How to Spend a 3-Day Weekend in Austin

How to Spend a 3-Day Weekend in Austin

If there’s anything I learned since I started work – it’s to make the most out of holiday/long weekends! So this past Memorial Day weekend, we drove down to Austin (a mere 3.5 hrs away from Dallas) for a little getaway. Here’s some ideas on what to do in Austin in 3 days:

Shop at South Congress Avenue

South Congress, or SoCo is a long street! We were walking for blocks but didn’t see any hipster stores…but do not worry; all the cool shops and restaurants are located further north.

We first fueled up at Enoteca Vespaio:

And then the girls were ready to shop!

Allens Boots seemed to be a local and out-of-towner favorite:

Allens Boots South Congress Austin Texas

Austin, we're here! #austintx #southcongress #allensbootsaustin #atx #keepaustinweird #downsouth #igtexas

A photo posted by Jessica Pei (@heyjpei) on

Check out the art galleries:

Art South Congress Avenue Austin Texas

Peeked into ALL the quirky little shops:

South Congress Avenue Austin Texas

Donned a costume or 2:

South Congress Avenue Austin Texas

That costume shop really reminded me of Haight Ashbury in San Fran! There was a huuuuge costume shop there that was also organized by decade (’20s, ’60s, etc.). I may need to revisit one of these costume shops to get ready for Scarborough Fair next year…

South Congress Avenue Austin Texas

Don’t forget to stop by Jo’s Coffee:

As for the history of the “mural:”

“In 2010, local musician Amy Cook took a can of red spray paint to write a beautiful and simply scripted love letter to her partner Liz Lambert, majority owner at Jo’s.” (Source)

Eat, Eat, Eat!

I'll be back again, #austintx! 🚙💨 #byefornow #atx #austintexas #exploreaustin #roadtrippin

A photo posted by Jessica Pei (@heyjpei) on

Eat from a food truck – we are in Austin, after all! My food truck of choice was Gourdough’s Donuts (obviously – anyone who knows me knows that I have a love affair with donuts). There’s a Gourdough’s on 1st St., which is like, 2 blocks away from SoCo. So no reason not to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, eh?

Then second dinner at Ramen Tatsu-Ya:

There’s always room for ice cream at Venezia Italian Gelato (I can confirm that it is, indeed, real gelato. The bellissima! Italian family who owns it was proof enough for me.):

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Taste some of Austin’s BBQ at Lamberts:

Verdict? It was nice and all, but I’ve definitely had better, juicier brisket. Dallas’s own BBQ joints give this a run for its money (check out my post Top 5 BBQ Joints in Dallas)!

Finally, relax at a chill cafe – Café Crème for brunch (or in our case, a late lunch):

See the Bats on Congress Avenue Bridge

Living under the Congress Avenue Bridge is the largest urban bat colony in North America! I was SO ready to watch swarms of bats fly out toward the lake come sunset. But in reality, this was what I saw:

Congress Avenue Bridge Bats Austin Texas

Claaaasic expectation vs. reality. We started waiting around sunset, but the bats did not come out until well past sundown (like 9pm). Have y’all seen the bats before? Is it usually better than this?

Ah well, at least I got to watch a pretty sunset while waiting.

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Congress Avenue Bridge Austin Texas

Congress Avenue Bridge Austin Texas

And Austin didn’t look too shabby at night either:

Downtown Austin Texas

Downtown Austin Texas

After this fail, we consoled ourselves by playing mini golf for two hours. This was my first time playing (that I can remember, anyway) and it was SO fun! Who knew mini golf could be so entertaining?!

Other fun things to do in/around Austin in the summer are water activities. The rest of the gang went tubing down by the Guadalupe River, but I had to sit out because of womanly troubles. 😓 Curse you, Mother Nature. But there’s also stand-up paddleboarding and water biking on the lake that runs through downtown, as you can see below:

Congress Avenue Bridge Austin Texas

I’ll have to revisit Austin another time to do more outdoorsy activities! We were supposed to go to Jacob’s Well and Hamilton Nature Reserve, but found out too late that we had to make reservations. By then, they were all booked. So note to self…make reservations waaay in advance next time!

Have you been to Austin, Texas? What are your favorite things to do in the city?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. More stuff to do in Austin: HOPE Outdoor Gallery, Climbing Mount Bonnell, Texas’s Majestic State Capitol

  • Justine

    I’ve never been to Austin, but I’d love to visit one day, for sure. Thanks for the tips and tricks!

    • It’s a pretty interesting city to visit; we call it the “Portland of Texas!” Let me know when you eventually go 🙂