Now lovingly dubbed Hipster Hollow, the formerly secret and now pretty-much-common-knowledge beach is a pristine patch of sand and shallow water tucked inside the Roy G Guerrero Park on Pleasant Valley. Walk past the baseball fields and surprisingly impressive disc golf course, then traverse about a mile of trail, and you’ll find yourself in a little slice of paradise where, on a good day, you’ll feel like you’re on your own private island, and on a bad one, feel like you’re at a totally awesome party hosted by East Side Tubes.
Just one of the greenbelt’s wealth of water features, Sculpture Falls is one of the best natural spots at which to enjoy a frosty, cleverly concealed six pack (of soda, officer) because of a legit rope swing, the ragingest rapids in the area, and a deterring 30min hike from the nearest entrance at the Southbound ramp for MOPAC from 360.
50ft waterfalls, rare Golden-Cheeked Warblers, and occasionally dangerous levels of bacteria await you at one of Central Texas’s greatest natural beauties. Hamilton Pool’s an amazing day-trip destination, but be sure to arrive before 11a to ensure entry (otherwise you’ll be diverted to neighboring Reimers Ranch), bring coozies for on-the-sly consuming, and don’t forget to get off the beaten path and hike out to the much-less-crowded Pedernales River.
The Northwest nudist (yep, we have one) outpost gets a bad rep as a retreat for past-their-prime flower children, but the 109 acres of scenic Lake Travis shoreline get better after dark once the park has closed its gates. Stash your car along the side of one of the long driveways of the neighboring estates, disregard the closed signs, and take a late-night dip while enjoying one of the most awe-inspiring views the city has to offer.
1. “The Happy Meal” | Barfly’s | 5420 Airport Blvd.
This is the gold standard of dive bars complete with cheap drinks, no frills, no outside light, pool tables, a jukebox, and more. It should be no surprise then that its Happy Meal is comprised of a can of Lone Star and a shot of Jagermeister for about $5.
2. “Mexican Martini” | Trudy’s Texas Star | 409 West 30th Street
The potent Mexican martini is more of a variation of a margarita that a martini (and it’s certainly not Mexican). But it is wildly popular at all four of the Trudy’s locations.
3. “Tito’s + Topo” | Contigo Austin | 2027 Anchor Lane
This dog and kid-friendly neighborhood spot has an admirable cocktail menu however sometimes happiness comes in the form of a Tito’s and Topo Chico under the central Texas sky. It doesn’t get more Austin than that.
4. “Bloody Mary” | Rio Rita | 1203 Chicon
When Rio Rita’s moved to Chicon Street in late 2016, its reputation for serving up a killer breakfast of champions’ Bloody Mary stayed intact. The tomato meets salt and citrus cocktail is capped off with celery, pickled okra, lime, olives, and banana peppers. Stay the course with the house special or be daring with a spicy infused vodka like one with habanero.
5. “Mad Dog Margarita” | Texas Chili Parlor | 1409 Lavaca Street
Guy Clark memorialized the funky Lavaca Street restaurant and dive bar and this drink when he sang, “I wish I was in Austin at the Chili Parlor Bar, drinking Mad Dog Margaritas and not caring where you are” in the song “Dublin Blues,” The drink swaps out tequila for mezcal.
Come Early- Be Loud- Stay Late- Wear your ORANGE Wristband! Don’t have one, come visit the Venue Valet booth at 1033F in the Forum Ballroom.
Don’t forget to sign up for our text updates by texting ‘disummit’ to 84483 to keep your pulse on the Venue Valet team in Vegas.
Get on your plane- check into your hotel- Viva Las Vegas!!
Amy, Matt and John
1. Red Room Lounge | 308A East 3rd Street
This basement bar may be somewhat rugged and industrial, but it’s also cozy and chic on the inside. The intimate cocktail lounge has comfortable leather couches and booths, paired with just the right shade of red mood lighting. Red Room Lounge not only has one of the finest selections of wine in the Austin area, but they also have numerous sommeliers that know everything there is to know about that wine. Friendly and warm, they will help you find just the right bottle for you, and there is a very wide inventory, both in price and flavor. Share a bottle among friends while snacking on the cheese platter, crab cakes, lobster rolls, and other gourmet appetizers.
2. Mug Shots | 407 East 7th Street
This (possibly haunted) downtown dive is everything that you could want for a casual hang. There are deals on drinks and food, and the bar has an amazing jukebox with a wide selection. If you prefer, you can belt out your own tunes on Open Mic Mondays. Aside from their supreme beer collection, Mug Shots is most notably known for their photo booth, so go and ahead create your own ‘Mug Shots Memories.’ Enjoy a drink out on the patio or play a game of pool inside – there’s tons of ways to entertain yourself at Mug Shots.
3. Firehouse Lounge | 605 Brazos Street
Firehouse Lounge & Hostel sits in what was once an Austin fire station. Though it has been converted into a modern cocktail bar, it still retains much of its historic charm and prominent speakeasy vibe. Also a hostel, the lounge is accessible from a hidden bookshelf entrance, located in the lobby. Guests and outside visitors can step back in time and enjoy Prohibition-era cocktails as well as jazz and blues musical performances. The menu is small, but offers big sandwiches and appetizers for those that are hungry. The best thing about Firehouse is that after a long night, you can rent a room and retire upstairs.
4. Moonshine Patio Bar + Grill | 303 Red River Street
Moonshine Patio is both a restaurant and a bar.You can enjoy nearly 20 brews of beer, 15 types of bourbon, 13 kinds of whiskey, 5 different scotches, and a variety of tequila, vodka, and gin, and of course, there’s moonshine; try different flavors from places such as Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and friendly, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice on making the right choice. As a restaurant, Moonshine is one step ahead. Instead of offering complimentary bread as a starter, they put delicious, buttery popcorn on the table. Try favorites like the corn dog shrimp, bread pudding, and beer-battered asparagus.
5. Handle Bar | 121 East 5th Street
The theme is mustaches, not bicycles, at this Texas establishment. If you don’t have a mustache, you can buy a handlebar style for $1 and put it on your glass or your face! The rooftop is decorated with twinkle lights and a few green plants and trees, creating an intimate ambiance. Both the upstairs and downstairs bars have fun games to keep patrons entertained. Downstairs, play a game of pool, darts, or on pinball machines. On the second floor, there’s a seesaw, rocking horses, corn hole, and giant Jenga. There’s also frequent DJ and live music performances so you sing and dance to your favorite hit songs. Stop by on Sundays for all-day Happy Hour.
We will continue to share our LOVE of Austin! With your arrival to our great city for the Summit, we selected hotels that depict the cool uniqueness of Austin. You can stay by Rainey Street at the Hotel Van Zandt, enjoy the W Hotel in the Second Street District or be closer to the downtown staple of 6th Street. Unfortunately, there is always a fee to park in downtown Austin. Check out our hotel page for the details. The discounted rates are based on availability and will expire on September 23,2019. Therefore- BOOK FAST!
Why do we LOVE Austin? We continue to count the ways…
1. The Peached Tortilla- 5520 Burnet Road
~ the southern asian food truck is now a brick + morter~
2. Fonda San Miquel- 2330 West North Loop
~interior mexican food + a stellar sunday brunch~
3. Foreign + Domestic- 306 East 53rd Street
~neighborhood restaurant for adventurous eaters~
4. Xian Sushi + Noodle- 1801 East 51st Street
~Noodles made right on the spot~
5. L’Oca d’Oro: 1900 Simmond Avenue
~the sanctuary restaurant~