After being cooped up in the house for two full days, it was time to take the cameras and see where the day would take us. We started at Austin Java for amazing pancakes, headed to the Lamar pedestrian bridge, then to the state Capitol. When leaving the Capitol we were found ourselves in the middle of a refugee rally. After spending some time pretending we were news journalists, we headed to the Lake Austin-360 Bridge Overlook. If you haven't been, you have to go. The views are amazing and it is a short walk to the top.
We were looking for a somewhat vigorous hike (at least for us) nearby with elevation changes. Boy did we find it, in the form of several, several (did I say several) steps. River Place Nature Trail was a beautiful hike and can't wait to go back in the spring when the creeks aren't dried up.
Who wants to pay $100 for and ACL day pass, when you can go to KGSRs ACL Live show at Threadgill's for a $5 donation to HAAM. We got to sip bloody marys and listen to Milo Green, Shephard, Echosmith, Glass Animals, and my favorite Houndmouth.
Who knew there was a park full of free-roaming peacocks near Mount Bonnell? Well, we didn't. We went to Mount Bonnell to enjoy the view and stumbled upon Mayfield Park. This park was a private residence that is now open for the public to visit. It includes a historic cottage, two acres of gardens, and beautiful peacocks that will just walk right up to you. This would be a perfect spot for a small wedding!
One Sunday afternoon, we decided to take the jeep for a drive and looked up nearby hill country wineries. We stumbled on Wine Road 290's website. Just a short drive west of Austin, there is a 45-mile stretch of 290 that is the home of 15 award-winning wineries. We got a late start, so we only had time to visit a few of them. Our favorite was Hilmy Cellars. The front door is gorgeous, the Zinfandel blend was delicious, and they use Guinea fowl as a natural pesticide... what's not to love!
Downtown on 11th/Baylor is a great place to feel inspired. The Hope Outdoor Gallery is a three-story outside gallery where graffiti artists and muralists can display their work. It will even impress your teenagers. You can climb to the top for some outstanding views or just stay on the ground and admire the work. If you plan on climbing to the top, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes. It can be muddy and slippery in some areas.