April 14-20, 2019
Austin, TX can no longer be classified as weird. As the new city slogan, #TrueAustin implies this capitol has more to offer than BBQ and 6th street. Austin is becoming a more metropolitan by the day and embracing all forms of culture, food and experiences. By venturing a little further out of the city center I got to experience the different neighborhoods and attractions that align with my mantra of learn, see do. Whether if this is your first or tenth time to Austin, this travel guide will provide you with some unique activities to do on your next visit.
- George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center: Located 10 minutes outside of downtown Austin this museum gives a brief history of the African American neighborhoods and families that helped to build Austin’s farming community. A rotating exhibit called Re-membering is the Responsibility of the Living, honors the those that lost their lives due to the color of their skin. This exhibition is a mix of performance and interpretive art that gives a eery reality to the experience of being black in America. An additional bonus, is that you can research your family history in the museum’s genealogy research center. This museum has no admission fee, but make sure to leave a donation to show your support for this cultural gem.
Munch Tip: Don’t leave this museum before heading outside to view Freedom Plaza. The life sized monument of the Emancipation Proclamation and the surrounding statues are a testament of the strength of African Americans. Make sure to take plenty of pictures and mark your a place in history by stepping on the podium to get the best angles.
- Texas State Capitol Building: Open 7 days a week, the Capitol Building is a great opportunity to see how state government runs. Plus, it’s the only time where you can see state government representatives wear cowboy hats and boots with their business suits. Your free to walk around the building at your leisure and pop into a session if there is a bill being voted on. There are free guided tours offered to visitors that last between 30-45 minutes every day. To sign up you must visit the tour guide office.
Munch Tip: When exploring the building, see if you can find the portrait of President George W. Bush. Hint, it’s located on the first floor.
- Transport Yourself Bat Flight Tour: Sure you can walk from downtown Austin to the Congress Avenue Bridge to view the iconic bats, buy why not take it up a level by riding on a Segway. You start the tour by meeting in a nearby neighborhood where you get to practice your Segway skills before hitting the road to explore the city. During this all inclusive tour, I got to see a view of the city from the water and swerving through the streets of the Austin allowed me to see the city in a way that you don’t get by riding in a car. My tour guide was knowledgeable and entertaining and did a great job of giving us the local perspective. Once we arrived at the Congress Avenue Bridge, the tour guide gave us the best pointer on how to get the best view of the bats. Overall, this is a unique and fun experience that is worth seeing.
Munch Tip: The bats start to emerge at sunset. The best way to see the bats is under the bridge in the lawn area. This allows you to sit down and get the full experience of seeing the bats. Make sure to wear something to cover your head to prevent getting some guano on your head.
- Chilantro: An economical meal with a powerful punch of flavor. The fast casual restaurant features Mexican and Korean BBQ options that you can mix and match to make your own dish. You can choose noodles, rice or fries as a base and pile on the options that range from kimichi to spicy pork. Yummy and tasty, I recommend this restaurant for an affordable and a quick bite to eat.
Munch Tip: Visit the location in South Shore where there is ample free parking and a parking garage.
- Terry’s Black BBQ: What would coming to Texas be without trying out some good ole’ BBQ. I’m usually partial to Salt Lick BBQ, but I wanted to try to try something new. I have to say that Terry’s could definitely compete with the big boy’s of BBQ. My menu choices consisted of brisket, pork ribs and sausage with a side of potato salad and cornbread. The ordering process is in the Texas style fashion where you go through a cafeteria line and order the meat by the pound. I’m not a brisket fan, however the way that Terry’s smokes their meat to the point that it breaks apart so easily, it immediately changed my perspective on brisket. The BBQ sauce was on the watery side, but I could easily overlook this because the meat was so delicious.
Munch Tip: Before heading in to the restaurant, head over to the smokers to learn about the BBQ process from the pit masters.