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Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

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Austin, Texas
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Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

This list of Austin is huge. It was written for visitors with no car. Please Google search the titles where I don't mention URL's. Absolutely use Google Images and YouTube videos to see most of them. Especially, YouTube which gives you great views of downtown and Lady Bird Lake. NOTE: This list pertains to tourists staying in downtown Austin area, not suburbs. Also, all of this is not 100% walkable, but most is. Easy by cab or city bus for those who don't walk two miles away.






For great maps of DT hotels go to www.hotelguides.com. In their search box type Map of Austin hotels. Nice!




austinchronicle.com (see more info on this below. A must for club info weekly)


Austin double-decker bus tour (New)

Austin Food Tour

Lone Star Boat ride on lake/bat tours too

Paddle Boat and kayak rentals on Lady Bird Lake



Pub Crawler of Austin

Austin Duck Tour

Megabus.com only for a quick day roundtrip nonstop to either San Antonio, Dallas or Houston.


www.2ndstreetdistrict.com (Don't miss it, it is right downtown at 2nd & Congress Ave)

www.6thst.com (Lots, lots, lots of bars) See YouTube videos

Warehouse District has more clubs and restaurants and occasionally food trailers scattered around

Rainy Street is new area near convention center with lots of bars/eateries. Constantly opening new ones.

West 6th Street has shops and restaurants for a 4 block area starting at Lamar (near Whole Foods) and going West. This is where Z'Tejas restaurant is located.

"The Drag" is a 7 block area starting at MLK & Guadalupe on the West edge of UT Campus.

"SoCo" is a Bohemian style 5 block area of shops and eateries in the fashion of "Keep Austin Weird". It begins at about 1/2 mile from Hyatt going South on Congress Ave. The FIRST Thursday of each month all the stores are open late and craft vendors set up. Very busy!

Austin Farmers Market (downtown) is 9am to 1pm every Sat. in a park at 422 W. Guadalupe at 4th Street


Long Center

Palmer Auditorium

Moody Theatre (next to W Hotel) Major stars appear year round

Erwin Center on UT Campus (our huge traveling concerts venue)

Esther's Folly's (see YouTube too) on 6th. Great comedy show!

Burlesque on 6th at Jigglewatts inside Maggie Maes bar 323 W. 6th


Bob Bullock History Museum and IMAX theatre

Blanton Art Museum (On UT campus across st. from History M.) Gorgeous!

LBJ Library on UT Campus

Harry Ransom Center on UT Campus

State Capitol

Barton Springs Pool (YouTube it)

Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Hike & Bike trail (YouTube it)

NEW Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk opened June 2014

Whole Foods MegaStore (YouTube the No. Lamar Location only) 6th & Lamar


Google them, and to see inside go to Google Images and many will be Facebook!

Threadgills (new Hyatt) 301 W. Riverside. Texas decor/food. Music Sun Brunch 10-1pm

Shady Oaks (sit outside if not to hot) 1624 Barton Springs Rd. Good Ch.Fried Steak

Gourdoughs Donuts (try to find their mobile trailer location downtown area now & then)

Guerro's Mexican Restaurant (SoCo)

Perla's Seafood (SoCo)

Counter Cafe (great Breakfast) across from Whole Foods on Lamar near 6th

Austin Java on 2nd street. Great tacos/breakfast/lunch sit outside & people watch

Jo's Cafe on 2nd Street and in SoCo (order at counter)

1886 Bakery is full restaurant in Driskill Hotel (not a bakery) good bkfst/lunch

Old Pecan Street Cafe

Z'Tejas on West 6th Street district (near Whole Foods)

Carmelo's Italian Villa downtown (Gorgeous, look at YouTube videos)

Amy's Ice Cream 1012 W. 6th and in SoCo District on Congress Ave

Cantina Laredo in Warehouse District

Franks Hot Dogs & Beer 407 Colorado (Warehouse D)

La Condesa in 2nd St. District

Malagas Tapas Bar 2nd St.

Easy Tiger 709 E.6th Casual Bkfst/lunch

Moonshine (behind Conv. Center)

P.F. Chang's (near Conv. Center)


Franklin's is the king, but you have to wait in a line lasting hours and they close when they run out. I ate there in Feb and brisket melted in my mouth. Other meats/sides were very good, but I wasn't jumping up and down. If I were a tourist with limited time, I'd pass.

