Austin / My Life / Restaurants

Our “Minimoon” Staycation in Austin

04.10.17

Hey! Happy Monday!

Today I’m sharing some tidbits from our minimoon staycation in Austin after our wedding a few weeks ago. Because my career follows the school schedule, it didn’t make sense to take a honeymoon in April when my natural break occurs just a few weeks later. So we’re saving our actual honeymoon for May. But we wanted to celebrate the start of married life with something special, so my husband and I opted for a half-week break from work by staying in Austin! Here’s how
we chose this option:

  1. There are lots of interesting cities to visit close to Austin (like Fredericksburg), but this would involve planning, packing, and driving. After all of the wedding planning, these things sounded, quite frankly, exhausting. Ha. A staycation it was!
  2. Um, in case you didn’t notice, I’m kinda obsessed with Austin. 😉
  3. There are so many fun things to do in Austin, and a minimoon was the perfect opportunity to splurge on all of our favorites that we don’t normally get to do!
STAY

South Congress Hotel

We stayed at the South Congress Hotel, a gorgeous boutique hotel in the heart of the South Congress shopping  and dining district. We’d been eyeing the South Congress Hotel for a while, and a minimoon was the perfect excuse to splurge. Every detail is well executed, from the bright and airy lobby, to the industrial fixtures in the rooms, to the perfect pool with a view of South Congress….eek! I could have stayed at this hotel for weeks!

Austinites, here’s a fun fact: Michael Hsu, the designer of the South Congress Hotel, also designed some of the other recognizable structures in Austin, like the flagship P. Terry’s!

1603 S. Congress Ave, Austin TX 78704

EAT

Central Standard

This American bar and grill is located on the first floor of the hotel, so it made an easy Sunday brunch spot for us. The pastries are always delicious, and if you can snag an outside table, you get people watching for DAYS! (Seriously…there are so many  unique individuals walking up and down South Congress, and I mean that in the best way!)

1603 S. Congress Ave, Austin TX 78704

 

Mañana Coffee, Juice, and Bakeshop

This was another place we frequented on our minimoon because of its location and, uh, cuteness. Mañana is also located on the first floor of the South Congress Hotel, and we’d stop in for a morning capp every day. (Psst: they have the most amazing chocolate pastries that you must get, but they’re only available on the weekends!)

1603 S. Congress Ave, Austin TX 78704

Dai Due Supper Club and Butcher Shop

This was an easy choice to add to our minimoon dinner list. Dai Due is probably one of our top 5 favorite restaurants in Austin. Just last week I was talking about how much I loved their 1/2 lb wagyu burger! Dai Due is a farm-to-table restaurant that uses locally sourced ingredients. Because they’re also a butcher shop, the menu is meat-heavy with the use of lots of animal fat. While it is one of my favorite restaurants, it’s obviously not a great option for vegans or vegetarians…

2406 Manor Road, Austin TX 78722

Uchi

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Uchi is one of the most iconic Austin restaurants. James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole is the mastermind behind what is now 4 sushi restaurants (with a 5th coming to Denver soon!). We did the 10-course chef’s tasting menu last month (psst: I shared pictures of every single bite! There were so many gorgeous dishes.) This time we tried their “Sake Social” from 5-6:30 pm. (Tip: while this is a great way to save some money, be sure to get there early….this happy hour fills up quickly!)

801 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704

Perla’s

source

Perla’s is my favorite upscale seafood dining experience in Austin. It’s the perfect place to sit on a warm night, eating raw oysters and sipping cold sauvignon blanc on the massive deck overlooking South Congress. We don’t eat at Perla’s all the often, as it’s a pricier restaurant, but it’s a fantastic place to go when you have a reason to celebrate!

1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Enoteca

source

I’m including this one near the end because, quite honestly, I wasn’t all that impressed with it. Enoteca is the sister restaurant to its next-door neighbor, fellow Italian eatery Vespaio. Because both of the South Congress staples have been around for so long, I figured I needed to give them a try! I feel that for the cost, there are much better places to get Italian food in Austin. The lackluster pasta dishes we tried were a little overcooked and tired. *Note: I dined at casual lunch/dinner cafe Enoteca and didn’t eat at the slightly more upscale Vespaio… You might have better luck there.

1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

 

Stonehouse Coffee and Bar

We stopped into this new coffee house the day after it opened. It’s in the renovated historic Dawson Stone House on S. Lamar. The space is flooded with light, and the menu options are diverse: coffee, craft beer, wine, gelato, and some of the best pastries in town from Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery. (Burro Cheese Kitchen will be adding their newest food truck location outside the coffee house soon.) Stonhouse only serves Cuvee coffee, which isn’t an overly impressive roaster to carry, but it will do. I’m happy to see another large coffee house in the south Austin area; every current place is already packed on a daily basis. Welcome to the ‘hood, Stonehouse!

1105 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Dolce Neve Gelato

Ahhh, finally! Saving the best for last. 😉 I seem to include this tiny gelato shop in every one of my “favorites” lists of Austin. Dolce Neve was opened by three Italians who know what they’re doing. The flavors rotate, so I always have an excuse to stop in and taste what’s new. I truly can’t think of a better place in Austin to eat dessert. This is my favorite!

1713 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

DO

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

source

After the crazy wedding weekend ended and we said farewell to our families, the tiredness set in. Nate and I were both exhausted from the whirlwind of celebrations, so we bought tickets to a movie at our favorite cinema and sipped IPAs in the cool air conditioning (March in Austin can be pretty hot!).

Multiple Locations

Deep Eddy Pool

This giant pool is close to Barton Springs Pool, but not quite as crowded. (Although since we visited in March on a week day, either one would have been pretty empty!) It’s fed from an underground spring and the temperature remains at 68-70 degrees year-round. Brrrr!! Deep Eddy also has a beach-type entrance, so it’s a better place to take infants and toddlers than Barton Springs.

401 Deep Eddy Ave, Austin, TX 78703

Shopping on South Congress Ave.

source

It’s no secret that some of the best (and weirdest) stores in Austin are on South Congress Avenue. As someone who lives in Austin, I don’t often wander over there and brave the tourists who fill up this shopping and dining district on the weekends. But on our minimoon, Nate and I took a few hours to wander up and down the street and shop around a bit. There’s always something interesting to be found in these stores…

____________

If you have the option of taking a minimoon, I can now highly encourage it! Not only was it the most relaxing way to ease into married life (no travel stress or deadlines, woohoo!), it also gave us a few more weeks after our wedding to finish planning the honeymoon. The only downside was that the first day back to real life was so rough, haha! After living in the most relaxed state at a gorgeous hotel and eating to my heart’s content at all my favorite Austin restaurants, I wasn’t ready to go back to work on Wednesday!

Have the happiest Monday, friends! Thanks for stopping by!

Kelsey

3 comments on “Our “Minimoon” Staycation in Austin”

  1. It looks like you had the PERFECT staycation mini-moon. You made your choices of places to stay and things to do and eat so well! I’ve always thought it would be fun to stay at the S Congress Hotel, but we never have a good reason to do it. I’ll have to think of one…. 🙂 We are so lucky to live in such a cool city! Thanks for sharing!

Comments are closed.