Hello again Texas! I recently had the opportunity to return to Austin for a few weeks to work on a project, as well as write, source some decor products, and scout out Round Top for their big Antique Show in the Fall. Austin never disappoints, with it’s music, food, creativity, and many outdoor pursuits, so I am always happy to return! While I had written a short piece on Austin years ago, I really need to update it as the City continues to grow, and instead will discuss here my many small round trips just outside of town in search of antiques, BBQ and Swimming Holes. Let’s go! (P.S. A quick note on antiquing Austin: Don’t miss the Antique Mall or Uncommon Objects)
LOCKHART: I had heard rumblings about a the Fields Stable Antiques and it did no disappoint! I am constantly sourcing and this shop was jam packed full of gems I need to bring a truck back for. It also happens to be located in the adorably historic time square that boasts a lovely library. It is also home to a trifecta of BBQ joints: The Original Black’s Barbecue, Smitty’s Market and Kreuz Market.
DRIPPING SPRINGS: Although Barton Springs is THE place to swim in Austin, head out of town to dip into the gorgeous Hamilton Pool Preserve, and float in beautiful nature.
DRIFTWOOD: I had heard that local resident Matthew McConaughey (who will now be a professor at the UT!) has his favorite BBQ joint here: Salt Lick Bar-B-Que (BYOB and cash only, but worth it). Good stop post swimming.
WIMBERLY: A charming town that hosts weekend markets, has lavender farms and options for hiking & swimming too!
GRUENE: Small town filled with original charm and flaunts an unusual degree of architectural preservation (their slogan is "Gently resisting change since 1872"). It’s slow which is perfect, and you can walk, shop and go river-rafting, kayaking or tubing.
*WACO: Further North, but I have written separately about my pilgrimage to visit Magnolia there. Read about it here
The laid back nature of the people, the food, the music scene, and the general functionality of a big tech City (SXSW festival, anyone?) with a small town feel (in all the right ways). If you have not been, get here – plenty of flights from around the US, and just a hop away from New Orleans if you wish to visit back-to-back.
Do: Kayak or paddle board on the river, Shop South Congress (especially UAL & Feathers), happy hour drinks on Rainey Street, watch some live music.
Eat: Food trucks! Tex Mex & BBQ! The trucks are everywhere, Nomad Dosa, Gourdoughs donuts, and Torchy’s Tacos (on S. 1st) is a good one. Uchi for sushi, Sway for Thai, Pearla’s for seafood, and if you can handle a 4+ hour wait, Franklin BBQ.