Visit Austin: Top Places to Eat, Stay and Play

March 22, 2023

Deep in the heart of Texas lies a town that dances to the beat of a different tune. “Keep Austin Weird” some say; we say if Austin is weird, let’s make weird the new normal! From some of the most exciting nightlife, exquisite dining and bars that two-step their way straight into our hearts, to sunny days on the lake, hotels full of charm and nights full of stars, there’s something for everyone in the city of Austin.

We caught up with our Bolt PR Austin team, Account Director Sara Ryan and Social Media Specialist Sydney Bui, who both call this exciting city home. On days when Sara isn’t securing the next big public relations partnership and Sydney isn’t crafting a clever TikTok for clients, you can find them exploring the incredible Texas Hill Country they call home. In this blog, we’re sharing our local team’s insider list of where to eat, stay and play when you visit Austin.


Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

If you're in the mood for mouth-watering Tex-Mex BBQ as soon as you land at AUS Airport, look no further than Valentina's! This beloved food trailer, which has been featured on Food Network, has gained a cult following thanks to their exceptional brisket, juicy ribs and perfectly spiced pulled pork. Sara personally recommends the smoked brisket taco with sea salt, lime, guacamole and tomato serrano salsa or the smoked carnitas taco with caramelized onions, fresh cilantro and tomatillo habanero salsa. The vibe is laid-back and inviting, with picnic tables and twinkling lights that add to the festive atmosphere. 

The Original Black’s BBQ

When it comes to authentic, mouth-watering Texas barbecue, there's no place quite like The Original Black's BBQ. From the moment you step through the doors, the tantalizing aroma of slow-cooked giant beef ribs wafts through the air, tempting your taste buds with every breath. The pitmasters at Black's have been perfecting their craft for over a century and using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients and time-honored cooking techniques to create a culinary experience that's simply unforgettable. You're guaranteed to be blown away by the explosion of flavor in every bite, and with a welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff, a visit to The Original Black's BBQ is not just a meal, it's an unforgettable Lone Star State adventure.

Texas Keeper Cider

Texas Keeper Cider is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by newcomers. Tucked away in the rolling hills of South Austin, this cidery is a rustic retreat that offers a unique and refreshing adventure. With over 30 different ciders to choose from, including their signature Lost Goldblend, the tap room is a paradise for those seeking a crisp and cool break from the heat. Plus, the knowledgeable staff is always eager to share their passion and expertise about the cider-making process, turning every visit into a rich learning experience. Whether you're a seasoned cider connoisseur or a curious newcomer, this is the perfect spot to satisfy your thirst for fun under the Texas sun.

Jester King Brewery

It’s not your average craft brewery. Jester King is a destination for beer lovers and adventure seekers alike. Situated on a sprawling 165-acre ranch just 30 minutes west of the city limits, Jester King offers a unique experience that combines traditional farmhouse brewing techniques with locally-sourced ingredients and a commitment to sustainability. Visitors can sample world-renowned beers while taking in the stunning views of the Texas Hill Country, enjoy a special goat experience featuring Nigerian Dwarf goats and take a guided tour of the brewery to learn more about the brewing process. With a constantly rotating selection of beers and frequent events, this is a can’t-miss stop on your exciting journey through Austin. 


Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt

A dazzling gem of a hotel beckons guests with its striking design, upscale amenities and impeccable service. Located just steps away from the popular Rainey Street District, Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt is a tribute to the vibrant music scene that makes Austin famous, boasting unique touches like a lending library of vintage vinyl records and a stunning rooftop pool that provides a sweeping view of the downtown skyline. The luxurious guest rooms and suites are stylishly appointed with modern furnishings, plush bedding and spa-inspired bathrooms, creating a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. From savoring farm-to-table cuisine at the highly acclaimed Geraldine's restaurant to enjoying a craft cocktail at the chic poolside bar, this is the ultimate urban retreat as true to Austin’s personality as can be.

Austin Motel

Known as Austin’s most iconic motel, which has undergone a fabulous makeover by famed Texan hotelier Liz Lambert, the Austin Motel is a vibrant and retro-inspired accommodation that will transport you back in time while providing all the modern amenities you need. From the moment you step into the lobby, you'll feel like you've been transported to a bygone era, with its neon lights and colorful decor. The rooms are bright and airy with bold patterns and funky furniture that make you feel like you're in a vintage dream. Located in the heart of South Congress, it's the ideal location to memorably explore the vibrant and artistic city of Austin.


Texas State Capitol

The Texas State Capitol is an awe-inspiring sight to behold, and no Austin experience is complete without it. As you approach this iconic building, you'll be struck by its grandeur and beauty. The towering pink granite structure is surrounded by lush greenery and manicured lawns, creating a peaceful oasis in the heart of the bustling city. Once inside, you'll be transported back in time as you explore the historic halls and chambers that have seen countless moments of Texas history. From the top of the Capitol dome, you can take in breathtaking views of the surrounding cityscape. Whether you're a history buff or simply appreciate stunning architecture, a visit to the Texas State Capitol will leave you feeling inspired.

Zilker Metropolitan Park

A lush and expansive park that's perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike awaits your discovery. Zilker Metropolitan Park spans over 350 acres, boasting a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking and biking trails, sports fields and playgrounds. The highlight of the park is the crystal-clear Barton Springs Pool, a legendary natural spring-fed pool that's perfect for swimming and cooling off during the hot Texas summers. The park is also home to the Zilker Botanical Garden, a stunning oasis with a diverse collection of plants and flowers from around the world. In addition, you won’t want to miss the annual Austin City Limits music festival held at the park every October! Many visitors plan their trips accordingly to experience the electrifying event at least once.

Mount Bonnell

Mount Bonnell
in Austin, TX is a breathtaking natural wonder that offers unparalleled views of the city and its surroundings. Rising 775 feet above sea level, the summit  provides a panoramic vista that stretches as far as the eye can see, and the hike to the top offers a short but challenging climb, with stairs leading to the peak. The stunning natural beauty of this adventurous location has attracted visitors for over a century, and it's easy to see why. Whether you're an avid hiker or looking for a scenic spot to relax and unwind, Mount Bonnell is a must-visit destination that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and in awe of nature's wonders.

South Congress

Known locally as "SoCo," the hip neighborhood of South Congress is filled with quirky boutiques, delicious restaurants and live music venues that showcase the best of the city's music scene. Sara’s personal favorites are Jo’s Coffee, complete with the I Love You So Much Mural, Guero’s Taco Bar, Allens Boots, Kendra Scott and much more. As you stroll, the sounds of live music will fill the air, adding to the lively and upbeat atmosphere. As an added bonus, you can witness over a million bats take flight at dusk from under the Congress Avenue Bridge! Whether you're a foodie, music lover or looking for a unique shopping experience, South Congress will leave you feeling immersed in Austin's vibrant culture.

Whether based in Austin or anywhere across the country, amplifying the voices of brands and sharing them with the world is what we are most passionate about at Bolt PR. From securing coverage in regional and national media outlets to data-based digital marketing and search engine optimization, we are your one-stop shop to a PR and marketing strategy that reaches the right audience at the right time. Let’s talk about how your brand can be the next that travelers all around the world come to experience.

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