Posted on November 01, 2017
Load up on those carbs to prepare for winter weather!
1610 South Congress Avenue
Vespaio has been a staple on South Congress since it first opened in 1998. The name ‘Vespaio‘ means ‘buzzing’ in Italian and was inspired by the beehive that was found within the walls during the original demolition project on the building. The name fits, Vespaio is always ‘buzzing’ with excitement as guests enjoy some of the city’s best Italian cuisine. The restaurant offers a rotating menu full of delicious pasta dishes and everything is made in house. One constant that they keep on the menu that seems to be everyone’s favorite is the Pansotti Di Zucca – half moon pasta filled with butternut squash and amaretti and topped with sage brown butter, walnuts, crispy sage, and parmigiano reggiano. Vespaio opens at 5:30pm Sunday – Friday and at 5:00pm on Saturdays. If you’re craving italian on your lunch break, next door is Enoteca Vespaio, an extension of the original Vespaio that is open for both lunch and dinner as well as for Sunday brunch!
2307 Manor Road
Originally a family run restaurant in Beaumont, Patrizi brothers Matt and Nic reopened the family business in 2013, this time as a trendy Austin food truck! This little italian gem is hidden behind The Vortex and Butterfly Bar and offers up some of the most delicious fresh pasta with homemade sauces. Their red sauce, an old family recipe, is heavenly and will transport you right to Italy. Other fan favorites include the Cacio E Pepe, Pomodoro, and The Great Leopold. What makes Patrizi’s truly special is their Dinner Night, hosted on Wednesday Nights. A special menu is prepared and guests can sit at the outdoor tables and relax while enjoying a full 3-5 course meal while sipping wine from the Butterfly Bar. The inviting and lively atmosphere, delicious food, and exceptional service will make you feel like part of the Patrizi family!
2521 Rutland Drive
Andiamo is truly authentic Italian cuisine – the owner Daniela Marcone hails from Naples, Italy and uses many old family recipes in her restaurant! Marcone often travels back to Italy to keep up to date on Italian cuisine and culture and then brings her knowledge back to Austin to make sure the restaurant is serving every course, dish, and bite as it would be in Italy. Every dish is made with fresh ingredients found at local farmers markets and the wine list features many wines from small Italian producers. The Linguine Cozze e Calamari, linguini pasta, sauteed calamari, black mussels, and fresh tomato in a light spicy white wine sauce, is absolutely mouth watering, and the Orecchiette and Gnocchi dishes are some of the Marcone family’s best work! Andiamo is open for both lunch and dinner Monday – Friday and for dinner on Saturdays.
314 Congress Avenue
La Traviata has been one of the most popular restaurants in Austin ever since its opening in July of 2000. Their specialty, the homemade ravioli is made fresh and prepared differently everyday, so while your favorite version might be gone tomorrow, you can bet the new dish will be just as delicious! The Rigatoni with Spicy Lamb Meatballs and the Spaghetti a la Carbonara are also cooked to perfection. For lunch they offer some awesome daily specials and don’t even get us started on the mouth watering dessert menu! Perhaps even better than the food is the restaurants amazing staff and service. Chef Marion Gillcrist is exceptional, putting love and care into every dish from the ingredients he uses to the plate’s presentation, and the level of hospitality is unmatched. La Traviata is open Monday – Friday for lunch and Monday – Saturday for dinner.
123 West Sixth Street
Italic is a part of the ELM Restaurant Group family which includes Austin staples 24 Diner, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden, and Irene’s. With a delicious selection of pizzas and pasta dishes and an authentic Italian wine menu, Italic is a combination of a classic Italian restaurant and a trendy Austin wine bar. The menu is updated and printed daily with locally sourced dishes that might include a butternut squash agnolotti, roasted mushroom and pumpkin gnocchi, or a classic linguine or fettucine dish. Italic also offers an impressive happy hour with half price pizza and bottles of wine available every weekday from 2:30 – 6:30pm. Their weekend specials are also worth checking out, with a late night pizza menu with drink specials including half priced wine on Friday and Saturday nights from 10:30 – 12:30 and a Sunday dinner special for $30 that includes an appetizer, pasta or pizza, and homemade gelato or sorbet for dessert!
Posted on October 27, 2017
The weather finally seems to be cooling off, and when November 1st comes around many people will already be ready for the Holiday season to begin! But, November isn’t just a time for cooking up delicious meals and starting your holiday shopping! There are tons of great events happening in Austin in November! While many of them are, in fact, in celebration of the holiday season, many more are celebrating all kinds of other things! Whether you’re celebrating German and Latin cultures, science and learning, or your favorite authors, musicians, and even superheroes, November is a great time to get out and enjoy some of the Austin area’s best and often most underrated annual events!
November 3rd – 12th
You don’t have to fly across the pond to get to Germany – you’ll feel like you’re there just by driving 50 miles south of Downtown Austin to New Braunfels this November for the city’s annual Wurstfest celebration! Enjoy carnival rides, games, and special events and get a taste of Bavarian culture through music and dance, food, and beer. Try Delicious German sausage, split a pitcher of refreshing German beer with your pals, and dance the night away to some of the finest Alpine and Bavarian style entertainment!
Dia de los Muertos Concert
The festival, held at Fiesta Gardens, will feature well known artists from the Latin and Texas music industries. Headlining the show will be the Local Austin band Grupo Fantasma! In addition to the great musical performances there will be delicious food, drinks, and fun activities for the kiddos! All proceeds go to helping Easterseals Central Texas spread awareness about disabilities!
November 4th – 5th
Texas Book Festival
Bookworms won’t want to miss this year’s Texas Book Festival. This year’s festival features over 250 authors including Jenna Bush Hager, Andrew Clements, Sarah Dessen, and Tom Hanks! Book lovers of all ages can enjoy readings, panel discussions, signings, and even cooking demonstrations, live music, and children’s activities! Snack on local food while you meet some of your favorite authors! The best part is, the festival is free to the public!
November 4th – 5th
Remind the kiddos that science is cool AND fun at the 27th annual Fossil Fest. Attendees will get to meet scientists, dig for fossils in the Hands-On Fossil Touch Table, examine specimen under a microscope, and learn all about fossils that have been discovered right here in Texas! Kids can also bring their own fossils in for identification, or if they haven’t found their own yet they can pick one up at the Wheel of Fossils & Dig Pit and start their first fossil collection! Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for kids ages 6 – 12. All kiddos under 6 are free!
Texas Monthly BBQ Festival
If there’s one thing Texas does better than anyone else, it’s barbecue! And, Texas Monthly is the definitive source for the best of the best. This year’s fest will feature over 30 barbecue joints from around the state, all hand selected from the magazine’s Top 50 BBQ joints in Texas list. Six local Austin restaurants made the list including the famous Franklin Barbecue. Indulge in some of the state’s best, smokiest, and tenderest brisket while rocking out to live music by The Peterson Brothers Band, Bruce Robinson, Willis Alan Ramsey, and Carrie Rodriguez. There will also be desserts, cocktails, and cold beer to enjoy with your ‘cue. Once you’ve eaten enough barbecue to last you through winter sit back and relax while enjoying the music or start up a friendly game of corn hole to work off some of those calories!
November 10th – 12th & 15th
Sound on Sound Fest
While the original event in Lost Pines Forest was cancelled, the majority of the performers have rescheduled shows at venues around Austin! Friday through Sunday artists including Citizen, Hotelier, The Frights, and the Shins will be playing at bars and music venues including Mohawk, Emos, Cheer Up Charlies, Empire, Scoot Inn, Vulcan Gas Co, the Aztec Theatre, and ACL Live at the Moody Theatre and on Wednesday one final show will start at 7:00pm. Tickets are sold to shows on an individual basis. You may not be able to get the full medieval festival experience originally planned for the entertainment extravaganza in Sherwood Forest, but you still won’t want to miss this opportunity to see some really great bands!
November 17th – 19th
Austin Comic Con
Join your fellow comic lovers at Wizard World’s Comic Con! This year promises celebrity guests including Kate Beckinsale, Val Kilmer, Felicia Day, Michael Rooker, and WWE® Superstars The Hardy Boyz. The event will feature live performances, Q&A’s with your favorite celebrities, costume contests, photo ops, autograph sessions, workshops, video games, kids activities, and much more! The legendary Gene Simmons of KISS will also be doing a special solo performance this year! Whether you’re a fan of anime, comics, superheroes, or the supernatural you won’t want to miss this star-studded event!
Chuy’s Christmas Parade
‘Tis the season! You won’t want to miss this fun and exciting display of giant balloons, holiday floats, famous children’s characters, marching bands, classic cars, and of course the one and only Santa Clause! The parade will begin at 11am sharp at the Capitol Building and continue along South Congress all the way to Cesar Chavez Street. Along the route, the parade procession will stop and Santa’s Helpers will be collecting donations from the crowd to benefit Operation Blue Santa, so bring your unwrapped toys to donate to a deserving child!
Already worried about all the calories you’re going to be consuming at your family’s Thanksgiving feast this year? Before you indulge, work up an appetite at ThunderCloud Sub’s annual Turkey Trot! You won’t have to feel guilty going for that second helping of pumpkin pie at dessert! If you’re feeling really ambitious you can participate in the 5-mile run. Or, there’s also a more relaxing 1-mile walk, perfect for the whole family to enjoy! Registration is between $10 to $30, depending on which race you register for. All the proceeds go to helping Caritas of Austin fulfill their mission of ending homelessness in the area! Don’t miss out on the Turkey Trot Raffle either! You could win a brand new Honda Accord from First Texas Honda!
November 24th – December 24th
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Find the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar! The unique holiday art show kicks off at 10am on Black Friday and will continue everyday from 10am – 10pm until Christmas Eve. Entry to the event is free and more than 200 local artists will be selling their handmade artwork, jewelry, clothing, ceramics, and more! No matter what your gift budget is for this year, you will find great, meaningful gifts at the bazaar! A portion of the proceeds from each sale at the event will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.Grab some gifts for your friends, family, or even yourself and give back to a great cause at this annual Austin event!
Posted on October 25, 2017
And the winner is…
This year’s RE/MAX 1 Chili Cookoff, held yesterday evening, was a huge success! Agents took time out of their busy schedules to cook up some of the most delicious chili we’ve ever tasted! Picking a winner was hard, but the votes are in!
