An Afternoon in Austin

This may be mostly a fashion blog, but travel also happens to be one of my other favorite things in life, so why not take a moment to do another little travel post?  

With that being said, that may just be one of my favorite things about living in Houston – the fact that there are so many unique travel destinations just a hop, skip and a jump away. 

With just a little less than a three hour road-trip away, we couldn’t say no to a short weekend getaway in Austin over the holiday break.
Plus, my old college roommate, Julie, lives there, and a visit with her has been long overdue! 
We certainly made the most out of our short weekend trip to Austin.  And with Julie, our expert tour guide, we knew that on Saturday, we were in for a great day of sight seeing. 
Which happened to start out on South Congress Street. 
Probably one of the only busy metropolitan streets in the United States, where it’s completely normal to parallel pork your horse.  😉 
Only in Texas! 

Our little group briskly made our way to Gueros Taco Bar, we happened to be very very hungry that morning, but we couldn’t help popping into Heritage Boot for a quick peek before lunch.
Let me tell you, the cowboy boot boutiques on South Congress are, in a word, FANCY. Fancy fancy boots! 
These boots were so exquisite, that signs on the boot shelves said, “please do not touch the boots.” And it took everything in me not to do so. Because, goodness they were all so beautiful! 

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Heritage Boot, Heritage Boot Texas, Heritage Boot Austin, Boot shop on South Congress, Boots on South Congress, Heritage Boot South Congress, Austin Texas South Congress

Leaving the shop, we imagined which pairs we would take home with us if we didn’t have to pay rent that month.

Now wouldn’t that be fun?

Luckily we were soon distracted as we arrived at Gueros, with the prospect of delicious Mexican food looming very close in our future.

Gueros Taco Bar Austin Texas, Geruos Taco Bar South Congress, Gueros, Gueros Austin, Gueros Mexican Restaurant

Gueros Taco Bar Austin Texas, Geruos Taco Bar South Congress, Gueros, Gueros Austin, Gueros Mexican Restaurant

The little fish in the pond came out to say hello while we waited for our table. 
Such a friendly little guy.
Gueros Taco Bar Austin Texas, Geruos Taco Bar South Congress, Gueros, Gueros Austin, Gueros Mexican Restaurant

Naturally as soon we sat down, our group ordered an extra large serving of queso to get things started. 
I’m not sure where in the US  you may live, but when I was living back in Tennessee, the queso at all the Mexican restaurants was served in tiny little bowls and was made up of a detectible white soupy consistency. (You could almost drink it….which I may or may not have seen people do a time or two.)

Totally kidding…..

Needless to say, I was shocked once we moved to Texas, and the Tex-Mex restaurants all served bright orange queso, in much bigger bowls. Everything’s bigger in Texas, right?!
It’s delicious nonetheless. 
And Guero’s queso did not disappoint.
If you know me well, you’re probably laughing at me right now …. the queso fanatic that I am. But this is some serious stuff ya’ll!

Gueros Taco Bar Austin Texas, Geruos Taco Bar South Congress, Gueros, Gueros Austin, Gueros Mexican Restaurant

If you’re ever find yourself in Austin anytime in the near future and happen to have a hankering for Mexican food, I definitely recommend this place!

Patrick and I split the fajitas for one, and we had more than enough food to share between the two of us.

But that may be due to the fact that we filled ourselves up on chips & dip before the meal even arrived. 🙂

Gueros Taco Bar Austin Texas, Geruos Taco Bar South Congress, Gueros, Gueros Austin, Gueros Mexican Restaurant

Gueros Taco Bar Austin Texas, Geruos Taco Bar South Congress, Gueros, Gueros Austin, Gueros Mexican Restaurant

After lunch, our lovely tour guide led the group down the street of South Congress, where we went in and out of the most eclectic of boutiques.

Gypsy Wagon being my all time favorite stop of the day, I just had to tell you all about it.

And side note, can I please have one of everything in here?

Oh, please?

The Gypsy Wagon Austin Texas, The Gypsy Wagon, The Gypsy Wagon Texas, The Gypsy Wagon Austin, The Gypsy Wagon South Congress, South Congress Boutiques, Austin Texas South Congress

The Gypsy Wagon Austin Texas, The Gypsy Wagon, The Gypsy Wagon Texas, The Gypsy Wagon Austin, The Gypsy Wagon South Congress, South Congress Boutiques, Austin Texas South Congress
I still can not get over how precious these metal bowls are! 
My one regret is not leaving the shop with the blue one in my possession.  Because I’m now imagining serving a heaping salad in that pretty pretty bowl. Wouldn’t it be cute sitting in the center of a dining room table? 
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The Gypsy Wagon was not only filled with all sorts of Southwestern trinkets, unique & stylish clothing and accessories, but there also happened to be a little chair, nestled in the corner, specifically reserved for Willie Nelson. There was one right next to it too, reserved for Waylon Jennings.  
Tempted to post my feet up and relax for a bit, I decided I better not. What if Willie had walked in a moment later and wanted his chair?

Our afternoon in Austin was really only just getting started. On to another boot store we went!

