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Austin Advice Anyone ?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Camp Rusty, Jan 12, 2015.

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  1. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty Low-Roller

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    Heynow Campers......

    So....... anybody from or visit Austin ? Looks like I am going for the F1 race in October and have never really even been in that part of the US, just a layover at DFW.

    I think we are only doing Sunday at the race track so have four or five days of touristy stuff. We will have a rental car. Kind of out of the blue trip, never have had Austin on my tour itinerary, don't have any friends there so have no idea what there is to do.

    Mid fifties, enjoy music, cars, craft beer, and day hikes.

    Thanks for any insights.
    Rusty
     
  2. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    The Texas hill country is the number one spot for Austinites. Especially Fredericksburg. We have 28+ wineries and growing all the time. Most have tasting rooms. Great shopping antiques and boutiques etc. chain stores and chain restaurants are not allowed in historic downtown. Luckenbach is right around the corner. Enchanted Rock state park is a great hike. We have a huge wild seed farm with unique shopping. Lots of German food. You can message me if you want. I am originally from San Antonio and now live in FBG. There are many other day trips around Austin. That is just a start
     
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  3. CenterfieldNine

    CenterfieldNine Low-Roller

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    You could check out Hops and Grain Brewery, walk along the new riverwalk, get smashed on either the new or old Bar districts (4th street? broadway? forget the name of the street but its a known fact), or hit one of the many BBQ joints.

    Many day trips and sights as well like vwhiten mentions.

    have a blast! and i wonder if you can go up in the observation tower during F1 week, if so... do it!
     
  4. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    In Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center i-- i have always wanted to go there. Good BBQ just outside Austin is Salt Lick in Driftwood. A nice drive out to the boonies. A close drive is New Braunfels to the Gristmill Restaurant on Gruene Rd. One of my favorites. Lake Buchanan vanishing River cruise. It is on the Highland lakes. Just gorgeous. It is $20 per person and $12.99 extra for dinner. You might see some Bald Eagles but it is a little early in Oct. they are usually spotted in Nov. all of these mentioned and the earlier text are around an hour away give or take.

    There Is a distillery in Hye Texas Garrison Bros that does tasting too. I would recommend the Texas Guide book the state puts out. It is free off the internet. You will find plenty to do
     
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  5. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty Low-Roller

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    Thanks :beer:

    Sounds terrific, also sounds like I might want to add a couple days on to the trip !
     
  6. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    I go to Austin all the time and will be there in three weeks staying at the new JW Marriott downtown. There are literally dozens of great restaurants in the city concentrated around 6th Street and plenty of bars and clubs with live music of all sorts. I try new places every year and post reviews on TripAdvisor.

    Regarding the "German" food up in the Hill Country, I take great exception to that! Since I've been to Germany many times and since we have German restaurants here in New England I can tell you there are none in the Hill Country. I visited all that I could find and they were all awful. Several didn't even serve German beer! Trust me, Shiner Bock isn't a German beer and sliced Roast beef out of a cryovac pac with Sysco sauerbraten sauce isn't sauerbraten. They might look good on the outside but it's the food that matters so go get some BBQ while you visit all the great tour suggestions, not the phony German food.

    Oh, if you are in Austin on a Wednesday, look up the Spazmatics downtown. What a show!
     
  7. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    Lol i know what you mean about German food. I feel the same about Mexican food in vegas. It does not exist. The Friedhelm's Bavarian Inn is the only "German" Restaurant I will eat at here and I only order Jaeger Schnitzel. they do have a full bar and I know they carry German beer not just Shiner.

    I agree much better food in Austin and San Antonio then the touristy places here. I just saw A Diners Dives and Drive-ins that featured Magnolia cafe on Lake Austin blvd. makes me wish I made it to Austin more but San Antonio is our comfort zone
     
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  8. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Barton Springs pool and Zilker park. Right downtown.
    barton-springs-pool-is.jpg

    The weather would probably allow you to swim. If not to swim, there is a good "day hike", the Barton Creek Greenbelt, area that starts at the pool

    Live music anywhere. 6th street, Rainey Street.
    Brewery tour. There are several in town.
    Brew Pubs. There are several in town. Combine your "music and craft beer" passion at any of them.

    BBQ. Do a search and you'll find them. Everywhere. Or take a short drive to Lockhart, one of the capitals of BBQ in Texas, to sample the three cathedrals of smoke down there.

    Take in an Austin City Limits concert depending on the schedule.

    A drive out into the hill country is a pleasant day trip. You can do a winery tour out that way. Fredricksburg is a great town to visit. But I agree with the above about German food in town. We just drove through this weekend and had some less than stellar food. It was called Wheelers. We have had several below par meals in that town.
    But Auslander was pretty good, and I agree with the Friedhelms recommendation. Both places are thematic too.

    Back to Austin. You can also rent paddle boards and canoes to float on Lady Bird Lake:
    ST-Austin-8.jpg

    LBJ Presidential library on the University of Texas is very interesting. Drive by the state capitol building.

    All that should keep you busy for awhile.
     
  9. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Plenty of live music, pubs & food options in the "6th Street" area of downtown.
    Along the freeway (I-35), north or south, you will spot a Rudy's BBQ. It's a "chain" (sort-of), but really good Texas BBQ (beef brisket) and a fun vibe. Stop in for a lunch.
    If you have time, drive south toward San Antonio for a day trip to 'Natural Bridge Caverns'.
    If you want to stay closer to Austin, InnerSpace caverns are very close (in Georgetown) https://innerspacecavern.com/tours
    You may also find some Oktoberfest activities still going on near Austin, depending on what dates you are there. New Braunfels & Fredericksburg are both reasonably close (for Texas).


