Austin

Austin is an amazing city to visit during events such as SXSW  Music Festival in March, the F1 Grand Prix in October or at any other time.

Austin is not like other Texas City. You do get that Southern Texas feeling, especially when you go to the bars, but just enough of it. The people are very welcoming to a big city and most of the population is young and outgoing.

Here is how you can spend a weekend in Austin

I stayed at an Airbnb on East Austin on S Congress  Ave. The street has Antique stores on one side like the Uncommon Objects that is one of the best antique stores, and Food Trucks on the other. On a Parallel street, East Cesar Chavez St., you have the 3 famous food trucks, Le Barbecue THE place for famous Texan barbecue meat. Make sure you get there before they open as the line can get long or the meat can sold out . Next, to it, you have the perfect donut dessert place Gourdough’s. I just wanted to try all of them from the Fat Elvis to the Funky Monkey.  A little bit further they have the Taco Truck Torchy’s Tacos, great place for a late night craving stop.

From East Austin, you walk 5 minutes and you cross the bridge that will take you to Downtown Austin. Visit the State Capitol. The building is mighty and so is inside. Take a tour, visit the different chambers and see the pictures of all of the governors hang on the walls over 4 levels. Next to it, you have the University of Texas at Austin.

At night, go to the famous 6th St. It is full of bars. Pick any Piano Bar and enjoy the beer and the ambiance.  In Austin, in every bar, you have a great band signing, all you need to do is to grab a drink and enjoy the music. This is how locals like to spend their outing nights.

You have to take a cab or the bus to go towards Barton Hills and get to Barton Spring Pool which is a natural pool where you can go skinny dipping ( or not). From there continue your route to the Zilker Botanical Garden and enjoy the many gardens it has to offer; Cactus Garden, Japanese Garden and the amazing Butterfly Garden.

From East Austin, you also need to take a cab to go to the French Place which is also the Art District. During the day all the galleries are open and offer unique pieces. At Night, the bars and French restaurants like Justine’s Brasserie live up the neighborhood.

If you are a F1 fan like me you have to go to The Circuit of the Americas outside of town. That Circuit is breathtaking. If you are lucky to be there during a F1 Grand Prix or another Car Race, the Cars noise is very impressive.

 

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Lake Tahoe

If you love to ski, the best time to go to Lake Tahoe is obviously during ski season and this year there is a lot of snow. If not, go there during the summer time to enjoy the town and the lake activities.

The best part of Lake Tahoe is North Lake Tahoe. You can rent a cabin or stay at a resort like the amazing The Resort at Squaw Creek.  That resort has all the needed amenities and more like an outdoor heated pool and a skating ring.

Spend your day the Squaw Valley Ski, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics. It will be a very enjoyable ski day.  The ski town by the slopes is very nice to have lunch or just a hot chocolate.

Of course, don’t forget to go to the Lake Tahoe. During summer time, you can go boat riding on the Lake. During winter time, take the road along the Lake to go up the mountain and have a breathtaking view of the Lake.

Weekend Gateway, Houston 

Day 1 :

Start the day at the Rice University. The campus is beautiful, you can have a walk around and have coffee at one of the coffee shops there. Take a look at the James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyscraper in the middle of the campus. The art structure lightens up at sunset and sunrise.

By the university, take Sunset Boulevard. It is one of the famous streets of Houston. The route is covered with those gorgeous old oak trees.

Head to the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park by the Galleria Mall. The huge waterwall looks like a waterfall. There is a Mexican restaurant by there called El Tiempo Cantina. The best fajita I ever had, so sizzling.

At sunset, go to Jackson Hill Bridge. You will see the crowd waiting for the bats to come out. Under that bridge in the Bayou area, the bats come out at sunset time.

At night go to the Midtown neighborhood. It’s is the young neighborhood with bars and restaurants.

Day 2 :

Start your morning with a walk in Hermann Park. It is a beautiful park in the university area, it has a concert area, a lake with a cafe where you can have breakfast and the zoo is at the end of it. The park is crowded with runners and everybody is just walking around or relaxing on the grass. A part of the park is constructed like the Great Mall of DC.

For the test of the day, you can go to Kemah Boardwalk. It is about 35 miles from Houston. It’s a Pier area by the Houston bay. They have a lot of fun attractions for the kids and they also have restaurants. Enjoy the bay before sunset and have dinner at the best seafood restaurant, Landry’s.

Houston Hermann Park
Hermann Park

 

Houston Hermann Park
Hermann Park

 

Houston Hermann Park
Hermann Park

 

Houston Bat Show by the Jackson Hill Bridge
Bat Show by the Jackson Hill Bridge

 

Houston Seafood Restaurant Landry's at Kemah Boardwalk
Seafood Restaurant Landry’s at Kemah Boardwalk

 

Houston Kemah Boradwalk
Kemah Boardwalk

 

Houston James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skycraper
James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyscraper

 

Houston Oak trees on Sunset Blvd
Oak trees on Sunset Blvd

 

Houston Waterwall
Waterwall