Pam Flitton, last year’s runner up, took home the grand prize for her white chicken chili, a tasty spin on traditional beef and chili sauce. Her dish definitely stood out among competitors for its unique flavors. Taking a risk and doing something different definitely paid off!
In a very close second came Gary Hill and Kellie Kriss’ ‘Avery Ranch Slow Burn Chili.’ Gary and Kellie did it right, bringing in all the fixings – cheese, sour cream, cornbread, the works – to accompany their already amazing and extra spicy chili. For anyone who could handle some serious heat, this was definitely a favorite! They only lost to Pam by two points!
In third place was Sherry Bueche and her incredible chili with an extra special ingredient that stole the votes of many – bacon! Sherry also cooked up some of her famous mac & cheese to help sway the crowd! It almost worked too, if she hadn’t run out of chili early in the game, she might have swiped that first place prize from Pam!
The official winners weren’t the only ones who deserved an award though, everyone who came out showed off their skills in the kitchen and did not disappoint!
It wasn’t just the fierce competition that made the event a success though! Tom Horne of Mid America Mortgage and his band kept the crowd entertained with some awesome covers of old and new country classics. Sponsors including Super Inspector, All State Insurance, and 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty had some fun giveaways including a rousing game of ‘cake bingo’ in which winners took home yummy mini bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes. For the kiddos, pumpkin decorating in the XLR8 Training Room was a fun (and messy!) pass time while the adults socialized. And of course, the margarita machine was very popular among the guests!
Huge thanks to our many sponsors, staff, and agents who made the event special! We can’t wait to see what competitors cook up next year!
Posted on October 19, 2017
Whether you enjoy Halloween for the creative costumes, the nightmare inducing haunted houses, or the sweet treats there’s no denying that Austin is a great place to celebrate this spooky holiday! Even if you already have plans with your family to head out for some trick-or-treating in your neighborhood on the 31st, there are tons of events in the Austin area to get the festivities going even before Halloween is officially here! The best part is, many events are free to the public, so you can spend more money on finding a Halloween costume that will be a shoe-in for a first place prize in all the costume contests you enter! Here’s a list of just a few of the many awesome Halloween events happening in Austin over the next two weekends!
Pioneer Farms Haunted Halloween
10621 Pioneer Farms Drive
October 20th – 21st & 27th – 28th from 7:00 – 11:00pm (admission closes at 10:00pm)
Three spooktacular trails will weave through the farm this year! A ‘G’ rated trail for kiddos who love Halloween but don’t care for spooky surprises, another ‘PG’ rated trail for those who are prepared for a few ghosts and ghouls, but don’t want to go home with nightmares, and another super scary ‘PG-13’ rated trail for the adventurers and thrill seekers in the family! Spook lights and ghost storytellers will be on hand to add to the fun! It wouldn’t be a party without some delicious Austin food trucks and live music too! Tickets are $15 per person at the gate or you can buy online and avoid the lines!
Boo at the Zoo
10808 Rawhide Trail
October 20th – 21st & 27th -28th from 6:30-9:00pm
Ever wonder what all the animals at the zoo do when the sun goes down? Explore the spooky side of the Austin Zoo and find out! Take a ride on the haunted train, venture into the haunted house (if you dare!) and visit the animals by the glow of special Halloween lights! Tickets are $17.50 per person, and for an additional $3 you can enjoy musical entertainment by ScottyRoo and Christini. Don’t forget to wear your costume! Dress up like your favorite zoo animal and scare other zoo goers who think you’ve escaped from your cage!
Monster Concert & Carnival
Austin High School, 1715 West Caesar Chavez Street
October 21st from 3:30-8:30pm
Austin High’s Monster Concert and Carnival has been a tradition at the school since 1987. The concert features orchestras from Vertical Team elementary and middle schools and various orchestras from Austin High School. This year, orchestras from Crockett High School will also be performing. While the Monster Concert is the main event, you can’t forget about the carnival that students and parents spent weeks preparing for your delight! Roam through their homemade haunted house and enjoy carnival games and delicious snacks! Arrive in style wearing your best costume or snag a Monster Concert t-shirt to support the talented performers! Admission to the concert is free and all proceeds from the carnival go to support the Orchestra program at Austin High School!
3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, Austin
October 21st from 10:00am – 4:00pm
For all the dog lovers in Austin, this one’s for you! The sixth annual Dogtoberfest promises to be “the most awesome-ist pet related event in Austin!” Held in the Domain, Dogtoberfest kicks off with a Dogtober TROT – a one kilometer walk for you and your four-legged friend. After that, the real fun begins! The festival includes a silent auction, canine costume contest, wiener dog races, pet-related demonstrations, and much more! To register for the costume contest, a $5 donation is encouraged. Prizes will be awarded for individual categories including Best Ensemble, Best Duo (dress up with your dog!), Fantasy & Superheroes, and Sports Stars. Dogtoberfest isn’t all just fun and games though! The goal of the event is to raise money for local dog rescue organizations and raise awareness about dog rescue!
Halloween Spelltacular Movie in the Park
Palm Park, 711 East 3rd Street, Austin
October 26th from 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Grab your spell book and start brewing up some magic potion in your cauldron because the ladies of Hocus Pocus are coming to Palm Park on the big screen! Much more than just your average movie in the park, the Halloween Spelltacular features pre-movie activities including a costume contest, Halloween candy walk, pumpkin smashing, and a Halloween dance party! There will also be a Witch’s Cauldron Photo Booth for you to snap some pictures in and food trucks with plenty of spooky snacks! The event is all ages and for the adults it’s also BYOB! Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children ages 4 -17. Little ones 3 and under get in for free! Doors will open for the festivities at 5:30pm and the movie will start around 7:00pm.
Spooktacular at the Bullock Museum
1800 Congress Ave, Austin
October 27th from 5:00 – 8:00pm
It’s a real life night at the museum! Maybe the exhibits won’t come to life like in the movie, but you can still explore the museum after hours at this free event! Plus there will be a few extra special treats at the this spooktacular event! You’ll find performances, games, interactive activities, and art that the whole family can enjoy! The gamers in the family can dress up as their favorite video game character and head to the Pong and Pokemon exhibit for activities and demonstrations as well!
Halloween Boo Bash
3208 Red River, Austin
October 27th at 5:30pm
The YMCA of Austin’s annual Halloween Boo Bash will be held the Friday before Halloween and is sure to be fun for the whole family! Activities include arts & crafts, bingo, and pumpkin hockey. There will also be music and sweet treats and plenty of photo opportunities, so don’t miss this opportunity to dress up in your best costume and have some fun! Admission is free for the whole family!
Annual Pumpkin Carving on Carver Dock
George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina Street, North Parking Lot Dock
October 28th from 11:00am
Head to Carver Dock to carve your jack-o-lanterns just in time for Halloween night! The free event will include face painting, music, games, and more! There’s a limited number of free pumpkins available, so be sure to RSVP by calling (512) 974-4926 to get a pumpkin for your family to carve! Depending on the size of your household you might even be able to score as many as four pumpkins!
October 31st from 6:30 – 8:30pm
Held at five different district sites, Austin’s Howl-O-Scream welcomes all ages to enjoy treats, carnival games and a haunted house! Admission is just $3 for unlimited fun and games plus a free snack or you can get ten free tickets for the same amount to use on whatever you want! The five locations are as follows: Gus Garcias Recreation Center, Turner-Roberts Recreation Center, Givens Recreation Center, Dove Springs Recreation Center, and Dittmar Recreation Center.
Posted on October 11, 2017
When you’re looking for something to do with the family on the weekends this fall, nothing beats heading just outside the city limits to one of the many peaceful farms in Central Texas for some fall family fun! Weave your way through a corn maze; pick out the perfect pumpkin for carving a Halloween jack-o-lantern, and visit cows, goats, and pigs in a petting zoo at one of these five farms hosting some fun and exciting fall festivals!
Barton Hill Farms – Fall Festival & Corn Maze
1115 FM 969
Bastrop, TX 78602
Dates: Saturdays 10am – 8pm & Sundays 10am – 6pm from September 23rd – November 5th.
Admission: $13 when you purchase tickets online or $14 at the gate, children under 3 are free.
Attractions: 5-acre corn maze, kids pumpkin patch corn maze, farm animals, 4-acre pumpkin patch (purchase pumpkins for an additional fee), giant jumping pillow, corn hole, sack races, giant jenga, washers, volleyball, face painting (additional fee), live music, food, and so much more!
Crowe’s Nest Farm – Fall Family Fun Festival
10300 Taylor Lane
Manor, TX 78653
Dates: Saturdays 11am – 5pm from October 7th – October 28th
Admission: $9 for adults, $7 for children ages 3 – 12, $3 for two year-olds, and children under 2 are free.
Attractions: Farm animals, Native Texan Wildlife, hayrides, cow milking demos, raptor shows, snake shows, faeriewood, pumpkins and gourds for purchase, carnival games (one ticket per play, tickets are $1 each), face painting, gift shop items for purchase (local honey, homemade breads and jams, etc.), concessions, and more!
Sweet Berry Farms – The Harvest of Fall Fun
1801 FM 1980
Marble Falls, TX 78654
Dates: Monday – Saturday (closed Wednesdays) 8:30am – 5:30pm & Sundays 11am – 5pm from September 23rd – November 5th.
Admission: Admission is free, activities and items available for purchase.
Attractions: Hayrides ($3.75/person), candy corn kid maze ($2.50/person), pumpkin painting ($5 – includes pumpkin), scarecrow stuffing ($16.50/scarecrow – includes head, shirt, and pants), face painting ($5-$10), pick your own flowers ($3 – includes flowers, vase, and water), sand art ($3), the Sweet Berry Express Barrel Train ($3.50), The Berry Bounce ($2.50 – includes 8-10 minutes of jumping), the ‘Texas’ Maze ($7/person ages 6+, 5 and under are free but must be accompanied by an adult), horse rides (weekends only, $4.75/ride), The Pumpkin Grill (Weekends only – serves grilled corn, hot dogs, pb&j sandwiches, drinks, and chips), gourds and pumpkins available for purchase (priced individually based on size).
Evergreen Farms – Pumpkin Hunt
242 Monkey Road
Elgin, TX 78621
Dates: Saturdays 10am – 5pm & Sundays 1pm – 5pm from October 1st – October 29th.
