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Hit the Road: a 90-minute getaway to Austin, TX

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Hit the road with the whole family + explore Austin. | 📸 : @cmcclainphoto

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Last month, we kicked off our summer road trip series, Hit the Road, with an outdoor adventure to Wimberly, TX. If you checked it out, we’d love to hear about it. This month, we’re continuing the series with a 90-minute trip to Austin for a quick getaway. From paddle boarding to live music, this city offers a little bit of everything — making it the perfect end-of-summer vacay.

Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.

Drive time: ~1.5 hours from downtown

Est. population: 965,872

Avg. high in July: 92°

🎟️ Things to do

Visit the Cathedral of Junk

Created in local Vince Hanneman’s backyard in 1988, this tower of junk symbolizes everything that makes Austin ‘weird.’ Think: towers of items like lawn mower wheels, car bumpers, kitchen utensils, and circuit boards. Viewings are free, but are made by appointment only.

Cheer on Austin FC at Q2 Stadium

Wear your green and join Austinites in cheering on the local soccer team. Pro tip: take a stroll around The Domain — only a 5-minute drive from the stadium — before heading over.

Hop on a Twisted Texas Tour

Bringing the whole crew? Take a ride on the wild side with a tour designed to show you all the hidden gems and Instagram-worthy photo ops.

Looking for even more activities? Check out our sister market ATXtoday’s summer bucket list activities.

🍔 Grub to eat

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

Start your day off at this waterfront café serving up delicious pastries and even better coffee. We recommend the mocha special with a bakery item of your choice.

Gabrielas - Downtown

This Mexican-owned restaurant is a must-visit for those spending time in central Austin. With a picturesque patio, gorgeous views, and phenomenal drinks to boot (try the micheladas), there’s really not much to complain

Nixta Taqueria

Grab a bite from James Beard finalist Edgar Rico’s casual restaurant for not-so-casually delicious food. Nixta also houses a community fridge where anyone is encouraged to drop off fresh foods, dry goods, and daily essentials.

“What about plant-based options?” We’re glad you asked — here are 11 vegan spots to try.

🏨 Overnight accommodations

If you get a wild hair and decide to turn this quick day trip into an overnighter, here are some spots to stay.

Brand new Rainey Street condo, Rainey Street Historic District

Admire Lady Bird Lake from this 21st-floor corner condo on its scenic, private balcony. With downtown hot spots just an elevator ride away, this is the ideal spot for an exciting getaway.

ARRIVE East Austin, 1813 E. 6th St.

You can’t go wrong with this picturesque stay. There’s no reception desk, so guests can check in at the bar, receive a free snack, and enjoy a detailed guide of things to do around the city.

Heywood Hotel, 1609 E. Cesar Chavez St.

Fall in love with this boutique hotel at walking distance from downtown Austin. This award-winning stay is one that won’t disappoint.

Stay tuned for our last installment of our Hit the Road series. We’ll be highlighting a road trip for the foodies later this month.

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