In the past couple of years, I've realized that one of my favorite pastimes is planning trips to new cities. I love scouting out the great restaurants, the famous landmarks, and the quirky little things that make a city unique. I've also been tremendously grateful for the recommendations of local blog friends whenever I visit a new place; invariably the places they point me to are the highlights of my trip.
In that spirit, I'm starting a new series, A Whirlwind Weekend, where you can share the best of your stomping ground - a best of the best of where you live.
I already have a few others from other delightful bloggers around the country. I can't wait to share their cities with you, and hope you'll want to share yours as well!
In the meantime, let's get things going with the city I know best. Austin, of course. Here's where I'd take you if you came to visit for a day or two:
1. I'd take you out for breakfast at Texas French Bread. You can order
whatever you want, but I'd strongly recommend Alice’s French Toast (and because that's not carb-y enough, throw in a cinnamon sugar croissant and pain au chocolat. Just to be safe). And if you happen to want lunch or dinner, Hopdoddy serves unbelievably good burgers, with the Primetime being my favorite.
2. It's famous for a reason! You shouldn't miss Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. I'm a history nerd, but even the non-history buffs I've taken have really enjoyed it. A great, brief overview of the sixties and LBJ's life and presidency.
3. Calories don't count on vacation, so we'll stop in and grab a treat at Lick, where there are the coolest ice cream flavors you can imagine; I had coconut avocado curd last time and. . .whew, it was amazing. (Bart does not approve of non-traditional ice cream flavors and would strongly disagree with my pick. He'd recommend a giant doughnut from Gourdough's instead. The Son of a Peach one is fantastic).
4. The weather is perfect and getting outdoors is a must. We'll take advantage of the gorgeous day at Mount Bonnell, where you can climb several flights of stairs to the top of the hill and look over the lake, see the 360 bridge, and the downtown skyline. (If you have kids, my favorite outdoor spot is the Austin Nature and Science Center. It's free, mostly shaded, has a mini-zoo, and you can dig in giant sandpits for dinosaur skeletons).
5. The locals would stone me if I didn't show you BookPeople, a fabulous three-story independent bookstore, where I could happily spend several days. And then you can pop across the street to the flagship Whole Foods (Austin is where the chain started!) and grab a snack or a full meal and eat it on the roof (which has a playground!) You'll also see your fill of the kind of people that embody Austin's unofficial slogan, "Keep Austin Weird."
6. You didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway
that a trip to Austin wouldn't be complete without visiting South Congress. It has tons of gorgeous boutiques, quirky little stores, great restaurants, and dozens of food trucks.
Want to share your city?