Austin, Texas – Weird, Outdoorsy, Social, and Fun

Austin, Texas – Weird, Outdoorsy, and Fun

Austin tops most lists of cool US cities. Bested only by Tucson and Milwaukee (on my personal list of favorite cities), Austin is a place I’d love to spend more time. Below are my favorite destinations (that I’ve seen so far) in this weird and wonderful city.

Austin Texas Brewery TravelSages
Hanging at a brewery in Austin.

Barton Springs and Hiking / Biking Trail

Barton Springs is a crystal clear swimming area that’s warm enough to swim in year-round, and is a hot-spot for swimming, day drinking, and baring your chest. Even if you’re not into swimming, the biking / hiking trail near it is massive – spanning the entire length of the river that runs through the city. There also is a huge off-leash dog park on the trail downtown, which is a great bonus. It’s a perfect place for a long ride, run, or swim.

There’s a paid pool area for lap swimming, and a free area where everyone – including dogs – can swim and play.

Barton Springs Austin Texas TravelSages
Barton Springs free area.
Barton Springs Austin TravelSages
Barton Springs paid area.

Hops & Grain Brewing

This is a really cool, sustainable microbrewery in East Austin. It has a warehouse vibe and outdoor seating. I highly recommend their New England double IPA, called Haze County.

East Austin

This is an awesome area, and where we spent most of our time on our second visit to Austin. It’s packed with breweries, unique restaurants, and great bars – plus everything is bike-able / scooter-able!


Austin now has scooters you can rent all over the city! They’re a super-fun way to get around if you don’t want to take your bike.

The Volstead

We happened upon this eclectic place by chance early in the night when it was empty. We loved the antique, trendy vibe so much that we stayed until – to our surprise – it began transforming into a hipster dance club. Then we proceeded to dance (and drink) our asses off to the unique DJ-spun tunes. It was really, really fun; I highly recommend checking it out on a weekend.


About the author

Lauren is a 'digital nomad' (for lack of a less obnoxious term) who works, lives, and travels out of her truck camper with her partner, Patrick, and dog, Odin, the one-eyed Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. She started TravelSages in the summer of 2013, and has since founded a digital marketing consultancy, called LyteYear, and a sustainability brand, called RePrint. Before moving into her tiny mobile home, Lauren lived in Chicago for 6 years, pursued two graduate degrees, studied abroad at Oxford, worked for a summer in Hong Kong, and traveled to various countries in between. She has a mildly unhealthy love of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Netflix, and breweries with good New England IPAs.

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