Whether you and your honey find yourselves in Austin for a day, a weekend, or even moving here (like the Honeymoon Always founders who currently call Austin home), plan the date of your dreams in a city that always offers an exciting opportunity to connect with your partner no matter the day of the week. Below we compiled our favorite Austin date ideas for a date a day in some of our favorite local spots. Pick and choose your favorites or spend a week of love in one dog-on fine city.
Over 150 new people move to Austin, Texas everyday; from couples searching for quirky new adventures, to families, business people and not too mention lots of dogs (seriously everybody and their dog has a dog in Austin). This city has something for everyone. This progressive, funky and deliciously delightful state capital draws in those who want to experience the adventure, activities and atmosphere that continually makes Austin one of the most up and coming and charming cities of the United States. Enjoy y’all!
Well first things first, you need to experience an Austin favorite to start your day and have a killer brunch while you’re at it. Start at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden located on the eclectic and adorable historic Rainey Street downtown. Enjoy the rustic decor, while jamming to local bands, feasting on the exquisite Sunday brunch, and enjoying the legendary “Manmosa.” (a whole bottle of champagne with a drop or two of orange juice, which is limited to one per guest).
Now that you’re stuffed (and possibly less sober), time to get the lay of the land and learn some history about this wonderful city with a free audio tour. With Preservation Austin or Detour Austin, download a free audio tour to your smartphone and then enjoy a tour with your significant other through the beautiful and delightful neighborhoods of the city. Learn secrets about Austin, find hidden spots and go at your own pace. Stop at one of the delicious food trucks like Kebabalicious along the downtown route if you get hungry
Another Sunday date option is stopping in at the Mexic Arte Museum along historic Congress Avenue. Exhibits are free to visitors on Sundays and will give you an insight to the culture, beauty and artistic prowess lingering in Austin.
Next, it’s time to head to a staple of Austin culture. On Sundays, at The Little Longhorn Saloon, at 4’o clock, it’s Chicken Shit Bingo Time. Patrons purchase beers, pack into a tiny bar jam-packed with characters and kindness, and jam to live music. Oh yes, all while they wait for a chicken to… make its mark… on the winning number of the Bingo Board. All tickets are $2 and the winner goes home with $100-$150 dollars. Now that’s some lucky shit.
Time to head to the domain for dinner. It seems that every time we go to the domain there is something new open or something updated. Relax and go for a stroll around the outside mall with over 100 stores.
When you are ready for dinner, head to the Westin to eat at Urban. There you will find elevated southern cuisine with local ingredients on the menu by their new chef, Howard Porter. Some highlights include the brussels sprouts with Andouille sausage, buffalo chicken, NY strip steak and the peanut butter chocolate pudding.
For a date night we made it out to Urban Grill in the @westindomain to check out what the new Executive Chef Howard Porter has going on. I’m accustomed to hotel restaurants being subpar but The Urban Grill was honestly amazing! The quality ingredients take center stage with elevated flavors of familiar southern cooking and the quality and service of a fine dining restaurant. The NY strip was one then best marbled steak I’ve ever had, creating an amazing mouth feel. The Brussels were perfectly balanced with sweet, savory and a bit of spice from the andouille sausage and the buffalo chicken app was remarkably tender. #domainaustin #atx #westindomain #urbangrillaustin #datenight #latergram #goodeats #brusselsprouts #nystripsteak #delicious #foodie #foodporn #southerncooking #chef
Start the day with a sun salutation
There is a large yoga community residing in the “Keep it Weird” Community that is Austin. Start your day with a free yoga class at Cherrywood Coffee at 8:00am. This quirky and comfortable neighborhood coffee spot boasts a casual and welcoming local Austin charm with its frequent events, delicious delights and welcoming environment for all. Mesh with the locals as you work on your downward facing dog and catch breakfast on your way out.
Austin is famous for its luscious swimming spots. From city owned pools to natural springs, Austinites keep “cool” year round. Make a day at a local favorite just a few miles from downtown: Lost Creek. This watering hole is about a half hour walk through woods, across rivers and on to a hidden local oasis complete with areas to lay out, swim in the refreshing water and more. Pack a picnic and follow these travel tips for a wonderful day out.
The adventure begins at Lost Creek Blvd. Hop on I-35 S to 290 W. Take the merge to TX-360 Loop N and there will be a left turn to Lost Creek Blvd. There are generally plenty of cars on the weekend if you are heading to Lost Creek, but seeing as this plan is for a week-day you may have some more privacy. You’ll see a split in the road (Bend O River Dr.) where one end heads downhill under a bridge. Park the old car near here (or the neighborhood nearby) and head for the trail which you will find underneath the bridge.
Take a left under the bridge and follow the trail. You’ll meet up with the river and walk upon the first swimming spot. There’s a big rock in the middle of the river where people can jump off and lots of clear Texas water to cool down in. You’re not there yet though my friends! The best is yet to come. A little after this spot, in shallower water, cross the river. You’ll see a trail heading into the water and out the other side.
