Why you should care
Because if you’re fixin’ to go to Austin, these Instagrammers can tell you exactly how and where to spend your time.
This is the third article in a multipart travel series. OZY tasks the rising stars of Instagram to share their favorite, little-known spots to eat, drink, shop and sight-see.
Like all formerly cool, counterculture capitals, Austin has become somewhat proverbial. It has the pickle-farmer beards, sleeve tattoos, artisanal coffee roasters and #keepaustinweird hashtags. But it still boasts the country’s most epic underground music scene, not to mention a personality as big as all hell and half of Texas. All of which give the city an extra Instagram edge — and why its crew of pro smartphone addicts are the most reliable tour guides in the Lone Star State.
Brittany Highland is editor and co-founder of Austinot.com, a hyperlocal blog about Austin that shares the best food, activities and events in the city.
Where to eat: Embrace Austin’s vibrant food truck culture with a visit to The Picnic food truck park just south of downtown. My go-to plate is the Shiner Monte Cristo (a battered pit-smoked ham sandwich) at Hey! You Gonna Eat or What? Don’t knock it until you try it. This is a local award-winner and seriously addictive.
Where to drink: Somersault in The Domain. After a gourmet jello shot, order the Broken Down Tibetan Mule, which is served with a spoonful of fig and ginger jam.
The Broken Down Tibetan Mule at @somersaultatx is served with a spoonful of fig and ginger jam. If you've been hunting for true mixology in Austin, this is our favorite pick on the north side of town and definitely one of the best in town. #austinbars #northaustin #domainaustin #austinnightlife #austin #austintexas #austintx #atx
Where to shop: The iconic South Congress strip is a don’t miss. With the Texas State Capitol towering in the background, grab a coffee at Jo’s and snap your photo in front of the famous “I Love You So Much” mural before browsing the eclectic shops.
Where to visit: Experience central Austin via electric bike with Rocket Electrics. You can rent one by the hour or the day, but two things are certain: You won’t have to worry about parking or getting stuck in traffic. That just doesn’t happen here.
See Austin in a new way, without stressing about traffic or parking! Our friends at @rocketelectrics will help you plan your route, or you can go on a group tour to get your bearings. This is our favorite way to explore Central Austin! #austin #austintexas #austintx #atx #rocketelectrics #austinactivities #thingstodoinaustin
For the past few years, Austin food addict Rachel S. Holtin has breakfasted and brunched well beyond Texas BBQ, visiting thousands of restaurants, food trucks and lunch stops.
Where to eat: Sway for high-end Thai food is absolutely delicious. Or for an easy-go everyday lunch, I’d vouch for Chi’Lantro. They recently won money on ABC’s Shark Tank to expand their business, but this Korean-Mexican mash-up started as a food truck here.
Where to shop: The boutiques on South Congress. They have a wide variety of trendy options, everything from designer dresses to vintage tees.
Where to visit: Definitely hike the Austin 360 Bridge on the weekend. It’s about a 15-20 minute drive outside of the city, and one of the best distant views of downtown and Lake Austin. It’s a quick hike up, then a great spot for a picnic or wine date.
Born in Mexico City, Ane Lowe is a celebrated Austin food and travel blogger, as well as a social media strategist obsessed with burgers and Burgundy.
Where to eat: Uchi for innovative Japanese food and sushi in a cozy bungalow with a buzzy atmosphere. They consistently deliver incredible dishes, plus they have one of the best happy hours in town.
Where to drink: My go-to is Whisler’s for great, handcrafted cocktails in a rustic-chic setting. As a bonus, they have a small Oaxacan-style mezcaleria upstairs.
Where to shop: As far as shopping, I like to hit up the iconic South Congress neighborhood because it brings together such eclectic vintage stores, newer boutiques that carry name brands, and everything in between. And there are great restaurants where I can stop in for a drink afterwards.
Where to visit: Since Austin is warm eight or nine months a year, I love spending time swimming, people-watching and relaxing at Barton Springs pool. It spans three acres and is fed from underground springs that average 68-70 degrees year-round.