Eco-friendly travel guide to Austin advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Austin, Texas, United States of America.
- Air quality: 3.85 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4.1/ 5
- Public transportation: 3 / 5
- Parks: 4.15 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4.25 / 5
- Locals' English level: 5 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$70 - $800
- Budget per day: US$150 - $1,000
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Austin has always been a cross-section of all those who wander as it is teeming with fitness buffs, beer lovers, cowboys, musicians, entrepreneurs, start-ups, weirdos, and hippies. Austin has grown massively to be a tech hub in the recent past years and today, it has become a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers and, a lot of people are talking about it these days. No-one comes to this city and walk away displeased and disappointed because of its growing wonderful music and beer and food truck scene. Austin is one of the coolest places to be in Texas and as an eco-friendly traveler in Austin, here are a few tips you could use to travel responsibly;
- It’s hot. The first thing you should know if you'll be going around is that it's often hot here. During the summertime, the temperatures are infernal, and don't be deceived by the stories you might have heard about how nice the city can be during the winter because these tales would be "absent" when the sun starts giving you some treat. The funniest part is tht, summer is often long in this city as it's usually nine good months. Heat begins to show up in the middle of march and before things get to become chill, it will be towards November or thereabout. So, during this period, don't be hesitant to go around casually.
- You’re going to see a lot of skin. Since it's often hot in this city, everyone clearly wants to make it through the summer without melting and a functional approach to do that is by wearing less, and don't think anyone is trying to do that to impress you. If you're at the park, you'll definitely spot a lot of topless people around you, and as you keep going, you'll see people in crop tops, tank tops, and shorts. Austin is hot and you too should feel relaxed to dress casually - it adds comfort to your travel.
- Where are your sunglasses? Yes, where are they? Because, you'll actually need them. If you don't want to squint constantly while you're walking around town, enjoying some SUP on Ladybird Lake, or riding a bike, you'll find them quite needful. Austin gets an average of 300 days of sunshine out of 365 days and you should come well-prepared.
- Oblige to rideshares; Uber and Lyft. If you don't want to pay for a taxi or take a bus, rideshares are the best option to go for. Aside from the convenience they offer which makes them the best way to get around the city, they're also cheaper than the taxis.
- Driving will make you see more places. Within the main part of the city, you'll find a lot of fantastic places and tons of nature spots. And, with you driving a car of yours (rented), you'll enjoy checking out these places at your convenience. You can as well easily spend a good amount of time exploring the downtown area if you've got a rental car. Some believe going around by car is the best option but hitherto, one do not dispute the transport ease and convenience it offers. However, take note that parking can also be a nightmare, especially in the downtown area, and there's often a bigger fee charged by the parking garages so, you'll have to tread carefully over that. If you're driving, do well not to go less than five miles under the speed limit, you’ll get run over. And, there are some roads in the state that are not that good too.
- Early is the best time of day. Understanding is the key to traveling conveniently in this city. Living your life outside of normal daylight hours in Austin is very important and there are so many reasons why you just have to, especially for the scorching summer afternoons and the unrepentant traffic. Make plans to start your day early if you want to avoid being singed during the afternoon. This is what the locals do as well; they disappear out of the mid-day sun and keep their own unofficial one while residents wait for Austin to officially implement siesta hour. You can always enjoy the quiet of a city just waking up and it will be a great relief for you not to be jostled by crowds plus the weather will be bearable. And, this will even make you appreciate the city more.
- Give yourself extra fifteen minutes to arrive, always. The traffic in this city can be so horrendous. Just like that of Los Angeles, the city's traffic has become a pain for all to endure and it could be further aggravated by Google Maps which could lose concentration with its constant readjustments during your drive in the traffic for it has the tendency of being clueless whenever traffic persists for too long. So, since you can't beat the traffic, this is why it's recommended that you leave fifteen minutes before you think you need to as this will put you on the safe side. There will even be more time for you to look for where to park should you get to arrive early and you can take the remaining minutes to relax and ease off accumulated stress.
Air Quality and Pollution
Posing little to no risk to health, the air quality in Austin is rated as “good. Unlike most other major cities in the state of Texas, Austin's air quality is relatively clean, and it appeared that the city's air quality varies yearly, and tends to be more polluted in some specific months. In the whole of the United States of America, Austin is ranked to be the 14th most congested city, and the worsening traffic and growing population in the city are likely contributors to Austin's increased air pollution. The largest contributing sources of air pollution in Austin are represented by transportation and industry. However, the rent surge of ownership in electric vehicles in the city as of 2020 has brought about a reduction in emissions, which signifies hope for better air.
