West} will offer up the best nightlife. Bachelor and bachelorette parties swarm these streets for the booze and BBQ. Some popular bars to try include Container Bar {90 Rainey Street}, UnBARlievable {76 Rainey Street}, Concrete Cowboy {719 West 6th Street}, Parlor and Yard {601 West 6th Street}, and Lucille {77 Rainey Street}.

the line hotel

^ The view from The Line Austin! 

The Line Austin  {111 East Cesar Chavez} is a glamorous yet affordable hotel with an infinity pool, rooftop bars, restaurants, and other great amenities. Interested in staying on The Dirty Six? There are a ton of great options on both East and West 6th Street. Recently, David Palmeri from Million Dollar Listing stayed in a top-notch rental with a few friends, complete with a gorgeous loft overlooking an indoor pool and skylight windows. The Omni Austin {700 Jacinto Boulevard} and Hyatt Place Austin Downtown {211 East 3rd Street} are two other great options for centrally located hotels.

South Congress

Just below Downtown {and across the river} lies South Congress, a perfect spot to stay if shopping, dining, and enjoying the city is a priority. In that area are great hotels central to all of the action. The South Congress Hotel {1603 South Congress Avenue} and The Hotel San Jose {1316 South Congress Avenue} are two popular options among visitors. There are so many notable restaurants that are a must-visit, such as Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar {1400 South Congress Avenue} and South Congress Café {1600 South Congress Avenue}. Many visitors choose to stay at the South Congress Hotel, a highly-coveted boutique hotel right in the heart of it all. With three restaurants such as American at Central Standard {1603 South Congress Avenue}, Café No Sé {1603 South Congress Avenue}, and Otoko {1603 South Congress Avenue}, as well as a bar with live DJs and a Revival Cycle Studio, you won’t want to leave. 

Of course, there are many other places to stay. Check out South Lamar {for the adventurous, outdoorsy type}, East Austin {hipster vibes}, and The North Loop {quieter, more affordable, and family friendly}. It all depends on what you’re looking for while in Austin. 

See More: Your Guide to a Nashville, Tennessee Getaway

Where to Eat

Let’s face it, most places will have BBQ written all over their menu. But the great thing about Austin is the mix of food trucks, posh restaurants, and outdoor spots, all of which provide for very Instagrammable food pics. Food trucks can be found all over the city and visitors from around the country visit these spots expecting the best. 

Here are a few food trucks that are a must-try:

Veracruz All Natural 

veracruz tacos austin

With locations in Mueller, East, South, and North Austin, and Round Roc, Veracruz All Natural is a Latina family + women-run authentic Mexican food truck famously featuring the best breakfast tacos, Mexican food, juices, and smoothies. 

Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts 

Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts is way too good to pass up! This food truck makes fresh doughnuts from 5:00PM-2:00AM on weekdays and 12:00AM-2:00AM on weekends. These doughnuts are made fresh and served warm.  They make for the perfect late-night snack after drinking on Rainey Street. There are many options but the best doughnuts are the Chow Chow {cinnamon + sugar} and the Dalmatian {chocolate + hazelnut}. Just look for the bright pink truck.

Luke’s Inside Out 

 This is a trendy little food truck serving up French-style sandwiches, apps, and even brunch on Sundays. Located right next to Gibson Bar on South Lamar, Luke’s menu is filled with unique sandwiches like The Pressed Pig {jerk pork, mortadella, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles on a toasted hoagie} and The Shrimp {a chipotle rosemary glaze with blue cheese, apple, and honey}. 

BBQ isn’t the only thing on the menu in Austin but it certainly won’t be hard to find. These restaurants deserve your hungry appetite:

Bufalina {1519 East Cesar Chavez Street and 6555 Burnet Road} 

Bufalina are two craft pizzerias serving Neapolitan pizzas cooked in a Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven for all to see. The dinners are the perfect portions of classic Italian dishes with a twist. Their drink menu is stacked with rosé, sherry, whites, reds, beers, and ciders.

Suerte {1800 East 6th Street} 

Executive Chef Fermin Nunez is the brains behind this gem. With a menu that reflects the flavors of Mexico and local ingredients, Suerte is an awesome spot for a special night, whether on a date or in a group.  There is a full bar that serves drinks overlooking East Sixth Street and promises a culinary adventure. 

