Back when I got married in 2012, a bachelorette party was a one night kind of deal. Over the last few years, the trend has shifted to a weekend extravaganza. I've attended bachelorette parties across the US, from Las Vegas to Nashville and most recently to Austin, Texas.
I was excited when my friend Blair decided to have her bachelorette party in Austin, and as the maid of honor, I had the pleasure of planning a weekend getaway for ten girls. I have a ton of family in Texas and over the years, I've been fortunate enough to travel to San Antonio, Houston, and Galveston. In fact, before popping into Austin I made a quick day trip to Houston to visit some of my favorite family members.
When planning our trip to Austin, the Bride wanted to rent an Airbnb on Lake Travis, but we ultimately decided on booking a hotel downtown. Logistically, we wanted to spend our nights and dinners downtown. It wouldn't have made sense for ten girls to Uber 30+ minutes each way for dinner and drinks.
We ended up booking rooms at the Westin Austin Downtown. The hotel was in a great location and had an awesome rooftop outdoor pool, with fantastic views of downtown. Our rooms were modern and conveniently included a breakfast entree voucher for each morning. Instead of a breakfast buffet like most hotels offer, the Westin featured a sit-down option with several entrées like salmon eggs benedict, pancakes, avocado toast, as well as a continental egg breakfast. We all enjoyed our stay at the Westin and would recommend it to anyone visiting Austin!
View from the Rooftop Pool
Pool at the Westin
Austin reminded me a bit of Nashville, but with an extra hipster flare. It's a cool city with a ton to do. There are so many unique and delicious restaurants to visit. We found that two days was definitely not enough time to explore everything the city had to offer.
While planning our trip, I did a ton of research and here are some of the recommendations I received:
Main Attractions Around Austin
South Congress Street
I love you wall
Austin city wall
Must Visit Restaurants
Voo doo Donuts
Our first day in Austin we spent enjoying the Westin’s rooftop pool and the warm weather. After the pool, we stopped at the Hope Art Gallery, an open art gallery area where people can come to create graffiti art. I heard this place was closing, which is sad because it was a unique experience.
Hope Art Gallery
For dinner, we ventured off to Gourdough’s Public House. Their entire menu is donut themed, so prepare to overindulge. We tried a few of their salads that were served with a garlic donut. I had the “Saussy Cock,” a buffalo chicken sandwich served on a donut bun…so good. My favorite part of the meal was dessert. Their dessert donuts are incredible; they were served warm and gooey. We tried a few, but I loved the Ring O’Fire which was a donut topped with chipotle infused brownie batter, brownie bites, chocolate icing, salted butter caramel sauce and candied pecans.
Gourdough's Public House
Our last stop of the night was the Pubcrawler of Austin. If you haven't done this before, it's a ton of fun. It's a multi-passenger, human-powered, pedal tavern on wheels. We biked and drank our way through 5th and 6th street. The 2.5-hour ride was a great way to see the city, stop at a few bars and learn some of the city's history. We had a blast peddling at a whopping 3 miles an hour, while cars honked and zoomed past us. I recommend booking the Pubcrawler, especially for bachelorette/bachelor parties. You can reserve your own private “tavern” or join a public one, but it is a great way to see the city and throw back a few cold ones with friends.
Pubcrawler of Austin
Our second day we planned to go check out Barton Springs, which is a natural pool spring in Zilker Park; however, it was a bit too chilly out for that. I hear it is a must, especially in the summer. The water is pretty cold year round, but it's easier to jump in with the summer Texas heat. Instead of Barton Springs, we had brunch at June’s on South Congress and explored the area. SoCo is a famous street in the city that has a ton of cool boutiques, restaurants, and sights. A few picture worthy stops include the “I Love You” wall at Jo’s Coffee shop, as well as the “Greetings from Austin” Mural located a few blocks down on 1st Street.
Dinner our second night was at Fixe, which was okay. The food was nothing special in my opinion. I wanted to stop at Stubbs or La Barbecue during our trip, but it wasn’t feasible with our schedule and the number of people that we had. Barbecue is a staple in Austin, and these two came the most recommended from friends and family. Food trucks are also super popular, but again we didn’t get a chance to try any. I’m hoping to eat more the next time I’m in town.
"I Love You" Wall
Besides an awesome food scene, Austin is also know for their nightlife. We spent the majority of our time on Rainey Street, which is littered with houses that have been turned into bars--super cool vibe. Rainey Street has some popular stops like Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden, Container Bar, Bungalow, Parlor Room and Unbarlievable (they have a slide in the bar).
We also spent some time on 6th street, which is a bit more...grungy. I mean it is known as "Dirty Sixth" after all. We popped into Green Light Social for some adult Capri Suns. A few other notable stops include Easy Tiger, Midnight Cowboy and Firehouse Lounge. 5th street had some cool stops as well, we visited Mean Eyed Cat Bar-- a Johnny Cash themed bar and the Tiniest Bar in Austin.
Overall Austin is a great city, and we had a blast celebrating our bride-to-be. Unlike Nashville and Vegas, we didn't feel that the city was overrun with bachelorette parties or overly tourist, so if you haven't been I would recommend adding it to your list.