This year has been a weird one. When I think back of the last trip I took with my mom, never in a million years would I have imagined the months that were yet to come. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend much time together from February to the end of November; my parents live in Guatemala and the airport was closed for most of the year due to the pandemic.
Thankfully, once the airport re-opened, my mom was able to come visit me in Houston for the holiday season. Although we love spending time in HTX, I wanted to plan a little getaway for us to spend some quality time together; we are very close and it’s honestly been so weird not being able to see each other IRL for so many months!
I picked Austin for our little getaway because it’s an easy 2.5-3 hour drive away, and there is so much to do, even in 2020.
Disclaimer: Not everyone is comfortable traveling right now and it does involve certain risks. This blog post is meant to share my thoughts on a safe travel experience, you should always consult with your doctor + CDC guidelines before making a decision to travel.
Where To Stay
The Driskill is likely the most iconic hotel in Austin, Texas. The 189-room downtown hotel is located on the corner of 6th Street and Brazos Street, and it truly embodies what Texas hospitality is all about: majestic architecture, fabulous decor and good food + drinks! Oh, and did I mention it is pet friendly?! Although I left my pups at home with my fiancé this time around, I will sure bring them with me next time.
The Driskill was built in 1886 as the showplace of a cattle baron, and since then, it’s been an icon within the city and the state. From famous musicians who have played in Austin, to Presidents like LBJ who had a permanent suite within the hotel, and some ghosts who continue to hang around the hotel, The Driskill has seen some interesting characters and stories for more than a century!
Right now you can experience the Ghosts of Xmas Past Package through 12/31/2020! Step back in time and immerse yourself in the haunted tales of The Driskill’s most ‘spirited’ guests. This package includes two holiday cocktails at The Driskill Bar and a socially-distanced ghost tour for 2 of The Driskill guided by Haunted ATX. Check out their offers page to book!
I love historic hotels, there’s something about staying at place where people from different decades have enjoyed themselves at. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and you really do feel like you are living large as soon as you walk in through The Driskill’s doors on Brazos St.
Although I won’t spill the beans on all the details of the resident Driskill ghosts + the ghost tour, I will say that I am fascinated by the story of Samantha Houston who fell to her death down The Driskill’s grand staircase while chasing a leather ball. Some guests can still hear her playing late at night!
Where To Eat
Lunch at Taquero Mucho
Tacos and everything pink? This restaurant is what babe dreams are made of.
Drinks at The Driskill Bar
Once you are all settled in, head over to The Driskill Bar for a cocktail and an appetizer or two. You do not want to miss their pretzel!
Dinner at Kalimotxo
Dine al fresco on Kalimotxo’s patio! This basque pintxo and cocktail bar in Downtown Austin is so much fun, and the food is delicious. Try a few dishes to share and don’t forget to order a porrón.
Breakfast at 1886 Café & Bakery
I love not having to go far from a hotel for breakfast. The café & bakery at The Driskill had so many delicious breakfast + brunch choices, it was hard to pick what to get (which is why I went twice during my stay). I recommend their hot drip coffee, the bagel + lox, and their avocado toast!
Happy Hour at Uchiko
We kind of skipped lunch because we had breakfast around 10:30 and were pretty full throughout the day. For a late lunch/early dinner, head over to Uchiko for some of the best sushi you will ever have. Their social hour is from 4-6:30 daily, and trust me, you do not want to miss it!
Dessert at Amy’s Ice Cream
I’ve been obsessed with Amy’s Ice Cream since I was in college in San Antonio. Take a stroll down SoCo and stop by Amy’s for a delicious sweet treat.
Brunch at 1886 Café & Bakery
I really loved The Driskill’s breakfast + brunch menu. I had my eyes on the Texas Pecan Waffle and the Eggs Benedict so we had a quick Sunday brunch before checking out.
What To Do
Views + brews? Check! Although people tend to flock to The Oasis restaurant, if you’re just looking to pop in for a quick drink and want to check out the views, I recommend visiting the brewery.
Check out a winery in the Texas Hill Country
DYK Texas has a ton of vineyards and wineries? I didn’t know until I moved here! There are so many wineries right outside of Austin (45min – 1.5hr drive, depending on which one you pick). This time, I drove us to Gaucho Winery which was about 30min from Oasis Texas Brewing Company. Their Argentinean wines were amazing + they have plenty of outdoor seating and gorgeous Hill Country views. Please note they do not have food but you are welcome to bring your own snacks!
Walk down South Congress Ave
Don’t forget to snap a pic in front of the I love you so much mural! If you are visiting around the holidays, pop in to Austin Motel to check out their Christmas pop up for photo opps and holiday cocktails.
Shop at The Domain
The weather was quite gloomy on our second day in Austin, so we decided to spend some time visiting “Austin’s Second Downtown”.
Drive to the San Marcos Outlets
These are the best outlets I’ve ever been to, I used to frequent them a lot when I lived in San Antonio. Aside from all the fabulous clothing stores, they have a West Elm + a Williams Sonoma Outlet!!!!
Austin is always so much fun. Although things look a bit different right now in terms of travel, we felt very safe at all the places we visited; people in Austin were respecting social distancing + wearing masks at all times. The Driskill wasn’t doing regular housekeeping services or room service but they made sure we had everything we needed at all times.
Safe travels, babes!
Thank you to The Driskill for hosting me and my mom during our stay!