From here just follow the trail. You’ll weave under trees and through the humid green southern sun for about 20 minutes before you hear a waterfall, the laughs of care-free happy Austinites and the sweet sense of happy freedom calling your name. Bring a light picnic, lots of water, sunscreen and a few brews for a happy day date in the sun.
Now, the term supper isn’t used often enough. I’m going to use it here because dinner in Austin is super, and supper is so much closer to super than dinner. You get me honeymooners? For a romantic dinner date in a local Austin spot, head to the historic Rainey Street. Just next to Bangers, where you may have visited before, stop for traditional and delectable Indian food at the quirky G’ Raj Mahal. Boasting an impressive menu native to traditional Goan style, this outdoor patio of mosaic tables and an impressive wine list will surely wow your dining companion and set the mood for a romantic Austin evening.
Live Music Capital of the World
Rainey Street is always a popular spot for live music any day of the week. Blackheart bar further north up Rainey boasts an impressive Whiskey collection. From signature cocktails to Bulleit’s Orphan Barrel label, go treat yourself to some tantalizing treats. Check out the local music schedule and times for musical guests.
If you’re not vibing with the jams, feel free to skip on down Rainey to Javelina for Monday night trivia and discounted drink specials.
Start off the day with Austin traditions
Anywhere around Austin, there is one controversy that keeps people of all backgrounds heated, passionate and hungry. My friends, it’s the longstanding competition of Austin’s best breakfast taco. You better believe it’s a huge deal and you better believe you’ve gotta try them all during your stay. Start your day with breakfast tacos from Torchy’s Tacos or Tacodeli and weigh in on the competition.
Go down in history
Did you know Texas is the only state to have six different national flags fly over it? Spend the day at the Bullock Texas State History Museum to learn a little more about the rich history of Texas. There is currently an installation all about Austin City Limits and how Austin truly became the “Live Music Capital of the World.” From IMAX films to popular rotating exhibitions, this museum will give you a good taste of what Texas is all about.
Now, you’ve had quite the morning of Texas activities. Branch out with one of our favorite Thai restaurants, Titaya’s Thai Cuisine and try one of their delicious lunch specials.
Fly Like a Lady Bird
The Colorado River runs through Austin and is broken up by dams to prevent flooding, thereby creating separate lakes that each have different names. The lake resting right in downtown Austin is Lady Bird Lake. Spend the afternoon walking the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail that surrounds the lake, or rent some bicycles from the Bike Sharing Stations around town. Our favorite Lady Bird Lake pastime is renting kayaks from the local shops, like the Rowing Dock on the waterfront. Paddleboarders with pups on board, couples, shoreline hammockers and more decorate the view of the city skyline and the lake for an picturesque afternoon adventure.
Keep the Texas vibe going with dinner at the Peached Tortilla, an infamous food truck turned restaurant that celebrates Taco Tuesday the right way. Following dinner, head on down to a famous Austin favorite: The Broken Spoke. As one of the last true Texas dancehalls, you can two step like a local and enjoy a classically authentic Texas night with your love.
Top of the Mornin
Start the day with a fun and fresh brunch at the famous Magnolia Cafe and then head to another top Austin attraction: Barton Springs. This human made pool, through which the river runs, is surrounded by ample room to lay out, lifeguards to keep you safe and cool and refreshing water. A day at Barton Springs is never a bad thing. Be sure to check out their website for any closures due to flooding and any seasonal pricing fluctuations.
Zilk it up
Kick back and relax in Zilker Park for the afternoon. This adored metropolitan park is Austin’s largest playground with 351 acres filled with attractions, space to play and beautiful bountiful opportunities for happiness. The park is home to Barton Springs, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Zilker Botanical Garden, Austin Nature and Science Center, and Zilker Hillside Theater. Check out upcoming local events during your stay here. Play some frisbee, string up a hammock and kick back.
Enjoy a romantic dinner downtown at one of our favorite restaurant’s; Swift’s Attic. Their shishito peppers are a dream and the entire ambience is chic funkiness. Hidden in an upstairs hideaway, Swift’s Attic will give you the impression you’ve stumbled upon a well-hidden secret. Enjoy it and fall more in love by the minute.
After dinner there are plenty of options on a Wednesday night. Hit up one of Austin’s infamous comedy shows. Check out Last Gas Comedy for the schedule of local events. The Spazmatics also play every Wednesday night at Cedar Street. This rockin 80’s cover band is sure to get you and your partner boogieing away into the wee hours of the night. Another fun option is the Kung Fu Saloon where you can play fun old arcade games. There’s always trivia too. The Tavern, an old Austin brothel turned staple restaurant offers trivia upstairs on Wednesdays.
You’re Juan in Million
Start the day with another fantastic breakfast feast you’ve already come to know and love in Austin. Stop by the 30 year old Austin classic: Juan in a Million. You’ll leave full, happy and excited to visit again for one of their classic dishes like the Don Juan or the Con Queso breakfast.
Take a Dip
Depending on the time of year of your trip, head to Hamilton Pool! This incredible pool, with it’s serene cove and majestic waterfall actually takes reservations (from May to September) to prevent overcrowding. It’s about 30-40 minutes away from the center of town but very worth the trek if you are able. Plan ahead to reserve this special spot or head on down if it’s a warm day. Bring a picnic and spend the day in one of the most beautiful, well-preserved and special Austin nature spots.