    You'll have to forgive the 'exuberance'. Texans love Texas, and I'm certainly no exception... there really is quite a bit to see & do here - especially in the Austin/Hill Country area.
    Enjoy!
    :beer:
     
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  10. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    There's a restaurant called the Bakehouse that had pretty darn good German food.
     
  11. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    Have some Tex-Mex everyday!!
     
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  12. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I went to Austin in 2013 for a conference - my husband came with me, we didn't rent a car. Bus is very easy to use. I did a google map of various places I wanted to check out - might or might not have visited these all. Food trucks & craft beer were high on our priority list. Saw James McMurtry one night in the small upstairs bar of a club. Such fun!

    https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/0/edit?mid=zrDV_oCfyVW0.kNjOvi58BTl8&authuser=0&hl=en

    Our hotel was just next door to the "bat bridge" so we went to see the bats 2 or 3 nights. Very cool.
     
  13. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Man oh man, it had GREAT German food. That's what set the standard for me for the Fredricksburg places to. But alas, it has closed.
     
  14. BCMike

    BCMike VIP Whale

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    It would be nice if it reopened or if there was some sort of food truck... I heard that place was on Mystery Diners.

    Chilantro just opened a restaurant so that might be something to check out. It's like american/asian fusion. Their kimchi fries are excellent.

    Outside of that, I'm not sure if the bats are around in October but something else to consider if you're down near the bridge on Congress.

    Check out the Yellow Rose for football games; and pretty ladies as well.
     
  15. Bo333

    Bo333 VIP Whale

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    I think everyone just about hit the high spots. Really depends on what you feel like doing.
    You could easily hangout on 6th street enjoying the music and drinking for several nights.
    Lots of good places for a hike.
    Seeing the bats is always fun (cape optional - but recommended if you're batman).
     
  16. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty Low-Roller

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    WOW....thanks everyone, I'll copy all these great suggestions and get them sorted out. Looks like we may be staying thirty minutes outside the city. Downtown hotel rates were mind boggling, $412/ night for the LaQuinta !
     
  17. BCMike

    BCMike VIP Whale

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    What direction is your 30 minutes in? I'm towards north Austin in an area known as the Domain. If you like high priced shopping and decent restaurants, I'd recommend stopping by here. There's also a Top Golf if you're into golfing.

    Other thing your name triggered is we have Camp Mabry here. There museum is actually pretty interesting on the base ( I'm Canadian so they're all bases)... Lots of guns, vehicles, jets etc on display. Think it's ww2 and beyond mostly.
     
  18. Blatz

    Blatz Low-Roller

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    If you enjoy craft beers, you're coming to the right place. You don't want to miss Adelbert's brewery, Jester King Brewery, and Austin Beerworks. If I had to pick one, I'd say head out to Jester King. If you want some beer porn, just check out their menu ( http://jesterkingbrewery.com/tasting-room/ ) Thirsty Planet brewery is right around the corner, and you can stop there as well. If you head out to Hill Country for Jester King, lunch at The Salt Lick is a great experience. Although touristy, the 6th street area is a fun walk, with live music coming from just about every venue on the strip. In this area I'd recommend Easy Tiger Bakery and beer garden. They cure their own meats and have some amazing baked goods, and a great selection of beer. 6th street is absolutely crazy for F1. I have been to F1 for the past 3 years, and it's quite insane. Keep in mind, the track is about 30 minutes east of the city, and the congestion is out of control, and if you're going to F1, you probably know that the parking can be almost as expensive as the tickets to the race, depending on how close you want to park to your seats. The SoCo district(Congress, south of the river) may be more your speed. Check out the cool restaurants(Snack Bar, Hopdoddys, Homeslice) and all of the unique local austin shopping. There are also trailer parks full of interesting foods in the area. 6th street east of the interstate is more of a local scene, bars with great beer selections and a more 'dive' feel.

    I live in downtown Austin so if you have any specific questions about the race or Austin, I'm happy to help!
     
  19. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    I forgot to mention for a great lunch the Peach Tree Room -- it was started by Cynthia Collins Pedregon - sadly she passed away a couple of years ago, but her family still runs it. Her mother was Enid Collins - She was a purse maker and her purses were made back in the 50s and 60s. They were the bejeweled purses - bucket style and cigar box -- they are very collectible now and expensive. They are only open for lunch but they have wonderful soups, quiche and sandwiches - as my husband says it is a foo foo restaurant - more geared for ladies day out - but I have always seen plenty of men. The Fredericksburg Herb Farm is also a neat place to visit. There is also a old fashioned diner called the Airport Diner -- It sits right on the runway and you can watch the planes land - Sometimes you can see all kinds of vintage planes - mainly on the weekends when the well to do come to town. Food is okay nothing special but love to watch the planes.

    Most importantly I forgot to mention the Nimitz Museum if you are in to WWII history and Camp Martin Scott if you are into frontier history. They are actively building a Texas Ranger Museum adjacent to Fort Martin Scott -- don't know when that will be finished. All these are in Fredericksburg.-- I'm really touting my town here -- so I'll give another not in my town.

    One of the best drives nearby is Devils Backbone out of San Marcos to Wimberly - Twisty and windy and lots of scenery.
     
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  20. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I was confused by this post, then realized all this things are more things to do out in Fredricksburg. lol


    I also realized the original poster is coming for F1. The F1 experience downtown is really fun. We have not been to a race yet, but we have gone downtown for the F1 experience. It's six blocks of booths, food, music, interactive things, and people watching. Definitely an evening worth of activities by itself.
     
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