Four of My Favorite Things to Do in Austin, Texas

I'm not usually a city person, but Austin, Texas makes me reconsider.

The art in the streets, the unguarded friendliness of the locals, the many efforts to maintain nature in a bustling city- so much of Austin keeps you asking, "Why didn't we think of this back home?" 
I had been to ATX before, but the trip where I realized how much I really love it was the one three years ago where I fell off a bike (there's still a scar on my knee) then I got a pair of knee high socks, and I sat in my brother's apartment reading fanfiction while the rest of my family tried to assemble a DIY shelf from Target.
But I digress.
There's a lot to see and do in Austin other than read fanfic.  I highly recommend these four places to go/things to do.

1. Quack's 43rd St. Bakery
Quack's is one of those places where you just have to walk in to feel the good vibes flow over you.  Of course, their fresh-made baked goods, ice cream, coffees, etc- including vegan options- don't hurt either.  My favorites are their peanut butter-chocolate cupcake and their veggie quiche, but you can't go wrong with pretty much anything.  Plus, they have wifi, good music, and art from eclectic local artists.     website          instagram     facebook

2. Barton Springs
Apparently Barton Springs used to be a clothing-optional location.  I don't think it is anymore because when I went I only saw clothed people.
Anywho.  This is a great location for a hot summer day because the water is sooo cold but it feels great!  There's also a great expanse of green grass and shady trees in the surrounding park area, where I saw a guy holding a handstand for a really long time which was cool.  And if you're feeling brave, take a leap off the diving board - just make sure the way is clear of ducks and other swimmers.
more info

3. Whole Foods
There's Whole Foods the avant-garde grocery store, and then there's the Whole Foods in downtown Austin.  Along with bountiful shelves of organic food products and an expansive serve-yourself bar with fruits, veggies, and dishes including "Tofu rojo" and pasta alfredo, this Whole Foods also has little themed restaurant units scattered throughout the store- my favorite is the Asian one.
website     instagram     facebook

4. Paddle Boarding
There are several different places along the ATX portion of the Colorado River, especially in the area known as Ladybird Lake, where you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and life vests.  We went to Texas Rowing Center, and everybody was really friendly, helpful, and laid back.  I had never been paddle boarding before this, and it was awesome.  On the _, you can hear only the muted swooshes of the city- the rest is bird calls and wind in the trees, the other paddlers/kayakers laughing, the tiny splooshes as turtles duck under water.  The sun is hot and the water is cool and it's wonderful.

These four experiences are the ones my heart longs for when I leave Austin.  But they're just a few of my favorite places.  I didn't even mention Xian Sushi and Noodle, where they make the noodle in house- and literally, it's just one long noodle; the Graffiti Park where professional artists created urban-rebellion art; the Alamo Drafthouse which is a movie theatre and restaurant at the same time; or 6th Street, where there's live music at every turn.  And I'm sure there's so much that I haven't seen in Austin yet!  I don't even live there.  I'm not even getting paid to say these nice things.  Austin is just cool like that.

Let me know if you try any of these places, or if you know of another fabulous thing to do in Austin!  Until then, stay weird.

World peace and love,

Heather <3

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