Finger Lickin’ Good
While you’re already out of town a bit, head south to Driftwood to get some of Austin’s finest BBQ at theSalt Lick. You can call ahead to see if there’s a line, and most often there is. But you will not be disappointed in the mountains of tender meat waiting for you at this historical favorite.
If you still have some energy, head up to The Good Night, for a full bar, restaurant, and game extravaganza. From pool and ping pong to bowling, you and your partner can work up some friendly competition. Another fun Thursday night alternative is checking out some more live music at Swan Dive. This hipster, edgy chic little bar just off 6th street usually hosts music, events or dance parties on Thursday nights.
Most Important Meal of the Day
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we love breakfast. And by we, I mean the honeymoon always crew. And also Austin in general. As a collective “we” breaky is a must. Hop on over to Bouldin Creek Cafe for an incredible vegetarian feast.
Spend the day on beautiful Congress Avenue. Start at the Capitol building for a free tour and a peek inside the history and grounds of state capital. This beautiful building is made from pink granite and is unlike any other state capital in the country. Wander on down Congress stopping where it pleases you. From the famous Paramount Theater to HandleBar (a mustache themed bar), this beautiful street will not disappoint.
Keep on trekkin across the river, and as Austin provides a liberal funky contrast to the rest of Texas, South Congress is it’s own famous microcosm of Austin. With eclectic shops such as Uncommon Objects and the famous Allen’s Boots, So-Co (South Congress’s nickname) will keep you entertained shopping, investigating and getting happily lost in all the neighborhood has to offer. Take a photo with the famous “I love you so much” graffiti wall and and tag us to be featured on our blog and Instagram!
Hop on up to Congress Bridge around sunset to watch one of Austin’s most trademarked sights..the mass exodus of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats flying from the bridge. In the warm months, this incredible exhibition of nature draws in crowds lining the bridge to watch the largest urban bat population fly high. Learn more about the bats here.
Winner Winner Lucky Dinner
There are plenty of restaurants up and down Congress that can very easily blow your mind. Our favorite is Lucky Robot Sushi. From out of this world Sashimi to creative and crafty rolls, this restaurant is a must. Plus some of their seats are swings. Seriously. We can’t get enough of these guys. Grab some ice cream at Amy’s Ice Cream as well for some of Austin’s favorite sweet treats.
After dinner there are several fun bars in West Austin where you and your love can grab some local craft beer and enjoy each other’s company. The Tiniest Bar in Texas may be small but they serve up delish’ drinks and character for all. Green Light Social is famous for their Capri Sun cocktails (90’s kids everywhere rejoice). The Brew Exchange offers up beer with prices that fluctuate based on the stock market. Stop by The Ranch for some quality time on the dance floor looking out over the West 6th scene. All of these bars are within walking distance which helps! If you are craving a crazier night, head on down to the notorious east sixth street. Offering cheap drinks, music, college students and bar upon bar upon bar. Prepare to get rowdy on so called “dirty sixth.” It’s an experience. Everyone’s gotta try it at least once! Barbarellas has awesome dancing, Friends always has music and Shakespeare’s has daily drink specials and a bumpin dance floor. Just be sure to get home safely! Fasten and RideAustin are easy to use rideshares to get you from A to B.
Come on Irene’s
To start this day come on down to Irene’s for an instagram worthy brunch. Their scenic restaurant and delectable selection of biscuits will leave you smiling and happy.
Enjoy this romantic day with your partner in the city you’re now contemplating moving to. It’s seriously the best. We know. Head on over to the Blanton Museum of Art at University of Texas to wander romantically with your partner through the incredible European collection to the vibrant works of Latin America. Stop by Winflo for a romantic lunch on their outside balcony. Their carbonara pizza is something special in our humble opinion.
Spend the afternoon on the Green Belt like a true Austinite. The Green Belt, a 7.25 mile long stretch of a hiking trail along the river, has several access points and the most frequented watering holes in Austin. Stop by the Gus Fruh entrance to cool off in the refreshing water and snuggle up in the summer sun with your cutie.
The Grand Finale
Pack a bottle of champagne and an appetizer and climb (this is an exaggeration. You can park and walk about 3 minutes) up to Mount Bonnell to watch the sunset over Lake Austin. Pop the champagne off the cliff, cheers to each other and continue that honeymoon always feeling.
Head to VOX Table for a romantic dinner. This is one of our favorite restaurants. The small plates and cocktails are incredible. The Yorkshire puddings will melt your heart, the Squid fries will leave you wanting more and don’t even get us started on the rosemary olive oil cake. Right next to VOX is the Alamo Drafthouse, an eat-in movie theater offering delicious treats while you dine. End your time in Austin with a date you won’t forget.
Whether you’re a local or visiting Austin for the very first time, we hope you fall in love with your partner and with this city as much as we have. It’s a special place and these dates are specifically designed to keep you on your toes and in love with that special person.
Please comment with more Austin date ideas!
No matter where you go we hope you will honeymoon always. xoxo