Things To Do In Austin Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

If I had to pick one word to describe Spa Luxe it would be “experience.” From the warm welcome you receive upon walking in the door to the truly first class treatments the experience was nothing short of exceptional.  

I’m not sure the amount of spa days one needs to treat themselves to to be considered an expert but whatever the number is, I’m close. I’ve had countless spa days everywhere from hotels to day spas among various price points and Spa Luxe has set the new bar. (Holy Humble Brag – how can I rephrase this without sounding like such a brat). 

An important part of a spa day for me is the robe and a relaxation room, a luxurious robe and champagne before a massage always sets the tone for ultimate relaxation. Next up was a ninety minute massage. You now how certain people are born to do certain things, like Michael Phelps was born to swim, Beyoncé was born to perform,  my masseuse was born to massage. She had a gift for knowing the right amount of pressure and feeling muscle and tendon tension without me even mentioning it, it was magical and my eighty minutes were not enough. 

Next up was a HydraFacial which is the latest and greatest when it comes to facials. I’ve long struggled with clogged pours and this treatment was just what I needed. It’s been three weeks and my face still feels and looks clear and fresh. That most definitely will not be my last hHydraFacial. 

Topping of my day of self care was a pedicure, champagne in hand. The thing about Spa Luxe is that everyone was so good at their specific job. You felt like you were the only client of the day and they were truly invested in the longterm wellness of your body. 

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is gloriously lazy. For the most part, the entire world has gone on holiday. And after watching everything Netflix has recommended for you back-to-back, in your brand new pajamas and socks, you might actually want to exit your house for a while.

Luckily a company called Gift Pass has given this a lot of thought. And now you can save more than 30 percent while seeing the best Austin has to offer. The 30-day Gift Pass gives you access to 10 tours and activities and allows you to choose any three you want.

We’re talking about bus tours, bike tours, food and beer tours, museum visits, and more. You could even go for a little cruise on Lady Bird Lake. Make the most of your time in this magical city and pay one low price to do it all. So just to recap, this is 10 activities in 30 days for only $35. Y’all, that’s just crazy!

And they don’t call it Gift Pass for nothing—it actually makes the perfect gift. Click right here for all the details and to purchase. Give the gift of getting out!

Zilker Park offers an endless supply of things to see and do. And after a long day of swimming in Barton Springs Pool, playing frisbee with your pup, or visiting the Taniguchi Japanese Garden at Zilker Botanical Gardens, you will probably be in the mood for a little food and drink.

Luckily the area around the park offers some of the best spots for happy hour. Here’s a list of some of our favorites—from sushi and sake bombs to barbecue and $2 beers—there’s a little bit of everything in this hood.

Barton Springs Saloon

Daily Happy Hour: $3 well drinks until 7 p.m. every night, seven days a week.

Drink Specials: 
Sunday: $2 Vodka drinks all day (Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers, etc.)
Mondays: $2 Lone Star Longnecks, all day
Tuesdays: $2 Miller Hi Life Longnecks, all day
Wednesdays: $2 Lone Star Longnecks, all day

424 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704
512-482-9673

House Wine

Daily Happy Hour: $7 glasses of wine from 3–6 p.m.

Drink Specials:
All Day Mondays: 10 select bottles for $20
All Day Tuesdays: ½ price Frose / $6 off Rose, still and sparkling
All Day and Night Wednesdays: $2 off glasses / $6 off bottles
Fridays, 4–7:30 p.m.: $2 off glasses / $6 off bottles
Sundays, while it lasts: ½ priced glasses, bottles opened Saturday

408 Josephine St,
Austin, TX 78704
512-322-5210

Juliet Italian Kitchen

Daily Happy Hour: 3–7 p.m.

Drink Specials:
$5 wine by the glass
$5 Austin sips (select cocktails)
$5 Draft Beers

Food Specials:
$9 meatballs (tomato gravy with burrata and garlic bread)
$6 Salmon Crudo (sliced scottish salmon with capers, almonds and lemon sauce)
$10 Grilled Octopus (smashed fried potatoes, lemon aioli and spicy agrodolce)
$8 Calamari (fried calamari, lemon wheels and hot peppers with marinara)

1500 Barton Springs Rd,
Austin, TX 78704
512-479-1800

Baby Acapulco’s

Happy Hour: Monday 2 p.m.–Close, Tuesday – Friday 2–7 p.m.

