Austin, Tx is one of my favorite cities in the U.S., so when I had the opportunity to run a marathon in Austin, I couldn’t turn that down! I had been trying to find a reason to get back to Austin for a few years. I talk about how much I love Austin all the time. I have been raving about the barbecue, Mexican food, live music, and beer. The Man Child had never been to Austin, and the things I love about Austin are some of the Man Child’s favorite things (bbq, tacos, music…beer).
Planning a trip to Austin is so easy, and relatively cheap too. Southwest flies direct from Tampa to Austin (approx. 2 hr flight). As a loyal Southwest Rapid Rewards member, I can cover my airfare with points, and I have a companion pass, which means the Man Child travels with me for FREE on any Southwest flight. Total cost for 2 roundtrip flights from Tampa to Austin = $22.40.
As we were running the marathon, we chose to stay at the Marriott Courtyard Convention Center. The marathon had worked out a deal with local hotels for reduced rates. For this reason, going through the Austin Marathon website was cheaper than booking directly through Marriott. We were able to book a room for $189 per night. The hotel was in a perfect location. Two blocks from the marathon expo at the convention center. Five blocks from the race start line. Three blocks from the race finish. Three blocks from the infamous 6th St. One half mile from Rainey St. Our room was really large and updated, and the hotel staff was incredibly accommodating. I would absolutely stay there again!
We arrived in Austin on Friday night (with the marathon on Sunday morning), and the Man Child IMMEDIATELY started making friends. When we landed, we were really hungry. We checked into the hotel, threw our bags in the room, and went straight to find some food. After walking just a couple blocks, we saw a sign for Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ. Done! I grabbed us spots at the bar while the Man Child got in line for food. Check out this spread!!
Seriously, this was the BEST BBQ, I have ever had (needless to say, we ate there 2 more times before leaving). While we chowed down on a giant plate of brisket and sausage, the Man Child made friends with the bartender, who also happened to be named “Jim.” By the time we finished our meal, Jim had given us a list of places to check out and list of people to meet while in Austin.
The Man Child was on a mission! Over the next few days, we walked (and ran) all over the city. We tried several restaurants, bars, and live music hotspots. We spent quite a bit of time on 6th St. and on Rainey St. We even ventured outside of downtown to check out Jester King Brewery and Deep Eddy Distillery. We found that no matter where we went people were incredibly friendly. People loved showing off their city and giving us tourists great recommendations. Below are some photos from a “few” of my favorite spots:
Jester King Brewery has an absolutely gorgeous facility with even better beer. If you like farmhouse style ales and sours, I highly recommend the trip out of downtown to visit Jester King!
Firehouse, just off 6th St., was a cool recommendation. It is actually a hostel. When you walk into the lobby, you can move the bookcase to get into a local speakeasy. They had great music and drinks!
We tried to get into the famous Franklin Barbecue on Saturday morning. We walked about a mile to the restaurant and arrived about an hour before it opened. We were NOT prepared. People had been tailgating outside the restaurant since 6am! The line was completely around the block, and the restaurant had already cut off people from joining the line. From what the locals said, the line is like this every morning, no matter day of the week or weather. Could the food be that good?! Let me know if you’ve been! I’d love to hear your reviews! Maybe we’ll plan it into our next trip…
If you haven’t been to Austin, I highly recommend you make the trip. It is one of my favorite cities in the U.S., and I’m pretty sure the Man Child agrees. We are already trying to plan our next trip!