A few of my favorite things … in Austin

Diana D


The South Congress Bridge in Austin.

Conference week is lastly here! I can’t convey to you how fired up I am not only to attend my very first in-person conference considering that 2019, but also to do so in my preferred U.S. metropolis.

I’m an alumna of the College of Texas at Austin for each my undergraduate and graduate degrees, so I used a good chunk of equally my younger formative decades and my just-married-and-started-a-family yrs in the Texas money city. Several persons now know that Austin is distinctive from the relaxation of Texas, and but also not so in the finest feasible methods.

I’m thrilled to share the city with so many colleagues, so I reached out to my fellow Austinites past and existing to crowdsource a list of advisable restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other venues shut to the Hilton.

See this Google spreadsheet for tips that include each establishment’s length from the Hilton and irrespective of whether or not they have out of doors seating. (If you have recommendations for the spreadsheet, e mail me at [email protected] journalism.org to enable me know and I’ll add it.)

I also want to draw focus to a pair of my especially-favorite spots and some of Austin’s significantly exceptional functions.

See the bats! One particular of Austin’s major promises to fame — other than being weird — is owning the most significant urban bat populace in the earth. (I wrote about the tragic deaths of hundreds of bats throughout the 2021 Texas storm that shut down the point out for a 7 days and despatched Sen. Ted Cruz packing for Cancun.)

Each spring, thousands and thousands of Mexican totally free-tailed bats migrate to Central Texas and keep on being till autumn. About 1.5 million of these bats live below the Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin, just a 10- to 15-minute wander from the Hilton. Each and every night time, crowds acquire to observe them acquire off to feed on insects shortly soon after sunset. If you’d like to look at them, Austin Bat Refuge’s web page is updated day by day with a projected flight time and facts of the prior night’s flight. Other practical web pages consist of the South Congress Bridge Bats web site, assistance from Austin’s famous bat professional Merlin Tuttle, Go to Austin’s Bat Looking at 101, and the Austin City Information web site.

Other Austin highlights

  • Even though it is currently shut for renovation, the home of O. Henry, well-known for his brief tales with an ironic twist at the conclude, is not much from the Hilton on 5th St.
  • Zilker Park is the crown jewel of Austin parks and residence to Barton Springs, which feed a popular swimming hole that averages 68-70 levels year-spherical.
  • If you are an artwork or background buff, cinephile or faith scholar, head to the Harry Ransom Heart on College of Texas at Austin’s campus to see a single of the only five Gutenberg Bibles in the country, the earliest surviving photograph in the planet, a Frida Kahlo self-portrait, or any of their other exhibitions. The whole set of Long gone With the Wind and all of playwright Tennessee William’s archives are here, together with a prosperous trove of other wonders.
  • For a definitely Austin experience, Cosmic (involves a travel or ride share) has an expansive outdoor region with a bar, espresso shop and many meals vans.
  • Austin is well known for its foodstuff vehicles and has a quantity of food truck parks like the South Austin Trailer Park. 1 of the best spots to discover a collection of meals vans not significantly from the Hilton is South Congress.
  • Individuals wanting to go for a run (or a boat trip or a kayak) can quickly get to Lady Bird Park from the Hilton. It’s a linear park with excellent jogging/strolling trails together the river. If you are ready to journey even further out from downtown, Mount Bonnell, Austin’s greatest position, offers a shorter climb to a beautiful ignore of the lake, and McKinney Falls Point out Park with loads of hiking is just a 15-moment travel from the Hilton.
  • I by no means recognized why persons would stand for 3 to 4 hours to get into Franklin’s BBQ, widely regarded as the ideal barbecue not only in Austin but in the condition of Texas, prior to they ran out for the day — right up until I experimented with it myself. Then I understood. You are not likely to have the time to wait that prolonged in line during the conference, but you can contact in a group buy to decide up.
  • My possess personalized preferred cafe in Austin is Curra’s Grill, a number of exits south of downtown. You are going to need to have a automobile or experience share to get there, but their Oaxacan coffee, hen mole enchiladas, and avocado margaritas are really worth it. I by no means come to Austin without dropping by Curra’s, normally to order huevos motuleños with my queso and chips and a espresso.

These highlights are a tiny sampling of what Austin has to offer, and I know it is considerably far too significantly for you to squeeze in in the course of the meeting. Ideally, you are going to have a likelihood to stop by at minimum a person of these areas though many others will entice you to go to Austin once more someday.





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