Drink Specials:
$1 off beer bottled drafts
$6 House Mexican Martini
$1 Off Purple & Fruity Rita’s
$3 Shooters
$6 Rita Flights

Food Specials:
$5 Happy Bites Appetizers

1628 Barton Springs Rd,
Austin, Texas 78704
512-474-8774

Chuy’s

Happy Hour: Monday – Friday 4–7 p.m.

Drink Specials:
House Ritas – $4.95
Grande House Ritas – $7.75
House Texas Martinis – $8.75
Domestic Beers – $3.25
Glass of Wine – $1.00 OFF
Bottle of Wine – $3.00 OFF

Food Specials:
FREE Fully-Loaded Nacho Car. Chips, salsa, queso, taco meat, and MORE!

1728 Barton Springs Rd,
Austin, TX 78704
512-474-4452

Shady Grove

Happy Hour: Monday – Friday 4–7 p.m.

Drink Specials:
$2.75 domestic Beers
$3 Drafts
$4 Margaritas
$2 Cans of Beer

Food Specials:
½ off Queso and Green Chilli Fries

1624 Barton Springs Rd,
Austin, TX 78704
512-474-9991

Gibson Street Bar

Happy Hour: Monday – Friday 4–7 p.m.

Drink Specials:
$3 Wells
$4 Select Liquors
$4 Local Drafts

Weekly Specials:
Mondays : Select Whiskey Discounted after 7 p.m.
Tuesdays: Trivia with Geeks Who Drink from 8–10 p.m. (Free to Play)
Wednesdays : Steak Night 4–11 p.m. and $6 Moscow Mules after 7 p.m.
Thursdays : Select bottles of Bubbles Discounted All Night
Sundays : $1 Mimosas, $10 Mimosa Carafes and $5 Bloodies 11:30–3 p.m.

1109 S Lamar Blvd,
Austin, TX 78704
512-386-1345


El Alma

Happy Hour: Every Day 3–6 p.m.

Drink Specials:
$5 Jacked Sangria
$4 Beers
$6 Classic Margarita
$7 Margarita Chilanga

Food Specials:
Lunch, Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Brunch, Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

1025 Barton Springs Rd,
Austin, TX 78704
512-609-8923

Zax Restaurant & Bar

Happy Hour: Monday 4 p.m.–Close, Tuesday – Friday 4–6:30 p.m.

Daily Drink Specials:
$1 Off Draft Beers, wines by the glass and cocktails
½ Off Bottles of Wine
$3.50 Texas Craft Beers (Wednesday Only)

Food Specials:
$5 Plates – House Bruschetta, Grilled Polenta, Hummus w/ Flat Bread
$6 Plates – Zax Olive and Cheese Platter, Steak & Salmon Bruschetta (4 pieces)
$7 Plates – Mussels (Any Style), Grilled Shrimp, Fried Calamari
$8 Plates – Crab Cakes with Remoulade, Quesadillas, Pizza, Classic Burger

312 Barton Springs Rd,
Austin, TX 78704
512-481-0100


Corner Bar

Happy Hour: Monday – Thursday 4–7 p.m., Friday – Saturday noon–7 p.m.

Drink Specials:
$1 Off Drafts
$2 Off House Cocktails
$4 Wells
$5 Wine
$3 Tullamore Dew Shot with any Beer

Daily Deals (In Addition to Happy Hour):
Monday – $1 Off Featured Pints
Tuesday – $5 All Texas Vodka and Local Craft Beer
Wednesday – $3.50 Jim Beam, $4.50 Jack Daniels, $5.50 Tullamore Dew
Thursday – $2 Off House Cocktails
Saturday – $6 Espolon Margaritas or Paloma, $4 Doss XX Pints/ $13 Pitchers
Sunday – $2 Mimosas/ $10 Carafes, $5 Bloody Mary Bar (noon–7 p.m.), $10 tab – Free barbecue (3 p.m., till sold out), $3 Bud Light/ $10 Pitchers

1901 South Lamar,
Austin, TX 78704
512-445-9500


Uchi

Happy Hour: Daily 5–6:30 p.m.

