Things to Do

If you’re considering moving out of San Francisco, one of the concerns we had was if there was enough to do in Austin. Having grown up surrounded by a multitude of options for day trips, food and fun, it would be hard to give all that up. The good news is that Austin has plenty of alternatives for many SF favorites.

If You Liked: Napa
You’ll Love: Fredericksburg

A little smaller and a lot more country, Fredericksburg is what Napa used to be before all the tasting fees and tourists.

If You Liked: Stanford/Cal Football
You’ll Love: Texas Football

There might be some gourmet picnics set up before Stanford and Cal games, but nothing compares to the way Austinites tailgate. The area surrounding Darrel K Royal Stadium shuts down and gives way to the smell of BBQ and parking lots full of fans. Don’t have tickets for the game? There are plenty of bars around town that host viewing parties.

If You Liked: The Metreon
You’ll Love: Alamo Drafthouse

There’s no better place in America to see a movie than the Alamo Drafthouse. Kick back and order dinner (the food is actually good) and a drink – the Drafthouse is your one-stop-shop for evening entertainment.

If You Liked: Golden Gate Park
You’ll Love: Barton Springs

It may be smaller than Golden Gate Park, but Barton Springs packs plenty of options – kayak, hike, jog, swim or picnic with friends – and is just 5-10 minutes from downtown.

If You Liked: The Delta
You’ll Love: Lake Travis

With two lakes within 30 minutes, water sports are quite popular in Austin. Jump on a wakeboard, get a drink at the Oasis or just relax in the cove, Lake Travis offers all the water entertainment you could ask for.

If You Liked: Giants/As Baseball
You’ll Love: Round Rock Express Baseball

Just as entertaining at only a fraction of the cost, Round Rock’s minor league baseball team, the Round Rock Express, lights up the stands from April to September. When the game ends, head next door to the Salt Lick where you can enjoy some of Austin’s best BBQ.

If You Liked: The Mission
You’ll Love: East Sixth Street

Great live music, street eats and colorful characters can all be found in Austin by heading to East Sixth Street. Nightlife is best between Congress and I-35, but if you’re looking for Mexican food, don’t stop there, the food gets even better as you head further east.

If You Liked: Pac Heights & Cow Hollow
You’ll Love: West Sixth Street

If you’re looking to get a bit classier for the night, the best bars for young professionals are found on West Sixth. But even though they’re not fratty, it doesn’t mean they aren’t packed. Be prepared for lines and waits past midnight.

If You Liked: Palo Alto
You’ll Love: The Warehouse District

The Warehouse District is full of classy wine bars so you’ll never be short of choices for somewhere to enjoy a glass of pinot grigio and an appetizer among friends.

If You Liked: Berkeley
You’ll Love: SoCo

If you need a place to enjoy vegan food with a hippie atmosphere, look no further than South Congress. Eclectic shops and stands line the street in one of Austin’s most popular neighborhood for young professionals.

If You Liked: The Ferry Building
You’ll Love: Whole Foods

If you think a grocery store can’t replace the Ferry Building, think again. The flagship Whole Foods is a popular date spot offering a bevy of eat-in or take-out choices as well as some of the best produce, meat and prepared foods around.

If You Liked: North Beach Italian
You’ll Love: Botticelli’s

A modern alternative to traditional Italian, Botticelli’s also offers something most SF restaurants can’t: outdoor seating that doesn’t require fleece.

If You Liked: Blue Bottle Coffee
You’ll Love: Summermoon

Think you’ll be short of good coffee in Austin? Think again. With roasters like Summermoon wood firing their coffee beans and making their own milk, you won’t miss a thing.

If You Liked: The House
You’ll Love: Uchi

Contemporary Asian dining doesn’t get much better than Uchi. Fresh ingredients, a changing menu and flawless execution has earned it well-deserved a cult following.