This recent spring break, our family traveled to Chicago, to tour all that is interesting and exciting there. We had a great trip, and look forward to going back to The Windy City in the future. While I was there, I started to think about how much there is to see and do in Austin and how it too is a destination city for lots of tourists. This prompted me to think about things to do in our fair city this summer that pull us out of our ordinary routines and allow us to explore the wonder of Austin with a fresh new outlook.
The first thing I ran across is a website called Tipster Tours. It looks really cool for Austin, with several walking tours to choose from. There is the Austin Music Tour which will take you out to see live music in some of the great venues around town, both new and historic. The Downtown Austin Tour takes you from the Capitol to the Driskill, and is steeped in rich Austin History. An East Side Art Tour explores the ever changing area east of downtown and includes neat details regarding the influential street artists and vibrant graffiti murals that are prevalent in that area of town. I am sure that tour will be ideal for selfies and Instagram shots. The Brewery Tour Austin is a great follow up tour after the East Side Art Tour. The last tour they have to share is Historic Austin Cocktail Tour. Visiting historic speakeasies from days gone by, this tour is a must for us amature mixologist.
The interesting concept of Tipster Tours is that they are all walking tours that usually last between 1.5-2 hours, considered more like wandering than hiking, and the only payment you make is a compliment to the tour guide, along with a tip based on how well you enjoyed the tour. I know I intend to go on at least one of these tours sometime soon, if not all of them!
There is also a company called Austin Detours that do handcrafted Austin Experiences for locals and visitors alike. You can check out the art and music scenes, visit architectural delights, learn about organic gardening, discover urban wine making, chow down on Texas barbecue, tour the UT campus, and many other options. You can join a public tour that they have scheduled throughout the city, or gather a group of friends and create your own private tour. It looks like an amazing way to explore our city, or even take a day trip to the surrounding points of interest.
Other interesting places to explore a little further out than our fair city, such as Fredericksburg and all the Hill Country Wineries, Waco to see what Chip and Jojo are up to at the Magnolia Market, and last but not least, historic San Antonio with the River Walk and a little place with just a bit of history they call the Alamo.
We all get bogged down in our life routines, and forget that we are lucky to live in such a vibrant city. So, this summer, make some time to explore the unusual or even something that you already have visited. Reconnect to those places or things that draw both locals and tourists alike to Austin. There are 1.5 million bats that explore our city nightly, so maybe take a tip from our South Congress bat friends and check out your surroundings.