Drink Specials:
$3 Unfiltered Sake
$3 Hot Sake
$3 Sapporo (Premium and Light)
$7 Sangiovese
$7 Grenache Blend
$7 Chenin Blanc
$6 “Kara Kyuri” – Yuzu, Cucumber, Thai Chili, Sake

Food Specials:
$6 Select Hand Rolls (Yellowtail, Scallion, Salmon, Grilled Shishito, Onion)
$7 Salmon Leche de Tigre (Coconut Milk Ceviche, Tomato, Barbecue Chips)
$3 Chefs Choice Nigiri
$7.50 Tempura (Market Fish, Pickled Onion, Chili Ponzu)
$9 Sticky Rice Cakes (Thai Sausage, Citrus Crème Fraîche, Onion)
$4 Yuka Frites (Green Curry)
$7 Walu Walu (Oak-grilled Escolar, Candied Citrus, Yuzupon, Myoga)
$5.50 Foie Gunkan (Candied Quinoa, Fish Caramel, Shiso)

801 S Lamar Blvd,
Austin, TX 78704
512-916-4808

Wait, seriously, how did this happen? Christmas is days away! Don’t panic, you still have time to conjure up a great gift for the people you care about. We actually have the best, last-minute gift idea in the world. In fact, even if you had all the time in the world this would be what they really want: a Favor Delivery gift card! That’s right y’all, give the gift of having anything delivered.

Favor Delivery gift cards are great for new parents, busy college students, or anyone who wants to save time and get items from local restaurants and stores delivered to their door. It’s so much better than any other gift card because using those often involves braving the elements and wearing something dressier than your coziest pajama pants. Why would they want that?

If you’re on the fence about becoming a true holiday hero and giving the gift of delivery, let’s imagine what your loved one could use it for. Austin will be their oyster! Here are a few thoughts off the top of our head …

JuiceLand Because Austin is full of healthy people, and also sometimes hungover people who really need super fresh coconut water brought to them.

Fresa’s Because your person wants something hot and local and savory and amazing—like tamales or roast chicken. And they want it now!

Hopdoddy Because cheeseburgers and also because truffle fries. And because there is always a line to get into this place and that sounds like a lot to manage.

Amy’s Ice Cream Because the only thing better than eating delicious, Mexican Vanilla ice cream is having a nice person knock on your door and hand it you.

H-E-B Because literally everyone in this city is in need of something from our fav Texas-grown supermarket at all times. Paper towels! That awesome guacamole they make! More ice cream! The possibilities are endless.

Chuy’s Because their queso is our founder Kristy’s No. 1 Favor order, and because that sounds really good right now.

The Grove Because your parents would love an excuse to relax and indulge. And because you really want them to feel loved this year. And because you want to teach them about Favor.

CVS Because the convenience of having someone run that late-night pharmacy run for you is priceless.

Home Slice Pizza Do we need to explain this one?

And BLOOMS flower shop, because flowers make everything better. They can dress up their house for any occasion—even if it’s just a Tuesday.

To purchase a Favor gift card, go to favordelivery.com/gift-cards. Choose a design, your desired amount, and the gift card will be sent your way via email. Also it easily fits in a stocking, so minimal wrapping is required. We have all the holiday tips!

True to form of every weekend here, there’s something for everyone this New Year’s Eve in Austin. Want to party like it’s 1999? We’ve got that. Live music from a locally-based, nationally-acclaimed band more your speed? We’ve got you covered!

Here are our top picks for the best New Year’s Eve parties in Austin: 

Experince Austin: NYE 2019

Experience Austin will have VIP stretch limos and party busses, a private open bar mixer, and performances from Torin, Victor Cyrus, King Paida, and DJ Hubbard, this event is sure to be one hell of a time!