Admission: Admission is free! Tickets are required for most activities and can be purchased for $2.50 each.
Attractions: Pumpkin hunt, launcher, maze, pumpkin races, train ride, golf, fishing pond, spinner, hop along ponies, and bounce house (all require tickets), pumpkins available for purchase, pumpkin decorating, concession stands, fire truck rides ($5), and face painting ($2.50-$5).
Sweet Eats Fruit Farm – Fall Fest
14400 E. State Highway 29
Georgetown, TX 78626
Dates: Saturdays & Sundays 9am – 6pm from September 9th – December 16th.
Admission: $10 for adults, $12 for kids ages 3+, kids under 2 are free!
Attractions: Pony rides, petting zoo, hay maze, face painting, jump pad, animal feeding, hay rides, zipline, obstacle course, bull roping, corn hole, pumpkin picking, live music, food, drinks, movie nights, and more!
Posted on October 06, 2017
If you haven’t scored tickets to this year’s ACL Festival, there’s still time! Weekend Two passes are still available along with day passes for Friday and Sunday of both weekends on the official festival website. If you just have to get a pass for Weekend One, resale tickets are available through TicketsNow, which can also be accessed through the festival website. Once you have those wristbands in hand, here is your guide to having the best festival experience!
What to Bring & What Not to Bring:
Some changes have been made this year to the festival’s list of prohibited items, so if you’re not sure, check the official festival website. The new bag restrictions require all bags to be 18 liters (about 10”X10”X10”) or smaller and they say your best bet is to bring a drawstring bag. Load your bag up with water (you’re allowed to bring in two bottles up to one liter in size and there are free filling stations where you can refill your bottles throughout the day), sunscreen (lotion only, no aerosols), a blanket to sit on, a totem or flag (under 12ft tall) so if you get separated from your crew they can spot you in the crowd, and maybe a rain poncho, since you can never trust Central Texas weather. Leave your umbrellas, inflatable furniture, drones, hammocks, professional camera equipment, coolers, walkie-talkies, and e-cigs or vaping devices at home, as these items are not allowed inside the festival grounds. You probably won’t get any cell phone reception with the half million individuals all trying to snap and ‘gram the same pictures and videos, but if you absolutely have to document your festival experience, be sure to bring a mobile charger or battery and put your phone in airplane mode when you can to save power!
Whatever you do, don’t try to drive to the festival – traffic and parking are sure to be a nightmare! If you live nearby or know someone who does, biking to the festival is a great option. They have plenty of bike parking spaces, some spots provide you with a lock for your bike, and they even have valet bicycle parking! If you’re too far from Zilker to bike there without ending up drenched in sweat before you’ve even arrived, there’s also a free shuttle that runs from Republic Square Park at 4th and Guadalupe. The first ride sets out from the park at 10:30AM and the last ride leaves Zilker at 11:00PM. Austin also allowed ridesharing companies Lyft and Uber back into town just in time for the festival, and Ride Austin is the official sponsor of ACL and will be offering some great promotions for rides! You can also always hitch a ride on a pedicab, but practice your negotiation skills first, they’ll try to charge you an arm and a leg!
At the Festival:
This year’s lineup is obviously as incredible as ever, but the festival has added a few extra features and activities to make your ACL experience better than ever. Near Kiddie Limits you can find a “wine experience” where you can expect to try some amazing reds, whites, rosés, and champagnes from all around the world. Inside the Tito’s tent this year you can attend a Silent Disco from 8 to 10pm Friday – Sunday with lives DJs and headphones provided. Some of the stages have also been moved around to help reduce sound bleed and improve crowd flow so you won’t miss a single beat from your favorite song. You’ll find the Barton Springs stage where the main box office used to be, along with an added food court that allows for double the delicious snacks, and an official merchandise store where you can purchase all your souvenirs or gifts for your unlucky friends who didn’t get to attend the fest. Be sure to review the festival map upon arrival so you know where all your favorite artists will be performing and the fastest way to get to each stage!
After the Festival:
If you miss the festival or just don’t want the party to end, eight Austin venues are hosting tons of artists from big names like Foster the People and Tove Lo, to up and coming local artists. Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater, Emo’s Austin, Mohawk, Scoot Inn, The Parish, Vulcan Gas Company, Antone’s, and Stubb’s Indoors will all be doing Late Night Shows all week long! You can purchase tickets at https://www.c3concerts.com/latenight/. Tickets for these shows are much more affordable, so even if ACL passes are out of your budget you might be able to catch one of your favorite artist’s performances!
Stay safe and enjoy the festival! I heard a rumor Beyonce might even be there!
Posted on September 29, 2017
October is an exciting time of year in the city of Austin! Don’t miss these awesome events!
10/6/2017 – 10/8/2017 & 10/13/2017 – 10/15/2017
Austin City Limits Music Festival
It’s that time of year again! ACL is back with a chart topping lineup including Jay-Z, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, and many more! 3-day passes for weekend two are still available, as well as day passes for Friday and Sunday of both weekends through the festival’s official website, but if you have your heart set on a pass for weekend one or a Saturday day pass you can try your luck on other ticket sites or Craigslist. Don’t forget to stop by the ACL Eats Food Court for delicious food to keep you energized while you’re out there in the crowd dancing to your favorite band! This year they’re adding even more food and a second food court location so you won’t have to stray too far from the stage to get a snack!
10/20/2017 – 10/22/2017
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Circuit of The Americas
Formula 1 is back for another year at the Circuit of The Americas race track! The best drivers from all over the world will come out to compete in one of the fastest, most thrilling races you’ll ever see! As if three full days of racing isn’t exciting enough, this year’s event will also feature two of the most famous performers of all time – Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder! There will also be over 30 additional artists performing around the grounds throughout the weekend! This is a can’t miss event, so grab your tickets while they’re still available!
10/26/2017 – 10/28/2017
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
Banger’s hosts the best Oktoberfest in the city with live music every day, games, and of course delicious German cuisine and beer! The special German menu items include Spaetzle, Schnitzel, Weisswurst, and German Potato Cakes. Get in on the Keg Roll on Thursday and the Brat Eating Contest on Saturday, or if you’re not up for the competition get a front row seat to the action, because it’s sure to be entertaining! The three day event kicks off at 5:00pm on Thursday!
10/26/2017 – 11/02/2017
Austin Film Festival
Paramount Theatre & Various Locations
The Austin Film Festival is one of the best in the country! This year the festival is showcasing 175 movies, ranging from top billed films to unexpected and excellent indies. You may even get to see a future Oscar® nominated film before it’s even been released to the public! In addition to the impressive movie lineup the festival features television premiers, film competitions, and Q&As with some of your favorite writers, actors, and filmmakers! Movie lovers definitely don’t want to miss out on this epic event!
Ironman 70.3 Austin
Austinites are known for being active and athletic, so it’s no surprise that the city hosts one of the most insane and grueling races of all time – an Ironman Triathlon. The race starts with a 1.2 mile swim in Decker Lake in the Walter E. Long Park. After the swim comes the 56 mile bike ride through the rolling hills and farmland of Central Texas. The half marathon running portion of the race is extra special because it starts and finishes in the Luedecke Arena, making Austin’s Ironman the only one on the 70.3 circuit to have an indoor finish! Just writing about it makes me tired! Even if you aren’t quite ready for your Ironman debut, it’s always fun to get out there and cheer on the incredible athletes as they race for the finish!
Posted on September 22, 2017
The small city of Bee Cave, located just west of Austin, is the perfect spot if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. With a population of a little over 5,000, Bee Cave has retained the small town feel that it was built on. But this little town is anything but boring! With beautiful parks including the famous Hamilton Pool Preserve, delicious food, shopping, and entertainment Bee Cave has fun for the whole family! Whether you’re there for a visit or thinking about making Bee Cave your new home, here are just four of the little gems you don’t want to miss out on in this wonderful community!
The Bee Cave Sculpture Park is home to over twenty five masterpieces, including historical landmark “The Beehive” sculpted by Susan Gulla-O’ Leary. Located on 7-acres of peaceful park land, you won’t just find sculptures in the park – over twenty different native species of plants and some of the largest oak trees in the area call Sculpture Park home as well! Wander through the park and admire the intricate and beautiful sculptures or sit and enjoy a picnic lunch with friends and family!
Reimers Ranch Park
Bee Cave may have been made famous by the popularity of Hamilton Pool Preserve, but the town has a number of other parks that you may be missing out on, including Reimers Ranch Park! Reimers Ranch is the largest park in Travis County and is the perfect spot for any outdoor adventurer! Over 18 miles of mountain biking trails are well marked with difficulty ratings, so there’s a perfect trail for both expert riders and the novice out for a peaceful afternoon ride. Another 15 miles of trails are designed for hiking on foot along the river or across the bluffs. Off-trail guided tours to some of the serene springs and natural areas deep within the 2400-acre park are offered on Saturday mornings as well! For world class rock climbing visit the cliffs and boulders along the banks of the Pedernales River. With hundreds of routes for every skill level and spectacular views of the winding river, Reimers Ranch is a favorite among the Central Texas rock-climbing community! And of course, the river is the perfect spot for a refreshing swim!
Falconhead Golf Club
Falconhead is one of the most well known courses in the Hill Country and was designed by PGA Tour architects. The 18-hole course offers beautiful, high quality golf across rolling hills surrounded by knobby oaks, winding creeks, and ponds for an added challenge. Rates start at $89 for weekends and holidays, but if you head to the course on a weekday evening (after 5:00pm) you can golf on this premier course for $39! Before you hit the tee box, grab a bite to eat at the club’s restaurant, Talon’s Bar & Grill!
Chi-Town Chicago Style Eatery
Everyone loves a good hot dog, and Chi-Town has some of the best in the area! Just reading their menu will make your mouth start to water. Try their classic Chicago-style dog or go for a local favorite, the Texas “Lone Star Dog” – it’s topped with mustard, chili, cheese, red onions, and jalapenos! They even have four different versions of bacon wrapped hot dogs! For the weirdos in your group who don’t like hot dogs, they also offer up a variety of delicious sandwiches and a few different kinds of salads. Dine in or grab a dog on the go at their food truck located beside the restaurant!
