There is way too much to say about Austin to type on my phone, so an extended post will come tomorrow once we are home. Here are a few highlights and a ton of photos.
1. Austin is awesome. It’s progressive, independent, friendly, and easy to get around. There is music everywhere, tons of outdoor activities, and great places to hang out!
2. Torchy’s Tacos: This place had the best tacos I’ve ever had. We tried the following: Democrat, Missionary, Fried Avocado, Crossroads, Trailer Park, Scallywag, and Brushfire. They were all incredible. The street corn and the guacamole were also great!
If you go to the Trailer Park Torchy’s on South 1st, check out the Holy Cacao, which has amazing cake balls, cake shakes and hot chocolate and frozen hot chocolate.
3. The marathon and half-marathon course is awesome, but challenging. The crowds rivaled Boston, as people were everywhere and live bands played throughout the course. The first 3.5 miles were uphill, followed by 2 miles down and about 2 flat. After a rolling couple miles, you go straight up a hill at mile 10 and roll (mostly up) through mile 12, where you climb a monster hill. The finish is flat and the festivities at the end were awesome. This is a race every distance-loving runner should do!
4. LBJ is pretty interesting. We hit the LBJ Presidential Library & Museum and it was great. Lots of interesting artifacts and information. I knew quite a bit but also learned a ton. It’s a great spot on the University of Texas campus.
5. Hit the parks: There are so many great parks and places. We ran, swam and kayaked at Zilker Metro Park and it was glorious. The spring-fed limestone pool was great, as was running 3-4 miles of the available paths. Kayaking was great: $15 an hour to kayak along the Colorado River.
6. Make sure to climb Mount Bonnell. It’s only a short hike but the views are amazing. The skyline of downtown is perfect and the multi-million dollar homes along the Colorado are gorgeous.
7. Stop at the Mayfield Nature Reserve. Beautiful trails and views and peacocks!
8. Use AirBnB. We rented an apartment on South 1st through Sal for $260 for four nights. Our friend paid $225 for one night at a hotel. We were three miles from downtown in a cool, quiet neighborhood.
9. Variety and out of food: We are a ton of tacos, but breakfast tacos, smoothies, crepes, barbecue and just about any other food is available at decent prices and at restaurants and a huge choice of food trucks. I’d actually say food trucks are the way to go!
10. The state house is impressive and free! Check it out: there are portraits of every Texas governor and access to the House and Senate chambers, and the grounds are beautiful. Did I mention it’s free?