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 7:00 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 3:00 a.m.
LOCATION
NYE Industry Mixer
801 N Commons Ford Road West
Westlake Hills, Austin, Texas 78733
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

2nd Annual Fire & Ice New Year’s Eve Party

VIP Seated Tables are available for purchase, which include admission for your group, Champagne, bottles of spirits w/mixers, lite bites, and a Champagne toast at midnight, as well as upgraded party favors.

GA ticket holders will get to enjoy hors d’ oeuvres, a Champagne toast at midnight, access to the cash bar, and party favors.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 8:30 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:00 a.m.
LOCATION
Moonfire Lounge
310 Colorado Street Unit B
Austin, TX 78701
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

Willie Nelson & Family New Year


Willie and family will be at the The Moody Theater from December 29th-31st to kick off the new year. The NYE festivities will be hosted by Andy Langer and will feature a mix of festive elements as you countdown to 2019.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 8:30 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:00 a.m.
LOCATION
The Moody Theater
310 W Willie Nelson Blvd #1B,
Austin, TX 78701
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

Gatsby’s House – Austin New Years Eve 2019

 

 

Take a trip back to the roaring twenties, where Flapper and Zoot suits are encouraged at this awesome Gatsby themed NYE party! This event has a little something for everyone with two dance floors, a five hour prepaid bar, and a Casino Night with Craps, Roulette, and Blackjack where you can win up to $250 in VIP gift certificates.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 9:00 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:00 a.m.
LOCATION
Omni Austin Hotel Downtown
700 San Jacinto Boulevard
Austin, TX 78701
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

The Black Puma’s

The beat-heavy psychedelic soul project lead by vocalist Eric Burton and guitarist Adrian Quesada will be hosting a NYE Party from 9pm -2am at Antone’s; doors at 8 pm.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 8:00 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:00 a.m.
LOCATION
Antone’s
305 E 5th Street
Austin, TX
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

The Black Angels – New Year’s Eve at Mohawk

GA Tickets are $35, VIP is $60 which includes priority entry to the show, a bottle of champagne and a NYE poster from The Black Angels.

DATE AND TIME
Monday December 31, 2018, Doors at 7:00 p.m.
LOCATION
Mohawk
912 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

Austin’s New Year Celebration 2019

This will be a free family friendly New Years Eve event, hosted by the City of Austin and will run from 3-11 pm. The festival features two music stages, 15 local and regional bands, food trucks, kids activities, and multiple art installations.

DATE AND TIME
Monday December 31, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
LOCATION
Mohawk
912 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701
MORE INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

Keep It Quiet Presents: The NYE Party

Ticket purchase includes an open bar, PIZZA, and music from Thank You For Sweating. The event will be sponsored by, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Playa Real Tequila, Red Bull, Nine Banded Whiskey, and others.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 9:00 p.m. –Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:00 a.m.
LOCATION
Fair Market
1100 East 5th Street
Austin, TX 78702
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

New Year’s Eve: A Labyrinth Themed Masquerade Ball

Special Creeps will be performing a two-hour live set, followed by DJ Shewolf. There will be a free photo booth and champagne toast at midnight. No cover for this event, doors open at 9pm; 21+ only.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 9:00 p.m. –Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 1:55 a.m.
LOCATION
Indian Roller
1322, 10006 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78748
MORE INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

The Nightowls

The Nightowls will be performing at Stubb’s on New Years Eve. Tickets will include a BBQ buffet with smoked honey ham, brisket, jalapeño cheddar sausage, and plenty of extra house made sides.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, Doors at 9:00 p.m.
LOCATION
Stubb’s Indoors
801 Red River,
Austin, TX 78701
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

Happy Noon Year Cruise

Looking to avoid the madness of the typical NYE party? Start your celebrating early and tour the city on this double decker boat on Lady Bird Lake.

The cruise begins at 11am, and tickets include an open bar, retro-themed music, a three-course buffet, champagne toast at noon, and a photo booth. There will also be a costume contest and a post cruise party at a local bar. The cruise is two hours, at $55 per person.