Posted on September 13, 2017
Many people know that spring and summer is when the real estate business is booming and inventory is at its highest, so you’d think this would be the best time to buy a home. But, maybe not! There are many benefits to buying a home in the “off season.” Real estate experts say fall may be the best time of all to buy a home, for these five reasons:
Since spring and summer are the busiest times of year in the Real Estate business, competition is sure to be fierce. If you wait until fall, most buyers will have either found their home already or decided to wait until next spring to start looking again. With kids back in school and the busy holiday season fast approaching, many potential buyers are too busy during the fall and winter months to even think about buying their new home. Plus, as temperatures begin to drop, many people don’t want to venture out into the cold for house hunting. This leaves the market wide open for you! There will be far less buyers for you to compete with when putting an offer in on your dream home.
Because there are less buyers on the market, you’ll also have a lot more power when it comes to negotiating price with sellers. This becomes even more true if you’re interested in a home that was put on the market in the spring or summer and hasn’t sold yet. A seller whose home has been sitting on the market all summer will probably have either already reduced the price of their home or at the very least will be more willing to consider a lower offer. On top of that, statistics show that home prices in the fall are generally lower than during busier parts of the year. A study done by RealtyTrac discovered that the best month to buy is October, when home prices can be as much as 2.6% below market value.
There are two types of sellers in the fall – those who have had their home sitting on the market since spring or summer or those who have just listed their home – and both will be eager to sell. Sellers whose homes have been sitting on the market are tired and worn out, you’re going to have far more power negotiating with them now than you would have if you had put in an offer when they first listed their home. They’re ready to be out of the real estate game. Sellers who have just listed their home in the fall typically need to sell fast. The seller probably wants to be out of their old home and into a new one before the holidays. They’re serious about selling and are not going to wait around for the perfect offer on their home and are more likely to accept the first offer that comes in, even if it’s lower than they had hoped. There may be fewer homes on the market in the fall, but you’re going to find more serious sellers.
More Attention from you Real Estate Agent
Since spring and summer are the busiest seasons for the real estate industry, it makes sense that your agent would be busier with an increased number of clients as well. In the fall though, your agent will most likely be working with fewer clients, since as we discussed, most buyers will have closed on a home by August or will wait until next spring to continue their search. This means your agent will have much more time to focus their attention on you! They’ll be more attentive, quicker to respond to questions, and be able to better fit your schedule for showings and meetings. This could lead to a better and less stressful house hunting experience for both you and your agent!
Once you fall in love with your new home, you’ll be in primetime for finding great deals on home decor, furniture, and appliances! According to Consumer Reports, September and October are the best months for deals on things like paint, lawn mowers, and gas grills in case you want to get your backyard ready for a neighborhood barbecue in time for the next football game. November and December mean great holiday deals on things like kitchen cookware, television sets, and major appliances. Whether you just need a few items or are planning a whole remodel these kinds of savings will go a long way!
Start your hunt by browsing the listings on our website and contact one of our many amazing and talented agents to help you find your dream home this fall!
Happy house hunting!
Posted on September 08, 2017
With the year quickly winding down, 2018 will be here before you know it! If you’re thinking about doing some remodeling in your home, or just want to make some quick and easy changes to liven up your space, here are ten design trends coming in with the New Year. The big take away: color, color, color! Try out some of these design ideas and wow friends and family with show stopping colors and accent pieces – they’ll say you have the coolest house in town!
1. Intense Colors
Gone are the days of all white rooms and muted neutrals, 2018 is the year for bold, beautiful color. Bright blues and greens, fuchsia, purple, turquoise, hot pink, and creamy “frosted almond” are some of the colors that will be trending in the coming year according to color experts at the Pantone Color Institute. And these bright colors aren’t just for small accent pieces and decorations! Paint a showstopping accent wall or splurge on new, brightly colored furniture like sofas and end tables. For a more subtle look add colorful pillows and throws to neutral couches or bedding, or add a colorful tile backsplash to your bathroom or kitchen walls.
2. Colorful Kitchens
Simple, white kitchens have been all the rage in 2017, but will start to feel outdated in the coming years. Blue is the trending color for kitchens and can be found on anything from cabinets to appliances! If you’re not quite willing to commit to such a bold statement, installing a tile backsplash with touches of blue, or displaying colorful dishes in glass cabinets or out on the counter will add a beautiful and updated touch. Other 2018 trends for kitchens include stone sinks, quartz countertops (granite has been dethroned!), and two-toned or bleached cabinets.
3. Geometric Patterns
2018 is the season to get creative not just with color, but with patterns! It’s time to chip away at your old subway tiles and make way for geometric tiles in the bathroom or on kitchen backsplashes. For a real statement, use geometric wallpaper for an accent wall or to cover your whole bathroom, dining room, or office! For a more subtle look go for artwork and decor with geometric shapes or pillows and throws with geometric patterns.
4. Wood Treatments
As the au-naturale, green living trend continues, natural wood finishes and treatments will become more and more popular. Wood accent walls will continue to be popular, in part thanks to our own Texan Interior Design Hero, Joanna Gaines and her love of shiplap. Continue the trend upward with a “statement ceiling” with wood beams or paneling. Wooden lamps and plant pots add a beautiful natural touch, and handmade wood bowls will make your kitchen stand out!
Every few decades fringe returns to the forefront of fashion and interior design and it looks like 2018 will see this trend rise to the top once more. While we’ve already seen it on small items like throws and pillows, start to look for it on small furniture items like ottomans and footstools. Your plain old curtains and lampshades could also be threatened by this trend. It’s the perfect way to add some texture to an otherwise neutral space!
This has been a trend all through 2017 and it’s definitely here to stay in 2018. Continue to look for wall art, pillows, and small accessories with large and bold text to add a nice touch to your home. Place a jar that reads ‘EAT’ in the kitchen or throw some extra pillows on your bed that read ‘SWEET DREAMS.’ In the world of social media and constant texting nothing shows off your style quite like spelling it out on the walls and furnishings of your home.
7. Oversized Furniture
Giant, cozy couches that seem to swallow you whole as soon as you sit down haven’t been popular for quite some time, but if you never replaced yours then you’re in luck! Oversized furniture will be back on trend in 2018. Fill your living room with furniture, invite the whole family over for a movie night, and get comfy! Don’t just go for neutral pieces though, be bold and fill the room with color!
What was once seen as a sign of an outdated home is now getting a revival as an up and coming trend that seems to be here to stay. As hard as it may be to believe, brass is back! If you never replaced the brass fixtures in your home, you’re already ahead of the game! Artwork and decor with brassy gold tones is one of the easiest ways to try out this trend without having to fully commit. For a bolder statement replace light fixtures, side tables, dressers, etc. with brass pieces or spray paint your old items to get them back on trend!
Metallics will become even more dominant in 2018. While you can currently find them on small accessories, in the coming months look for larger metallic pieces to add to your home for the New Year. Metal coffee tables, side tables, and dining tables will add just the right amount of shine to a room. Continue to look for metallic accessories. Even fabrics are part of this trend. Add some glitter to your bed or living room furniture with pillows and throws with gold or silver woven into them!
10. Iridescent accents
The most futuristic of all the 2018 trends, iridescent pieces will be the biggest game changer in the coming year. This style has been making its way into mainstream design for a few years now, but 2018 will be the year it really makes its mark! The human eye is naturally drawn to anything that shines or glitters, so iridescent pieces, big or small, will really stand out and impress visitors. One great way to implement this trend is to install iridescent tile in your bathroom or as a kitchen backsplash. Be on the look-out for decorative accent pieces, tables, and light fixtures to place throughout your home as well!
Posted on September 01, 2017
Fall is fast approaching and bringing with it cooler weather, back-to-school sales, piles of leaves to jump in, pumpkin spice lattes, and some great events in Austin! Read on for a list of fun things to do in the Austin area this month and start the season off right. Happy September!
September 1st – September 3rd: World Beard and Moustache Championships
Hosted by the Austin Facial Hair Club, this three day event will attract hundreds of beard competitors from around the world (Who knew there were so many!) and even more spectators. The competition is held every two years and this is the first time it has ever been held in Texas! It’s not just about impressive and sometimes bizarre beards and moustaches though! There will be plenty of other entertainment including live music and family friendly activities. Plus, don’t miss out on some delicious food from local vendors or the styling and grooming vendors with tips, tricks, and products for both men and women!
September 2nd – September 3rd: Pirelli World Challenge
Sports car enthusiasts and racing fans will love this event coming to the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin! Over the course of the two day event, drivers will speed down the racetrack in all your favorite luxury brand sports cars – Bentley, Cadillac, Ferrari, McLaren, Maserati, Porsche, Audi, and more! When your eyes aren’t glued to the tracks you’ll also have an all access pass to the paddocks where teams work on the cars. Get an up close look at the cars, listen to the engines roar, and speak with some of the drivers!
September 4th: Free Day of Yoga
Whether you’re an experienced yoga enthusiast, want to try a new style, or the only yoga you’ve ever tried is child’s pose, Austin’s Free Day of Yoga is enjoyable for all levels of athleticism and fitness. Join Austin area yoga instructors to learn about all the incredible benefits of yoga, from physical fitness to stress relief. With more than one hundred classes throughout the day at various locations throughout Austin, there’s sure to be a class to fit your schedule and skill level! The event kicks off at 7:30am at the Whole Foods Lamar Pavilion. Bonus – they will have a few giveaway items up for grabs!
September 8th: Zilker Relays
Not just for runners, the Zilker Relays are fun for everyone! If you want to participate, just find three friends, family members, coworkers, or even strangers to join your team. The 10-mile race is broken up into a team relay, so you each only have to run a 2.5 mile loop! After the race is when the real fun begins, though! Every participant is treated like a winner at the Zilker Relays Festival with live music, dinner, and a beer garden! There’s also a kids relay for any kiddos who want to race but whose little legs aren’t quite ready to run 2.5 miles! It’s sure to be fun for the whole family and a great way to get outside and enjoy Austin’s beautiful fall weather!
