Austin is growing at an incredible rate, and we understand why. The city is full of things to do whether you are single and ready to mingle or your whole family is visiting.
Austin is known for its food and live music.
As a full time RV travel family, we wanted to share our take on Austin, Texas and tell you about some of our favorite things to do in the area.
One of our very first stops in Austin was the SFC Farmer's Market to find Raw milk and local corn/soy free eggs. We love supporting local, and especially building relationships with farmers in every area we visit. The SFC Farmer's Market has two locations, Downtown and Sunset Valley. We personally enjoyed the Downtown SFC Farmer's market, and quickly built relationships with the vendors.
If you are ever in the area, checkout and support our favorite vendors:
• Shirttail Creek Farms for the orangest, most delicious eggs ever
• Geosmin Regenerative Farm for the best chicken
• Richardson's Dairy for Raw milk
• Austin Honey Company
• 3rd Eye Cacao for ceremonial grade Cacao powder
• Breese Forge for the most beautiful custom knives
The atmosphere at the downtown farmer's market is so cool. You can enjoy eating at the food vendors, (we recommend trying the brisket tacos from Ninja Pig) and soak in the heart of Austin. While visiting the Austin area we made the Farmers market a weekly adventure.
There is limited parking in the area due to construction, but if you get there early, you can park for free before 11am, or you can pay for a parking garage that is close by the market.
Here are other Farmer's Markets in the area you can check out too:
• Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller in Austin
• Pedernales Farmer's Market in Spicewood
• Barton Creek Farmers Market at Barton Creek Square
• Lone Star Farmers Market in Bee Cave
• Local Pastures - not a farmers market, but a retail farm stand from Belle Vie Farm & Shirttail Creek Farm that is open daily.
Mount Bonnell is a popular tourist destination in Austin, Texas. Not gonna lie though, thought there was going to be a little more to it, but hey it's a pretty high spot for Texas I guess. Just a quick drive from downtown, it is the highest point in the Austin city limit standing at 775ft above sea level. When you arrive you will be greeted with the 102 steps that will take you to the top where you can enjoy the scenery under the limestone pavilion. From there, you can enjoy walking the nature trails.
There is free parking along the road, and it's family and pet friendly.
Other popular places to explore
• Barton Creek Greenbelt
• Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail
Talk about a cool place to visit for the whole family that is located in the middle of Austin. Mayfield Park and Preserve took us by surprise. You will be greeted by the most stunning peacocks while you enjoy watching wildlife in the 6 cement ponds. The Mayfield Preserve is a 21 acre natural area where you can walk the peaceful trails, have a quiet lunch, and connect with nature right in the center of Austin.
After a day of exploring, finding food is the next best thing about Austin, Texas. Honestly, there is so much to choose from. We will share our family's favorites.
When in Austin, we figured we would enjoy some good ole' BBQ. If there is one tip about visiting the area with kids, you may want to explore during the week because the weekends are packed. Be ready to be surrounded by people. we attempted to eat at two barbecue places, Terry Blacks and la Barbecue, but the wait was over an hour or more, and with the kids we decided to checkout Micklethwait oak fired barbecue, and we are so glad we did.
The food did not disappoint.
We ordered brisket, mac and cheese and the potato salad. It was plate lick worthy, and so thankful our local Austin friends told us about this gem.
One thing to note about most BBQ places in the area, they are popular and often times they will sell out early so make sure to get an early lunch or order online.
When it comes to ingredients we are picky, and like lick says, " know what you are licking." We were so excited to find Lick Honest Ice Cream in Austin. They have multiple locations in the Austin, San Antonio and College Station areas.
What doesn’t go into our ice creams is just as important as what does. We never use artificial colors or flavors, high fructose corn syrup or preservatives, ever! We can trace every single ingredient we use to its source. Ice cream shouldn’t just taste good — we believe it should also be good. We take great pride in witnessing our milk and cream as it journeys from the cow to your scoop. All of the milk and cream used to make our ice creams comes from single herd, family-owned farms where the welfare of their grass-fed cows is the highest priority.- Lick Honest Ice Cream
I'm currently drooling just thinking about their ice cream. Hands down some of the best we have ever had. They have everyday and seasonal flavors. When you go, you are able to taste the different flavors, which is always a plus with kids. Make sure to order with a cone- we all would agree that they make the best homemade cones out there. Some of their flavors sound interesting, but don't be afraid to try. Even my picky eater liked the beet mint flavor and we were all shocked!
Our Favorite Flavors
Ben - Hill Country Honey + Vanilla Bean
Lacie - Seasonal Lavender Lemon
Parker - Caramel Salt Lick
Emery - Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt
Thanks to the Thinkery, we found Lick Honest Ice Cream. We enjoyed the Thinkery a handful of times while visiting Austin, Tx. Their mission is to lead the future of play-based STEAM learning experiences that inspire and equip all children to be confident, creative thinkers. The kids enjoy places like this with our unschooling approach to school, and as parents we can enjoy learning with them.
While both of our kids (Parker, 8 and Emery, 6) enjoyed playing and creating, Parker was definitely on the older end for some of the exhibits, but still enjoyed being there for the day.