But this time it was Allen’s Boots, which is an Austin, Texas “legend,” whatever that really means. All I knew was that my dad had repeatedly mentioned we must must stop here during our visit.

Allens Boots Austin Texas, Allen's Boots, Allen's Boots South Congress, Allen's Boots Texas

Allens Boots Austin Texas, Allen's Boots, Allen's Boots South Congress, Allen's Boots Texas

And stop in we did. 

Because how often do you get to see a snake’s head sticking out of a cowboy boot!?

And the best part? At Allen’s Boots, we were allowed to touch the fancy boots!

Allens Boots Austin Texas, Allen's Boots, Allen's Boots South Congress, Allen's Boots Texas, Snake Head Boot, Snake Boot

But I honestly wasn’t about to pick up that creepy thing.

Save it for the real cowboys.

What I really love about exploring the shops and boutiques of South Congress is that you really never know what you’ll stumble upon next. Whether it be a snake toe boot or a group of hipsters (and their dog) playing some funky tunes, there’s a surprise tucked around every corner on this bustling street. 

Surprises sometimes include rather large cactus plants.

And even larger outdoor flea markets filled with unique handmade treasures and vintage finds.

Which of course we had to stop and check out.

Julie and I both left the market with new copper and silver rings that were made and shaped right in front of us. These little pieces of jewelry were only $5 and $10 a piece! How could we say no to that?

After perusing all the stalls and the most random assortment of goodies, and even stumbling upon a parking lot filled with preowned cowboy boots selling for a bargain, our tour guide said it was time to head on to our next adventure in Austin. 
Which was a sunny outdoor beer garden that included a dog park. 
That girl really is the best tour guide!
Banger's Austin Texas, Banger's Beer Garden, Banger's Rainey Street, Banger's

Banger's Austin Texas, Banger's Beer Garden, Banger's Rainey Street, Banger's

Banger's Austin Texas, Banger's Beer Garden, Banger's Rainey Street, Banger's

If you need a break from playing tourist in Austin, I recommend stopping for a cold one at Banger’s in Ausitn’s Rainey Street Historic District. 
Their appetizer list was long and the beer list was even longer. With the sunshine and nice weather, it made for a wonderful afternoon, and having a dog run only a few feet away was like our own free entertainment.
We spent the rest of our trip in Austin hanging out with Julie and her friends and exploring Austin’s nightlife.  
As for our first trip for 2015, it was a successful one! And now my travel bug is only itching more and more!

The next place on our travel list is San Antonio. Do any of you guys happen to have any hotel, restaurant, or fun recommendations of places we should check out or things that we should do!? If so, I’d love to hear!

Hope you get to all get to knock some travel destinations off of your bucket lists in 2015! And as always, thanks for stopping by the blog today.
alice

  • Oh, it looks like you had a great time! Next time you're in town you'll have to try Justine's on the Eastside! Great food and drinks.

    http://www.lonestarlauren.wordpress.com

    • It was so much fun! And I will definitely check Justine's out next time! Thanks so much for the recommendation! 🙂

      -Alice

  • Girl, I live in San Antonio.
    Best Coffee: Local Coffee
    Best Farmer's Market: Pearl Farmer's Market (Local Coffee is located in Pearl and so is Bakery Lorraine).
    Options for Nightlife: Blue Star Arts District for First Friday of the Month (Stella Public House, great beer and amazing pizza; Halcyon is my second favorite coffee place that turns into a full bar at night!!)
    If you're a foodie: South Alamo Street in Southtown is where it is at! Feast and Liberty Bar are AMAZING.

    Super Fancy Night Out: Anywhere in the Pearl. Culinary Institute of America is there so all the restaurants are the bomb.com $$$$ though

    Best Brunch: Candlelight

    Best Activity: It's in New Branfuels (about 30 minutes North) – Wildlife Ranch drive through safari. I did an entire post on it and it was AMAZING!!!! Sooo worth it.

    Musts: You must pay the 8 bucks a person and take a boat tour on the Riverwalk and have dinner there with all the downtown lights lit up! 🙂

    and my beau and I would love to meet you for coffee! 🙂

    • Oh my goodness! THANK YOU so much for all the great info! I am thrilled! We haven't set a date or anything for our trip but I'll be sure to reach out! I went to San Antonio once when I was much younger and all I really remember is the Alamo! 🙂 Can't wait to check out some of these fabulous places you recommend!

      xo, Alice

    • I am so glad I could be helpful to you. If youve seen the Alamo, then skip it this trip. Way more fun things to do!

  • What great pictures! Really looks like you had a great time.

  • Looks like so much fun! I have a good friend from their and she raves about it all the time. I can't wait to go visit sometime!

  • I still haven't been to Austin, but I'd love to go!! Maybe I can convince the hubby to go on a trip there for Valentine's Day? You look fabulous as always!

    (And I know you probably think I'm crazy, but I totally prefer white queso over orange queso!)

  • i love travel posts, texas is one of the few places in the US i haven't been but i'd like to 🙂

    xx danielle // shades of danielle // bloglovin