It’s the capital of Texas, one of America’s fastest-growing cities, and also my home away from home while filming a new season of Queer Eye! And today, I’m giving you a peek into all the things I absolutely love about this big city with small-town charm. From my favorite spots to sip a cocktail, shop for home decor, or spend a relaxing Saturday – here is my complete guide to all things stylish in Austin!
Where To Shop
It should come as no surprise that I love to shop (and share all my favorite finds). And while spending time in Austin, I’ve learned this city is full of all the things I love to shop for, from unique clothing to furniture to one-of-a-kind objects for your home. Here are just a few of the places you’ll definitely want to drop by (and maybe drop some coin) the next time you’re in town.
FOUR HANDS HOME
One of my favorite lines (that’s normally only available for designers) has its one and only public showroom in Austin. A great place to score furniture, lighting, and accessories with a modern twist.
While they’ve recently switched to online-only, this Austin-based business is a great resource for any small home accessories, home fragrances, and stylish gifts.
ROOM SERVICE VINTAGE
This vintage emporium has a little bit of everything (and I do mean everything). It’s worth a trip just to peruse the eclectic offerings.
SIDE STREET HOME
Owned by Interior Designer Melanie Clapp, this unassuming store is tucked away on a side street (hence the name). But its unique items definitely deserve lots of attention.
This standout men’s store (that also has an outpost in Los Angeles) is full of cool clothing and accessories with a southwest meets urban cowboy vibe.
The sister store to Stag, Daughters brings that same laid-back but cool vibe to the ladies.
Shop Bobby’s Favorite Austin Businesses
Where To Eat & Drink
No visit to Austin is complete without sampling some of its delicious food and drink. From the Tex-Mex you can’t miss to my favorite cocktail, here are the spots I recommend for dining and drinking.
This Tex-Mex institution is most well known for its witty signs (where the Fab Five and I posed for pics). But you also need to try the amazing food- and probably loosen your belt when you’re done.
THE ROOSEVELT ROOM
For a special cocktail, head to the Roosevelt Room. This elegant speakeasy has stylish interiors and even better drinks (and also offers options to go.)
Café No Sé
A bright and beautiful all-day café with something for everyone (including some mouth-watering desserts).
One of the most unique bars I’ve ever seen, it’s constructed entirely of shipping containers. A great spot to unwind after a long day of work – or, you know, transforming the homes of heroes.
Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon
You’ll find amazing, fresh, and flavorful Mexican at Fresa’s. The Achiote and Citrus chicken is truly the stuff of food fantasies!
Where To Stay
There is no shortage of super stylish places to stay while you’re in town. Whether you prefer a chic high rise or more cozy casita, here are the options I’ve been checking out (and you should check into).
THE PROPER AUSTIN
Austin’s newest “It” hotel, the Proper is a super chic option with enviable interiors and truly gorgeous guest rooms. It’s also got four restaurants and bars, a pool and is even pet friendly!
For a sunny, 70s vibe, check out Hotel Magdalena. The rooms feature color-saturated bathrooms and bold accents that are perfectly suited for a summer stay.
HOTEL SAN JOSÉ
This 40 room property was originally built in the 1930s and then renovated into a cute collection of bungalows. It has a very mellow and relaxed vibe, and an awesome coffee shop to grab your morning pick me up.
For a simple, stylish, and comfy place to lay your head near the University of Texas campus, you can’t go wrong with this new hotel from Marriott.
THE CARPENTER HOTEL
Formerly a Carpenter’s Union Hall, this hip hotel still has plenty of old-school charm mixed with all the modern conveniences you would expect.
Where To Spend Time
The best place to spend time in Austin? Anywhere outdoors! This city is full of green spaces, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes – and I’ve bee checking them all out. And with summer just around the corner, here are some of my favorite ways to really enjoy the outdoors (and a few ways to escape the heat too).
Getting around by bike is one of my favorite ways to really see the city. You can easily rent a MetroBike from one of 50 stations (just download the app to unlock and pay) and you’ll be cruising around town in no time.
A very cool non-profit art space that showcases a diverse range of visual media. A great place to check out and support local artists.
Dewey and I spent a sunny Saturday exploring this leafy park – and having a perfect afternoon picnic. Definitely check out Lou Neff Point for a gorgeous view of downtown (and a great photo op).
BARTON SPRINGS POOL
This is THE spot to be on a scorching day (and there will be plenty in Texas). The 3-acre pool is fed by a natural underground spring, keeping it at a cool 70 degrees year-round.