Good times are to be had in Austin even if you don't party anymore. I did have a great time with my husband but I guess I am getting old because hanging out at bars and getting wasted just isn't my thing anymore. However, we did find many other enjoyable activities. We have come to Austin several times for different reasons and have already visited the Capitol a couple of times and other standard place, so this trip we thought we try some new places. I hope my info on them will help you out and I hope you decide to visit some of these places, you'll be glad you did.
We made our 1st stop in Waco for lunch on out way to Austin. We had heard of this old burger joint called Health Camp that was suppose to be pretty awesome. It turned out to be pretty un-awesome and overpriced. $7 combo. Food ok. Just go for the Shake. We should have gone to eat at Rudy's next door. Then we continued our journey to Austin. We arrived just about check in time to our hotel. We stayed at the Radisson Downtown. Got a great deal on Hotwire almost 1/2 price. The Hotel backs up to Congress Street bridge where the Bat sightings are. However there were almost no bats. Disappointing after you wait around
for an hour and a half and nothing happens. We saw about 20 flying by at random times. Everyone I have talked to that has gone to Austin has not seen the bats...I think Austin used to have bats but they left and now its a big inside joke and cash cow so they keep doing it. I don't know.
The hotel was very nice. Tgi Fridays & Starbucks in lobby. Sleep number beds. Parking cost $15 - $22 a day because its downtown. They also charge $10 a day for internet which I though was lame considering how much they charge regularly for rooms. I can get free internet, breakfast and free parking at Holiday inn. Oh well. But overall very nice convenient place to stay if you want to be downtown.
We decided to go to another recommended place for dinner. Home Slice Pizza on South Congress. Very busy get if you get there during dinner time but well worth the wait. It's a very bohemian style pizza joint. The pizza was incredible it is the New york Style that you fold. I was worried that it would be soggy since you folded it but the crust was thin and soft with a crisp bottom. So good! After dinner we decided to walk around South Congress shops. They have many unique and specialty stores with interesting finds (although most places are pretty expensive) just make sure to go before dinner because most places close from 6-8pm.
After a good nights rest on our sleep number bed we got up and prepared for our next activity. A trip to Hamilton pool reserve. Its a natural swimming hole that was formed by a river that eroded away this particular area leaving a half covered round swimming area with a light waterfall. This is the natural beauty nature created all by herself. It was amazing. Just make sure you plan to call ahead of time to make sure its open. It occasionally gets closed due to bacteria levels but it usually after the rain has stirred up the water. Then make sure you get there early. By the time we arrive at 10:30 there was already a 2 hour wait to get in. Parks and Recreation control the amount of people entering. We went ahead and waited and it only took about 1 1/2 hours. Make sure you have enough gas before you go because if you don't want to be hot you may end up idling for a while. I know idling is bad but they like to keep the line tight and continually move it up because a car can enter once a car has left during full capacity times. As bad at the waiting seems your going to want to wait it out if you don't get there early. My husband has the impatience of a child. I made him stick it out since we didn't have anything else planned until the night. He told me later he was glad we stay because it is one of those places you want to visit so it was worth the wait. Once you get parked there is beautiful 1/4 mile trail you take to get to the reserve. It has many rocks and uneven terrain with lots of steps. It has been enhanced with many security measures to keep the ground as safe as can be on a nature trail. They have also placed several benches along the path that you may want to use on the way up. Make sure to bring water and snacks. I also recommend water shoe because the ground is covered in tiny hurtful rocks that you have to cross to get to the water and in the water. They have portapotties a little ways away from the swimming area and some park restrooms up by the parking lot. Oh and its $10 per car cash or local check for entry into to parking area.
After our nature adventure we returned to the hotel to rest for a while before heading out again. We had planned on visiting 6th street and all the bars, shops & restaurants on it. We went close to dinner time and started by finding a place to eat so that it could cool off some once the sun went down. We decided on The Driskoll hotel 1868 Bakery and Cafe. It was very different from all the other restaurants on 6th street. Quieter and slower just like the old days. We enjoyed it. The food was good and reasonably priced especially considering the 5 star Hotel it is connected to. The Queso was incredible. The desserts looked incredible too but we were way to stuffed to try any. We had to go walk off all the food.
Once we made it back out to 6th street it was much cooler then the 100+ it started out at. The street had been closed down and people had taken over. There were tons of people of all walks of life everywhere. They had lots of neat stores and tons of bars with bands playing. This is definitely a college/youth scene for those that love to party. After a few hours my feet were killing my so we limped back to the parking garage and headed back to the hotel for our last night.
Day 3 Woke up and decided to go to TGI Fridays Brunch buffet. However it was closing in about 30 min and even though they continued stocking everything it didn't have anything appealing so we decided to forgo breakfast and head on out. We did make a stop in Round
Rock about 30 min from Austin to Round Rock Donuts on West liberty. We had heard about their Texas sized donuts and we had to pick one up for my son. They were very busy but the line inside moved fast and they were well organized to handle the crowd. They have regular donuts and Texas sized all tasted GREAT. I recommend the glazed or chocolate glazed. YUMMY! The Texas size cost abt $5 and was huge...as big or bigger than my head. If you could have only seen my 10 years olds face when we gave it to him. Pure Joy. haha.
Well this has been the extent to our stay for the most part. There were a few place we didn't make it to. Texas Museum and Hey Cupcake! . I guess we will check those out on our next Austin trip.