Heading to South by Southwest Music and Media Conference this week? We've mapped out the best places to eat, drink and sweat while in Austin. Borrow our supplementary SXSW itinerary - for this year or next.
Austin, Texas is one of America's best kept secrets. (Shhh. Don't tell.) It is the birthplace of Whole Foods (with an 80,000-square-foot flagship store to prove it) and home to Black Swan Yoga - a donations-based studio that will leave you feeling, well, much better than you felt after watching the film with the same moniker. (Sorry, Natalie Portman.) There is no shortage of amazing things to see and do. Let's get started.
There's a whole lotta Whole Foods to enjoy in Austin
image courtesy of Whole Foods
All good getaways involve a little time on the mat. We already mentioned Black Swan Yoga. It's a great choice if you want to get in and out quickly (no paperwork, nothing to sign up for and classes starting almost every hour until 10:30pm). Remember, classes are by donation, so give generously. There's something for everyone so check out the schedule in advance. We're dying to do the MP3 Power class.
Yoga Vida has been partying in Austin since 1999. It's a Baptiste studio, meaning all classes are power vinyasa flow in a heated room. Either location is great but if you hit up the studio at 707 West 7th Street, you may run into Dean, Zoe, or Sanieh (all lululemon ambassadors) or Bekah, the Assistant Manager at our Austin store.
Speaking of the store, we've always got complimentary events lined up at all our locations and Austin is no exception. Stop by our store at 6th & Lamar to find out the schedule for their weekly in-store yoga classe and run club.
After working up a healthy appetite, we plan on heading over to Annie's for breakfast. It's a toss-up between the organic steel cut oats, garden omelet and brioche french toast. After all the yoga, hiking, and swimming, we may even tip-toe over to one of Austin's famous food trailers. The Mighty Cone and Crepes Mille come highly recommended. We've been told we can't leave town until trying the Spaghetti Carbonara at La Traviata. Blue Dahlia Bistro has some great options for vegans and carnivores alike and if you want to go all out, check out Driskill Grill. We have our eyes on the three-course "Farm to Table" menu.
Next it's off to Town Lake Trail for a walk around the lake (3, 4 and 5 mile loops available). Want to walk on water? Do the next best thing: rent a board at Stand Up Paddleboards. If you're feeling more in a hiking mood, head over to the Greenbelt for a wide selection of hiking trails.
The word on the street at our Austin store is that you won't be disappointed if you hit up Daily Juice on your way out. Why? Three reasons. First, they have house specials that look incredible. Second, raw vegan fare is also on the menu. We plan on walking to dinner and drinks but if your feet hurt, jump into one of the hundreds of Pedicabs zooming around the city. (FYI: All are cash-only and most charge $5-$10/head regardless of destination.)
Put your feet up in a pedicab
image courtesy of citrixonline
If it happens to be Texas-hot outside, we're hoping to break in a new swimsuit at Barton Springs by taking a dip in Austin's famous swimming hole. It remains a balmy 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, much nicer than the chilly Pacific waters here in Vancouver.
image courtesy of Austin Parks & Recreation
If you like locally owned shops, great views and lots of "weird" Austin stuff like we do, stick around in SoCo. (We automatically like places that call themselves "weird". Bravo, Austin.) If that doesn't do enough damage, head back across the river. There's lots of great shopping to be done in the 2nd St. District and MOSS on South Lamar has incredible designer consignment and vintage finds. Don't say we didn't warn you.
There will be no shortage of fun to be had during SXSW. There's more than 80 venues for music, many of which are downtown. Browse the music events for this year's celebration. Outside of SXSW, we plan on owning the floor at Barbarella on Red River. (They post their playlists online. That means we can recreate the magic at home.)
- Get all the latest on SXSW. Sign up for one of their several RSS feeds.
- Plan your workouts in advance. Read Kristina's tips for fitness with a busy life.
- Set some travel goals of your own. We're not stopping at Austin. Neither should you.
If you're SXSW-bound, travel safely and don't forget to leave the convention center for some fresh air and a good stretch. The possibilities are endless, just don't get lost in Whole Foods. Where are you planning on going in Austin?