DATE AND TIME
Mondy Dec 31, 2018, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
LOCATION
Lone Star Riverboat
208 Barton Springs Rd,
Austin, TX 78704
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

A Very Austin NYE on the Downtown Library Rooftop

Enjoy breathtaking views of downtown and Lady Bird Lake, and take in the fireworks from the very front row. GA Tickets include a limited open bar (full bar available for purchase), appetizers from Irene’s, 24 Diner, and Italic, a midnight toast, photo booth, raffle contest and special performances from Walker Lukens and DJ Fjord.

VIP includes access to a full open bar, VIP area, a private bar, and a bottle of sparkling wine at midnight. GA Tickets are available for $150 per person, VIP $400.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 9:00 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 1:00 a.m.
LOCATION
Austin Central Library, Austin Public Library
710 West Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX 78701
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

Fire & Ice – New Years at Fairmont Austin

Tickets include access to TWO parties, the ‘Fire Party’ starts at 9:30 p.m. on Monday (New Year’s Eve) followed by the ‘Ice Party’ on Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m.

The Fire Party will feature specialty drinks, cigar rollers, music by James Spear, and a special toast at midnight. The Ice Party party will include a complementary glass of Moët & Chandon, access to ice bars, luges and snacks, along with live DJ performances. Tickets are $30 per person, bottle service will be available at the New Year’s Eve Fire Party.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 9:30 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION
Fairmont Austin
101 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

New Year’s Eve Drag Party at Irene’s 

The party will be hosted by Rhonda Jewels and Party Babe. The event is open to the public and includes various drink specials, a countdown into 2019, a special toast at midnight, and music from local DJ’s.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 10:00 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION
Irene’s
506 West Ave,
Austin, Texas 78701
MORE INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

Bob Schneider’s New Year’s Eve Party

This concert will be held at The Paramount Theater, and is hosted by Austin’s beloved Bob Schneider. Guests will enjoy a concert/party combination, with a campaign toast at midnight, along with a mix of other surprises throughout the night.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, Doors at 8:00 p.m.
LOCATION
 The Paramount Theater
713 Congress Ave,
Austin, TX 78701
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

New Year’s Eve at Rose Room & 77 Degrees

Tickets include admission to both The Rose Room and 77 Degrees, where there will be two live DJ’s, aerialists, and fire performers, as well as bottle service upon request.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 9:00 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION
The Rose Room
11500 Rock Rose
Austin, TX 78758
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

The Capitol Countdown at The Belmont – New Years Eve

 The party at The Belmont will include special dance performances, several dance floors featuring three different DJ’s and genres of music, a photo booth, silent disco, balloon drop, and a complementary champagne toast at midnight.

VIP ticketing options include VIP Rooftop access, hors-d’oeuvres, and complimentary sponsored beverages.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 8:00 p.m. – Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION
305 W 6th St.
305 West 6th Street
Austin, TX 78701
TICKETS: CLICK HERE

San José Presents: A Pink Armadillo New Year

Join Hotel San Jose in the courtyard lounge for a Pink Armadillo New Year from 8pm – Midnight! Enjoy live music by DJ Markus and a champagne tower. This event is free to attend.

DATE AND TIME
Monday Dec 31, 2018, 8:00 p.m. – midnight 
LOCATION
1316 South Congress Avenue 
Austin, TX 78704
RSVP: CLICK HERE

ALTERNATE OPTIONS:

New Year’s Day Hangover Brunch at Irene’s

Help cure that New Year’s Day hangover with this Tuesday brunch hosted at Irene’s. The brunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on new years day and will include Irene’s full brunch menu, along with mimosa and bloody mary specials.

DATE AND TIME
Tuesday, Jan 1, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
LOCATION
Irene’s
506 West Ave,
Austin, Texas 78701
MORE INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

Uchi Austin

Uchi will be offering a special twelve-course menu for New Year’s, which will include bites like bay scallops with dashi lavash and bruleed grapefruit, mussel tortellini, king crab with brown butter, and turmeric congee. The special starts at $195 for two.

