North, South, East, and West: The Hidden Gems of Austin
Delicious food, live music, and beautiful places to spend time outdoors- these are some of the best qualities of Austin, Texas. Don’t catch yourself checking off a list of touristy, overplayed attractions. The real Austin culture shines through in these hidden gems across town.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a little live music dive. Starting in East Austin , we’ve got a spot to bring out your inner hippie. With underground riffs and eclectic decor, Electric Church is a quaint venue with a lot of personality. The term “electric church” was used by Jimi Hendrix to refer to musicians experimenting with music in nontraditional ways. They have two stages- indoor and outdoor. At Electric Church, you’re sure to see some unique stage visuals and up and coming indie rock musicians.
Moving West, this gem is hidden in plain sight. Most people have heard of the Oasis, but not everyone knows about the Starlight Terrace, tucked away on the third floor. Stay comfy at a table or get out on the dance floor; this venue has options that are sure to match your mood. The Starlight Terrace features live music ranging from classic rock, to modern hits, to salsa. Step outside on the patio to watch the infamous Oasis sunset. Food, drinks, music, and a beautiful view – the Starlite Terrace has everything you need to make the most of your night.
Central Austin deserves some love too. Spider House is the jack of all trades – a coffee shop by day, bar by night, and a host of anything creative you can think of. From slam poetry, to live music, themed parties, and even the eclectic furniture and decorations will keep you entertained. Spider House truly sums up the weirdness that Austin is proud of.
The Great Outdoors
If you don’t have the opportunity to watch the sun go down at the Starlight Terrace, Sandy Creek is your next best option. Take a winding drive down Lime Creek Road, found just North of the Oasis. Dip your toes in the water while the sky paints the waves with violet and orange hues. Located in a quiet cove of Lake Travis, bring your boat and pack a tent. This park offers primitive camping with a boat ramp and fishing spots. Camp right next to the water, or find a secluded spot nestled in the trees.
Circle Acres in Southeast Austin embodies the eco-friendly culture. The park was once a quarry then got turned into a landfill, but has now been fully restored. The destructive past has shown no threat. Austin has found a way to rebuild and continue to support this location’s natural ecosystems. The park is intended for both recreational and educational use. With roughly 9.7 acres, there’s plenty of space to hike, bike, picnic, and watch for wildlife. If you want to make an impact with your weekend while connecting to nature, visit Circle Acres and learn more about its history.
Located on North Lamar, Walnut Creek Metro Park offers biking and walking trails, sports fields, and playgrounds. The park is pet friendly, and has designated spots where dogs can roam free without their leash. Limestone walls hanging over the creek provide a cozy spot to sit and relax mid-hike.
After burning some calories at Walnut Park, head south on Lamar and you’ll run into family owned, traditional, Mexican restaurant El Mesón. The queso fundido is a perfect way to start your meal – melty jack cheese on a hot skillet served with fresh tortillas. If you’re vegetarian, you’re sure to love their veggie fajitas which feature brussel sprouts, mushrooms and poblanos. They also have a brunch menu, which means $3 mimosas and bloody marys. And what sounds better than a $3 mimosa on a Saturday morning?
Not only is Austin’s cuisine known for delicious Tex Mex food, breakfast tacos are the next most important in an Austonians diet. Whether you’re located North, South, East, or West, you’ll find mouth watering tacos for breakfast and dinner at Veracruz All Natural. They have six locations in Austin, so you can stop in for a savory treat regardless of where you live. Featuring tacos with migas, chorizo and warm, gooey cheese, you’ll definitely leave Veracruz feeling satisfied. They also serve vegetarian and vegan tacos, like the El Diferente, which includes mushrooms, poblano, avocado, and corn, served on a homemade tortilla. Fresh made smoothies and juices like La Bomba will give you that boost of energy you need for your day. From Tarrytown, to Round Rock, to Manchaca, Veracruz All Natural will embody the Austin spin when it comes to breakfast tacos.
Between good eats, fun venues, and the beautiful ecology, Austin is a place we proudly call home. It’s not just a place to live and work, but a city full of experiences. If you like the idea of watching amazing sunsets and indulging in top notch Mexican food, we’ll help you find the perfect spot in Austin. We won’t just find you a house – we’ll find your home, sweet, home.