This past month has been incredibly eventful for our little family. We packed up all our belongings, introduced Izzy to a bunch of family members, and finished our cross-country road trip to our new home. Prior to all that, though, we took Izzy on his first flight! We went to Austin, TX to visit some friends. Austin was perfect for our infant’s first trip. The plane rides were short, the city was drivable, and there were plenty of delicious casual dining options. If you’re considering a visit, read on for my guide on infant-friendly Austin to see what you can’t miss!
East 6th Street
This famous, historic street has something for everyone. I loved walking through East 6th Street and exploring while wearing Baby Izzy in a wrap. Here you can experience the local culture of Austin – through restaurants, independent stores, cafes, and bars that feature live music.
Do you believe in ghosts? If so, you may be intrigued by the Hotel Driskill, Austin’s oldest hotel. It’s rumored that a number of ghosts can be encountered at this historic site, including founder Col. Jesse Driskill himself. Don’t let that scare you away, though. The beautiful architecture featuring marble floors and a stained glass ceiling make the lobby of the hotel a must-see.
The drive out here is worth it for the views… or so I’m told. The day we went, it was so foggy that the area beyond the balcony at this restaurant was a completely white, blank slate! On a clear day, you can catch a gorgeous view of Lake Travis from the balcony. Aside from the view, the property is huge. There are lots of interesting art pieces great for photo ops and shops that sell all things Austin. The food isn’t bad either.
Round Rock Donuts
This local favorite has been around since 1926 and is worth the trip outside of Austin. Grab a Texas-sized doughnut from this little shop and split it with the family! They aren’t kidding when they say “Texas-sized” either – one of these doughnuts was about the same length as my baby! The dough is perfectly chewy and yeasty, and has a unique orange color. They also sell regular sized doughnuts in all kinds of flavors!
Salt Lick Barbecue
A visit to Texas isn’t complete without barbecue, and Salt Lick Barbecue‘s reputation is well-earned. First of all, the property is massive and full of rustic charm – apparently they host weddings! You won’t need to make reservations either. They were able to seat our group of seven at one of the many communal picnic tables. It’s busy enough that your little one can babble to his heart’s content without drawing any attention.
On a more important note, the food is some old-fashioned, Texas-style barbecue. Each entree comes with sides of coleslaw and potatoes, and the table also gets onions, pickles, and warm bread perfect for soaking up meat juices. I devoured my entree – a combination of tender brisket and pork ribs. I’d also recommend the bison ribs, which I sampled from hubby.
Stella San Jac
Stella San Jac is a newer restaurant and a perfect destination if you want a modern take on Southern food. We came here for their brunch and it was excellent. Definitely get biscuits to start. They come with a creamy honey butter that’s to die for. For brunch entrees, I recommend the Shrimp and Grits or the Chicken Fried Steak, which both combine Southern staples with city-wise sophistication.
Torchy’s Tacos began as a food truck serving creative twists on tacos. Now, it has several locations throughout the city, making this a convenient option for families who want to eat something unique to Austin. With a baby in tow, go to one of the brick and mortar locations instead of a truck for more comfortable indoor seating and a bathroom just in case. I recommend the Democrat, Independent, and Fried Avocado. The Guacamole is homemade and addictive!
University of Texas
The University of Texas at Austin is another walkable location to explore with your little one. The campus itself is large and full of sights, including plenty of green space to play on and a number of libraries and museums.
Lyndon B. Johnson Museum & Library
There were so many choices for museums to visit at the University of Texas campus, but I’m glad we went with this one. History nerds will love the detailed and interactive exhibits that cover not only Lyndon B. Johnson, but also the current events and culture of the 1960s and 70s. Don’t miss the Oval Office replica on the top floor! Downstairs, the gift shop had a great selection of children’s books. We picked up a super-patriotic board book as a souvenir for Izzy.
Have you been to Austin, Texas?
What infant-friendly activities would you recommend? Leave your thoughts in a comment!
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