DATE
Monday, Dec 31, 2019
LOCATION
Uchi Austin
801 S Lamar Blvd,
Austin, TX 78704
RESERVATIONS: CLICK HERE

Uchiko Austin

Join Uchiko for a nine course meal, that includes oysters with kasu sorbet and golden trout roe, scallop with sweet potato and persimmon, wagyu ribeye with black truffle, and other delicious bites. The special starts at $185 for two.

DATE
Monday, Dec 31, 2019
LOCATION
Uchiko Austin
4200 N Lamar Blvd,
Austin, TX 78756
RESERVATIONS: CLICK HERE

Be safe y’all, and welcome to another year in the greatest city on earth!

If you win this prize—and we are crossing our fingers for you—then the pressure is off for New Year’s Eve. You’ll have the best plans out of everyone you know! The Fairmont Austin is giving away a package that includes a one-night stay in a Parkview Jr suite, complimentary valet parking, and two tickets to the Fire & Ice party at Rules & Regs!

Heat up your New Year’s Eve, then cool down your New Year’s Day. The fire themed party on Dec. 31 will feature specialty drinks, a champagne toast, live cigar rollers, and more. And the Ice themed party on Jan. 1 will feature a polar plunge, ice bars, ice luges, and more. This is the way you want to start 2019!

Click here for more details and to buy tickets. To enter visit our instagram

In honor of National Tequila Day, we put together a list of the places you would most likely be able to find us celebrating this important holiday. Frozen or rocks, chile-salted rims, or no salt at all; here are our favorite spots in Austin for margaritas in 2018.

12. Polvo’s

The cult favorite restaurant just opened its third location downtown at the base of the 360 building. All three restaurants offer the various margarita options that made them famous.

11. El Alma

When we want options, we go sit up on the roof at El Alma. Their drink menu offers ELEVEN types of margaritas.

10. Hula Hut

Because sometimes the ambiance of where you’re drinking your margarita is just as important as the taste. Nothing beats a Hula Hut margarita after a long day on the lake… or at the office.

9. Matt’s El Rancho

This South Austin institution pumps margs out by the hundred. Frozen, rocks, or premium, you can’t really go wrong here.

8. Vivo

We loved the original Vivo location on Manor road, but while the location has changed, their consistently delicious margaritas have not.

7. Fonda San Miguel

Photo by Ashlyn Allison

Deemed the mecca of Mexican Food in Austin, they also have really great margaritas. Try the Silvercoin, Watermelon infused with Patron Silver, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice.

6. Trudy’s

We typically go all-in and just order Mexican Martinis (sans glass), but they offer swirls, dots, and other fun combos of frozen drinks as well.

5. Curra’s

Photo by Melody Fury

The most unique margarita in Austin can be found off Oltorf. The Avocado Margarita isn’t just a gimmick, it’s delicious as well.

4. Ranch 616

Photo by Julia Keim

The West 6th Street hotspot offers several margarita variations, but the true star of the show at 616 is the Ranch Water. A concentrated, boozy version of a margarita topped with Topo Chico.

 

3. Licha’s

Three words: $5 Happy Hour (four words?) Combier finished margaritas and hearty snacks for five bucks a pop.

2. Fresa’s 

Our biggest struggle is whether to order frozen or on the rocks, and then to drink them inside at the bar or outside on the patio.

1. La Condesa

Polls have been conducted, and the margs here typically finish top of class. If a $10 margarita is out of your acceptable price range, check them out for happy hour in their bar area M-F from 5-7pm.

Cover Photo by Melody Fury

 

We’re all looking high and low for the ultimate holiday gift—something they would never expect in a million years. Well, here’s a really hot tip: Garrison Brothers’ Single Barrel Program.

People who really love whiskey know all about Garrison Bros.—because it’s the only brand making a legit, real-deal, puritanical bourbon in Texas. At a distillery in the little town of Hye, a man named Dan Garrison has accomplished what many have tried and failed to do. For people who have long conversations in the corners of dark bars about the art of bourbon appreciation, Dan Garrison is a hero.

If you know one of these people, give them an experience they will truly never forget. The distillery offers a program where individuals or groups can come out to Hye and hang out with Master Distiller, Dennis Todd. On this dreamy day, they will drill holes in barrels that have been aging for years and get a taste of the good stuff! Participants can pick a barrel with a meaningful date or just one they are particularly vibing with.

