Whether you’re a maid of honor planning your BFF’s bachelorette party or just a group of old college roomies planning a girls weekend, Austin, Texas is the perfect place for your weekend getaway! (Only if you’re into affordable nightlife, delicious eats and a guaranteed great time!) It can be a little overwhelming trying to navigate Austin, especially if you’ve never been here, so Kennedy has created a list of all of our favorite hot spots and local goodies for y’all to have an unforgettable weekend!
How To Get Here
Austin is super accessible thanks to all of the nonstop flights to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. We looked up and listed all of the current direct flights with major airlines so you don’t have to!
American Airlines: Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), Phoenix (PHX)
Delta: Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP), New York (JFK), Raleigh-Durham (RDU) (starting March 2017), Salt Lake City (SLC)
Frontier: Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia (PHL)
JetBlue: Boston (BOS), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Long Beach (LGB), New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO)
Southwest: Atlanta (ATL), Albuquerque (ABQ), Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Boston (BOS), Chicago (MDW), Dallas (DAL), Denver (DEN), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Houston (HOU), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Lubbock (LBB), Memphis (MEM), Nashville (BNA), New Orleans (MSY), New York/Newark (EWR), Oakland (OAK), Orange County/Santa Ana (L.A.) (SNA), Orlando (MCO), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PDX) (seasonal), San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC), Seattle (SEA), St. Louis (STL), Tampa (TPA), Washington, D.C. (DCA)
United: Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), New York/Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Washington, D.C. (IAD)
How To Get Around
Uber and Lyft are no longer available in Austin, but we have a few ride-share services that are comparable: RideAustin, Fare and Fasten. Each app definitely has its perks. RideAustin is a nonprofit that enables passengers to pay less while drivers are earning more. With Fare, you’re able to add drivers to a “preferred” list and schedule rides with that driver. This makes getting around town super convenient because you can plan out all of your rides ahead of time so you’re not wasting any time waiting around for a ride! Fasten’s pro lies in its steady rates. Fasten doesn’t have surge charges during peak usage and the fares are illustrated in real-time on their app. Whichever you choose, these apps are definitely the best way for visitors to get around the city.
If you want to truly get an Austin experience, try out one of the pedicab services! It’s a unique, charming and fun way to get around downtown. Rates very depending on which service you take, so be sure to ask your pedi cabber about the price per rider or per trip before you get in. (Don’t forget to tip your driver too!)
Where To Stay
There are so many great hotels in downtown Austin, so choosing a hotel depends on what type of experience you want along with cost. If you’re looking to splurge for a spot with a luxury feel to it with awesome city views, you have to look into staying at W Austin. Alongside, Omni Downtown is another great option for a weekend of luxury and high culture. These locations are prime for great restaurants and bars in walking distance. The Westin Austin Downtown is in the heart of downtown with major #rooftopgoals. It doesn’t get much better than lounging at the pool with skyline views towering around you! Speaking of great views, Hyatt Regency Austin has one of the best as it’s set on the shore of Lady Bird Lake. You’ll definitely want a room on one of the higher floors to really appreciate the view of our our eclectic city! JW Marriott Austin is a great option for staying downtown without breaking the bank, especially if you’re a part of the Marriott Loyalty program. There’s the perfect mix of casual bars and fine-dining restaurants in walking distance, too.
Two of Austin’s most unique downtown hotels are the Driskill Hotel and Hotel Ella. Hotel Ella is a historic boutique hotel located just along the outskirts of UT’s campus. Although this refurbished manor house dates back to 1898, their amenities are certainly not out-of-date. The Driskill Hotel was built back in 1886 and is one of the oldest, and best-known, hotels in Austin. Both of these hotels are full of history and southern charm!
Not looking to stay downtown but still want to stay in a hip area? South Congress has a few really awesome hotel choices that are surrounded by local restaurants and shops! The South Congress Hotel is one of the best options in this area, but be warned that you may never make it downtown due to their mid century modern rooftop pool area, fresh sushi, awesome attached restaurants Cafe No Se and Central Standard, top notch lounge-style working spaces and, of course, delicious cocktails. Hotel San Jose truly captures Austin’s sleek yet casual vibe. Located in the middle of SoCo’s bustling shopping district, you still somehow feel like you’re in a quiet sanctuary. Their landscape architects really nailed it. The green courtyard pool is fun, bohemian and absolutely relaxing. They always attract out-of-towners with their contemporary chic design and tasty Micheladas! If you’re really trying to treat yo’ self, you have to look into staying at Hotel Saint Cecilia. The glamorous landscaping and vintage vibes are like a Pinterest dream come true!
