With Valentine’s Day swiftly approaching, you may be feeling one of several things. Bliss that you and your one true love will be spending the day together fulfilling the awesome, romantic plans you’ve already made. Excitement that you’re happily single (that’s a thing, right?). Or maybe sheer panic that you don’t have any ideas yet and how is it already February? If the latter sounds most familiar, fear not! I’ve got you covered with a few ideas for Valentine’s Day in Austin on any budget–sure to make your Valentine swoon. [Read more…]
True confession time: I’m not what you would call outdoorsy. I don’t own any fancy wilderness equipment. I would be hard pressed to start a fire without the aid of matches. And my survival skills all involve googling stuff. But the truth is, I love camping. I love having an excuse to get away from computer screens and just sit around a campfire chatting with friends. I love coming up with innovative ways to cook delicious things outside. And I love sleeping under the stars and waking up to the sound of chirping birds.
Camping near Austin is great for fair-weather campers like me. You don’t need a sub-zero-ready sleeping bag. Barring the hottest part of summer and occasional rainy day, the weather is on your side most of the year. Plus, there are so many great drive-up camping sites a short distance from the city. In fact, one of my favorite things about Austin is the fact that you can drive just a few miles outside the city center and feel like you’re miles from civilization. In no particular order, here’s a round-up of some great options for camping near Austin! [Read more…]
Austin is rich in restaurants bringing cuisine from around the world. Our city is particularly blessed with great Japanese food, and we have the creators of Ramen Tatsu-Ya to thank for much of it. As the long lines can attest, Ramen Tatsu-Ya earned its spot in the hearts of Austin ramen lovers long ago. Now the owners and chefs behind Austin’s premiere ramen spot have brought us a new restaurant concept: Kemuri Tatsu-ya. [Read more…]
From huge festivals with famous headliners to as-of-yet-undiscovered bands playing neighborhood bars on a Monday night, Austin is known for its phenomenal music scene. But there’s one kind of musical performance that doesn’t always get the same recognition: Austin’s stellar opera scene.
Austin Opera (formerly known as Austin Lyric Opera) is celebrating its 30th anniversary season this year. That’s 30 years of putting on thrilling live musical experiences ranging from Italian classics to hip, modern creations. Austin Opera seeks to thrill diehard opera fans and newbies alike with an “art form as spirited and adventurous as Austin itself.” [Read more…]
When you enter Old Thousand’s dining room, you know you’re in store for something a little bit different. Bright, Asian-inspired floral wallpaper adorns the walls and a handmade 40-foot heritage oak bar spans one side of the room with a large gold Buddha on it. The space is comfortable and casual, but with a unique flair.
The atmosphere sets the tone, but the restaurant puts equal emphasis on eating in and dining out. So if you’re in the mood to enjoy the quiet atmosphere surrounding your own sofa, you can still enjoy delicious dishes from one of East Austin’s newest eateries. [Read more…]
Have you ever been to a gun range without any bullets? How about an archery range where you can practice your hunting and marksmanship skills within hundreds of different scenarios?
Whether you’re a trained shooter sharpening your skills or a gun newbie wanting to try a range for the first time, there’s something for you at Safe Range. Located in Round Rock, Safe Range uses real guns, modified to work without ammunition. These guns combine with laser technology to create a fun, safe and realistic shooting experience. [Read more…]
High tea is a magical afternoon meal that allows you to shamelessly celebrate gluttony while feeling like a refined British person. Traditionally offered in the late afternoon, high tea is served with a pot of tea and an assortment of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and delicious pastries. High tea offers the opportunity for a memorable date or fun place to take your book club.
Luckily, Austin has a number of superb restaurants, tea shops, and even movie theaters where you can indulge in the full high tea experience. [Read more…]
It’s that time of year. The fake cobwebs are strung up everywhere. The random disembodied foot on the neighbor’s lawn is no cause for alarm. A waterfall of pumpkins and decorative gourds spills forth from the mouth of every grocery store.
Yes, Halloween is right around the corner, and with it the opportunity to show off your most creative ensemble. Will you be a Halloween classic like a witch or a zombie? Or opt for a celebrity impersonation? Almost as important as deciding which new character you want to inhabit is figuring out where to get the gear to make it happen. Luckily, Austin has a number of local businesses to suit all your Halloween costume needs. [Read more…]
Austin is an amazing breakfast taco town. And for those with a sweet tooth, there’s no shortage of memorable donuts. But one breakfast choice that deserves more love is the incomparable kolache.
For those who have yet to experience these little pillows of perfection, kolaches (pronounced kuh-LAH-chee) are Czech and Slovak pastries that (thankfully) made their way to Texas and parts of the Midwest. Traditionally, a kolache is a ring of slightly sweet dough surrounding a dollop of fruit filling. In Texas, we’re lucky to have related versions with sausage, cheese, jalapeño and other savory fillings. Technically called a klobasnek, but often referred to as kolaches, these tasty treats look like pig in blankets on steroids.
Many will tell you the best kolaches are found in West, Texas a little over 100 miles north of Austin. However, before you make the pilgrimage, you should try all the wonderful kolache places right here in the ATX. They’re sometimes sold at donut shops and sometimes at dedicated shops. But where there’s a will to locate a tasty, warm kolache, there’s always a way. To get you started, here are just a few of my favorite kolache places in Austin. [Read more…]
Anyone who has ever been to Blanton Museum of Art, explored East Austin Studio Tour, or visited any of Austin’s other amazing museums or festivals knows this city has an artistic side. And you don’t even have to darken the door of a museum or gallery to appreciate art in Austin. The city has its fair share of public art pieces melded into the cityscape. Some are sculptures and statues memorializing important people in Austin’s history, others are functional as well as sculptural, and some are purely aesthetic.
The city of Austin participates in the Art in Public Places (AIPP) program that collaborates with locally- and nationally-renowned artists to bring new cultural landmarks to Austin. There are now hundreds of pieces in the collection. Join me on an art walk (or drive, really) to some of my favorite Austin public art pieces. [Read more…]