September 14th – September 16th: Lone Star Le Mans
Circuit of the Americas is hosting yet another great event for race fans this month! COTA is teaming up with FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) for a thrilling weekend. This is the only U.S. stop for the WEC, so you won’t want to miss it. Race weekend kicks off early on Thursday with drivers practicing all day and a qualifying race for the World Series Formula V8 3.5. Entrance is FREE all day on Thursday so even if you’re on a budget, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to watch some of the best up and coming drivers in the world! Throughout Friday and Saturday there will be qualifying races and plenty of other fun events for spectators like autograph signings and pit and grid walks. All this leads up to the main event kicking off at noon on Saturday – a six hour long FIA World Endurance Championship race!
September 17th: Austin Museum Day
The 20th Annual Austin Museum Day is a great way for art lovers, nature enthusiasts, and history buffs to see some of the best sites Greater Austin has to offer! More than thirty-eight museums around town will participate in the event sponsored by the Austin Museum Partnership. Entrance to all participating museums is completely FREE and you will get VIP treatment with special programming including guided tours, fun hands-on activities, and much more! Bring your cell phone and be prepared to take lots of pictures too, because there’s an Instagram photo contest with some great prizes!
September 21st – September 28th: Fantastic Fest
Movie lovers won’t want to miss this event at Alamo Drafthouse! Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in all of the United States and specializes in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action – basically every fantastic movie ever made! Not for the faint of heart, the lineup this year is full of blood, gore, suspense, and the supernatural! Unfortunately, passes for the event are all sold out. But there’s good news for anyone who didn’t score a badge ahead of time! If there’s a film in the lineup that you’re dying to see, head to the theatre box office ten minutes before the start of the show to try to snag a walk-up ticket. Enjoy the show!
September 23rd – September 24th: Fall Pecan Street Festival
Austin’s Fall Pecan Street Festival is back and better than ever for its thirty-seventh year! For those who are new to the scene, the event is free to enter and features hundreds of local and national artisans selling their original and incredible handcrafted creations. Of course it wouldn’t be a festival in Austin without live music! This year the event’s music lineup features twenty-four great artists performing on three different stages downtown. There will also be approximately 30 food vendors offering tasty treats like funnel cakes, crepes, regional cuisine, and delicious fresh squeezed lemonade! The event is not just for adults either! There will be kid-friendly activities including carnival rides, a petting zoo, face-painting, and more! It’s the perfect way to spend the first few official days of Fall!
September 30th: Austoberfest
The 5th Annual Austoberfest will be celebrated at Scholz Garten this year, the oldest continuously operating tavern in the state! The festival celebrates German heritage in Texas. Not German? No problem! Anyone can enjoy the delicious sausage and ice cold German beer! Plus there will be live music and bowling! Funtober.com rated Austoberfest one of the Top 10 Up and Coming Oktoberfests in the country, so you don’t want to miss out! Tickets are $50 and include items like souvenir beer mugs and hat pins, access to the Garten, Scholz’s Saengerrunde Halle and Bowling Alley, drink tickets, and unlimited sausage tastings. Some of your favorite Austin area BBQ joints will be represented as well, with Louie Mueller, Micklethwait, and Black’s BBQ on the list of vendors. Don’t forget to dust off and dawn your lederhosen and dirndls for the costume contest too!
September 30th: Texas Craft Brewers Festival
Get ready for the largest beer festival for Texas Brewers, by Texas Brewers! The Texas Craft Brewers Festival is back for its 14th year in a row. Sixty-five of your favorite Texas craft breweries will be in attendance including Austin’s own (512) Brewing and Austin Beerworks! Ticket prices start at $35 with General Admission tickets that will get you a commemorative tasting cup and 8 sample tickets. There will also be plenty of delicious food from local vendors to enjoy while you drink, and non-alcoholic beverages for the responsible designated drivers. The event’s full music lineup will be announced soon, so check out their website and stay tuned for more details about this can’t miss celebration of good ol’ Texas beer!
Posted on August 30, 2017
Laugh out Loud at the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival kicked off yesterday and will continue through the long weekend. The festival features 130 hilarious acts including headliner
s Nick Rutherford, Katie Rich, and David Hill. Shows are sketch, improv, or stand up comedy and can be seen at one of six venues in Austin. Festival passes are $139.00 and will get you into any show, at any time, all week long! For more info on all the great performers and to purchase passes, check out the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival website.
Get Your Grub On at the Salty Sow’s Labor Day Pig-nic
Salty Sow will be hosting their annual Labor Day feast on Monday from 5:00pm – 8:00pm. Chef Harold Marmulstein will be roasting a whole pig and for $25 per person you can have all the tacos you want, piled high with beans, onion salad, salsa, and more. Even the guacamole doesn’t cost extra! Plus beer is only $3! Call (512) 391-2337 to reserve your spot!
Bleed Orange at a UT Football Game
At 11:00am on Saturday the Longhorns will be kicking off their season with a home game against Maryland. The two teams haven’t faced off since 1978, and Maryland has come a long way since their 42-0 loss to the Longhorns, so it could be anyone’s game! Even if you don’t score tickets to the game you can still enjoy the excitement and competition while feasting on burgers and hot dogs and sipping an ice cold beer at one of the many tailgating spots just outside of the UT campus.
Cool off at a Pool Party
This weekend many locations in Austin will be throwing pool parties to celebrate Labor Day and the end of summer. Leave work a little early and head to the W Hotel Wet Deck on Friday from noon until sundown for live music from DJ Fashen. They’ll also be throwing a party on Labor Day, tickets for both days are $20 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Houston Flood Relief Fund by JJ Watt. If you’re on a budget this weekend, MVP Vodka is hosting a FREE pool party at the Edge Rooftop Pool & Bar at the JW Marriott downtown on Friday as well, from 4:00-10:00pm. The party will celebrate Labor Day and the kick off of UT football season with free drink tastings, appearances by former NFL & Texas All-American players, and a grand prize giveaway! The Belmont on West 6th will also kick off and close out Labor Day Weekend with their Splash Days pool parties on Friday and Monday! And of course there’s always Barton Springs Pool. Argus Cidery will be kicking off their Fourth Anniversary Party at 11:00am at Barton Springs with an “Apple Bomb Jump” Competition. Participants in the competition must be 21 years or older and will be judged for their jump off the diving board based on originality and splash factor! With temperatures expected to be back up in the 90s, lounging by the water sounds like the perfect way to spend the long weekend.
Eat Pie as You Stare into the Sky at Kyle’s Hot Air Balloon Festival
On Friday and Saturday over 25 hot air balloons will fill the sky in Kyle. Once you’ve been mesmerized by the glowing balloons in the evening sky, head to the “All Things Pie” tent to judge a pie baking contest, compete in a pie eating contest, watch a baking demonstration, and more! A kid zone, excellent vendors, and live music round out your festival weekend! The event kicks off at 6:00pm on Friday and balloons will fly until 10:30pm. Then on Saturday you can see the balloons rise with the sun at 6:30am and hang out until 10:30am. The balloons will fly one last time again at 4:00pm on Saturday and the festival events will continue into the evening until 10:30pm. A weekend pass is just twelve dollars! You don’t want to miss this spectacular event in the “Pie Capital of Texas!”
Posted on August 21, 2017
Georgetown is located just twenty-seven miles north of Austin and is a wonderful place to visit or settle down with your family! With plenty of outdoor activities and the most beautiful downtown square, Georgetown has something for everyone. Whether you love adventure, art, fishing, swimming, shopping, or just spending time with loved ones you will have a blast exploring the city of Georgetown. Read on for some of the best area attractions and start planning your next day trip!
Blue Hole Park
Blue Hole is a beautiful lagoon surrounded by limestone cliffs along the southern fork of the San Gabriel River. It’s similar to Barton Creek in Austin with less crowds, making it the perfect summer hideaway. The surrounding park features plenty of shaded picnic tables, trails, and clean bathroom facilities. Finding the park is a breeze too, it’s located just off of I-35 and only five blocks north of Georgetown’s town square! There’s free parking available at the corner of 3rd Street and Rock Street.
Georgetown Palace Theater
Georgetown Palace Theater is a non-profit performing arts center where exceptional actors volunteer to put on top-class musicals every season from October through July. This year features performances of Annie, A Christmas Carol, Mary Poppins, and My Fair Lady just to name a few. Tickets are $32 for adults and can be purchased through the theater website or at the Box Office Monday-Friday from 10am until 4pm.
Historic Downtown Square
Downtown Georgetown is a quaint area with a small town feel. Beautifully restored historic buildings house locally owned restaurants and shops. Roaming through boutique shops you can find anything from jewelry and clothing to hand-crafted items and antiques. Downtown Georgetown is also home to some of the best wineries in Central Texas! The city also offers guided tours of the historic buildings with descriptions and stories of local landmarks!
Inner Space Cavern
Explore Inner Space Cavern with your whole family! Discovered more than 80 years ago, Inner Space is considered a live cavern, meaning it’s constantly changing and new formations have taken shape over the years. Guided tours are available at a variety of levels from a family friendly stroll through the cave along a well-lit pathway to an off-trail exploration of the undeveloped parts of the cave for the true adventure-seekers. Visit the Inner Space Cavern website for more information on pricing and reservations!
San Gabriel Park
Situated along the San Gabriel River, this park is one of the most beautiful in the hill country. Oak trees stand tall along the river banks, creating cool shaded areas for picnicking or games of frisbee or football. The river is the perfect place to fish or cool off with a swim on sunny summer afternoons. The park also features walking trails, a playscape, and sports courts including disc golf, basketball, and baseball. The 180-acre park has plenty of room for fun and games and is also a favorite spot for many of Georgetown’s concerts and festivals!
Posted on August 11, 2017
Whether you have a large, grassy yard or just enough space for a small patio your backyard should be an extension of your home! Take advantage of this extra space by treating it like another room in your house. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a beautiful and well landscaped yard that’s perfect for entertaining or just hanging out with your family on a sunny afternoon. Here are some great DIY projects you can do to add some character and functionality to your yard without breaking the bank!
Build a Bench:
There are plenty of great DIY tutorials out there for building a backyard bench, but here’s one that’s super simple and inexpensive! All you’ll need are some cinder blocks, a few 4X4 wood posts, concrete adhesive, and some other tools and paint if you want to add some finishing touches! You’ll just slide the wood beams into the holes of the cinder blocks and secure them with the concrete adhesive. Add some decorative outdoor cushions for extra comfort!
