Take a break from the hustle of downtown and head west for lake views and rolling hills, plus new breweries and longtime Austin haunts.
Austin may be nowhere near the ocean, but you can still enjoy a good meal and some frosty drinks with water views. Hula Hut is a fun spot on Lake Austin to share a fishbowl piña colada and Mexican-Hawaiian fusion dishes on a sunny summer day. If you’re in the mood for ‘cue, stop by The County Line on the Lake to feed turtles along Bull Creek and nosh on all-you-care-to-eat barbecue, including slow-smoked brisket and beef ribs. The Oasis and Oasis Brewing Company are quite a drive out into the country, but the sunsets over Lake Travis are absolutely spectacular. Vegan friends will fawn over The Beer Plant, where the entire gourmet menu is plant-based. Opt for a more exotic experience at Sway, where modern meets Thai (think yum pla yaang made with grilled Texas redfish). For some down-home fusion, The Switch adds a barbecue twist to everything, such as the truck stop brisket enchiladas. Strike out northwest and visit H Mart, a massive Korean grocery store with a bustling food hall.
INSIDER TIP: One of Austin’s most infamous attractions, Hippie Hollow is the only legally recognized clothing-optional park in the state of Texas.
Award-winning and James Beard-nominated Jester King Brewery is more like a complex than a brewery. It has an entire dining hall, yard games, a working farm and awesome beer. At Oz Tap House the menu is composed of locally sourced hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and produce. For a cheap, cold draft beer, pull up to Dry Creek Cafe & Boat Dock, a 67-year-old dive bar that often hosts live music. Grove Wine Bar & Kitchen is upscale, yet still casual. The wine list is awesome, as is the food, including the alternative gluten-free offerings. For a fantastic show with great views, see a performance at One World Theatre, set on a hilltop overlooking the Central Texas hills.
If you brought pups along or just want to pet some, head to Red Bud Isle, where off-leash furry friends frolic and swim. Nearby Deep Eddy Pool is a local favorite, featuring a huge pool surrounded by sloping grass that’s ideal for relaxing and soaking up the sun. Lace up those hiking boots for a trek around Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. Or take a less intense artsy walk through the seven-acre Bee Cave Sculpture Park. You’ll want to spend as much time as you can on and in Lake Austinand Lake Travis. Rent a watercraft, board a party boat or take a private boat trip. For thrill seekers, go full daredevil with a zipline over the water via Lake Travis Zipline Adventures.