Austin, TX | Staycation

By Holly - 5/27/2015 08:00:00 AM

We've lived here almost a year now (crazy, I know!) and we really haven't had a chance to explore much outside of where we live.

We took advantage of the long weekend and booked a mini trip Austin. We booked our hotel through Priceline. I really like their Express Deals, and we've had great success with using them over the last few years. We stayed here, and it was perfect for what we needed.

We stayed almost 48 hours, which was just enough time to get-a-way, without feeling like we needed a day to recuperate from our trip.

After hearing lots of recommendations from friends and ward members, we realized that the main thing to do in Austin, is eat.

We were offered many lists of must eat places, most of which we didn't get to. But the places we did eat at, did not disappoint!

Salt Lick BBQ

This was our #1 must try, and we will definitely be back. Between the three of us, we tried the sausage, turkey, brisket and pulled pork. The sides weren't my favorite, but really, most people go to BBQ for the meat anyway. The sauce was also amazing. Tangy and sweet, served warm. 

We went here at the recommendation of our waitress at the Salt Lick. Amy's has several flavors in rotation and when we showed up the line was considerably long. The line moved fast and their "backyard" featured an outdoor play place, which was Zoe's favorite part. I don't know if all Amy's locations have this, but it was sure a great plus for us. 
Ryan and I had a relaxing conversation while Zoe played her heart out. The ice cream was delicious, and very true to flavor. We tried mango, dark chocolate, blackberry and horchata, they all tasted like the real thing. They do offer add-ins, which they will mix into your ice cream, but we had ours plain, except for Zoe, who got sprinkles on top.

A nice, inexpensive daytime activity. We happened to go during their Woodland Faerie Trail exhibit, much to Zoe's excitement. We spent quite a while examining all of the different gardens they have to offer. It was rainy and cloudy, which made for a humid and muggy walk, but it was worth it. Also, I would recommend bug spray before going here again. Due to the humidity, mosquitoes were out and about. I came home with my ankles covered in bites.

My favorite part of the gardens - the water lilies. They were so beautiful they looked fake. Due to their locations, I had quite the time getting close enough to photograph them, but it was well worth the effort.

This was definitely the most indulgent thing we ate, but at the recommendation of, well everyone, we could hardly miss it. They have two locations, and we decided to hit up the food truck as it was closer to where we were. They serve giant donuts covered in lots of delicious toppings.

We stayed on the calmer side of the menu, but they do offer some interesting combinations. 

We tried:
Naughty & Nice - cinnamon and sugar, served with warm honey butter
Razzle Dazzle - raspberry filling and fudge icing
Miss Shortcake - fresh strawberries with cream cheese icing

They were fresh, delicious and rich. Definitely a sharing kind of treat. 

This quaint little cafe was also on a recommendation from our waitress. This was such a fun place to go to. It was like quintessential small town. The food was good, the decor and atmosphere was even better. We sat next to a regular who knew all the waitstaff by name. The place is known for their pie, they even have a separate pie counter in the back, where people walk in and just order pie to go.
We tried the blueberry, key lime and apple. All were rich and delicious. They had at least 20 more varieties we could have picked from. 

We also got to see the Capitol, which was much bigger than I anticipated. What I didn't expect was how busy it would be. I failed to check the University of Texas schedule, and it turns out it was graduation weekend, so everywhere was packed. 

We drove around Austin, Round Rock, Hutto and some other smalls towns, and spent some quality time together, which is really why we decided to take the trip. 
Our trip got cut short with a combination of the weather and a sore back. Thankfully, we made it back home before the storm started.

We are looking forward to going back and getting a chance to check more things off our Austin to-do list!

Holly & Co.

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