I’m lucky enough to live in one of the coolest, most vibrant cities in America this summer – Austin. I’ve visited a few times in the past few years for concerts, but living here has given me a better appreciation for all things Austin. The city definitely lives by its catchy motto – “Keep Austin Weird” – but I’ve come to love it for its hospitality, scenery, and ubiquitous laid-back vibes. Below are a few of my favorite Austin haunts – turns out, keeping things weird is working out after all.
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
A few friends and I have been meeting weekly at different coffee shops for co-writing sessions. By far, Mozart’s has been my favorite shop. Right on Lady Bird Lake, Mozart’s is a perfect place place to churn out stories while catching the sunset over the water. And while I’m not a big fan of pastries, I have a hard time resisting Mozart’s cheesecakes!
I’m not much of a drinker, but I’m always down for a good cider. Austin and its surrounding areas has some excellent local picks. Austin Eastciders, a brewing company located in the growing east side of the city (hence the name), has become a favorite spot of mine with its cool, urban vibe, live music, and of course, tasty brews. My favorite is the Ruby Red Grapefruit flavor, but I can’t wait to try the new Lemon Ginger flavor!
The Boardwalk Trail by Lady Bird Lake
I hate running. I hate, hate, hate, running. My mind wanders, my legs get too chafe-y, it’s hot . . . I hate running. But I will willingly run on The Boardwalk Trail to catch breathtaking views of the city skyline as the sun rises. Skyline views aren’t the only things that keep me entertained here: I love seeing turtles sunbathe on logs, crew teams row smoothly across the Lake, and egrets swoop in for breakfast. Once, I saw an Austinite scale the railing, jump into the water, and swim across the Lake to the other side because . . . well, because that’s what you do in Austin.
South Congress Books
Trying to find parking on South Congress is a pain . . . but if you can swiftly maneuver into some back-angled street parking before the light behind you turns green and five o’clock traffic rushes towards your bumper, you’ve made it in Austin, baby! Every time I successfully find parking on South Congress, I treat myself to a visit to this used bookstore known for its vintage and first editions. Small, cozy, and well-curated, South Congress Books is perfect for when I’m in the mood for lazy evening perusals.
I still have a few more weeks before I leave the city, but I’m already dreading leaving. Austin, you’ve been good to me. Thanks for welcoming me with open arms, good books, and some cold brews!