Charles and I went to Austin the weekend before we found out baby’s gender. This was my first time traveling there, and Austin had so much stuff to do. Our must-see list looked something like this:
- Eat delicious BBQ
- Eat some more delicious BBQ
- Hike or Kayak (To work off some calories after eating delicious BBQ)
- Eat delicious BBQ one more time before we leave
In all seriousness though, Austin really had a ton of stuff to see. We hiked. We kayaked at Lady Bird Lake. We checked out Rainey Street with all the food trucks. We shopped. We visited some painted murals. And, we ate (If you couldn’t tell, the BBQ was my FAVORITE).
Our hotel was located on 8th Street, which was in walking distance to quite a few restaurants. We were located on the 20th floor in our hotel, and we had great views of the city from our balcony. We could easily see downtown and the Capitol. Side note: We rented a car, but there are scooters and bikes to easily get around the city.
We hiked the Barton Springs/Greenbelt area on our first morning there. I researched the hiking areas, and one of the most common comments was how quickly parking fills up. We hiked on a Friday morning (and it was overcast), and we had no issues finding parking at all. It was actually pretty quiet, and a beautiful area to see.
Now, on to the BEST part of the trip. The BBQ.
The BBQ. A photograph and describing it to you… I just don’t feel like that’s enough to explain how good it tasted. But, I’m going to give it a shot. This was me at 20 weeks pregnant, and my main pregnancy craving was meat. Specifically beef. No chicken. No fish. Just beef.
So, we hiked that morning. I snacked very little, and I was definitely hungry when we decided to head to Terry Black’s Barbecue to grab lunch. We got there right before noon and waited around 30 minutes in line before we ordered. If you google BBQ restaurants in Austin, you will see they are very popular and normally have some waiting. On to the BBQ…
First, Charles grabbed a tray, and we selected three sides to try. Mac and cheese, green beans, and coleslaw. At this point, we had been standing in line, smelling the aroma of the BBQ (so good!), and just getting hungrier by the minute. Or, at least that was me. Finally, we walked up to the counter to order our meat selections.
Maybe it was the pregnancy cravings or maybe I was just hungry… But, there staring back at us was this gigantic, juicy beef rib that looked amazing. It was huge. This whole time in line, Charles and I were talking about trying the brisket and maybe some sausage. But, once we laid on eyes on this beef rib, it was over. That beef rib was our lunch along with a few slices of brisket – we couldn’t pass it up.
It. Was. Completely. Worth. The. Wait. The beef rib fell off the bone and melted in your mouth. I tried to snap a picture of the bone and Charles, and the meat immediately slid off. And, the brisket… It was just as good. So, tender. So juicy. With a thick crust of seasoning on it. It was the best meal of the trip. We split the lunch order and still came home with leftovers that were even more delicious the next day. That afternoon I was extremely grateful for maternity shorts and an expandable waistband.
The next day we headed to Lady Bird Lake to kayak. It was Saturday morning, and we got out there a little after 9:00am. It was overcast and not a lot of people kayaking. We parked right in front of the rental place and had no trouble with lines or anything. If you research Austin, this spot usually fills up pretty quickly with parking and lines.
It took us a few minutes to get our balance right in the kayak, but after that we were moving. We kayaked for about an hour throughout the area. We had a nice breeze, and the area wasn’t completely packed yet. It was a great way to start the morning. Afterwards, we walked around the lake and enjoyed the scenery.
A couple spots/areas we visited while there:
- Sophia’s – Modern, Italian cuisine and within walking distance to our hotel for dinner one night
- Walton’s Fancy and Staple – for macaroons
- St. Austin Catholic Church – Mass on Saturday
- Rainey Street – For the food trucks. We were planning to grab lunch in the area, but we got there too early. This seemed like more a afternoon/night spot.
XOXO – Ashley