Austin, Texas is a city with a strong stereotypical image: a bustling place full of hip young people, all playing music and making art and eating quirky foods. And while I’m sure the actual experience of living in Austin involves less colorful weirdness and more regular working-to-survive energies, our one day trip through downtown pretty much lived up to the city’s Pinterest-friendly reputation.
We stopped by the visitor’s center to get our bearings, which served more as a gift shop than an actual information center. So, we took to sixth street for Voodoo Donuts (yes, the Portland staple has an Austin branch) to start our day.
Once we were packed full of sugar, we wandered through cute shops and took in some local sights, like the state capital. I treated myself to a fancy hat (we passed at least three hat shops, one with a full feather bar) and not even the wind could stop me from wearing it for the rest of our Texas adventures.
After a while we had walked through all the streets that seemed lively near us, so we bought a last-second Groupon for The Escape Game Austin, our second-ever puzzle room! We joined forces with a team of New Yorkers and shamefully failed our Prison Break challenge – just fifteen extra seconds and we would have made it out of there! The rooms were really cool and very surprising, and the staff was incredibly nice and accommodating.
Our puzzle room hosts gave us some tips on good food in SoCo, so we headed across the famous bat bridge in search of grub (I really want to come back in the summer to see the bats one day!). We ended up with eggplant parmesan pizza from Home Slice, tacos at Guero’s Taco Bar, and a cup of chocoberry sweetness from Amy’s Ice Creams.
With our stomachs full, it was time to take in some nightlife! Determined to sample as much entertainment as possible, we bounced around: first we enjoyed a classic rock set in the garden at Guero’s, then we failed horribly at Simpson’s trivia, and finally we capped off the night with a lot of standup comedy shoehorned into a strange gameshow. Bizarre, fun, and definitely in the spirit of Austin’s slogan.
While we only took in a brief tourist’s look at the city, it was a really nice time. If you ever want to go on a hipster vacation or just want to buy a really cool hat, Austin definitely has a lot to offer.