Are you new to Austin? Are you a local but you’d like to try some new activities? I’ve created something for you. This is a list I wish I had when I first moved to Austin. A starter kit of places to check out that will push you towards discovering your own path through Austin. Enjoy!
My new favorite spot? Kinda Tropical. I’m moving into a new neighborhood soon. Naturally, one of the first things I did was look up “bars around me” — Kinda Tropical popped up. I ventured over there and it’s been a place I frequent ever since. They have coffee, alcohol and great food! It only opened about a month ago and it’s still a “hidden gem”.
Want some live music? Check out a new local musician at Whip-In or One-To-One Bar. Also, if you’ve never checked out Sofar Sounds or Foster ATX, I’d look into them as well. You’ll get a very unique musical experience.
Need a place to take a group for dinner? Enjoy an amazing dinner at Sway. Go on a weekday, it’s less crowded! Their dishes are served “family style”. I know I can take my dad to this place and he won’t loudly complain about small portions. I recommend ordering Tom Kha Gai (coconut & chicken soup) & the crab fried rice. (My new favorite dinner place is Kemuri Tatsu-Ya in East Austin. Japanese-Texan influence. So good!)
Do you work remotely? Go to Radio coffee’s outdoor patio. Veracruz taco truck is also back there and you must try them! When it’s too hot for working outside, I head to Halcyon (downtown) or Bennu (East Austin).
Brunch? Fonda San Miguel Sunday brunch. This is a tad pricey but they have an amazing spread and the food is so good! If you’re ever looking for a “treat yourself” Sunday, I highly recommend!
Sunday Funday? Super Soul Sundays. The Nightowls play at Icenhauer’s on Sundays from 3–6pm. Rainey Street. Motown Music. Dancing. Sangria. It’s a great time. Although I must admit, this part of town is a Bachelorette/Bachelor party haven and you should approach with caution. I’m just giving you a local’s heads up. If you’re looking for a more calm and local crowd try Sahara lounge or Cheer Up Charlies, keep in mind the music usually starts later.
Workouts? If you’re looking for an amazing personal trainer, Lena Cano kicks my ASS, and I highly recommend giving her a call. Want a studio workout? City Surf, Tetra, Mod Fitness and Crush are my favorites. I used to use ClassPass until they changed their business model. I was able to try out many different workout studios in Austin. These 4 have workouts that are unique and offer discounts for your first month
Romantic date spot? Justine’s! They have wonderful French food, a lovely atmosphere and it’s open late. Justine’s was one of the first restaurants I went to when I moved to Austin and it’s still one of my favorites.
Volunteer AND get exercise?? Join RuffTail Runners! Grab a dog for a day from Austin Pets Alive and walk on Lady Bird Lake. The shelter runs a program that allows people to take dogs for much needed walks on the trail. You do need to go through a training for this.
The only movie theaters you’ll ever need? Go to the Alamo Drafthouse, and slurp on a boozy milkshake. Also, Violet Crown is amazing for unique movies. They play indie, documentary & foreign films and serve food and alcohol just like the Alamo Drafthouse.
Outdoor movies? Weather Up often plays movies on certain days of the week. Sound & Cinema is held at the long center and hosts a live performance and then shows a movie. Zilker Hillside Theater has outdoor plays in the summer. This years show is The Wizard of Oz.
Want a fun new hobby? Try out the Austin Bouldering Project. I’m not a rock climber, and I did this successfully(ish). Trust me, you don’t need to be experienced to enjoy this! Austin has a huge bouldering community and you’re bound to meet some friends there. Maybe even get a date out of it…
Have Kids? I don’t have kids but I’ve had to entertain a few of my friend’s kids. My go to website has been, Free Fun in Austin. If you’re a mama in search of a community that will welcome you with open arms, check out Austin Mom’s Network. They’re very supportive and it’s a very active Facebook group.
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If you want to talk to me about any of my experiences with these businesses, Austin in general, or have any real estate related questions. Feel free to reach out — I can go on and on about these topics!
Best Austin Activities to Start Fitting in Like a Local was originally published in Austin Startups on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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