One-Day Itinerary in Austin for First-Timers

Austin, Texas

One-Day Itinerary in Austin for First-Timers

It has been close to eight months now since I moved to Austin, Texas, time flies! And after the long journey to the fiance K1 visa I got in France, I am still waiting for my green card… but that’s another story.

This post is also available in: frFrançais (French)

We don’t live exactly inside Austin or even close to the downtown area anyway (the 1h20 bus trip is making me miss the convenience of Paris metro), but I have always loved it. The first time I came to the US a few years ago and told people I was visiting Texas, I would always get looks and advice to go to New York instead. Well, my in-laws live in Austin, not in New York so Texas it was and I had a blast. Actually, anybody who knows Austin will tell you it’s not really Texas. Our Live Music Capital of the World is much more diverse than you would think and lives up to its motto, “Keep Austin weird”.

All in all, we don’t go downtown so often but when my good friend from Paris said she was visiting me, I knew she would love it as much as I do. So I came up with a nice itinerary for a day out in the city.

Get tacos at Torchy’s

If you haven’t had breakfast yet, start your day off on the right foot with some breakfast tacos from Torchy’s, located on South Congress Ave. Although you can find them in several states now, they started in Austin and make some of the best tacos.

Greeting from Austin mural

Greetings from Austin

Austin is known for its art and many murals. What better way to start a day in Austin than this one? You can find it on the corner of 1st street and W Annie Street.

Big Top

Big Top candy store on South Congress, Austin

It’s time for some shopping. From clothes to trinkets and art works, South Congress, or SoCo is lined with shops that are fun to explore. Make sure you stop at Big Top. This old fashioned candy store features a soda fountain, chocolates, fudge and taffy of all flavours like maple bacon or chicken waffle among others. Hard to resist!

Allens boots

Alles Boots, Austin

Kinda liking these red boots!

Another must-stop on SoCo that will remind you that you are in Texas is Allens Boots. We actually spent quite some time there, trying on the weirdest boots and finding some that we could actually wear!

Before I die Wall

Before I die wall in Austin

Let’s make a short detour from Congress Ave along Elizabeth street. That’s where you can find the “Before I die” wall. It’s a fun way to leave your mark in Austin. There is so much I want to achieve before I die that I ended up picking a short-term (fingers crossed) goal: have an actual wedding. Simon and I have been married for about 7 months now but we haven’t had a proper wedding reception yet with our closest friends and family.

Jo’s Coffee

I love you so much wall in Austin

Outside wall of Jo’s Coffee

Back on S Congress now towards Jo’s Coffee. They probably make good coffee and snacks, but what we were more interested in was the mural on its right side.


Cactus tacos at Vegan Nom, Austin

Cactus tacos at Vegan Nom

At this point, you will probably be ready for some lunch. We went to Freebirds world burrito, just a few minutes walk away. If you are driving, there are several food trucks in the area that are worth the detour. I recommend the Vegan Nom located on E Cesar Chavez St for vegan tacos, they even have a cactus one. The Picnic food truck park, on Barton Springs Rd,  is another option with more variety of cuisine too.

Texas Capitol

Texas Capitol in Austin

Take a couple of hours in the afternoon to visit the CapitolI feel like knowing a bit of history always helps understanding a new culture. They even offer free guided tours.

Ann and Roy Butler trail

Ann and Roy Butler trail

Boardwalk on the Ann and Roy Butler trail

Ann and Roy Butler trail

If you still have some time to spend in the area, enjoy a walk along the river.


The Russian House in Austin

The Russian House

The Russian House in Austin

Dinner at the Russian House

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in the downtown area. If you are still up for Tex-Mex, the Iron Cactus is a good choice. If your palate needs a change, I recommend the Russian House. We discovered it recently and I would describe it as hearty food in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

6th street/Meeting the bats

6th street in AUstin

If you are not totally exhausted, take a moment to wander along 6th street which is famous for its bars and live music.

Meeting the bats in Austin

In the summertime, head out to Congress Avenue bridge to watch the bats

Have you ever been to Austin? If you have other ideas, I’d love to read about them in the comment section below!

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One-Day Itinerary in Austin, Texas for First-Timers | A Journey Away travel blog

One-Day Itinerary in Austin, Texas for First-Timers | A Journey Away travel blog



French travel lover and expat in Texas | Translator and main writer for A Journey Away travel blog