Travel

Austin City Limits Pt. 2 & Tips

October 17, 2015

Our third and final day of ACL actually started back down on Rainey Street. We were told by a few different people that we needed to go to Banger’s for brunch. And to arrive early. So we grabbed an Uber and arrived about 10 minutes before the doors opened. Smart thing too because not long after we were seated, there was a line down the block waiting to get in. The backyard-turned-patio area was awesome. Lots of seating, a fenced in area for dogs and a spot for a band. Tim made the comment that if we lived down there, “we’d be here every weekend.” Ha. They have a “manmosa” on their brunch menu, which is one liter of champagne with OJ. Get this–it’s only $10! We definitely ordered one.

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DAY 3
My number one goal for our last day of the festival was to get a picture in the official ACL Fest frame. We should have done that Friday since there weren’t as many people, but for some reason we didn’t. My number two goal for the last day was to not get sunburnt. The high for the day was 99 degrees. So I lathered on the sunscreen and we stood in line for probably 20 minutes or so to get a couple pictures. After that, we scouted out some shade and hung out until the acts we wanted to see went on.

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We tried to stay in the shade as much as possible until the sun went down, but it was unavoidable at times. It felt like the park was at max capacity with the number of people there. We made use the beer garden and eating areas because those were shade from the sun.

We watched the first part of Florence + the Machine’s act before heading to see the last couple of songs by The Weekend. We decided right then that we HAVE to go see Florence the next time she’s in St. Louis. Her energy was amazing and she sounded great.

Acts We Saw/Listened to:
Mandolin Orange, Lord Huron, Halsey, The Decemberists, Of Monsters and Men, Hozier, The Weekend, Florence + the Machine. Alt-J and Vance Joy were on our list to possibly see, but we’ve already seen them live so we didn’t make their sets.

Food Stands We Tried:
– Tiffwich Ice cream cookie sandwich from Tiff’s Treats
– Cheeseburger and fries from P. Terry’s Burger Stand (only okay)

Nightcap (after the festival):
We headed back to Little Woodrow’s on West 6th Street. We liked the vibe and it was close to where the buses dropped people off at Republic Square. We had no idea it was a chain!

FREE DAY IN AUSTIN
Rather than flying back first thing Monday morning, we booked an evening flight so we could have a chance to explore the city. We walked from our hotel down to the state capital and walked around the grounds. It’s your typical state capital building, but still nice looking nonetheless.

We then walked through downtown and made our way to Lambert’s for a BBQ lunch. We wanted to go to Franklin Barbecue, but they’re closed on Mondays. As we were walking to Lambert’s, I made a joke asking if it was a “cloth napkin” joint. (I honestly had no idea.) Sure enough it was. The restaurant space is really cool inside and has two levels. The barbecue was good, but wasn’t anything spectacular. We ordered the queso for an app and then the 3 meat plate with the brisket, hot link and chicken to split. The hot link was our favorite. I didn’t care for the beans, but the macaroni and cheese was pretty good.

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After lunch we walked down to the river front before deciding to rent bikes from B-cycle. It was fun to rent the bikes, though I have to say they were super awkward to use. Tim and I are both used to road bikes, so using a beach cruiser type of bike took some getting used to. The fronts of them were weighted down by the baskets, too. We road around a bit before dropping our bikes off at different location and making a short walk back to our hotel. Since the temperature reached 100 degrees that day (because TX doesn’t recognize the season of Fall), we were both hot and sweaty. Exactly how you want to be before flying, right?

Had it not been so hot, I would have liked to rent a kayak on Lady Bird Lake. We probably still could have, but neither one of us brought our swim gear. Had we rented a car, I would have wanted to go to one of the hiking trails just outside the city. Next time, though.

Final Recommendations/Tips:
– Use the free shuttles from Republic Square in downtown to Zilker Park. They were fantastic and I would highly recommend that option to everyone. We must have had awesome timing because we never really had to wait to board a bus downtown and only had short waits to leave the park in the evenings.

– We also rented a locker for the weekend. I read that it was worth it if you’re attending all three days as you can leave things in it overnight. I think we could have gotten away without renting one, but had there been rain the forecast I would definitely rent one. Having a place to store a change of clothes, extra sunscreen and other items was nice.

– Proper clothing and shoes is key. And sunscreen. I wore my Keds and these Sanuk sandals. Both worked out great.

– Take a reusable water bottle/CamelBak pack and use the free water stations. We drank so much water to stay hydrated. We also enjoyed a few local brews while at the festival.

– Austin’s downtown is extremely walkable and clean. We stayed at the DoubleTree near the university and walked to downtown on our last full day in Austin.

– If deciding between the two weekends, I say go for the one when Texas doesn’t have a home football game. The city became pretty busy, so I can’t image what it would have been like if TX had a home game.

Would I go to ACL again? Yeah, maybe. I kind of didn’t love how many people were there, but I really enjoyed the experience. I loved the diverse lineup this year, but I wouldn’t say there was one particular artist/group I was *dying* to see. So the lineup would have to be really good for me to go again.

Do I now want to move to Austin? Nah. I couldn’t tell you the number of people who told me I’d fall in love with the city and want to move there. Yeah, it’s definitely a nice (small) city with a lot of great qualities, but I couldn’t see myself living there. Visit again? For sure.

So in the end, it was a lot of fun and I had a good time. Talked with some nice and interesting people. Learned quick that it’s a Miller town because I got made fun of when I ordered an Anheuser-Busch brand of beer (a Mich Ultra). Thanks for your hospitality, Texas.

—m.

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