August 12, 2019

How to Spend a Cheap Day in Austin


Austin Texas


Howdy! Growing up in East Texas, Austin was actually a pretty far drive to make without a reason to make it. The only times I ever went to Austin was for UIL State Twirling competition in high school.  In college, not only were a lot of my friends from Austin, but our campus was only around 2 hours, give or take, from the city.   Still, I didn't go very often.  Before finally moving out of my house in College Station and moving to Denton, my boyfriend and I took a day trip to Austin.  It was a well-deserved daycation!  Since I didn't grow up in Austin, I was looking up a bunch of things to do on Pinterest.  Now here I am, adding another post to Pinterest! (shameless plug, but follow my Pinterest account) 

I hope to get to explore Austin more in the future, but for the time being, these are my "Michelle tested and approved" things to do when spending a day in Austin! Oh, I almost forgot, this is also how to spend a day in Austin on a budget.  Don't worry, I wouldn't try and kill your bank account! 

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1.) Touring the Texas Capitol: It's true! Everything is bigger in Texas! That includes the dome on our state capital! It is 15 feet taller than the United States Capitol building! You can tour the inside of the capital for free, and it shows a lot of our nation's history! Plus the grounds are really pretty!

Texas State Capital

Texas State Capitol

Texas State Capitol


2.) Tour Texas University (The University of Texas, but us Aggies refuse to call it by it's real name, after all, it isn't the only University in Texas):  Dare I admit it? Their campus is pretty nice, and they have a turtle pond!! Worth the entire trip really to hang out with Turtles. (A&M, why don't we have a turtle pond?)

University of Texas

University of Texas

University of Texas


3.) Kerbey Lane: This dinner is easily one of the most delicious places! But fair warning, it can get pretty packed! They have all your classic diner food, but even offer vegan versions!

Kerby Lane


4.) Voodoo Donut:  I have wanted to go to the voodoo donut since I watched a Travel Channel show about the Seattle location, and that was when I was easily 12.  Now they have one in Austin, and I had to go!! I mean part of my family is from New Orleans after all. I got me the classic, voodoo doll donut! He was very sweet. Take that in mind if you purchase one.

voodoo donut austin

voodoo donut austin


5.)Blue Cat Cafe:  Do you love cats? Do you love Coffee? Did you read my previous post about a cat cafe in Brussels? (shameless self plugging) Well, we actually went to the Blue Cat Cafe in 2018, and it was so cute!! The kitties were adorable! I'm a sucker for cats (currently have a little one purring on my lap as we speak!)  

Blue Cat Cafe

Blue Cat Cafe

Blue Cat Cafe


6.)Wall Murals:  There are a ton of posts out there with the locations of all the wall murals in Austin.  Unfortunately, that is not this post.  But I do suggest looking them up and going to take pictures of the fun art! Perfect for that Instagram feed! 

Austin Wall Murals

Austin Wall Murals

Austin Wall Murals


7.)McKinney Falls State Park:  Do you love Nature?  Do you love water? Well, then you should totally check out Mckinney Falls State Park! There are two waterfalls, and several areas to go swimming at.  It is also a nice hike.  There is an entrance fee on this, but if you read my post about our deteriorating infrastructure of state and national parks, then you probably won't mind paying!

McKenny Falls State Park


Mckinney Falls State Park

Mckinney Falls State Park

Mckinney Falls State Park

Mckinney Falls State Park



8.) Barton Creek Greenbelt: This is another nice place to hike, swim, or ride your bike.  It is a green belt that is much closer to the city than McKinney Falls is, so less of a drive, but still very nice!

Barton Creek Greenbelt



9.) 360 Overlook:  I can not emphasis this destination enough! It was amazingly beautiful! It is a hike up a hill where you overlook highway 360.  You can see the city in the background, with gorgeous nature all around you.   Also, if you are like me an enjoy, looking at fancy houses, the drive to the overlook is filled with ritzy neighborhoods.  

360 Overlook

360 Overlook

360 Overlook


10.) Bat Bridge:  Finally, before you head home for the day, stop over to the Congress Avenue Bridge. When dusk hits, bats come flying in a mass out from under the bridge.  Now, I say this, and of course, not a single bat decided to fly while we were waiting.  But we did see some bat dancers in a building. 

Austin Bat Bridge


I hope my brief summary of what all you should check out when spending a cheap, budget-friendly day in Austin helps you out!  Please let me know if you're from Austin, and what other things I should check out next time I go to Austin!



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