La Barbecue is a trailer at 1200 E. 6th and is getting rave reviews Google/Facebook them

Mueller Meats (Bus) is another hot trailer right now. To far to walk. Do bus or cab.

Stubb's by Conv Center

Lambert's in Warehouse District

Iron Works near Conv Center

Ruby's 512 W. 29th off Guadalupe (UT Drag area) (Bus) No, I didn't misspell it!

NEW 6/23/14 is Black's BBQ 1003 Barton Springs Rd. Across St. from Palmer Auditorium. This is the famous Black's family BBQ from Lockhart, Texas. See their Facebook page

OPENING Fall 2014 is famous Cooper's BBQ of Llano, Tx. 217 Congress Avenue at 2nd.


This is difficult because the ones that are NOT in a park, come and go. Some are scattered in the immediate downtown area around 6th or in Warehouse district. None near SoCo. They had to move due to new hotel construction. Because it is so hot in Austin these can be accessed quickly by Capital Metro bus. #1 Bus for the UT campus area. Barton Springs bus for a few. Do a Google search on Austin food trailers and you will come up with sites devoted to all of them with maps. Here is my short list for those of you staying downtown. None of these parks are walkable, but they are close or very close to downtown and can be done on $1 one way or $2 day bus pass. Most have Facebook pages !

South Austin Trailer Park at 1311 So. 1st

South 1st Food Court at 603 W. Live Oak

The Picnic 1720 Barton Springs Road

Rancho Rio 2512 Rio Grande (behind the UT Drag)

Co-Op Food Court (new) 411 W. 23rd (4 blocks from Rancho Rio and possible home of Gourdough's Donut's (WOW) is currently in Co-Op Food Court. Look at G. Webpage!!

From March to Oct. the last Tues of each month from 5-9pm trailers line up in front of The Long Center on Lady Bird Lake


Google Austin Downtown Brunch for extensive lists on Yelp etc.

Threadgills on Riverside has Sunday Gospel Brunch

Stubb's BBQ has Sunday Gospel Brunch

Moonshine behind Conv. Center

Bacon 900 W. 10th

Counter Cafe on Lamar across from Whole Foods

Austin Java and Jo's on 2nd (Very casual)


This is to massive to do posting. Just Google Austin bars, etc.



austinchronicle.com Click on E-Edition and see entire paper. Prints every Thursday


Freestanding bldg. on East lawn of State Capital. Also, Texas Tourism Booth with maps etc. inside there.

A nice shop at 615 Congress Ave.

My favorite is the huge gift shop in the lobby of Bob Bullock History Museum. Free access to it and upstairs in Cafe.

Also, great toy store is Toy Joy on 2nd Street

Wild About Music is popular store at 115 E. 6th


Austin Visitors Center (Nice) 602 E. 4th

Capital Metro Bus Info Office Closed Sat/Sun is at 209 W. 9th








If you are staying more than 3 days and want to check out another area, then I recommend The Domain in far north Austin. Google it and YouTube it. It is a high end shopping mall with 3 hotels, shops, restaurants, a club or two. You could even move to a hotel out there if you have seen all you want of Downtown Austin. It is 12 miles out and a cab ride is about $30 one way. You can also take bus out there in day time for $1 one way or $2 day pass. The hotels are Westin, Aloft, and Lone Star Court. LSC is brand new and very unique in that they are copying the old Route 66 style motel. They also have a restaurant and a food trailer outside. Also, in the domain is a new Whole Foods.

Another unique complex of two restaurants on the water and one cute coffee house with huge decks is about 5 miles from DT and easy bus ride or share a cab if you're in a group. Google the Hula Hut, Abel's on the Lake and Mozart's Coffee. Mozart's has great pastries. Cool area because you can dine on water at all three.

Whole Foods at 525 No. Lamar is awesome. It is their flagship store and it is huge. You can dine in and visit over 30 kiosks and pick your meal, put it on a tray and pay a cashier when you have finished selecting from each kiosk. You can then sit in the store or take elevator to roof and dine outside. Check their calendar for entertainment. In winter there is an ice rink on the roof. IMO, this is my favorite place for BBQ and the trimmings. You can even sit at an actual counter and eat right beside the guys carving/serving. Love it.