Emmer and Rye {51 Rainey Street} 

This spot is popular among meat lovers as well as those hoping to try seasonal and local dishes. With their own butchery on-premise as well as homemade pasta, bread, and desserts on call, Emmer and Rye is a great spot to enjoy a delicious meal + the excitement of Rainey Street. Diners can delight in a large selection of carefully crafted entrees or choose from the Dim Sum cart, which serves small plates throughout the restaurant. A full bar mixing up all of the best cocktails, wines, and beers are available, too. 

AXT Cocina {110 San Antonio Street} 

AXT Cocina boasts authentic Mexican cuisine with a modern twist and innovative flair. The menu is a celebration of Mexican heritage and offers up some of the best food without GMOs and unhealthy cooking oils. Be sure to try the short rib barbacoa and pair it with a spicy marg {this combo is truly delicious. 

Read More: Weekend Getaway Idea: New Orleans, Louisiana

What To Do

Austin is similar to  New York in that it’s another city that doesn’t sleep. With the beautiful, warm weather visitors can enjoy all that the area has to offer. Here are a few favorite things to do while visiting.

Take a Boating Trip on Lake Travis 

lake travis austin

A popular choice among visitors, Lake Travis Boating is great for any group traveling to Austin. Whether visiting for a bach party or just for a relaxing weekend, cruising Lake Travis is a great idea. Float On {5019 N. Capital of Texas Highway}, along with many other boat rental companies, offer pontoon {double deckers with slides, grills, and floaties} yachts, and other boats to enjoy the scenery and luxury of the lake. If going with a big group, the captain will link you up to other boats so you can drink and enjoy the lake while meeting new people. Bach parties usually choose this option and it is always a good time. 

Visit Rainey Street 

Rainey Street is Austin’s version of Hoboken’s Washington Street. With bars and food trucks  as far as the eye can see, there is always something to do morning, noon, or night. 

Go to Container Bar {90 Rainey Street}

Container Bar is a must if you’re visiting Austin. This outdoor bar is constantly lit and the DJs always play the best beats. It definitely gets crowded at night but fear not, it’s an experience worth checking out. 

Visit UnBARLievable {76 Rainey Street}

UnBARLievable is another favorite bar with both indoor and outdoor areas to party. The location has many bars, so getting a drink is fast and easy, despite the many people who flock to this place. They even have a slide, hula-hoops, and “other” novelties that we will leave for you to explore. 

Visit Lucille {77 Rainey Street}

Lucille is another must-try. This patio bar is the perfect spot to day drink while playing outdoor games and lounging around on the many hammocks. The trees provide the perfect amount of shade + offer relief from the blistering hot temps of Texas. If in need of refuge, Lucille is the place to go. 

Visit East and West 6th Street

With live music and bars lining the streets, be aware that these two areas are heavily congested with people — both locals and visitors. It tends to get a little crazy in these spots but if you’ve ever walked through Times Square in NYC, you’ll be just fine. We recommend visiting Parlor and Yard, Ranch 616, and Green Light Social. 

Visit The Range at Austin {8301 South IH 35 Frontage Road}

If going to a gun range is your idea of a fun time, The Range at Austin is the perfect spot. The facility offers packages that include multiple types of guns and provides mandatory training sessions with an expert to guide the group through the process from start to finish. The instructors take safety very seriously {as they should}, and provide an invigorating experience. 

There is so much fun to be had in Austin — whether digging into some BBQ or riding out the afternoon on a double-decker pontoon boat. The best time to visit is from now until November and also April to June, in order to beat out the hundred degree temps. Austin has so much to offer, so don’t wait to check it all out. 

Have you been to Austin? What was your favorite part of the city? Let us know in the comments! 

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Hoboken homeowner and lover of all things local, Danielle made her home in the Mile Square City nearly six years ago. Danielle is a second grade teacher by day; after hours, she can be found in the kitchen whipping up a a new recipe or grabbing a bite to eat with her husband and friends. Danielle is the try-er and buyer of all things beauty and loves finding a good deal. Shopping on Washington, interior decorating, and riding her Peloton are just a few of Danielle's favorite things. Oh, and did we mention her undying love for the New York Yankees?