Austin is the perfect destination for a Girl’s Getaway. It’s a clean, manageable, friendly and fun city and frankly.. there is just so much to do. If I were designing the ideal weekend here for a trip with my girlfriends there are several “must do’s” to ensure a memorable, relaxing and fun time for all.
Time of Year
Late fall – until Mid December – and February until approximately mid-May is perfect in Austin. Low mid 50’s, high mid 70’s. January gets a bit colder. And June till September hovers from the 80’s to 100+ (which can be pretty intolerable).
For a big group, I’d definitely suggest renting a house. Austin is the headquarters of Homeaway.com and VRBO.com so there is no shortage of terrific house rentals. Focus on the South Congress (SoCo), Travis Heights, Downtown, Clarksville, Zilker and South Lamar to be close in.
What to Do?
The best deal and most fun for a group IMHO is the Four Season’s Happy Hour deal. If you schedule services between 4 – 8 PM at their spa you get $50 off any 50- or 80-minute massage, body treatment or facial, a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, light spa bites and valet parking.
If you are headed to Austin during pool weather, make a day of it and for $20 more you can arrive early on a Friday (by lunchtime I’d recommend), and enjoy a day at their pool. The pool passes are just Monday-Friday.
Note: It’s not the “most fabulous” Four Seasons in the world, but it’s still quite nice, great service.. and a GREAT way to ease your way into Austin. Call (512) 685-8160 for more info.
Texas wine? No seriously… it’s really good! And FUN. The best bet is to hire a limo (my fav and the most reasonable in town is BlueBonnet Limos) to take you down to the Driftwood area for the Salt Lick winery, Driftwood Estates and Duchman)
Technically the Fredericksburg area wineries I find a bit more professional and they are only a bit further at about 90 minutes out (check out Becker, Messina Hof and Grape Creek). If you leave by 10:30 and back by 4:30 you can get a solid tour in and still be back in time to nap off your buzz before dinner.
Food & Entertainment
Dining is a huge part of the Austin experience, so if you aren’t into food you might miss a whole part of the Austin experience. Here where I’d take my friends:
Friday night -post spa, head to Swifts Attic for some of the most creative and tasty “small plate” cuisine this town has to offer. First, I’d stop at Hotel San Jose on South Congress, for a drink out back on their patio. After dinner head to either Rainey Street (Lustre Pearl and Icenhauer’s) or West 6th Street (Haddington’s, J Black’s or Key Bar) for a fun crowd, some live music and a few drinks. You can take a pedi cab from Swifts. Be sure to hit up a Food Truck for a late-night taco or much much more creative fare.
Saturday morning – Get up early and go for a run (or swift walk in my case) around Town Lake (aka Ladybird Lake). It’s worth it and you’ll thank me later. Then, head to Whole Foods on Lamar (company headquarters) to stock up on wine, sandwiches and snacks for the limo ride to wine country. Another great option is Sandra Bullock’s uber cute shop Walton’s Fancy and Staple for some great salads and sandwiches.
Saturday night – After recovering from your day, head to Paggi House for a drink or two on the deck, then La Condesa for a great upscale “Tex Mex” dinner. Then I’d stop by the W Hotel bar for a drink and end the night at Cedar Street for live music.
Sunday morning – Stop at Jo’s Coffee on 2nd Street or South Congress. Then.. ready yourself for another meal because Texas BBQ is a must and Salt Lick on Sunday morning is the best. It’s back down near the wineries in Driftwood, which can be kind of a pain, so if you are car-less I’d say stay in town and hit Lamberts (across from La Condesa). They open at 11, so likely when you are done with brunch you’ll have to start heading to the airport. Poof, your weekend is over!
P.S. If you are up for it.. stop by Waterloo Ice House at the Austin Airport for a breakfast taco on your way out of town. Yum!
Have a bit more time? Need more ideas?
- Hit a bunch of food trucks for a progressive meal. Some of the best eats in town
- Have a private chef come in and cook for you. Our good friend Samuele (straight from Tuscany) is incredible
- With transportation – head out to Lake Travis for sunset, to rent a pontoon boat for the day, or just for lunch at the Oasis complex (but NOT at the Oasis itself.. food is terrible)
- Head 15 minutes north of town to Uchiko – the sushi place run by the last winner of Top Chef. It really is amazing. Reservations are necessary and Uchi.. their other place.. isn’t the same.
- Ziplining – I haven’t been to this one yet but there is a new’ish line over part of Lake Travis that is supposed to be a blast.
- Shopping on South Congress. Lots of cute boutiques etc.
- Millions of other restaurant recommendations in every genre. Just hit me up.