Respect the Culture
Of all the cities you'll find in the state of Texas, Austin notes its distinctiveness which can be viewed from its unofficial motto: “Keep Austin Weird”. The simple thing about this city is the kind of openness the locals relate with one another and this has come to be the culture. Austin has a spirit of live-and-let's-live and since its ambiance surrounds this ideology, respecting the city's culture will evolve more on valuing people's individual beliefs and embracing the air of tolerance that breathes in town. Austinites never get tired of reveling in their eccentricity and while their lifestyle keeps flaunting the "weirdness" in the city, not joining those who devalue the city as a home base for wacky characters goes a long way in expressing love for the city's culture. In all the cities in Texas, Austin retains its uniqueness as it maintains a quirky, laid-back atmosphere, and irrespective of its significant growth in recent years, people still "Keep Austin Weird."
Top 10 Places to Visit
Austin has grown to be one of the most popular destinations for millennials to move to with its recent growths. The interesting about this city is the fact that it offers something to taste, something to do, and there's always somewhere to go for all. Being a city that embraces an alternative lifestyle and full of energy and vibrancy, it offers an endless bucket list of things to do for both locals and visitors who are up for some dose of activities. From great restaurants and diverse choice of activities to the free attractions and several beautiful parks it boasts, the capital of Texas, Austin, has an array of family-friendly attractions, theatre, sculpture garden, and a fragrant botanical garden hosted at its popular beautiful Zilker Metropolitan Park. One can as well explore modern art at the Blanton Museum of Art, visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum, go shopping, or See a performance at the historic ZACH Theatre. There are actually tons of nice places to visit in Austin and here are some of them;
- The Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake: Here, you can enjoy illuminated kayak eco-tours around the lake, sailing summer camps, private and group sailing lessons, and chartered sailboat rides which are pretty good for both adults and children. From Sea Skimmers to dinghy sailboats, there's a variety of boats and vessels offered by Austin Sailboat Rentals and you can as well enjoy its relaxing boating excursion if you're up for heading out onto the water after walking around the lake. You can enjoy cycling, running, jogging, and walking with its beautiful lakeside setting. This trail is perfect for the beautiful outdoors and those who love being out will enjoy being here because it's one of the oldest urban hike-and-bike trails in Texas and it creates a complete circuit around the lake.
- Zilker Botanical Garden: Events like an annual spring garden festival and a range of many other programs and activities are organized by the Austin Area Garden Center which is charged with the responsibility of managing the garden. It's as well home to the Hartman Prehistoric Garden which is well-loved by many for recreating the habitat of dinosaurs. Combining theme gardens of succulents, lilies, herbs, and roses, this lovely green oasis in the heart of the city houses both native and exotic plants and offers suitable homes and diverse habitats for them. It stretches across 26 acres of mixed topography, it's on the south bank of the Colorado River, and it's situated within Zilker Park near downtown. Gardens here flow from one to the other and they all have their respective feel. Connected with ponds filled with fish, streams, and waterfalls, the Japanese garden here is worth checking out.
- The Blanton Museum of Art: There are discussions, lectures, multimedia programs, and educational workshops hosted here. With galleries, displays, and versatile and innovative exhibitions, it serves as a cultural gateway between the community and the university. This museum features Latin American art, American and Contemporary art, and European masters. It houses more than 17,000 works from all over the globe and it's one of the country's largest art museums. It's as well the University of Texas's official art museum and research center.
- ZACH Theatre: It runs educational and outreach programs for more than 50,000 children and offers a variety of musicals and original works and classic plays for its annual 100,000 patrons. Producing more than 500 performances a year is as easy as ABC for it's home to over 300 designers, musicians, and actors. For your private functions, you can use its halls, classrooms, a range of offices, and several event spaces. This historic theatre boasts three stages and it's situated on the tranquil shores of Lady Bird Lake. It's the longest-running theatre company in Texas as it was founded in the year 1932 and it's one of the ten oldest theatres in the United States of America.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: The center offers native plants for sale a year and it features special educational exhibits, research plantings, outdoor sculptures, and a number of walking trails. There's a range of temporary exhibits of photography and visual art hosted here and there are more than 700 species of plants native to central Texas housed here. It's entirely focused on native plants and it serves as a research unit of the University of Texas at Austin. It's on the edge of the Texas Hill Country and situated about 10 miles from downtown Austin. This 279-acre botanical garden is worth checking out if you're a nature lover.
- Congress Avenue Bridge: Next to the Congress Bridge, you'll spot the Statesman Bat Observation Center which is created by the Austin American-Statesman with the aim of providing a safe and comfortable area for seeing the bats and this made the bridge to keep attracting a huge number of observers as the bats emerge every night from their nests. With 1.5 million bats, it's the world's largest urban bat colony, and the bridge takes pride in being home to these bats. Until the Longhorn Dam created Lady Bird Lake in 1960, it was called the Congress Avenue Bridge, and it was used to cross the Colorado River when its first span was built in the 19th century. On both sides, it boasts 3 vehicle lanes in both directions and sidewalks, and it's the bridge across Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas.
