The Lone Star State

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You guys know the drill.

We plan a vacation. You give recommendations.

Just because y'all are awesome like that.

Soooo... in early December, we're heading to the big ol' state of Texas. Neither of us have ever set foot in Texas for any reason (I've never even been to one of their airports!), so it is a completely new experience. We'll spend roughly two nights/days in San Antonio, and two more in Austin.

We're staying near the Riverwalk in San Antonio (Got a 3-star hotel for $48/night on Priceline. Yes. $48!!), and then in downtown Austin. We need recommendations for it all... places to go, things to see. But please keep in mind that we have pretty limited time in each city, so give us your best of the best!

Of course, we know that one of the most important things (the most important thing?) to do in Texas is E-A-T. I am really looking forward to that part. We're pretty open to everything, but one thing we absolutely MUST do is eat at an authentic Mexican restaurant. You know, one actually run by Mexicans. Sadly, I don't think I've ever had the privilege before.

I guess the only other important thing to know is that we're renting a car, so we'll be able to get around on our own very easily. We'll be driving from San Antonio to Austin on a Saturday afternoon.

On your marks... get set... GO! :)

P.S. I know some of you already gave some recommendations. I didn't forget about those, but just looking for more now that we are for sure heading on down to Texas!


Vanessa November 5, 2009 at 2:41 AM  

Hi Heather, sadly I haven't been to Texas so can't give you tips there... but I hope you don't mind my asking an unrelated question. I can't find the search function on your blog anymore - did you take it off? Or am I just being my usual useless-with-technology self? As you know, I love looking back at your old posts and Road to the Aisle has been inspiring me so much as I plan my wedding, so this function was a really useful one for me. Just wondering. Have a great day!

Shauna November 5, 2009 at 7:31 AM  

I didn't look at the comments on the last post but did anyone tell you about the bats in Austin (google it). I know it sounds weird but I went to see them last time I was there and it was awesome! I also recommend finding somewhere to grab a local brew and listen to some music. Austin has an amazing music scene and tons of cool bars.

One other cool thing about Austin is "The Dillo" the free public transit that runs all over the city. Took me way too long to figure it out last time I was there. Yay! I love Austin!

Kate November 5, 2009 at 8:29 AM  

There is a huge colony of Mexican Free Tail Bats living under the Congress Avenue bridge. It is quite a thing to see, but only in the summer. They leave for the winter, so that won't be something you can go see in December. Definitely go down to Zilker Park (near downtown Austin) to see the Trail of Lights and the Zilker tree. Christmas fun!

Amanda November 5, 2009 at 8:30 AM  

Eat at the Mercado in San Antonio at least once. It's not ON the Riverwalk, it's actually above it. But it's got *true* Mexican food (I've been to non-tourist Mexico several times, I can attest). I missed it the first time I was in SA, but I'm glad I went the second time! Otherwise, most of the restaurants on the walk are delish.

Oh! And take a boat tour on the river! You see these little boats and you think "Oh, what a rip off!", but the tour guides are actually PACKED with historical information, and they're really fun too.

Cheryl,  November 5, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

you should be okay in early December, but when we went to Texas over New Year's for the Sun Bowl a few years back, ALL the local Mexican places (and we were practically IN MEXICO) were closed cause of the holiday. San Antonio was my favorite part though! We only had time for the Alamo but there are a bunch of shops and stuff too!

Just Jen November 5, 2009 at 9:20 AM  

You guys will be in SA after they light the river, so that will be so pretty. Definately go to the market square and eat at Mi Tierra. It is delicious Mexican food and it's pretty affordable.
We love the Iron Cactus on the riverwalk - they have the best spinach artichoke and portobello enchiladas (and tequila flights). I suggest going to the Tower of Americas & going up in the tower. They have a restaurant and a little bar with tasty appetizer.

Ricci November 5, 2009 at 11:30 AM  

I've been a casual looker on your blog, but never commented. My husband and I are from Texas, and I've lived in both SA and Austin.
Great vacation idea, as there are a TON of things to do in each location.

San Antonio:
We actually stayed in SA for our honeymoon. Do NOT go to Zunni's on the Riverwalk, the service was terrible. As in, I tipped 2 cents terrible. Casa Ole was great and so was Schilo's Deli, which just so happen to be stacked on top of eachother.
For stuff to do, try to catch a show at the Majestic Theater, go to La Villita, or make the 30 min drive to Sea World. It's worth it.

South Congress Ave. has some great eclectic shops, Mount Bonell is really pretty, and check out the Blanton Museum of Art. Kirby Lane Cafe, Z-Tejas, and The Iron Cactus offer some great eats.

Sorry this was really long!

~*TheNewMrs.Perez*~ November 5, 2009 at 11:59 AM  

I'm super excited that you're coming to Texas...even though that sounds weird and a little creepy-ish! lol but I promise I'm not. :) Definately eat at Mi Tierra's in S.A. It's ran by real mexicans(!) and the bakery is yummy. I also recommend the Riverwalk as it will be lit up with christmas lights.
In Austin, I 2nd Congress and possibly even 6th street. If you like night life, a Saturday night on 6th is awesome. Also, Z Tejas is yuuuummmmmyyyy!!!! You'll have fun in Austin no matter where you go, and if you need a tour guide...I'm here! :)

Natalie November 5, 2009 at 1:09 PM  

ooh i hope you blog about your trip lots because we're trying to plan a trip to austin for this spring and i'd love some recommendations :)

all i can say about it so far is that my husband swears by freebird burritos...?!

Chelsey November 9, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

I lived in San Antonio for a year, LOVE THAT CITY! I want to take Jason there for a vacay soon.

You can't really go wrong with any of the Mexican restaurants there, they are all run by authentic Mexicans and the food is GOOD! Someone suggested Mi Tierra-very good! There is a Mexican restaurant on the Riverwalk that's good too, Casa Rio, and it's fun to sit next to the river.

There is a tiny touristy town called Greune (pronounced "green") just outside of San Antonio, pretty much on your way to Austin that you should hit up on your way if you have time. There is a good restaurant there called Greune River Grill. If you are ever there in the Summer you absolutely must float the river (Rockin R River Rides), funnest thing I ever did while living there!

You probably know about Six Flags and Sea World. There is a horse race track there too I used to go to kill time. If you want to go South at all you can visit the state aquarium and the gulf, ride a ferry or two. There is also a battleship you can visit, I think this is all in or near Corpus Christi if I remember right.

Really good authentic Texas BBQ? Rudy's: YUM!

Jen November 30, 2009 at 11:47 PM  

just randomly came across your post, but i have a couple of suggestions for you. i have heard great things about mi tierra in san antonio (as someone else recommended). also, someone mentioned rudy's bbq, and i have to respectfully disagree - i find rudy's unpleasantly greasy and pretty much gross. i'd highly recommend the salt lick restaurant for bbq (it's in south austin). also, z tejas is delicious, and primizie osteria (also in austin) is some of the best food i've ever had.

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