Once they’ve chosen the barrel they like best, they can choose the proof/alcohol content they desire, help cut the whiskey, and bottle it up themselves. It’s a fully immersive, one-of-a-kind, bucket-list sort of thing—and bottles will be custom labeled with whatever they want it to read

There is seriously nothing quite like this present. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Your house will be stocked … like forever. For more info, and to order a single barrel, click right here.

 

It’s almost impossible to believe, but Austin’s beloved Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is celebrating its 43rd year of existence! This famous fine art market and musical fest features national and local award-winning artists, at least three bands performing live each day, two full bars, and local food. The holiday atmosphere gets merrier every year.

There is no better place to pick up unique gifts for the people on your list. The event features more than 175 contemporary touring visual artists and local favorites showcasing their work while the Armadillo Bazaar stage entertains shoppers with national touring acts and Grammy nominated musicians. With lights down low, spirits high, and the music just right, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar makes holiday shopping fun.

The 2018 bazaar will also give back to local nonprofits in a big way! Feel good about throwing your money around this year—and shop for gifts that could only be found right here in Austin.

To save time and snag your tickets online, click here!

When: December 13th–24th

Time: 11 a.m.–10p.m. daily

Cost: $10 for General Admission | Free for kids 12 and under

Location:
Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704

The holiday shopping frenzy has officially begun, so we wanted to give our readers a little help this year. We’ve scoured the city for the best local gifts light up the lives of the people you love!

All of these products are Austin related— either made here or made by a company that was founded by an Austinite. Give the gift of Austin!


For the Californian in your life… How To Be A Texan Manual

Handy for both the native-born and the wannabe—this manual charts a blueprint for how to live like a true Texan. Learn the lingo and how to take a proper bluebonnet photo, how to get big hair, and the best way to make a Frito Pie. You’ll also have a bucket list of all the places Texans should visit in their lifetimes. 


For the fashionista who has everything… Kendra Scott Statement Earrings

An artful addition to any jewelry box. These stunning statement earrings by Kendra Scott are architectural, on-trend, and fun. Sure to bring a smile to your fashionista’s face.


For the ageless person in your life… Olive + M Essential Set

Get glowing with Olive + M! The local skincare line is women-owned, all-natural, cruelty-free, and vegan. Featuring oils, serums, and scrubs that leave your skin nourished and glowing from head to toe. 


For the coffee obsessed… Atlas Coffee Club 

Give a solid pick-me-up to your favorite espresso expert. The coffee of the month club curates the world’s best single-origin beans from micro-lots around the world. Each 12-oz bag is roasted fresh and delivered to your door monthly, along with flavor notes, brewing tips, and info about the global coffees received.  


For the person who needs a ‘me’ day… Lake Austin Spa Gift Certificate

A mega chill-pill for the stressed out friend. Lake Austin Spa offers luxury spa experiences and a peaceful sanctuary for ultimate rest and renewal in a picturesque Hill Country setting. Their heavenly treatments offer a wide range of massages, facials, body wraps, and more. 


For your flame… James Thomas Mandle (Man Candle)

For your boo or forever-bachelor friend. Up your dude’s home swagger with a ‘mandle’ from James Thomas Candle Co. Scents like Firewood, Cowboy, Gentlemen, and Hombre are made with 100% premium soy wax for an all natural, eco-friendly, clean burn. 


For the person who doesn’t get their recipes off Pinterest… Elizabeth Street Café Cookbook

Gift the top chef in your life this instant favorite. Huge plus… the recipient can make you beautiful, delicious Vietnamese fare and French baked goods for every meal. 


For the chef who loves local products… Texas Olive Ranch Olive Oil

Any home chef will adore the oils from Texas Olive Ranch. The olive oils are pressed with 100% Texas grown olives, along with Texas-sized flavor. The local company offers the freshest olive oils in the state, and fun flavors like Spicy Chipotle Rattlesnake Oil and Hill Country Herb Oil


For the ‘Eleven’ in your life… Zero Gravity Institute Sensory Deprivation Experience

In a world full of over stimulation, why not give the gift of nothing! Float effortlessly in 1,200 pounds of dissolved epsom salt while light, sound, and temperature fade away, giving your nervous system a much needed reboot. Take care of your loved one this holiday season by giving them a gift that replenishes the body, mind, and soul.