- Austin Zoo: You'll be able to see some animals like longhorns, emus, and alpacas here in their native habitats. There's a 20-minute scenic ride through the zoo provided by the train here and there are domestic animals, birds, reptiles, monkeys, wolfs, bears, bobcats, tigers, and lions here. It houses about 300 animals from more than 100 species. It became Austin Zoo in 2000 when it had several wild animals by 1994. It used to be a goat ranch called Good Day Ranch and it started its life in 1990. This 15-acre establishment delights in educating the public about animal needs and challenges and it as well positions itself in helping animals in need by rescuing and rehabilitating them. It does have big goals and it's a private non-profit Hill Country zoo. Austin zoo is situated on the southwest edge of Austin.
- Austin Nature and Science Center: Offering nature camps, exciting family adventures, and lots more, this center introduces nanotechnology, offers replicas of fossils and dinosaur tracks, provides information on the central Texas environment, and teaches about the outdoors with its range of indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits. You can participate in one of its many educations programs, hike through the Zilker Nature Preserve, discover natural treasures in the Naturalist Workshop, learn how to dig for fossils in the Dino Pit or discover local wildlife. Situated in the heart of the city, it's a beautiful green outdoor oasis that raises awareness of the natural environment, provides recreation to Austinites of all ages, and features educational activities and several nature exhibits. This 80-acre facility opened in 1960 and it's situated on the edge of Zilker Park.
- The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum: It has yoga classes in the garden and, its food and entertainment, monthly themed activities, and featured gallery exhibitions help its guests to enjoy an evening environment of the sculpture garden; an experience that's not worth missing out on. On the first Tuesday of the month, it has a seasonal program. It offers free admission after hours from 6 pm to 8 pm and it offers a monthly after-dark program.
- Barton Springs Pool: Kept at a year-round temperature of between 68F and 70F as it's filled with water from nearby natural springs, it's a recreational outdoor swimming pool measuring three acres, and it's one of the most popular spots in the city. In Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (2011), it was featured as the backdrop of the dramatic scene. Come here for a fun afternoon to relax and chill.
Named after Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas", Austin was founded in 1839, and it's the second-largest state capital in the United States of America. Lying at the point where the Colorado River leaves the Edwards Plateau, Austin, the capital of Texas, today, has experienced massive growth and has become a significant center for culture, education, and administration. Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum, and the University of Texas call this city home, and red-granite State Capitol which is one of the popular attractions around can also be found in this city. Austin allows ample space to connect with nature, irrespective of the fact that it's one of North America's fastest-growing cities, and the presence of a river-like reservoir; Lady Bird Lake, makes justification for that. Austin is the “World’s Capital of Live Music” and its fame extends beyond further with its popular Congress Avenue bridge. Summed up by the slogan, “Keep Austin Weird, Austin revels in its otherness. Exploring Austin can be so interesting and intriguing with its glossy high-rise developments, scruffy streets, dive bars, and eccentric residents. While culture lovers can peruse outdoor art at Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, nature and scenic lovers can amble beside Lady Bird Lake, bath in Barton Springs Pool, or catch a sunny day at Zilker Park.
Austin has lots of nature easily within reach from big parks with trails and waterfalls to small urban parks with a playground and a basketball court, probably. The abundance of parks is one of the beautiful things about Austin. Austin’s pockets of greenery give the city life and among some of the green spaces, you'll find peacocks, outdoor music venues, historic estates, and community gardens. These parks are worth an afternoon of your time whether you're in the mood for a picnic, a ride, or a walk. They're the perfect escape when you need some fresh air or find it needful to unplug.
- Auditorium Shores: Weaving and whirling through Auditorium Park has been made easy for bicyclists, dog walkers, joggers, and walkers by the wide network of lovely paths. It's perfect for relaxing on a blanket with a good book, playing fetch with your dog off-leash, and it's a great place for a game of frisbee for its green lawns are awesome for any. It's situated in Austin’s downtown area and it hosts several concerts, events, and festivals. This park got its name from lady Bird Lake and the Palmer Auditorium.
- Butler Metro Park: There's a putt mini-golf course and you'll as well meet locals and kids trying to cool off on hots days here at the splash pad fountain that is generally swarming with loads of people. The green space is perfect for pick-up games of frisbee, picnics, and the trails are fine for biking, walking, and running. Within its grounds is the Palmer Events Center and, Town Lake Metro Park is the old name Butler Metro Park is sometimes known by. On an excellent urban recreation space, visitors kind of get a two for one deal for it's right across the street from Auditorium Shores park.
- Zilker Park: An annual musical theater production held at the Zilker Hillside Theater and several events such as Shakespeare in the Park performances are some of the many events this park is home to all through the year. There are guided nature hikes and educational seminars offered in the park by the Austin Nature and Science Center and there are lots of trails and hiking areas in the park. Containing lots of beautiful flowers and plants and situated at the park’s center is the Zilker Botanical Gardens. There are facilities for plating sports and green spaces for visitors to enjoy here and this park is enlisted on the National Register of Historic Places. The history of this park began when Andrew Jackson Zilker donated 350 acres of land to this beautiful Texan city in 1917.
