Austin – Top 10 Couples’ Must Do’s
The summer fun never ends in Austin. Here is just a sampling of events and activities you might want to try out during your next visit.
1. In Tune in Austin
Whether you tap your toes in unison or dance to the beat of different drums, you and your sweetie have an unending playlist of music options in Austin, known fittingly as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” With more than 200 live music venues, Austin is home to such hits as the historic Continental Club, called the “granddaddy of all local music venues.” Not quite ready for bed? Couples can also enjoy a nightcap in the Four Seasons Lobby Lounge, where Austin artists entertain guests and a loyal local following four nights a week.
2. Outdoor Amore
Take your date into the great outdoors with a visit to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, considered the urban oasis of Austin. The perfect playground for active couples, the greenbelt offers biking, running, swimming, rock climbing, and hiking. For a more laid-back afternoon, enjoy the lush surroundings of the TRIO back lawn, where Adirondack chairs and cozy hammocks beckon from beneath the shade of sprawling Texas Live Oaks. During the summer months, take advantage of Backyard at the Four, a daily outdoor offering complete with cocktail service, happy hour specials and an ongoing calendar of exciting events.
3. Bond over BBQ
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, he’s sure to be smitten with the legendary Texas barbecue found in and around Austin. From La Barbecue and Franklin’s BBQ in downtown to further afield locations like County Line at the Lake and The Salt Lick in Driftwood, couples will fall in love with the area’s variety of mouth-watering brisket, ribs and sausage. Stop by the Hotel Concierge desk for a guide to the state’s best barbecue – and likely a personal opinion or two of who really makes the best barbecue in Texas.
4. “Fore” Play
Sure love can be found on the links, but for those who consider golf more social than sport, TopGolf is the place to go. Opened in mid-2013, TopGolf bills itself as a “sports entertainment complex,” a description it handily lives up to with its expansive patio for live outdoor music; full-service restaurant, bar and lounge areas; and massive 215-yard outdoor driving range complete with dartboard-like targets. Whether a first date or a twenty-fifth anniversary, the fun atsmophere and friendly competition make for the best kind of “fore” play!
5. Where Dinner and a Movie Meet
Delighting Austinites since 1997, Alamo Drafthouse offers a one-stop shop for the popular dinner-and-a-movie date concept. Not your average theatre, Alamo (as it’s called by locals) serves up an extensive menu of food and drink (including alcohol) during each show, from big blockbusters to one-of-a-kind offerings like “Quote-a-Longs,” “Sing-a-Longs” or “Master Pancake Theatre.” If artsy, independent and international films are more your thing, newcomer Violet Crown Cinema offers a similar food-and-movie concept with a selection of unique programming.
6. Flights of Fancy
Barring Robert Pattinson, bats and their brethren aren’t typically considered the most romantic of creatures. But in Austin, the winged wonders are beloved thanks to the Mexican Free-tailed bat colony that makes its home beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge each March through November. There’s no better place to watch their nightly flight than the Lobby Lounge balconies at Four Seasons Hotel Austin, where the spectacle of thousands of bats forming a graceful black ribbon in the sky resembles art. While you wait, take the opportunity to taste an award-winning Batini Black cocktail – made with local Tito’s Handmade vodka, muddled blackberries, champagne and a playful bat-like garnish of blackberries speared with mint leaf “bat wings” – named the Official Drink of Austin in 2006.
7. Meet Market
You don’t have to be a foodie to fall in love with the 80,000-square-foot headquarters of Whole Foods Market in downtown Austin. Featuring five restaurants, over 1,800 wines, a gelato counter and 600 types of cheeses, it’s like Disneyland for adults who appreciate fine food. Join your honey for a nibble of Neufchatel (cheese samples are often available) or sip a glass of wine on the outdoor terrace, where people-watching is a pastime.
8. Tempranillo for Two
Toast the one you love with a glass of Tempranillo – or another great local wine – in the Texas Hill Country, the world’s fastest growing wine tourism destination. Visitors have their pick of 38 wineries, each offering distinctive varietals and romantic views of rolling green hills and vibrant wildflowers. Before you embark on your Texas wine tour, be sure to stop by TRIO for suggestions from award-winning sommelier Mark Sayre, an expert on wines from Texas and around the world.
9. Mutual Weirdness
Explore the city’s eclectic vibe with an afternoon of window shopping in South Congress, a popular neighborhood south of Lady Bird Lake that encompasses everything Austin on one street. After exploring local jewelry at Kendra Scott’s eponymous boutique and the “curious goods” at Uncommon Objects, re-fuel over shared French fries and some of the best burgers in town at Hopdoddy’s Burger Bar.
10. Lady Bird’s Labour of Love
One of the state’s most renowned love stories involves none other than Lady Bird Johnson and the picturesque waterway that bisects downtown Austin – fittingly known today as Lady Bird Lake. The famous First Lady is credited with preserving the parklands surrounding the lake, including 10 miles of trails perfect for an afternoon stroll with your sweetie. Maps of the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail are available in The Spa.