On the 2nd floor of the historic Driskill Hotel at 604 Brazos (one block from Congress) is a bar that is 100% Texas. Do Google images to see it! Then if you want to pretend you are J.R. and Sue Ellen, take a look at menu's of the Driskill Grill restaurant and also Google Image it. It has "Dallas" written all over it. Expensive for dinner, but not bad for breakfast and lunch.

Ray Benson, famous leader of Asleep at the Wheel opened a unique bar downtown about a year ago called the Rattle Inn. Another Austin icon is in SoCo district and that's the famous Continental Club for unique Texas entertainment. Google these two.

Capital Metro is the Austin Public Transit system. One way fare is $1 or you can get a day pass for $2. I ride it all the time. Most drivers are very helpful and even passengers can be helpful and let you know when you need to get off at your stop.

Routes/info www.capmetro.org They also have an office at 209 W. 9th downtown, but it's closed Sat/Sun and they can help you with map/questions.

Lastly, the Austin Chronicle is the entertainment newspaper that hit's the streets every Thursday. You can go to www.austinchronicle.com and over in a box to your left on the home page is E-Edition. Click that and every week you can see what's going on in Austin. Their list of nightclub acts is the most extensive you will ever see.

Don't forget that cool map site I mentioned above and Google Images is a great search engine for downtown maps……Enjoy!

Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

I mentioned the Counter Cafe at 626 No. Lamar by Whole Foods in the post above.

I meant to say 24 Diner for great breakfast. 24 Diner is 600 No. Lamar. However, if you look at Yelp, they are both great. 24 Diner is larger. They have chicken and waffles, which is quite popular these days.

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2. Re: Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

Thanks for this info Georgetowngal. I'm coming to Austin in 2 weeks solo and this is great summary of everything I want to do. Now I need to figure out what I can squeeze into 3 days.

Austin, Texas
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3. Re: Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

Bee, I saw your earlier post. I am senior citizen and have no problem riding city busses during day. Don't do it solo after dark. Yes, you can ride bus to Barton Springs Pool. It's bus #30 going east/west only. $1 each way or $2 day pass. Feel free to shout out anymore questions. As I stated, I LOVE 2nd St. Do street view on Google and see what I mean. It is so fun and tree lined and full of sidewalk cafes. Also, lots of order at the counter eateries which are great for singles. Also, if you are staying downtown there are many fast in/out lunch venues for the office building workers Mon-Fri all up and down Congress Ave.

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4. Re: Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

I'm getting in at 6pm on a Monday. I was planning to catch the bus and buy the day pass. Would you recommend catching the bus after 6pm or would it be easier to get a cab? (I'm female and 27 travelling solo) I'm staying at the Firehouse opp the Driskill and it's a couple blocks walk (doesn't look that far on google maps)

Also - does a day pass last for 24 hours or until that night?

I think I'm going to try and get the bus to Barton Springs in the morning and then wander around 2nd street on my second day. I think I'll be spending most of my nights around 6th just looking for a good bar to drink at. depending on the weather I might head to SoCo and would love to see Wholefoods but I'll see how I go for timing.

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

Congratulations on snagging a reservation at the Firehouse Hostel. I've never met anyone who was unhappy with staying there. Nice to have an inexpensive, safe, and clean lodging right in downtown.

Welcome to Austin!

Chennai, Tamil...
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6. Re: Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

Wow! Thank you so much for posting this guide.

It is REALLY helpful for someone new to the city.

Victoria, Australia
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7. Re: Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

Thanks so much for this awesome guide!

Do you recommend the Greyhound bus service or the Megabus? We are currently in San Antonio and need to get to Austin early on the 4th July and back to Austin before 12 midday on the 5th. We are staying in the downtown area (Hyatt place) in Austin and on the riverwalk in San Antonio. Thanks!!

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8. Re: Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

Fantastic post! We are going to 360 Amphitheater (Without a car) Any recommendations on how to get back to Radisson at night?

9. Re: Info For Visitors Staying in Downtown Austin With No Car

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