- Mueller Lake Park: Casual walkers, hikers, and joggers here can enjoy its loop trail and there are performances throughout the year at the outdoor amphitheater and stage housed in this park. There's a huge sculpture of a big blue sea serpent called Nessy here and it's directly adjacent to the play area; the playground for kids. Mueller Lake Park is centrally located within the Mueller neighborhood and it's engulfed by 30 acres of plentiful amenities, trails, and green space. A large body of water; Mueller Lake, is what Mueller Lake Park is centered around.
Big Bend, and the Guadalupe Mountains are the two national parks in Texas and Austin is home to neither of them.
Dreaming of Summer days at the beach? You don't need to be disappointed if you find yourself in Austin during the summertime because the Austin area is home to tons of nice beaches where you can enjoy some beachy vibe you crave for. Truly, nothing beats the relaxed feeling of a beach vacation, and these beaches are here to offer you a good time;
- Emma Long Park Beach: You can watch the world go by as you stroll along the sand or sit. This beach can be highly enjoyable with several boat traffic flowing along this area. A long pier and large parking lots are some of the useful amenities and facilities it is equipped with. There are some breathtaking views of the local surroundings offered by this beach sitting on snugly on the banks of Lake Austin and, people come here for special occasions and recreational and relaxing activities plus it has long been a popular spot for such. It was once known as City Park and it's one of the popular beaches in the Austin area.
- West Lake Beach: To ensure that the beach is open, make sure that you get in touch before arrival because there are times that is it is exclusively reserved for special occasions and private parties - take note of this. You can enjoy games with friends with the volleyball net set-up in the swimming area and the volleyball court is available for games lovers. Although the park is very safe and fun for people of all ages, you won't find any lifeguards here. It has a roped-off swimming zone right out in the waters with lots of picnic areas and it's a very family-friendly beach. It has excellent facilities all around the area with magical views but you'll need to pay to access this Austin beach.
- Secret Beach: With no rules against dogs on this Austin beach, you can feel free to bring your furry friend here. Making sandcastles, picnics, and other old-time beach activities can be so enjoyable here but shelling is more popular here. Although you can dip your feet in at the edge, take note that swimming is prohibited here. With a nice sloping bank of sand and shallow waters, Secret Beach is a lovely spot to come with the kids. This beach is a little hidden gem and a lot of people don't know about it – no wonder it got its name Secret Beach. Secret Beach is situated just off Grove Boulevard.
- Lake Pflugerville Beach: The only downside of this beach is that unlike other beaches you'll find around in the city, the sand here is composed of lots of tiny rocks, but this is still nothing when you look at the vast advantages of this beach. Boasting a long stretch of sand for fun and games, it features picnic areas, boat launching facilities, a play area for the kids, and there are three miles of hiking trails to be enjoyed. From fishing and windsurfing to canoeing and kayaking, there are different kinds of recreational activities to be enjoyed here. Situated out in Pflugerville, this large lake beach is undoubtedly worth the detour if you don't mind driving a short way outside of Austin.
Honoring and commemorating its movers and shakers is one of the things Austin does well. From the beloved writers who shaped the childhoods of the locals to the bright minds who led the way to Texas Independence and several historical sights, Austin is bursting with history, and it's home to a series of landmarks worth checking out;
- Texas State Capitol: You cannot talk about landmarks in Austin without mentioning Texas State Capitol. It allows for a free tour lasting about 30 minutes and special themed tours are available. With 150 members, the most significant space in the Capitol building is the chambers of the legislature. This landmark features a high statue of a woman holding a bright five-pointed star; an imposing dome crowned by "Goddess of Liberty." It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's one of the most reputable state capitols of the United States of America.
- Pennybacker Bridge: Every day, there are about 60,000 vehicles driving across the bridge. There's parking allowed under the bridge by a southbound turnaround, the bridge is four lanes wide, and there's also a six-foot walking and biking line. Whenever you cross Lake Austin on the Capital of Texas/360 Highway, you'll always spot this bridge, and this is one of what makes it one of the most spectacular drives in the city.
- LBJ Presidential Library: From September through May, guided tours are available here. Children aged 12 and below can enjoy its free admission and from its archival collections of museums, photos, and papers, workshops are available to students. The Administration of National Archives and Records manages this library as one of the 14 Presidential libraries in its care and it contains more than 5,000 hours of recordings and over 650,000 images on its comprehensive audiovisual archive plus it boasts more than 45 million pages. It is situated on the Austin campus of The University of Texas.
While some museums in the city showcase avant-garde and up-and-coming artists, some focus on Latino and African-American artists. What the museums in the city lack in size, they make up for in sheer diversity because most museums in Austin are either small- or mid-sized, except for the sprawling Bob Bullock Museum and the Blanton. Howbeit, Austin is home to a lot of nice museums and here are some of them;
- Mexic-Arte Museum: There are paint murals on the walls for everyone to enjoy free of charge so, when you come here, do well to gander at the walls of the museum itself. The exhibits you'll find at this museum are inspired and original from interactive art to full-size Day of the Dead sculptures. Mexic-Arte mainly hosts traveling exhibitions and it's only home to a few permanent collections. It exerts its dedication to the growing Mexican-American art movement and Mexican and Latin American art too, just as its name suggests.
- Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum: If you won't be checking out its Bullock Cinema that presents “multi-sensory” films, you should not miss its IMAX theatre that features major motion pictures and historical films. Enjoying an IMAX movie at the museum can be so enjoyable with the immersive experience it fetches. This museum is home to diverse artifacts and exhibits. The La Belle shipwreck exhibit, especially, seems to captivate everyone, and the role of Texas in NASA and the space program are what some of the unique and fascinating exhibits cover. The key roles played in the state’s evolution by 3 major industries; oil, cotton, and ranching are explained by this museum with short films, dioramas, audio recordings, and interactive displays. Telling the story of Texas from prehistoric times up until the present is what this three-story history museum does and it does it well.
- Harry Ransom Center: Guided tours are available at noon daily and dresses and sets from old movies such as Alice in Wonderland and Gone with the Wind are some of the periodic exhibits it features. Authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Arthur Miller have their manuscripts and ephemera highlighted on the permanent collection. The Gutenberg Bible and the first photograph are its two highest-profile treasures and spending some time at the etched windows exhibit on the first floor is recommended if you desire to catch a fascinating overview of the museum’s collections. Every exhibit here is basically the tip of a massive iceberg and you'll understand better when you're here.
- The Blanton Museum of Art: This museum holds the largest public collection in Central Texas and Teresita Fernández’s permanent wall installation, Stacked Waters, is a favorite piece to see here. From landscapes of the American West to the American Gothic period, it has five or six special exhibits. It's one of the country's most prominent university art museums and it's just a short walk from the Harry Ransom Center. With galleries, displays, and versatile and innovative exhibitions, it serves as a cultural gateway between the community and the university. This museum features Latin American art, American and Contemporary art, and European masters. It houses more than 17,000 works from all over the globe and it's one of the country's largest art museums. It's as well the University of Texas's official art museum and research center.
Who doesn't love good food? Well, we all need food to survive and one thing you'll always appreciate Austin for is that it has plenty of satisfying and interesting places where people can grab a bite. The locals in this city eat, drink, and socialize every day at some of the inexpensive, unique, and high-quality restaurants, irrespective of the fact that Austin is home to plentiful high-end, destination restaurants. There are lots of places where you can enjoy being served Texas Barbeque and Tex-Mex and with Austin being a town built for living in, its food scene has always been an enticing one as you'll find everything from Mexican restaurants and healthy, organic outlets, to food trucks and BBQ joints. The thing about Austin is that it has a diverse restaurant scene and a good way to get the best out of the city's eats is to consult the locals to help you make the best decision because everyone in town has his/her favorite. The variety of excellent Mexican restaurants is also laudable and speaking of prices, you can get waffle sandwiches, full breakfasts, and kebabs without spending up to $10 and for about $8, you can enjoy Vietnamese food or bowls of pho. You can as well get a burger combo for $6 and pizza slices for $4.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Some of the best traditional local restaurants in Austin include:
- South Congress Cafe
- Cisco's Restaurant Bakery & Bar
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Fonda San Miguel
- The Carillon
Vegetarian and Vegan
Although a lot of people don't know that Austin is very vegan-friendly, those who love eating healthily will find it quite pleasing to know this, and, they'll find these spots to be valuable for their veggies:
- Conscious Cravings: It uses biodegradable products so as to create a minimum of waste because reducing Austin’s carbon footprint is one of its high priorities. Most of its foods focus on sustainable production and many are infused with omega-3. Custom-ordered and made in the house healthy salad or smoothie is available and you've got the choice of selecting your preferred house-made sauce for its signature wrap. Aiming at promoting healthy foods, Conscious Cravings offers delicious, vegetarian-style wraps.
- Bouldin Creek Cafe: Order online then park in designated spots. It's open for curbside pickup and soymilk and almond milk available for chai and coffee. It offers beverages, cornbread, blueberry, veggie tacos, hot meals with tofu, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast all day. It's a coffeehouse turned full-service restaurant.
- The Beer Plant: It has been established since 2016 and its dishes include eggplant parm, mac n cheese, buffalo cauliflower, fried chicken and gravy or with waffles, tofu scramble, and french toast with coconut whipped cream. It features numerous beers on tap and alongside the cocktails, wine, and craft beer, it offers a plant-based menu. This farmhouse pub atmosphere gastropub is worth checking out.
- Nissi Vegan: Aguas Frescas, Tamarindo Hempchata, and Jamaica are some of its offered drinks and it delights in serving authentic flautas, nachos, chalupa, burritos, and Mexican tacos.
