Southern Stories
Jan 27/17

How to Spend a Day in Austin Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments

9:30 a.m. – Franklin BBQ
Start the day off right. Skip the breakfast tacos and head straight to Franklin BBQ, right on the edge of downtown. I know, I know, it doesn’t open until 11, but you’re gonna want a good spot in line. And there will be a line. Because this very well may be the best BBQ in the whole freakin’ galaxy. I’m not kidding. When the aliens finally visit, it will most likely be Franklin’s perfectly smoked manna-of-the-gods that brings them here. When you order, stick to what The Man (Aaron Franklin) does best: Fatty Brisket, Ribs, and Sausage. Don’t waste your time with the turkey—it’s tasty but not worth the wait.

1 p.m. – Hamilton Pool
It would be easy to feel bad about all that brisket you just ate. Head Guilt off at the pass by making the 45-minute drive out west to Hamilton Pool. Pay the $10 car fee, park, and walk down the STEEP quarter-mile trail to the astonishingly beautiful collapsed limestone grotto. Wade in and let the catfish nibble your toes. Swim under the 50 ft. overhanging lip (be aware, the water is 30 feet deep in some areas!), and relax as the warm waterfalls leach all that delicious cholesterol right out of your body.

3 p.m. – Hyde Park Market
You’re likely parched from all that walking and swimming, so why not stop by Hyde Park Market, located at the intersection of 45th and Duval Street. This humble gas station boasts what very well may be the best beer selection in Austin. Local brews? They got ‘em. Imports? What does San Miguel Cerveza Negra look like to you (incidentally, if you answered “A Pilipino beer,” you would be correct)? Mix and match six packs? Three types of kombucha on tap? A stunning assortment of fine chocolates? A $200 bottle of Dom Perignon for sale next to the cash register? Check, check, check, and check.

3:30 p.m. – Elisabet Ney Museum
Who doesn’t love a flawless bust? GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER! I was talking about German-born sculptress, Elisabet Ney, who spent the last 30 years of her life living in Austin, sculpting everyone from Sam Houston to Lady Macbeth. Her citadel-like studio/museum is conveniently located right next to Hyde Park Market, so stop in and pay tribute to one of the great names in Texas Art.

6 p.m. – Easy Tiger
All that talk about Germany got you craving pretzels and beer? You can do no better than Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden, located near the intersection of I-35 and 6th street, right on the Colorado River. Find a cozy table out back under the ivy-covered walls, and order yourself a Founders Centennial IAP and a German Easy Board (an appetizer platter of pretzel, bratwurst, sauerkraut, beer cheese, potato salad and house mustard). Take in a ping-pong match. Check out the live band. Listen to the sounds of downtown coming to life all around you.

9 p.m. – White Horse
Leaving Easy Tiger, walk east on 6th away from downtown. The music gets better and the clubs get sleazier. Hang a right on Comal. Behold—The White Horse, the crown jewel of East 6th (in my humble opinion). Cheap drinks (a Lone Star and a whiskey will run you $5), excellent bar tenders, fantastic live music and patrons who LOVE to dance. If you decide to cut a rug, best bring your A-game, whippersnapper. They mean business. As an added bonus they have an upright piano outside on the patio that’s perfect for banging out ragtime and Little Richard.

2 a.m. – Starseeds
Smiling through sore feet and sunburned cheeks, you slide into a comfortable booth at the back of this Austin landmark, nestled under I-35 at 31st next to the Days Inn. You order The Eye Opener. Where did you park your car? You vaguely remember paying meter. Then…walking? Yes. You definitely walked. Your meal arrives, buttermilk biscuits topped with scrambled eggs, sausage, and gravy. Yes, you definitely paid a meter and walked. From…? From…? From Easy Tiger. Ohthankgod. Parked in front of Easy Tiger. Good. Catch cab downtown tomorrow morning. Get the car then. Afterwards, maybe get some breakfast tacos. Maybe.

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