Notion of Motion
Fresh Farmers Market
If you are looking for a full day full of fun for your family the area around the Thinkery is beautiful. You can take a lunch break from the Thinkery and play and walk around Mueller Lake Park. There is an amazing playground right across the street from the Thinkery, and the walkway and grass area around the lake is a great way to get outside and let the kids run!
Since Austin, Tx parking is always a guessing game, there is a parking garage close by for $2.50 an hour, and you can get your ticket validated up to 3 hours before you leave the Thinkery.
Other places we would enjoy visiting the next time we make it to Austin, Tx:
Austin Nature and Science Museum
Texas Memorial Museum
Texas Toy Museum
Honestly, we don't do a ton of night life these days with traveling full time in the RV, but because we were parked with friends at the RV resort, we were able to enjoy a night out for my (Lacies' 33rd birthday), and a girls dinner night.
With our family having an animal based diet, we prioritize restaurants that cook in high quality, healthy oils. For Lacie's birthday we had a date night out at Dai Due. Dai Due deep frys in beef tallow, which meant we could enjoy french fries for the first time in FOREVER! It is a little more on the pricy side, but worth checking out if you are looking for a cleaner option. We both got the burger which was too peppery for us, Next time we will be ordering their steak.
Dai Due was created in 2006 to reconsider what “our” food is and will be. By using ingredients that are present in our region, we are able to serve foods that are fresher, buy food that is produced in a fair and equitable way, represent local culinary traditions, and support farmers and ranchers who are striving to improve the quality of our food.
A bold approach to healthy eating- The Well offers a menu that is completely free of gluten, seed oils, soy, refined sugar and GMO's.
The Well blends clean ingredients, local and sustainable farming, and authentic flavors for a culinary experience that redefines eating well in Austin, Texas.
I went out for a girls night, and not only did I feel good about eating off the menu, but the atmosphere was awesome. From the wall art to the lights, it was a space that has a really neat vibe. And the food did not disappoint!
The combinations of the flavors were a party in my mouth, and if I was eating at home I would have licked the plate. I highly recommend adding
If you are looking for another clean place to eat with girlfriends or the whole family, be sure to checkout Picnik. We didn't have the chance to go, but it was highly recommended by friends.
It is worth taking a stroll down South Congress street. After a night out for my birthday, we decided to hit South Congress Street to see what was happening. It was popping in the middle of December. That's the beauty of not living in snow states. We checkout shops, and just enjoyed the city life for the evening. We poked our head into
SOUTH CONGRESS SHOPPING DISTRICT IS A QUINTESSENTIAL AUSTIN STRIP WITH LOCAL SHOPS, MURALS AND RESTAURANTS. FROM NELLIE TO ANNIE STREET, OUR DISTRICT OFFERS A DIVERSE GROUP OF ICONIC MERCHANTS WHERE VISITORS AND LOCALS CAN EAT, DRINK AND SHOP.
Explore the Texas Hill Country
We were lucky enough to live in the Hill Country while visiting Texas because of our RV lifestyle. There is nothing like the Hill Country, no wonder people are flocking there at an incredible rate. These are great areas to visit if you are looking for things to do outside the city.
Dripping Springs, Texas is known to be the gateway to the Hill Country and the wedding capital of Texas. It is just 25 minutes outside of Austin, Tx. We had the chance to stay just 15 minutes from downtown Dripping Springs at The Fitz Rv Resort close to Pedernales State Park.
If you enjoy sipping than Dripping is for you. There are wineries, breweries and distilleries throughout the area! We visited 12 Fox Brewery and were shocked to learn how many of these places have playgrounds for kids to enjoy. Genius! This allows the whole family to have fun and relax.
We enjoyed the local farmers market on Wednesdays at Founders Memorial Park. Not only do did we get to enjoy local products, we enjoyed the live music and playground. We even found a few geocaches nearby.
Jacob's Well Natural Area
Visiting Jacob's Well was a spur of the moment adventure with Ben's mom, and we are so thankful we ended up going. It is the second-largest fully submerged cave in Texas. Between geocaching, bird watching, children's play area and seeing the Well, you will have hours of fun. Just pack snacks.
This town is poppin' especially on the weekends. Popular things to do in Wimberley, Tx is stroll around Wimberley Square. There are some cute shops. Some of my favorite were
woo woo shop
One thing to note, during the busy season make sure you check when shops are open. Due to the busy weekends, some places are closed at the beginning of the week.
If there was one thing I wish we would have been able to do, was take a walk at Cypress Creek Nature Preserve. It provides a cool area in the Texas heat.
Pedernales State Park
Since we stayed so close to Pedernales State Park we ended up getting a state park pass so we could visit regularly during our visit. The falls are so fun to climb and checkout, the kids played for hours at the swimming area, and we even took a family hike one evening up one of the trails to try and catch the sunset. Read more about Pedernales State Park here.
Next time we visit Austin, TX
Even though we visited the Austin area for 5 months and adventured a ton, we would love to go back and visit more! There are so many little gems in the area that are great for families to explore.
Bat watch at congress bridge
Texas State Capitol
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Zilker Metropolitan Park
Places to Stay
Since we live in an RV, we enjoyed The Fitz Rv Resort and Redbud Ranch Cabins & RV Resort. If we were to come back to visit, and wanted to be closer to friends, we would look at the Sun Outdoors Lake Travis RV part.