- Counter Culture: It has limited patio seating and curbside pickup is available. Brunch country biscuit bowl, raw burger, lentil loaf, tempeh Reuben, and Philly seitan sandwich on a hoagie are examples of its dishes. It has oil-free, gluten-free, and soy-free options available, and while it serves brunch on the weekend till 3 pm, it has happy hours on weekdays from 3 pm - 6 pm. Offering a menu of desserts, cupcakes, daily specials, and veganized classic sandwiches, it uses fresh produce from local area farmers, and it features meatless and dairy-free. This restaurant was founded in 2009.
Austin’s pretty serious about its love affair with food trucks. Food truck clusters in Austin' and they offer one the opportunity of tasting varied fares such as burgers, halal wraps, and vegan tacos. From informal clusters of local vendors to permanent outdoor food courts, these gastronomical gatherings offer a delectable scene, and if you can't eat in trailer park eateries which have become wildly popular, you can enjoy street food at any of these food trucks:
- Soursop Pan-Asian Food Truck
- Luke's Inside out Food Truck
- Taco Bronco
- Bombay Dhaba
- The Churro Co
- Veracruz All-natural
- Burro Cheese Kitchen
- Franklin BBQ Taco Truck
When it comes to drinking, what Austin is popularly known for is coffee. Coffeehouses in Austin are where the liberal heart of Austin beats for all to see. People get light eats here as well, and while some places provide live music performances for their guests to listen to, there are some spots that entertain their guests with stunning poetry performances. The coffeehouse culture is strong and growing in this beautiful Texan city and these coffeehouses offer attractive packages such as free wireless internet connections which even make people to troop in more and more.
Austin's tap water is safe to drink and you should feel relaxed to drink directly from the tap. The drinking water in the city is fluoridated to EPA standards and it has had no violations of listed contaminants. In the year 2019, the city's tap water met all national and state water quality standards, and this is further proof that authenticates the exceptional value and reliability of the city's water.
Austin is home to the first Whole Foods Market and it's no surprise that it's a city that takes sustainability seriously. From compostable take-out to fresh local farms, Austin is renowned to be a pioneer when it comes to local and organic food, and it boasts an impressive number of quality organic cafés.
- Pacha Organic Café: From daily lunch specials and breakfast cooked to order (such as its famous pancakes) to made from scratch baked goods, it offers an array of organic goods and it serves the best organic coffees, espresso drinks, and teas in the city. Situated in the heart of Rosedale, it's a locally owned cafe that offers organic vegetables (except tomatillos), frozen, fresh, and fruits. The grains it utilizes in its pancakes, focaccia, and pastries are GMO-free, organic, and unbleached. 90 percent of all the ingredients it uses are organic and it offers the best selection of tasty dishes while it stays committed to providing its guests with high-quality food.
- Juan Pelota Cafe: Sold within 10 days of roasting, bird-friendly, shade-grown, Certified, Fair-Trade, organic, and 100% Arabica beans is its mission statement and its coffee is just as eco-friendly as that. It was once owned by Lance Armstrong and it's situated inside Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop. Much more than an awesome cup of coffee, Juan Pelota Cafe is environmentally ideal and conscious.
- Cafe Bon Appetit: It uses recyclable containers that can be washed and reused, 100% BPA free reusable, Eco-Takeouts, and most importantly, it dishes eco-friendly food. Organic produce from local farms is included on its menus which are seasonally inspired. Vegans and vegetarians have a place here for it serves a variety of healthy, sustainable food options. Nestled in the campus of St. Edwards University, it offers a huge innovation in reducing waste and going green.
When it comes to breweries in Austin, here are some nice ones we recommend you try out;
- Austin Beerworks: Brewed with Austin’s Cuvee Coffee, the Russian imperial coffee oatmeal stout; The winter seasonal Sputnik, is worth trying out if you're here. This brewery is a chill spot to enjoy a local beer with a group of your hippest friends for it offers plenty of bench seating both inside and out. This colorful taproom has four classic core beers and it's now capacitated to produce more seasonals as it has experienced an expansion recently. Austin Beerworks’ vibrantly colored cans are available everywhere in the city.
- Celis Brewery: The Celis White here should be on every beer drinker’s bucket list. Stocked with highly-advanced brewing equipment, this brewery is situated in the heart of north Austin’s “brewery district”, and it's 22,000 square feet. Today, this brewery is run and managed by Christine and daughter, Daytona, and this brewery started operation in the early nineties by Pierre Celis who's the founder and the father of Christine. Celis Brewery made its return to Austin in 2017.
- Circle Brewing: Yummy and latest, you should not forget to try out the Party Pig imperial porter when you're here. Regardless, it's almost impossible to make a wrong choice with the brews here because if you need guidance in making a beer choice, the friendly staff is always available, since it's understandable that the beer selection of this brewery can be somewhat overwhelming. Detailing all its current beer offerings and upcoming events on a large chalkboard, it has a cozy, friendly, and industrial taproom. Since its first opening in 2010, the impact it has made in the local craft beer community is momentous. Circle Brewing is one of the older breweries in Austin.
