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It appears like most people are moving to Austin lately, doesn't it? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it's the fastest-growing metro – particularly now that many people are looking for a change of scenery during pandemic times. It is no surprise it isn't slowing down in popularity: Austin is known for its eclectic music scene (the yearly South by Southwest Conference and Festival is held there), inventive food options (it's not just all barbecue!), and cool vintage shopping. And while it's a city with a bustling downtown, the nearby parks and lakes allow it to be ideal for feeling like you’re still a part of nature with plenty of opportunities for getting outdoors and staying active. You don't necessarily have to move there to reap the benefits, however: You just need a few days to see what all the hype is about. Browse the Sunday Edit's first-ever city guide – Austin, TX edition – and find places to stay, what to do, and where to eat.

Where To Stay

Miraval Austin ($$$)

To take full advantage of the 18 and over wellness escape that overlooks Lake Travis, think about the Miraval Unlimited Package which includes three gourmet meals and use of over 20 fitness and meditation classes, two resort pools, a yoga barn, an appearance mindfulness center, and a large number of daily wellness activities (like curated experiences with well-being counselors, chefs, and astrologers). Named North America's Best Destination Spa by the World Spa Awards, the life span in Balance Spa features a menu of over 60 offerings. You can also create a wellness itinerary based on the desired aim of your time away, whether you're recovering from loss, you want a couples' getaway, or you're on the leadership retreat. Each spa-inspired room includes a private balcony that overlooks the landscape. Stay a day, or make the weekend from it with easy trips to downtown Austin just half an hour away.

Hotel San José ($$)

This 40-room, the minimalist hotel is situated in the South Congress district – a vibrant and popular hangout area for visitors and locals alike. The aesthetic, which was designed by Liz Lambert, the founding father of hotel company hospitality organization Bunkhouse Group, has an Austin-meets-Tokyo vibe (think: vintage posters, concrete floors, and colorful kimono-style bathrobes which are also available for sale in the hotel's boutique gift shop). Your accommodation includes a private garden courtyard having a pool to obtain a reprieve in the Texas heat. You will also get convenient access to Jo's Hot Coffee Good Food next door and curated in-room minibars. Famous for their frosé, the hotel's courtyard is another great place to chill following a long day.

Heywood Hotel ($)

Walking distance from downtown Austin, you will find this woman-owned boutique hotel with seven guest rooms which include lots of personality. Throughout the space, you will find local Austin artists, tastemakers, and designers featured in the decor and design. Rates include free parking, craft beers whenever you check in, hand-crafted chocolates, and locally roasted Heywood Blend coffee. You'll also find a number of Austin-made goods within the on-site boutique like T-shirts, accessories, and lotions – you can even buy the same plush, sateen bedding that's utilized in each room.

Where To consume and Drink

Summer House on Music Lane

This lively restaurant which opened late last fall, belongs to Hotel Magdalena (another charming Bunkhouse Group property). Enjoy al fresco garden views for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, or dinner having a menu that focuses on bright salads, rotisserie cooking, and wood-grilled meals. Or, enjoy small bites and drinks similar to their fan-favorite Summer House Colada or extensive wine list in their new poolside hangout. Only registered guests at the hotel can savor the pool but non-registered guests can buy a pool pass Monday through Thursdays. The executive chef, Jeffrey Hundelt, joined the kitchen after to be the culinary director of Launderette, that was once named Food & Wine's Restaurant of the season.

Arlo Grey

This lakeside restaurant (located within the Line Hotel) is the debut of Top Chef season 10 winner Kristen Kish who had an instinct to cook even while early as the chronilogical age of seven. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide a bright, airy feel to the dining space along with a look at the outdoor pool. Kish calls recption menus “elevated Midwestern” (in which the adopted Korean chef grew up), and fuses French and Italian ingredients sourced from local farms. Take a look for dinner from Wednesday through Sunday, then head on up to the hotel's P6, a former rooftop parking garage that has been reformed into an open-air lounge space with amazing views of the Austin skyline.

Suerte

Getting buzz was not an issue with this traditional Mexican eatery. After opening in July 2022, it landed on Eater's Best New Restaurants in the usa list, Bon Appétit's Top 50 Best New Restuarant's list, as well as nailing a James Beard Award nomination. Open for supper, weekend brunch, and “lucky hour” (a.k.a. happy hour), customers will write home about the homemade masa and you may order some of Mexico's best mezcal straight to your table. Owner Sam Hellmann-Mass triggered executive Fermín Nú~nez (also formerly of Launderette), who was raised in Mexico and South Mexico and South Texas to bring recption menus to life.

Bar Peached

Come for the Korean pizza, stay for that bingsu. Equal parts cozy and modern, Bar Peached is first a bar having a wide array of cocktails, wines, and beers, but it's additionally a restaurant serving Asian fusion small plates that are meant to be shared (type of tapas-style). The porch along the restaurant provides you with a choice to consume outdoors and relish the scenery, or dine indoors one of the quirky, homey decor. And about that bingsu, that is a creamy, shaved ice Korean dessert that serves two to four people: It gets an interesting twist with versions like the Birthday Cake that has mochi, cake frozen treats, birthday cakes, and sprinkles. Closed on Mondays, you can go to for supper, plus Sunday brunch.

What To Do

Chapel Dulcinea

Chapel Dulcinea had become the first free wedding chapel in the world. But if you are not getting married, the open-air venue is on top of an old walking trail that makes it an excellent hike to determine panoramic views overlooking Texas Hill Country. About Twenty minutes beyond Austin, the chapel was built with an ancient Native American trail. Prior to visiting, you can view its livestream, where you can likely catch a contented couple tying the knot.

Lady Bird Lake

If you want to enjoy a chuckle in the sun, there's no shortage of outdoor activities at Lady Bird Lake – named after Lady Bird Johnson who devoted a lot of her time for you to preserving nature. Whether you're into kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, the river banned personal motorized boats so it's an ideal spot to hang out lakeside anytime of day. If you don't seem like being super active, you can just walk the boardwalk, take one of the cruises (the lake is really big, it appears a lot more like a river), or go bat watching at sunset if you be there between March and November.

Uncommon Objects

This hipster flea market is kind of like the Disneyland of antique shopping. Snap up old neon signs, vintage tech relics, old-school toys, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and so much more. There are 24 on-site antique sellers that may offer you tips and background around the pieces, but you won't feel pushed to purchase. For those who have a real love for history (and green shopping), you'll feel nostalgic as you take your time browsing this mecca of antiques. Throughout the year, on the last Sunday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Uncommon Objects expands their backyard right into a flea market where other vendors can participate.

Austin City Limits (ACL) Live at The Moody Theater

Since 1974, the PBS music series Austin City Limits has provided performers a platform and viewers an opportunity to watch amazing, full-length performances. For just $6 an individual (under 5 years old have the freedom), this 90-minute music tour enables you to go behind the curtain in which the longest-running TV music series within our country is taped. You'll also get exclusive use of ACL Live merch after the tour.

Zilker Summer Musical

Take in a free Broadway-quality outdoor show in this annual event held at the Hill Country Galleria from July-August. You just grab a blanket to sit down around the lawn or covered patio seating (which is furthest from the stage). The performance has been a beloved Austin event during the last 62 years and has carved a path for actors who want to make it to Broadway.

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