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Quick stay... what to do...

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Sunrise, FL
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Quick stay... what to do...

My gf and I are going to be in Austin the beginning of June for a few days (looks like Friday thru Monday morning, Saturday is booked) and staying at an Embassy Suites-Central Austin. I was wondering what is there to do with such a short amount of time? What is recommended? We both love history, the outdoors and are in decent shape (so we dont mind walking). Do we need a car? What about food/drinks?

I have been told itll be really hot (we are from Florida so thats not a problem) and springs are nice and not to miss the "bats" or 6th Street (?).

Pearland, Texas
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1. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

Esther's Follies is fun. Check out Zilker Park, but get there early - its very popular, especially on a summer weekend, and Austin is an outdoorsy city.

There are a large number of bars and restaurants in the 6th street area.

It may be hotter than you are use to in Florida, but less humid. There's also no sea breeze to moderate the temps. I used to live in Florida so I'm familiar with the subtle differences in "heat". It can easily get to 100 degrees in Austin and rarely does so in Florida.

Here's a great, clickable map of Austin (a little out of date)

…austin.tx.us/downtown/downloads/downtown_di…

Sunrise, FL
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2. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

Thanks, WallyWilson.

Based upon where we are staying and the places you have mentioned, would it be wise of us to rent a car, or would just doing a taxi be fine (financially speaking as well)?

Also when you say, "a little out of date," with regard to the map--how much out-of-date are we walking? Months? Years?

Thank you in advance!

Austin, Texas
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3. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

I think the biggest thing that is out of date with that map is that it shows routes for The 'Dillo, which was a free (and then not free) trolley that ran various routes around town. It stopped running a few years ago. The map also shows things as being under construction, which are now completed and open, like the W Hotel and Residences.

The Embassy Suites Central is right on I35, north of downtown. You cannot walk from there to anywhere really. I would rent a car for exploring during the day. It will be easier to get to Zilker and Barton Springs with a car, but take a cab at night, especially if you are going to be drinking.

You may want to spend some time on South Congress. Much better restaurants than you'll find on 6th Street, lots of interesting shops, and great music at the Continental Club. Warehouse District and West 6th are also good spots and are well-marked on the map Wally provided.

Sunrise, FL
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110 reviews
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4. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

Thank you, MrTed.

Do you think 2 days will give us a decent amount of time to see a few things. We have a wedding on Saturday, so that day is cashed. We figure a full Friday and Sunday is what we are working with. There is a possibility of Thursday, too, but we dont want to "stick around" to just enjoy food and drinks. (Well we do, but $$$ and work always get in the way.)

Pearland, Texas
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5. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

The only real drawback to taking a cab is finding one for the return trip. You may have to call or arrange for one in advance.

And yes, MrTed is correct on the issues with the map. It comes from the city website. I've never bothered contacting them to report the problem.

Pearland, Texas
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6. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

For fun eats try one of the Chuy's locations.

For a fun movie night, try one of the Alamo Drafthouse theaters.

Some of the bars that have good live music are Friend's, BD Riley's, and Saxon Pub (plus many others). There are regular acts who play different venues around Austin, plus Houston and San Antonio. Antone's is a famous live music venue, but you often have to buy tickets in advance.

I like blues guitar and Alan Haynes and Eric Tessmer are my favorites.

Sunrise, FL
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7. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

Ah, thank you. My gf and I are all about trying new places so this should be exciting.

Btw... have either of you (or anyone else) heard of a place called Salt Licks BBQ? I have been told that if we get a car we must go there. Any info/opinion?

Pearland, Texas
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8. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

Salt Lick is pretty awesome. The original one is southwest of the city in Driftwood. Its cash only and BYOB. There is a location in Round Rock, northeast of Austin. Both locations are easily driveable from the city, although you'll probably not want to drive back or forth from Round Rock during rush hour. They even have a location at the airport.

www.saltlickbbq.com

Some say that other BBQ's are just as good. Of course, everyone in Texas has their own opinion on the best BBQ, hot sauce and chili.

Sunrise, FL
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9. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

Gotcha.

Are Friday nights good to be downtown or the Soco district? I have heard good things about both and I assume we will have to pick one of the other for one night.

Austin, Texas
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10. Re: Quick stay... what to do...

Regarding Salt Lick, keep in mind that both locations will be busy, busy, busy. They have huge seating areas, but attract lots of people, so go early, or be prepared for a wait.

South Congress is directly south of downtown on the other side of the river (Lady Bird Lake), so you can easily do both in one night. Have dinner and catch an early show at the Continential Club, and then walk across the bridge, see the bats if you time it correctly (they emerge at dusk), and spend the rest of night hitting up places on 6th Street.

Two full days will give you a nice feel for what Austin is all about. Food and music at night, Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool during the day, BBQ one night, and maybe a walk around the Capitol and grounds before you leave will make for a fantastic long weekend.