With places like Pedernales Falls State Park, Lower Colorado, and Lady Bird Lake in and around the city, Austin makes for a perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts. No doubt, Austin ticks all the boxes for outdoor lovers with its variety of outdoor activities from watching the Milky Way at night and hiking through tropical vegetation to paddleboarding on quiet reservoirs. Austinites are nothing if not resourceful and creative and the city's eternal summer fetches both locals and tourists an opportunity to explore the great outdoors even while they can still enjoy drinking and eating. Without putting a serious dent in your wallet, you can experience the best of Austin with these awesome ideas:
- Make a reservation to visit the Greenbelt
- Visit the pumpkin patch
- DIY ACL Music Festival
- Sleep under the stars
- Watch the bats from the South Congress Avenue bridge
- Catch the sunset atop Mt. Bonnell
- Make your tour of Austin’s iconic murals
- Run, bike, or walk along the Butler
- Hike-and-Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake
- Get on the water at Lady Bird Lake
- Try Austin’s world-famous BBQ
- Go on an Austin taco taste-test tour
- Visit the Blanton Museum of Art
- Take off on the Tejano Walking Trail
- Visit the Neill-Cochran House Museum
- Do some two-stepping at Broken Spoke
- Go on a historic tour
- Preservation Austin
- Explore the Hill County
- Spend the day at picture-perfect parks like Emma Long Metropolitan Park
- Drive out to the Hill Country for spectacular hikes
- See the Cathedral of Junk
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga and retreats are common in Austin and to get the best of them in this city, here are top recommendations for you;
- Charles MacInerney
- Ancient Yoga Center
- Sukha Yoga Austin
- Yoga East Austin
- Holistic Healing & Yoga
- Wanderlust Yoga Downtown
- Sanctuary Yoga
When it comes to accommodation in Austin, your options are as rife as they can be. Where you decide to stay, of course, is up to you for the city has a range of hostels, motels, hotels, and Airbnbs for visitors to choose from. However, you should take note that Austin is often busy and this has an adverse effect of skyrocketing the prices of hotels. In this city, you could be spending as much as $325 per night on accommodation and you could as well be lucky to find a cheap, quality hostel for as low as $75. If you're visiting during the big festivals and events, make sure your pockets are well loaded. There are lots of nice places you can stay in the downtown area but take note that you’re likely going to be paying extra to pay for your car; if you have one because parking is at a premium. During the off-season, you'll spend less on accommodation and you'll definitely be spending more if you're visiting during peak season. Howbeit, there are lots of Airbnb options in Austin; should you be up for obliging to one.
Finding green hotels in Austin that are environmentally responsible is quite easy because Austin itself is such an eco-friendly city.
- The Westin Austin: When its sensors detect that its spaces, meeting rooms, and guest rooms are empty, it automatically turns off lights, adjusts thermostats, and get to save energy that way.
- The Four Seasons: Unless guests need their towels to be replaced, it encourages its guests to keep the same towels. All landscaping is treated with non-toxic pest control products and it keeps room cool by using specially treated window films.
- The Hyatt Regency: While it's keen on keeping its guests comfortable, it also conserves energy for it has a highly efficient ventilation system. Organic and locally produced foods and beverages are what its restaurants use and in its gardens, it makes use of native and adapted plants only.
- W Austin: In terms of water use, its bathroom fixtures are among the most efficient available. More so, the windows in the hotel are Energy Star rated and the same goes for the appliances in its guest rooms. There are standards its day-to-day practices and building materials have met that landed it to be LEED-certified and it does much of its green activities behind the scenes.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Some of the best hostels and guest houses you'll find in Austin include;
- Firehouse Hostel
- Drifter Jack's Hostel
- Brava House
- HOSTEL 512
- Soco Spaces Red House
Apartments are easy to find in Austin and it's also interesting to know that rent prices in the city are gradually reducing. Downtown is arguably the best area to stay in Austin if you're considering getting an apartment because of its closeness to shopping and entertainment venues, it's very walkable, it's home to lots of great restaurants, it's the city center, it's home to an array of historic buildings, and it's the best area for nightlife. If you're traveling without a car, it's your best bet as well.
Couchsurfing is a great way to meet locals and save some money. Couchsurfing is pretty popular here in this Texan city and before you travel to Austin knowing that couchsurfing is your preferred accommodation means, do well to start looking for a host beforehand so as to make things easier for yourself.
Camping also helps you save more and spend less;
- Austin East KOA Holiday
- McKinney Falls State Park
- Austin Lone Star RV Resort
- Campsite 39
- The ZomBNB
- The Music Ranch
- Windy Point Park
- Evergreen RV Park
How to Get There
Getting into Austin via Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is most common, especially for travelers from a far distance. Situated 7.5 miles southeast of downtown Austin, it has over 70 domestic and international destinations with about 350 daily flights with nonstop service. You can oblige to ride-hailing service, a limo, take a taxi, ride a bus, or rent a car to get to your destination from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Austin Bergstrom International Airport is the major airport serving the city, it's served by most major carriers, and it's six miles southeast of the city center.