Make Milk Crate Seats:
Milk crates are something you might already have laying around your house, but if not they only cost a few dollars! Don’t worry about the color, you can always spray paint the crate to match the rest of your backyard decor. In addition to the crates, you’ll just need some plywood, scrap wood, or particle board; some foam (the thicker the foam, the more comfortable your seats will be); and fabric to create your cushions. Cut the wood and foam into a square or rectangle that will fit on top of your crate. Cover them with the fabric you picked out and then use a staple gun to secure the fabric to the wood. Put the cushions on top of your milk crates and you’ll have plenty of extra seating at your next backyard party!
Cut Down Tree Stump Tables and Chairs:
If you’re planning on cutting down trees in your backyard, keep this DIY tip in mind! Don’t cut the tree all the way to the ground, instead cut the tree down to table height. If the stump is wide enough then you can leave it as is, or for a little extra space attach a wooden table top. Now you’ll have a place for people to set down food or drinks when you’re entertaining! Plus it looks super cool and creative and is a great conversation starter! If you’ve already cut down the trees in your backyard but haven’t disposed of the debris, you can still cut the trunk into sections of varying height and use the stumps as tables or even chairs!
Hang a Tire Planter:
Replacing the tires on your car is always a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the road for your old, worn out tires. Give them new life by using them as garden planters! Spruce the tire up with some paint or wrap it in rope first and then you can either plant your flowers, veggies, or herbs on the ground or tie the tire into a tree for a cool hanging flower planter that’s sure to catch the attention of all your guests! For the hanging planter, choose a plant that will hang down from the tire like honeysuckle or jasmine.
Recycle Old Wine Bottles:
Wine lovers – this one’s for you! Instead of throwing out wine bottles turn them into a money-saving alternative to Tiki Torches! You’ll need some empty wine bottles (or beer bottles work great too), tiki torch replacement wicks (or just thick cotton rope), Citronella fuel, and brass couplings. If you want to add some extra touches fill the bottom half of the bottle with pebbles or marbles. Not only will this look pretty, but it will reduce the amount of torch fuel you have to use! Check out this Buzzfeed article for step by step instructions!
“Grow” Some Grass:
Don’t have a big, grassy backyard but wish you did? Get the same look and feel by placing a faux grass rug on your patio! Not only will it make the space feel more outdoorsy and natural, but it will add a pop of color to a cement or brick patio!
Repurpose an Old Chandelier:
You have two great options when it comes to repurposing a Chandelier in your backyard, either turn it into an elegant bird feeder or a hanging flower planter! The steps to creating these are pretty much the same. At the ends of the chandelier attach small plant pots using gorilla glue. Once the glue has dried, fill the pots with soil and seeds or bird seed. You could even do a combination of the two, alternating what you put in each pot! For more detailed instructions check out this post from DIY Show Off!
Organize Grill Utensils:
If you have a backyard grilling station and love to BBQ, then you probably have brushes, tongs, and spatulas laying around everywhere. Clean up your grill space by creating a space to hang utensils using scrap wood and hooks. Get creative with decorating and you’ll have wall art that is both cute and functional! Check out Pinterest for some ‘Pinspiration.’
Make Your Walkway Glow in the Dark:
You’ve surely seen DIY tips for creating backyard pathways using stone or concrete pavers, but we found a new spin on this classic landscaping feature! Use pebbles or small stones and paint them with glow in the dark paint (or you can find pebbles that are already glow in the dark at some craft stores). Place the pebbles between the pavers in your walkway and they will light the way through the yard and add a pretty glow at night!
Use Leftover Pavers to Create Kids Games:
If you’ve already created a walkway or patio and you have leftover pavers you can use them to create some fun backyard games for the kiddos! Paint ten pavers in different bright colors and number them 1 through 10, then arrange them in the grass for a colorful hopscotch board! You can also arrange pavers in a square for a Tic-Tac-Toe Board or create giant Chess or Checkers boards! This could even be fun for the adults!
String Some White Lights:
If you love to entertain and keep the backyard party going even after the sun goes down, get creative with outdoor lighting! If you have lots of trees in your backyard you can wrap a string of white lights around them for a pretty evening glow. Buy battery or solar powered lights so you don’t have to worry about running extension cords all over your yard! If you have a covered patio add some lights to the roof, railings, or supports beams as well! Your backyard will look like it’s sparkling under the moonlight!
Create a “Secret Garden:”
If you’ve always wanted your own secret garden or you just have a smaller backyard than you’d like, use a mirror to create an optical illusion! Hang a large, full length mirror along the fence. Your yard will appear in the reflection, making it seem like the mirror is a doorway into another section of your yard! If you just want to make your yard appear larger you can also use multiple smaller mirrors as decoration and they will add depth to the space in the same way.
Finish up all of your backyard DIY projects in time to host an end of summer BBQ with your neighbors, friends, and family. They will all be so impressed by your handy-work!
Posted on August 04, 2017
Austin is known for having some of the best public schools in the state and many families are choosing to move to the Austin area because of this. But with over twenty districts and hundreds of schools in the Greater Austin area, it can be difficult to narrow down your search when looking for the school districts that are the best fit and can offer your children the very best education. We know that this is an important factor for families when deciding where to buy a home, so we did some research! Here’s a list of some of the top districts in the Austin area, based on data from both the 2017 Children at Risk Texas School Rankings and Niche.com’s 2017 Best School Districts in Texas ranking. After you read this article you can search for listings by school or school district on our website and find your perfect home near the perfect schools for the kiddos!
1. Eanes Independent School District
Eanes ISD serves the Westlake Hills, Lost Creek, and Rollingwood communities in West Austin. It’s smaller than many of the other area school districts with a total of nine schools including six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. This district is one of the highest ranking in not just the state, but the entire country, having ranked number two on Niche.com’s 2016 List of the Best School Districts in America. They received an ‘A plus’ rating for academics, health & safety, teachers, and resources & facilities! Eanes was also number one on a 2017 Niche.com list of the best school districts in Texas. Many schools within the district also ranked well individually on the 2017 Children at Risk school ranking. Barton Creek Elementary was ranked among the top ten elementary schools in the Austin area; Hill Country Middle and West Ridge Middle were among the top ten middle schools in the area; and Westlake High School has consistently ranked among the top ten high schools in the Austin area, even achieving the number one spot in 2016. The district offers great opportunities to students including a robotics program, gifted & talented program, health occupations courses, and a winning athletics department (Go Chaps!).
2. Round Rock Independent School District
Serving nearly 50,000 students in Round Rock and parts of Austin and Cedar Park with thirty three elementary schools, ten middle schools, and five high schools, Round Rock ISD is exponentially larger than Eanes, but the quality is not lost. Round Rock ISD is number twenty five on Niche’s 2017 Best School Districts in Texas list with an A for their overall grade and A pluses in the Academics, Diversity, and College Readiness categories. In addition, their schools make up the majority of the Children at Risk’s Top 10 Lists of elementary, middle, and high schools in the Austin area. The top three elementary schools on the list are all part of Round Rock ISD, with five more elementary schools from the district rounding out the top ten. Among middle schools Round Rock ISD also holds the top three spots in the Austin Area, and Westwood High School is number two among Austin area high schools. All of these schools also rank well at the state level. The district’s high schools have a strong focus on college and career readiness and many have academies in which students can specialize in areas that best suit their interests and talents.
3. Lake Travis Independent School District
Lake Travis ISD is another smaller district and contains nine schools covering nearly 200 square miles and serving four Northwest Austin suburbs – Lakeway, Bee Cave, Briarcliff, and The Hills. The district is similar to Eanes ISD, with the same number of elementary, middle, and high schools. The district has a District of Innovation designation which has allowed it to implement changes including new school hours. For the 2017-2018 school year the elementary school day will run from 7:40am until 2:55pm while the secondary school day will run from 8:50am until 4:05pm. This change is sure to make many parents and sleepy teenagers very happy! As far as rankings go, Lake Travis ISD comes in just behind Eanes at number ten on Niche’s 2017 Best School Districts in Texas List and also landed the number five spot on their 2017 list of the Safest School Districts in Texas. They also have one of the best high school football teams in the state, with Lake Travis High School earning numerous championship titles in the last decade!
4. Leander Independent School District
Leander ISD is one of the fastest growing school districts in the state of Texas and is ranked number nineteen on Niche’s 2017 Best School Districts in Texas list and number three on their 2017 list of the best Austin area school districts. The lowest grade they received on their ‘report card’ from the website was a B+, my parents certainly would have been happy if I’d brought that report card home! The district serves nearly 40,000 students in a 200 mile area covering Leander and parts of Cedar Park, Austin, and Georgetown. The district contains forty two schools including twenty six elementary schools, eight middle schools, six high schools, and two alternative schools. From the primary to secondary levels Leander ISD schools have some great advanced placement programs to help students reach their full potential starting from a young age. Their college and career readiness program at the high school level does a great job of helping students prepare and plan for their future as well. They also have some excellent sports teams and a great band and choir at the high school level!
5. Austin Independent School District
Austin ISD was ranked pretty low on Niche’s 2017 Best School Districts in Texas list at #141, so you might be thinking, why are they on our list? Austin ISD is the fifth-largest district in Texas, serving over 80,000 students at 130 schools, and many of those schools are among the top rated in the state and even the country! Despite a low ranking, the district still received an overall grade of A- on Niche.com with A pluses in Diversity and College Readiness. Austin ISD struggles most at the middle school level according to studies done by Children at Risk, but they have some elementary schools and high schools that outrank even Eanes ISD schools. The Liberal Arts and Science Academy was ranked the number one public high school in the Austin area, number four in the state, and number twelve in the country by Children at Risk and Niche. Three other Austin ISD high schools made it into Children at Risk’s top five list of high schools in the Austin area as well. Austin ISD’s Clayton Elementary made Children at Risk’s top ten list of Austin area elementary schools. In addition, nine Austin ISD elementary schools were named gold ribbon schools, including Blackshear Elementary, the district’s first elementary fine arts academy. Austin ISD has made great strides to improve their school system and it has paid off, graduation rates have steadily increased and are currently at an all time high. The district now employs 261 National Board Certified Teachers, which is more than any other school district in the state. They also have an excellent college and career readiness program that starts in the student’s freshman year of high school. So, their overall ranking might be low, but Austin ISD schools should not be overlooked!