What To Do During The Day
Austin has so many fun activities to do during the day while you’re killing time until the real party begins. Hipside Peddler is a group party bike (pedal powered by you and your gals) that goes around the east side of Austin to food trucks and bars. You can even BYOB of choice and drink along the way while you’re pedaling to your next destination! In true “Keep Austin Weird” fashion, you can hold a wig party at Coco Coquette if you’re wanting to do something really unique! It’s usually a 2-3 hour party where you get to drink, listen to music and of course, pick out fun wigs and accessories to keep. If weather permits (and it usually does) you can also do something more outdoorsy like getting your tan on at Barton Springs Pool or river tubing with ATXcursions!
What To Do During The Night
One of Austin’s most well-known facts is that the nightlife is nothing short of iconic. As if none of the reasons above sold you on having your epic girls weekend in Austin, the bar scene will seal the deal. Sixth street is so full of bars you’ll be overwhelmed with places to choose from! The street is pretty much broken down into three parts: East Sixth, West Sixth and Dirty Sixth. We suggest every bride tribe starts your Friday night on West Sixth then heads to Dirty Sixth, as it tends to get a little more wild than other parts of the street. For goodness sake, they close down the entire street to pedestrian traffic so it’s even a party between bars!
For a night of great memories that you might not remember the next morning, head over to Summit Rooftop Lounge or Barbarella. Summit Rooftop Lounge actually isn’t located on 6th street (it’s on 5th) but it should not be forgotten. They have a huge dance floor on their rooftop and a variety of amazing DJs who play anything and everything. You can even submit a table reservation on the rooftop for VIP bottle service! Barbarella may be full of youngins, but that’s why it’s one of the best places for a bachelorette party! They’re always playing great music that you can’t help but dance to and have pretty inexpensive drinks. Rainey Street is also comparable to 6th as it’s another area filled with bars neighboring one another. If you want to experience it all, bar hopping is key!
Where To Eat
If you’re a foodie, then you’ve come to the right place. It was hard for us to pick only a few hot spots around town that we thought y’all should check out! The two more important meals for a girls weekend are dinner and brunch. Dinner should probably be somewhat light so you don’t feel gross before a night of frolicking around downtown and brunch should be heavy to cure that hangover! Second Bar + Kitchen is a great option for dinner because they have small plates for yourself or large plates that you can share. It also helps that they have an impressively large cocktail menu. Similarly, Parkside is another restaurant known for their extensive cocktail menu and small plates that take on a twist for New American dining!
After a weekend full of forgetting to eat because you’re too busy drinking, we suggest Banger’s for Sunday brunch. You’re guaranteed to feel like a new woman after brunching at Banger’s! Expect lots of meat, potatoes and an extremely full stomach. They don’t mess around with their brunch menu and, more importantly, they have the “Manmosa” which is an entire bottle of champagne with a splash of OJ. It’s so big that there’s a one per customer limit! On Sundays, Banger’s always have fun, upbeat live music which only adds to the happy go lucky atmosphere. There are SO many options, so please look at Yelp or social media to find the perfect place for you and your group.
Pick Up Some Austin Swag
Your weekend won’t be complete without some local swag. HayleyCakes and Cookies is a dessert connoisseur. The cakes and cookies are (almost) too cute and perfect to eat! Hayley and her team are super talented designers and can create any design you want. Pretty Goods ATX specializes in party decorations and accessories. You can order custom gold letter balloons, confetti poppers, cute hair ties and so much more! If you’re looking for personalized cups, koozies, coasters and napkins, Gracious Bridal designs some adorable customized wedding goodies. These little treats would be a great for bachelorette party favors or even just to add a little extra pizazz to the weekend.
Want to learn more about Austin restaurants and local hot spots? Contact our team today to schedule a tour through the city!