Austin native and New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of fiction. Her most recent book, Shadow Fall, was published in September 2015. Laura currently lives in west Austin, where she is working on the next book in her popular Tracers series. Visit her at www.LauraGriffin.com or on Faecbook.
Austin is a hot destination this fall, with people flocking to the city for the ACL Fest, Formula One racing, and the Texas Book Festival, among other big events. Austin also happens to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. No matter how long you plan to stay, this insider’s guide will help you hit the highlights.
Don’t miss your chance to eat Tex-Mex and drink margaritas at one of Austin’s many Mexican cafés. Try Guerro’s Taco Bar on South Congress or Maudie’s on South Lamar. The popular Matt’s El Rancho is located on South Lamar as well, but you might have a wait.
South Congress Avenue just south of the lake is the perfect place to go to get a feel for the city. Shop for cowboy boots, guitars, or vintage clothing, grab a slice of pizza at Home Slice, or check out who’s playing at the Continental Club—the granddaddy of Austin’s live music venues.
Austin’s lakefront hike-and-bike trail offers a scenic getaway in the heart of the city. Take a jog, rent a paddleboard, or simply stroll around and enjoy views of the city and its outdoor-loving inhabitants.
Austin boasts a ton of barbecue joints, including the world-famous Franklin Barbecue on 11th Street, where people line up for hours to sample food from the “brisket whisperer.” If you don’t have time to wait, try one of the Rudy’s locations around town.
If you’re a book fiend like me, you don’t want to miss this eclectic indie book store on North Lamar. Grab a latte and curl up in one of their many cozy corners.
Watch The Bats
Austin is home to the world’s largest urban bat colony. No, I’m not kidding. From March to November crowds gather at dusk near the Congress Avenue Bridge to see the 1.5 million bats take flight.
Located just across the street from BookPeople, Waterloo Records is a mecca for music lovers. You can listen to any CD before buying and also peruse their extensive collection of vinyl.
Austin City Limits
Check out the longest-running music series on TV and a big draw for music lovers visiting town. Get tickets to a live show at ACL’s Moody Theater, or simply stop by the venue to snap a picture with the Willie Nelson statue on Willie Nelson Boulevard.
If you’re looking for a scenic view, park just northwest of the 360 bridge on Highway 360 (also known as Capital of Texas Highway). A steep, ten-minute hike will take you to a ledge overlooking the bridge and Lake Austin.
Take A Dip In Barton Springs Pool
If you’re wilting in the heat, visit Barton Springs Pool, a three-acre swimming hole located in the heart of Austin’s Zilker Park. And if that doesn’t cool you off, it’s probably time for a margarita.