Of course there are many other individual public schools and school districts in the Greater Austin area that offer students a wonderful educational experience that we just don’t have room to include in this list, so it’s important to do your own research! Whether your child loves sports, music, math, science, writing, or all of the above, there’s a school in the Austin area that will be a great fit for them, and we’re happy to help you find it!
Posted on August 01, 2017
15 Fun Things To Do in Austin This Month!
Here’s a list of some of the great events happening in and around Austin this month. Many are both family friendly and FREE! Don’t miss out on all the fun!
1. Now through August 12th: Zilker Summer Musical
The Zilker Theatre Production kicked off its 59th Annual Zilker Summer Musical back in July and through August 12th you can catch a live performance of The Wizard of Oz at the Zilker Hillside Theatre. Performances are free (But donations are welcome!) and are done every Thursday – Sunday starting at approximately 8:15pm.
2. August 2nd: Blues on the Green
Austin’s largest free concert series is held monthly throughout the summer, and August 2nd is your last chance to enjoy some local Austin tunes under the stars! The event is family and pet friendly so pack up some blankets and head to Zilker Park, the show starts at 8pm!
3. August 3rd: Ballet Austin Presents Rhythm on Stage
Though it’s open to all ages, millennials especially are going to love this free event at the long center where they get to dance on stage to the 90’s classic “It’s Gonna Be Me” by their favorite boy band, NSYNC (unless of course they were team Backstreet Boys). All dance levels are welcome, from beginners to experts, and dance instructor Tara will show you the moves! Sign up for a spot on the Ballet Austin website. Doors open at 7pm and dancing begins at 7:30pm!
4. August 5th: Summertime Austin Flea
A shopping extravaganza, the Summertime Austin Flea Market is happening at Peached Social House and will feature more than 20 local vendors selling handmade and vintage items. Free massages and delicious food from The Mighty Cone food truck will also be available all day in case you need a break from shopping! The doors open at 11am and close at 5pm and entrance is free!
5. August 5th: Deep Eddy Splash Party Movie Night
The last Splash Party Movie Night of the summer is happening on August 5th, and it’s featuring everyone’s favorite Disney Movie of the summer – Moana! The movie will start at dusk and the regular pool entrance fees apply ($3 for adults, $2 for kids 12-17, and $1 for ages 1-11 & 62+). Grab a spot on the grass for a late night picnic or bring a float and relax in the refreshing water on what’s sure to be another hot summer night!
6. August 6th: Jack’s Generic Triathlon
Athletes from all around the Austin area will wake-up at the crack of dawn to compete in the 14th Annual Jack’s Generic Triathlon at Lake Pflugerville. The race kicks off at 7:30am with a fun festival awaiting the competitors and their cheering fans at the finish line. Race participants get free food, drinks, and massages! A live band will play once the race is complete, so be sure to stick around until the end! Even if you aren’t up for competing, this triathlon is a whole lot of fun for spectators too!
7. August 12th: Austin Ice Cream Festival
Presented by H-E-B, the 11th Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival is fun for all ages! Ice cream vendors from all over Austin come out to compete for the title of “Best of ATX Frozen Treats” and the best part is, you get to be the judge! For $15 you can get three sampling tickets to use at any of the event’s Frozen Treat Sponsors and then vote for your favorite! In addition there are plenty of fun games and events including ice cream eating, frozen treat making, and popsicle stick sculpture contests; rock climbing; a dunk tank, and more! Stick around after 6pm for a movie in the park!
8. August 15th: Long Center Trailer Food Tuesday
On August 15th approximately fifteen of your favorite Austin food trucks will come together on the City Terrace for the last time this summer. Bring your family, friends, and pets for a picnic with live music, lawn games, and a great view of downtown! The event is open to all ages and entrance is free, you just pay for the food! The trucks will be open for business at 5pm.
9. August 18th to August 20th: 22nd Annual Austin Fall Home & Garden Show
If you have a big remodeling, landscaping, or DIY project coming up, you’re definitely going to want to check out the Home & Garden Show at the Convention Center. They’ll have exhibits displaying the latest in products and services from builders, contractors, decks, pools, spas, storage, landscaping, kitchenware, and much more! Plus, celebrity guests Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri from HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins will be conducting a seminar on Planning & Preparing for a Renovation. Tickets are $9.50 for adults for a day. Hours run from 2pm – 7pm on Friday, 10am – 7pm on Saturday, and 11am – 5pm on Sunday.
10. August 19th: Austin Bat Fest
While you can see the Congress Street Bridge bats on almost any clear night throughout the summer, on August 19th their flight is celebrated with live music, activities for the kiddos, a bat costume contest, and more! The Congress Street Bridge will be closed off to traffic and the event begins at 4pm and goes until midnight. Tickets are $15 for adults and children 8 and under are free!
11. August 19th to August 20th: Austin Pet Expo
The 7th Annual Austin Pet Expo kicks off on Saturday, August 19th. Pet owners can make a trip to the vet fun by bringing their pets in for discounted vaccinations and free nail trims and then sticking around for live entertainment, pet activities, a costume contest, and more! Don’t own a furry friend but wish you did? They’ll have dozens of rescue organizations there with loving pets looking for their forever home! The event will take place at the Palmer Events Center from 10am – 5pm on Saturday and from 11am – 4pm on Sunday.
12. August 20th: Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
From 11am – 5pm hot sauce connoisseurs and spicy food lovers can head to Fiesta Gardens to sample hundreds of delicious salsas in the Austin Chronicle’s Annual Hot Sauce Competition. The contest started small back in the 90’s and has since grown to include over 350 competitors! There will also be local food vendors and live music by local artists and bands including Mike and the Moonpies, Carson McHone, Alesia Lani, Superfónicos, and Tiarra Girls.
13. August 27th: Paddle for Puppies
Austin Subaru sponsors this charity event benefiting the Austin Pets Alive! Parvo Puppy Program, saving hundreds of puppies from euthanasia each year! For a $40 registration fee you’ll be able to participate in the five mile paddle from Mopac Bridge to Congress Bridge on Lady Bird Lake. If you don’t have a canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board, no problem! You can reserve a rental ahead of time from the Rowing Dock and all the proceeds will go to Austin Pets Alive! as well. There will also be live music on the water to keep you entertained while you paddle. Bring your own pup to support the cause too! The event starts at 6:45am and upon arrival you’ll get a free t-shirt!
14. August 27th: Ballet Austin Free Day of Dance
Ballet Austin’s 10th Annual Free Day of Dance allows active Austinites to spend an afternoon getting free dance lessons at the AV Studio Theatre. A variety of genres will be featured, including Ballet, Bollywood, Hula, Hip Hop, and Brazilian Samba. There are multiple classes going on every hour, so there’s plenty of spots for everyone! Bring your whole family and your dancing shoes! There will also be giveaways and great sales promotions if you want to sign up for future classes! Doors open at 12:30pm and the event runs until 5:45pm.
15. August 29th to September 4th: Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
If you love a good laugh, spend your Labor Day Weekend checking out some of the best acts in improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy at Austin’s Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. Over the course of seven days over 350 comedians will perform in 130 shows at 6 different venues around Austin. Passes for the whole week are just $139.
Posted on July 28, 2017
Breakfast food is the best – pancakes drenched in syrup, sizzling bacon, spicy sausage, eggs scrambled, sunny side up, and over easy – but who wants to wake up early on a Sunday?! That’s why Austinites love a good ol’ fashion brunch! From mid-morning to mid-afternoon you can find restaurants all over town serving up great food and even better mimosas and bloody marys. It’s not just a meal, it’s a social event! There are so many different restaurants offering a Sunday Brunch special, you could go to a different one every week! This weekend check out one of the places on our list of the top 5 Sunday Brunches in Austin! Let us know what you think and if you have any other favorites that aren’t on our list!
5. Jack Allen’s Kitchen
7720 Highway 71 West, Austin
360 North Capital of Texas Highway, Building D, Austin
3010 W Anderson Lane, Suite D, Austin
2500 Hoppe Trail, Round Rock
Jack Allen’s is a farm-to-table style restaurant serving up the freshest and highest quality dishes. Many people know them for their great happy hour and appetizers, but their Sunday brunch buffet is the real deal. Jack is cooking up the classics with a spin and some of his best creations include Green Chile Pork and Eggs, Mama’s Sunday Chicken, Jalapeño Sausage, and Fresh Tomato and Basil Pie. The brunch buffet is available from 10AM – 2PM and is all you can possibly eat for just $17.99 per person. Of course, brunch wouldn’t be complete without refreshments – Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Jack’s Famous Pomegranate Sangria are on special for $4.00 until 2pm every Sunday!
4. Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
81 Rainey Street, Austin
Rainey Street is one of the best spots in Austin for Sunday Funday, and Banger’s brunch is definitely one of the highlights! With live music and a large beer garden that’s dog friendly, it’s the perfect place to hang out with friends, both two and four-legged. Of course they’re known for their sausage, but Banger’s also has some of the best Fried Chicken and Waffles, and their Freedom Toast and Banger’s Benny are both delicious! Of course this is Rainey Street, so we can’t forget the drinks! Not only does Banger’s have the largest beer tap wall in Austin, but on Sundays they feature their ‘Manmosa’ – a pitcher full of a whole bottle of champagne and just a splash of orange juice! Their brunch is available from 10AM – 4PM, which is later than most brunch places in the area, so if you like to sleep in on the weekends this is the place for you!
401 West 2nd Street, Austin
For BBQ lovers, Lamberts is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch. Open from 11:00AM – 2PM, Lambert’s gives you the option of keeping it classic with their all you can eat Family Style Barbecue for $25 per person, or ordering off of their a la carte menu for more traditional brunch items like french toast, omelettes, and eggs benedict. Their Breakfast Frito Pie is probably the most popular item on the menu though, with chopped beef, queso, chevre, pico, and a poached egg! They may be one of the pricier places in town, but they do have $3 mimosas! Plus, the food is absolutely delicious and worth every penny. If you’re going for the buffet you’re definitely going to want to wear a loose pair of pants!
