This Mama Hearts Austin, Texas

The final installment of our vacation is upon you! Hallelujah!

This one will be real fun because if you’re traveling to Austin (someday … ever … you should really plan on it) I’ve got a bunch of links to things we loved. 

We left Lubbock by way of a 6 hour road trip. My sister drove all the way from Fort Hood one morning to pick the kids and I up and the turn right around and drive us back to her place. The longest trip car trip Max had ever been on was the 3 1/2 hours to Leavenworth and it didn’t go well. So to say I was nervous about 6 hours was an understatement. Thankfully his new found love for “gums” (fruit snacks), the iPad, a long nap and a stop at a near abandoned mall for dinner and some running around made the drive bearable. Dare I say enjoyable. I may just have a little road tripper on my hands!

Before I blast you with photos here are the links to all my Austin favorites – I honestly can’t wait to go back. Austin is definitely the Portland of the south. Which adequately explains my love for her.


  • Inner Space Cavern — Beyond amazing! I loved this tour, totally worth the price and very educational. It’s about 30 minutes outside of Austin.
  • Thinkery — This is Austin’s children’s museum. If you have a membership at your local museum always check out other ones when you travel – often you can even get an admission discount. The Thinkery honored ours! There is a park very close so we picnicked after a morning of playing.
  • Downtown Georgetown — Georgetown is a suburb of Austin and the downtown area is just the sweetest. I could spend a whole day here easily. My favorites were Little Loft/The Exchange (kid and mama consignment) and All Things Kids, a cute toy shop with a play zone.  I met a mama friend at Nancy’s Sky Garden for a super yummy (and healthy) lunch. We dined at The Monument Cafe too – definitely need to head back there because their menu was boasting with amazing choices, many of which included items from the on site garden.
  • 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment — Every Thursday, pending good weather, Fort Hood’s Horse Detachment unit puts on a show. Well, maybe not a show, but a practice. It was great and they happily gave us a tour afterwards. So, make your way to Fort Hood to check them out, Max adores horses so this was totally up his alley.
  • Austin Nature and Science Center — A free outing that is definitely worth a morning or afternoon. The dino digging pit is awesome!


I gained a solid 5 after a few days in Austin. So much food to savor. I still dream of it often. Because I am a foodie who is still breastfeeding and therefore I crave ALL THE CALORIES.

  • Hopdoddy — The culprit of all my dreams. Lordy! I need this restaurant in my life forever and always. The Magic Shroom burgers the ultimate. I mean, hello, goat cheese on a burger – DIVINE! Add parmesan truffle oil fries and a caramel sea salt shake and yes, my perfect meal was born. We planned to go back a second time but the line was around the block :( I almost cried. So, my advice? Don’t miss Hopdoddy and aim for an off time – maybe a weekday at 3pm or something.
  • Snap Kitchen — I met the lovely Mallorie at one of their food trucks while the kids played with Mimi and the Aunties at the Thinkery. I got the best deviled eggs filled with spicy hummus and a chai cashew “milkshake” that I’m aiming to recreate soon. 
  • Amy’s Ice Cream – I hate vanilla ice cream, but mexican vanilla? Bomb!
  • Torchy’s Tacos — I could eat the Democrat all day, ev’ryday. The guac was a winner too.


South Congress – SOCO – is the place to go. I’m guessing there are other districts with great things too, but we didn’t venture beyond here because there was so much to see, buy and swoon over.

  • The Gypsy Wagon — This was my favorite boutique. Cute things for mamas and kids. I want it all!
  • Uncommon Objects — So weird, but so cool. I found some of the raddest deer antler cast offs to make a necklace. Don’t laugh. My mom already did. Finished product coming to a Style File near you soon :)
  • Goorin Bros Hat Shop — What can I say, the travel bug bit me and I splurged on a huge floppy hat that I adore and will probably have until I’m 72. This hat shop is across the US so definitely look one up!
  • Allens Boots — A super famous and fun shop to pop into. My favorite boots were $550. I tried them on, smiled, and then found a similar pair on eBay for $40. I know, I know! I awarded myself a few rockstar thrifter points after that purchase.
  • New Bohemia — Allens also had some sweet cowboy-esque button ups in the $100 range. I peeked next door and found a small men’s vintage plaid one at New Bohemia for $25. They’ve got tons of darling vintage pieces too – some of the most beautiful dresses I’ve ever seen!

If I had another week in Austin, I’m sure I could have found a billion more loves. Mallorie often shares here favorites so don’t miss her blog. Next Austin trip (I say that like I travel often … before this trip I hadn’t been on an airplane for over 3 years!) I for sure want to make it to County Line and Hula Hut.

Now. All the fun in photos …

austin 1austin 3 austin 4 austin 5 austin 6 austin 7 austin 8 austin 9 austin 10 DSC_0424IMG_5338 IMG_5475 IMG_5654 IMG_5853 IMG_5870 IMG_5899 IMG_5963 IMG_6123We had some down time too – a must when traveling with kids. That’s when we fell in love with this game, made these, did this, and kicked off this little business. My sister is also a fabulous cook and whipped up crepes and a creamy basil pasta dish for us – I’ll be stealing this recipes stat to recreate and share!

Austin, I love you – I’ll be convincing Dominic to bring me back soon. Especially for that Hopdoddy burger. Nothing will ever compare!

Have you visited Austin before? What do you love? What needs to be on my “must do” list for my someday return?

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  1. says

    Oh my goodness! That giant light brite! FUN! I have always adored the thought of visiting (or moving to) Austin. You gave me even more reason to go!