From Nuevo Laredo and Monterey in Mexico and from Dallas-Ft Worth, Laredo, Houston, and San Antonio in the United States, there are several long-distance bus lines serving Austin. With express buses running regularly, traveling to surrounding cities like Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio has been made easy by Mega Bus.
With stops in Austin and Dallas and other major cities, Amtrak Rail offers everyday service between San Antonio and Chicago.
Hitchhiking in Austin is technically legal but you should take precautions because it could be risky.
The outskirts in Austin are served by several tollways and the city being on one major freeway and several regional highways make it accessible by car from nearby cities.
While some people believe renting a car is the best way to get around, oblivious of the possible pains and expenses it could spur, take note that the best way to get around Austin is by bus and light rail.
If you'll be taking a walk around, especially during the summer months, you should prepare yourself for potentially oppressive heat. Within a 1- to 2-mile walk from most downtown hotels, you'll find lots of attractions and this is why the downtown area is one of the best places to explore in Austin by foot. It's pretty safe in most parts of the city but you must put the weather factor into consideration if you're considering seeing Austin by foot.
From mid-October to mid-April, the weather is usually agreeable for cycling, and biking is a great way to get around year-round. There are bike lanes on most major streets and with many trails around town, you'll find a high concentration of cyclists in the city. Downtown Austin is reasonably bike-friendly and you can rent a bike at any of the city's bike-sharing, Austin B-cycle stations.
Going around via an electronic vehicle in Austin is very feasible as there lots of places where you can always rent one.
Capital Metro is the city's public bus network. A full week pass is only $11.25, a day pass is $2.50, and a single ride costs $1.25. The bus is one of the most popular ways to get around Austin. There are also double-decker tour buses operating in the city.
Tram, Train and Subway
Visitors can also get around on the Capital MetroRail commuter train with a week pass of $27.50, a day pass of $7, or a single ride which costs $3.50.
It's quite easy to shop sustainably in Austin' and you can start by shopping at places that put eco-friendly into cognizances. To shop sustainably in Austin, you can hit up places like:
- Raven + Lily
- Blue Lux
- Parts & Labour
For environmentally friendly ingredients in Austin, food markets are the number one stop, and while they're known to be a go-to for sourcing organic, they're also reputed for focusing on healthy production models:
- Barton Creek Farmers’ Market
- Boggy Creek Farm
- Cedar Park Farmers’ Market
- Good Earth Farmers’ Market
- HOPE Farmers’ Market
Visiting some of the flea markets in Austin is recommended if you seek a thrilling shopping adventure. These markets do not just feature one-of-a-kind items, treasure troves of goodies are as well waiting to be discovered here. From stunning jewelry and unique trinkets to quirky gifts,Austin flea markets are overflowing with lots and lots more!
- City Wide Garage Sale
- Marketplace Austin
- Austin Flea
- The Blue Genie Art Bazaar
- Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
- South Congress Flea Market
- White Horse Flea Market
- Austin Country Flea Market
- Renegade Craft Fair
Second Hand Stores
Thrifting is an avenue for you to contribute your quota in conserving the environment’s resources and it's also a great way to save money. It's an easy way to embrace Austin's unique, wacky and unusual personality and it's also a fun way to explore the culture and people of the city.
- Goodwill Blue Hangar
- i luv vintage
- Assistance League of Austin
- St. Vincent de Paul
- Treasure City Thrift
- Top Drawer Thrift
- Thrift Town
- Texas Thrift
- Savers on Burnet
- Goodwill North Lamar
For your eco-fashion in Austin, you can trust any of these:
- Akumal Shop
- Slumlove Sweater Company
- Purse & Clutch
- Fortress of Inca
- Bloom + Grace
- Miranda Bennet Studio
- esby apparel
- Solid Gold
Austin has a one-bin recycling system and what it allows its residents to keep in the recycling bin include;
- Cardboard and Boxboard
Reuse programs, recycling, and trash collection are some of the sustainable services Austin uses in keeping the community clean.
Work and Study Abroad
Austin is one of the hotspots for work and study abroad in Texas and it's a growing hub for young, creative people.
The University of Texas, Austin, which is one of the most prestigious universities in the state of Texas, offers exchange programs with more than 150 of the most respected universities in the world.
Talking with some of the locals in the city is likely to unwrap opportunities for you as an au pair in Austin.
There's a volunteer opportunity for you in Austin whether you have interests in seniors, health, the environment, education, children, or animals;
- Helping Hand Home for Children
- Central Texas Food Bank
- Keep Austin Beautiful
- Generation SERVE
- Georgetown Animal Services
- Central Texas SPCA
- Animal Trustees of Austin
- Elgin Humane Society