For your partner in crime… The Escape Game Austin

From art heists to gold rush adventures, this gift is perfect for the person/people you’d just love to spend quality time with. The Escape Game Austin has several puzzle rooms to choose from, and you’re sure to make memories with friends and loved ones with whichever experience you choose.  Right now, get 20% off single-game gift cards to The Escape Game with code Austin365 on their online store.


For the person you’re closest toPHLUR Fragrance Set

The ultimate gift for the fragrance-lover in your life, PHLUR’s sustainable scents and #shelfie-worthy minimalist packaging look as amazing as they smell. The original Hanami fragrance is creamy and floral, subtle and chic. They’ve translated that scent into an equally delectable candle, made with hand-poured vegetable wax in a custom ceramic vessel. Naturally, such a creamy scent is equally satisfying as a body wash or body lotion—or both!


For something unique… Eliana Bernard Ceramics 

Give a piece that really makes a statement with Eliana Bernard handmade ceramics. The marbled platters, bowls, plates, mugs, and vases will be the talk of any tabletop all year long.


For the ‘yoga and happy hour’ person in your life… Outdoor Voices 

If you didn’t give or get an OV piece this year, are you really even an Austinite? Their locally-loved activewear will get you out of bed and looking good for those post New Year’s resolution early morning workouts (or while drinking mimosas during Sunday brunch) #DoingThings


For the jewel in your life… Fail Jewelry 

The perfect gift for designer and artsy friends, Fail crafts delicate pieces with a modern feel. Jewelry that can easily transition from a t-shirt and jeans to a little black dress. 


For the person that can never find their keys… Noah Marion Catch All

Noah Marion focuses on untreated, un-dyed, natural vegetable-tanned leather in order to allow the user to personally bring the design to life. Noah Marion makes quality handmade goods in the heart of Austin, TX, out of their shop located at 2053 South Lamar Blvd. 


For your sweet-tee… Fine Southern Gentleman Apparel 

For the finest gentle man or woman in your life, FSG designs some of the raddest original screen-printed shirts with a whole lot of southern pride.


For the person who warms your soul… El Cosmico’s Bolivian Blanket

These hand-dyed, hand-loomed, vintage South American wool blankets will have your loved ones feeling El Cosmico vibes for years to come.


For the friend that’s too ‘gouda’ to be true… Antonelli’s Cheese Gift Basket 

The best way to say “I care,” through cheese! Antonelli’s offers the city’s best selection of curated cheeses, gourmet spreads, and all the fixings for the ultimate holiday charcuterie board.


For the TOTE-ALLY trendy… Raven + Lilly Tote

Raven + Lily offers trendy, fair-trade fashion, accessories, and home goods with its core underlying mission to empower women on a global scale. Gift a unique piece and support employing artisan women around the world.


For the person that wants to forget the holidays… Local Liquor 

For the booze hound who loves to raise a glass (or four), Treaty Oak Distilling’s liquors are bar cart staples. Pick up a bottle of their Waterloo Gin or Red Handed Whiskey and let the party begin.


For the pup-parent in your life… Boots & Arrow Dog Collar

For your friend who has an insta-famous fur baby. Keep the four legged love of their life looking fashionable and fresh in Boots & Arrows’ collars, handmade in Austin. 


For the person who is always hostingRosso & Flynn

We know your loved ones deserve a steak dinner pretty much every night. Keep them well-fed and feeling loved with quality meat delivery from Rosso & Flynn. The local company sources meat from local ranches committed to transparency and sustainability. Add a fine bottle of red wine and you’re on their permanent nice list. 


For the person who has everything… El Arroyo Sign Book

That’s right, the El Arroyo sign has its own book! The Tex-Mex restaurant’s famous marquee sign, whose black letters tell a new joke to passing motorists each day, is featured in El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs. Share the love and give your friends something to laugh about.