3800 N Lamar Boulevard #120, Austin
1700 S Lamar Boulevard, Austin
Snooze, a relative newcomer to the Austin breakfast and brunch scene, has something for every taste. They have classic dishes featuring some of your favorites – bacon, eggs, sausage, and hash – along with breakfast tacos and burritos, six different variations on the traditional Eggs Benedict, and tasty sandwiches. But the most decadent and delicious items, their pancakes and french toast, are really what it’s all about. Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes, Sweet Potato Pancakes, Blueberry Danish Pancakes – you name it, they make it! They also have a “light as a feather” section on the menu if you’d rather not eat all of your calories in one meal. And of course, their morning cocktails menu will not disappoint! They’re open from 6:30AM – 2:30PM everyday, so this is the perfect place for both early risers who actually eat breakfast and the snoozers who love an afternoon brunch.
1. South Congress Cafe
1600 S Congress Avenue, Austin
At South Congress Cafe, brunch isn’t just for Sundays! They serve brunch daily until 4PM. The menu includes your favorite breakfast classics like Migas, Eggs Benedict, and three different kinds of Omelettes. But some creations come with a twist, like their famous Carrot Cake French Toast. They also have some delicious seafood options like Ceviche, Crab Cake Eggs Benedict, Duck & Oyster Gumbo, and Shrimp & Grits. Of course this is Austin, so we can’t forget about the tacos! South Congress offers up either pork or redfish tacos on their house made tortillas. Their handcrafted cocktails are a must have for your brunch outing and their infused Bloody Marys were voted the best in American by the Huffington Post!
Posted on July 26, 2017
The Top 6 Golf Courses in the Austin Area
1. Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
The club at Omni Barton Creek boasts four 18-hole courses each with their own unique look and feel. Book a staycation at the resort and enjoy their many amenities including a spa, pool, fitness center, and multiple dining areas. Or you can just go for the golf! Rates are pricier than some of the other clubs on this list, and you have to book two days in advance to get a spot during the day, but it will all be worth it once you step out onto one of their dazzling and award winning courses!
2. River Place Country Club
River Place Country Club is a luxurious private golf club featuring beautiful greens, rolling hills, and winding creeks throughout its 18-hole course. Bring along the whole family and go for a swim at the club pool, try your hand at tennis, or enjoy a nice meal at one of the numerous restaurants within the club. You can sign the kiddos up for the junior golf program, kids camps, or tennis program too. There’s also a child care facility on sight so mom and dad can both enjoy a round of golf or compete in a couple’s tournament while the kids are off having fun!
3. Wolfdancer Golf Club
Wolfdancer Golf Club is located within the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa and is an award-winning public course. The 18-hole course is a par 72 with stunning greens, rolling hills, and beautiful hill country views. There is also a 13-acre practice facility, two practice putting greens, and a short game area. The club is named in tribute to the Tonkawa Tribe and is a certified Audubon International Course. There are also tons of other resort amenities for you to enjoy including horseback riding, tennis, a spa and fitness center, a swimming pool, and the Major Neighbors Grill in the clubhouse. Prices for tee times are cut in half after 3:00PM and they have some great family and junior golfer specials!
4. Onion Creek Club
Onion Creek is Austin’s most historic golf club and was founded in 1974 by the three-time Masters Champion Jimmy Demaret with the help of another legendary golfer, Jimmie Connolly. In 1996 nine holes were added, making Onion Creek a magnificent 27-hole golf course right near the heart of Austin. Many professional golf tournaments have been held here, so you’ll feel like one of the pros as soon as you tee off! The club also features a fitness center, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. The Legends Lounge and Grille serves up a great Sunday brunch too!
5. The Golf Club at Star Ranch
Located in Hutto, The Golf Club at Star Ranch is the “Original All Inclusive golf course in Austin.” This beautiful 18-hole course offers pristine fairways and greens and white sand bunkers. The hilltop clubhouse overlooks the course and has a great pro shop and restaurant with a classic menu of yummy appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, etc. There’s also a ballroom, making it the perfect hill country spot for weddings and events. With affordable prices The Golf Club at Star Ranch is a great alternative to some of the pricier resort style and private clubs!
6. Falconhead Golf Club
Falconhead Golf Club is located just west of Austin and the course was laid out by the PGA Tour Design architects, so you know you’ll be golfing on a challenging and quality course. The tree lined course features rolling fairways and creeks and ponds for an added challenge. The club is public and offers great daily specials and pricing. It’s the perfect course to play if you want PGA level play at a more affordable price!
Posted on July 21, 2017
Whether you’re spending your summer days relaxing in a chaise by the pool, lounging under an umbrella on a sandy beach, or swinging in a backyard hammock, one thing always stays the same; you need a good book to keep you company. Read on to find out which page-turners you should pack in your beach bag this summer!
Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks
The latest from beloved and bestselling author Nicholas Sparks follows a man named Russell Green as he goes from having it all to almost losing it all, and his relationship with his young daughter amidst this downfall. Sparks found inspiration for the story from his relationship with his own children – three boys and twin girls. It’s an emotional story about unconditional love and how you push back when life tries to pull you down. Make sure you pack some tissues in your beach bag!
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
The perfect thriller for the beach, We Were Liars was written for young adults, but it’s a great read no matter what age you are. The story is narrated by Cadence Sinclair, a fifteen-year-old girl who spends her summers on her family’s private island. The story starts off as you would expect, with summer romance and adventures, but it soon takes a dark turn. Cadence has returned to the island with her family after an “accident” that she can no longer remember and that no one in her family will talk about. As the summer unfolds Cadence begins to regain her memory, realizing that nothing, and no one, is as it seems. With a surprise ending you’ll never see coming, you’re going to want to make sure all your friends read this one too, so you have someone to talk to about it once you finish!
American War by Omar El Akkad
El Akkad’s debut novel plays the ‘what if’ game, taking place at the end of the 21st century in 2074 America where fossil fuels are banned, Louisiana is half underwater, and the Second Civil War has just broken out. Six-year-old Sarat is living right in the thick of it and the story follows her journey and transformation as she tries to survive the war. El Akkad reported on the war in Afghanistan and has plenty of experience of his own to draw from. If you were a fan of dystopian fiction like The Hunger Games and Divergent you’re going to love this newcomer to the genre!
A Dog’s Way Home by Bruce Cameron
From the author of the novel turned major motion picture, A Dog’s Purpose, comes another heartwarming tale of a man and his best friend. Bella, a sweet and playful pit bull, jumps into the arms of protagonist Lucas Ray, and a truly unbreakable bond is formed. Through trials and tribulations, they stick together, that is until Lucas is forced to put Bella into a foster home. But, Bella won’t give up so easily. This story follows her 400-mile trek across Colorado to find her beloved human. Dog lovers are going to love reading this book while they lounge and play fetch with their own pup at the lake this summer!
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
A classic summertime story from the queen of beach reads herself, Elin Hilderbrand. The Identicals is about twin sisters whose similarities stop short at their looks. Harper lives on Martha’s Vineyard and is the carefree sister who can’t seem to hold down a job and loves to drink beer and take shots, and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it. Tabitha lives on nearby Nantucket Island and is sophisticated, prefers to sip wine, and has followed in their mother’s dainty footsteps. The sisters, though born together, have done their best to spend most of the rest of their lives apart. That is until a family crisis forces them to switch islands and come together to help save their family. Will they put aside their differences and realize family is forever or will the seemingly unbreakable bond of twins forever be severed? Get comfortable in your lounge chair, because you’re not going to want to move until you find out!
Posted on July 18, 2017
If there’s one thing Texas is known for it’s BBQ, and Austin residents are no strangers to the smoky smell of brisket, sausage,and beef ribs. We love our barbecue, but with so many places in the area claiming to “be the best in Texas” it’s hard to choose your favorite, go-to restaurants. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered! We’ve narrowed it down to what we believe are the top five places for Barbecue in the Austin area. Here are our picks, let us know what you think!
Of course we had to include the legendary Franklin’s on our list. Franklin Barbecue has spurred much debate over the years due to its insanely long lines – is it really worth waiting five hours for barbecue? We say yes, and the critics agree! Franklin’s has won just about every barbecue award there is and the owner, Aaron Franklin, even won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2015. Everything from the brisket to the turkey is melt in your mouth tender and delicious. If you just can’t deal with the lines or they run out of meat before you make it to the front, check out Aaron’s cookbook and try your hand at being pitmaster yourself!
Currently housed in its famous yellow food truck on Caesar Chavez Street, La Barbecue is making a big move at the end of the month and joining forces with a local convenience shop, Quickie Pickie just down the street. Don’t worry though, nothing will change about their delicious food. They’re even adding a second smoker to amp up production of their brisket and beef ribs. Fan favorites include the sausage and giant beef ribs. You can order ahead and avoid the long lines, or if you don’t mind the lines they offer free beer while you wait!
Possibly the most underrated BBQ joint in Austin, Freedmen’s will get you some of the best brisket, sausage, and spareribs with none of the crazy lines you’ll experience at Franklin’s or La Barbecue. Plus, Freedmen’s understands that the sides are just as important as the meats! Menu items like smoked beets, chili, baked beans, and homemade bread round out your BBQ experience. For dessert you absolutely have to try their famous smoked banana pudding. The drink selection is great too!
Micklethwait Craft Meats
Micklethwait (the “th” is silent) is located less than half a mile from Franklin Barbecue and has a fraction of the lines, but don’t think that’s because it isn’t just as great. This little food trailer definitely has something for everyone, serving up great classics like brisket and beef ribs, along with some equally delicious alternatives including chicken and pulled pork. Their real specialty though is their homemade sausages and coarse lamb and beef. With great sides and desserts Micklethwait takes no shortcuts. Owner and Pitmaster, Tom Micklethwait has a background in baking and worked at a popular Italian restaurant before breaking out into the BBQ biz. It’s certainly a seemingly unlikely transition, but boy are we happy he made the jump!
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
It’s BBQ with a spin. Valentina’s serves up BBQ you can definitely only find here in Texas, combining two of your favorite foods – barbecue and tacos. The menu is simple but delicious and includes both sandwich and taco options, but we recommend you try the tacos with their homemade flour tortillas. The taco menu includes of course a smoked brisket taco, as well as beef fajita, smoked carnitas, and chicken. Top your tacos off with homemade salsa and guac! Your sides have some Tex-Mex flare as well, the smoked corn is a fan favorite for sure! Valentina’s is currently located in its usual food trailer in South Austin on Manchaca, but owner Miguel Vidal hopes to move into the brick-and-mortar restaurant they’ve been renovating by the end of the year!