On the third day, you can wind down a bit. You’ll be heading about half an hour outside town in the morning, then returning to the center of the city. Have breakfast near your hotel before heading out to:
1. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
A small native plant research center in East Austin, co-founded by the former first lady and actress Helen Hayes, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was moved to the southwest part of town and eventually became part of the University of Texas. There’s so much to ogle on this 284-acre spread that you can end up spending more time here than you planned, especially in spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.
2. Zilker Metropolitan Park / South Congress Avenue
You’ll be near Zilker Park (see Day 1, stop #5) as you head back toward the city center, so consider visiting one of the attractions you missed on the first day. Then head east on Barton Springs Road to get a barbecue fix at Terry Black’s and enjoy it on the restaurant’s laid-back patio.
3. East Austin
Cross the river and head northeast to explore one of Austin’s trendiest areas, the historically black and Hispanic neighborhood just east of downtown across I-35. To learn about the neighborhood’s history, visit the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center, which explores Texas’ African-American roots. You won’t find as many shops and galleries in East Austin as you will in SoCo (for now), but the ones there are arguably more cutting edge, though not necessarily less expensive. For dinner, you’ve got a lot of options, from Japanese Texan (Kemuri Tatsu-ya) to classic French (Justine’s Brasserie).
4. Bar Hopping
You’ll find several bars scattered around the East Austin Entertainment District. Just strolling around this hip neighborhood, with its street art and food trucks, is a great way to feel the pulse of Austin’s nightlife.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.