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visovm 11-09-2012 06:22 PM

Austin, TX: things to do
Calling all Austin and surrounding area riders:

I will be visiting my sister who (recently) lives in Austin for Thanksgiving. I will be staying with her for two weeks. The unfortunate thing is I don't have the time or money to ride down there from NY :(:

I have a few questions for you:

  1. Any attractions, places to visit, scenic areas, authentic food to eat, etc. that are worth while to visit within about 4 hours driving from Austin?
  2. Any thoughts on motorcycle rentals in the area? Preferably a sport touring, ADV or dual sport machine. (I may have the budget/time to get in a day or two during the week after Thanksgiving) This is probably a long shot, but I figured its worth a try.
  3. I am recently unemployed and that's how I have time for this trip (thankfully I saved some of that money and have a place to stay while in Austin). I am a recent graduate of architecture school and was wondering if any inmates could recommend architecture firms that are worth contacting? (It does not have to be one you work for, but one you may have done business with, know of through friends or family, used for your own projects, etc.) I am taking a shot in the dark with this one, I know there are not a lot of architects out there to begin with...let alone people who know or like them..:lol3
I am really looking for answers to my first question. But if you have suggestions for the other two, lets hear them!
Who knows, maybe I will become a resident of TX and can enjoy the riding it has to offer!

Thanks fellow inmates!

No False Enthusiasm 11-09-2012 07:07 PM

Every thing inside this loop is within 4 hours of Austin...

Employment wise, the southwestern quadrant is busy with an oil boom called the Eagle Ford Shale.

Houston has an improving economy, but I wouldn't wish that big city on my worst enemy...

Several moto rentals are available in Austin.

Good luck.


GSAragazzi 11-09-2012 07:15 PM

Hi there, I am not from Austin but do travel there 3 to 4 times a year. Here are my 2c : for a great casual meal go to 24 Diner across the street from Whole Foods Downtown. Great eclectic food and good selection of wines and specialty beers. Perfect before a long ride AND after IMHO .
For a different ambiance for a meal try Buenos Aires on Bees Cave area near Barton Creek which brings us to where the fun places to ride start. Anywhere south should be fun (Hill Country). Places near by would be Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock (German town and state park fun ride), about 1 hr north west. Blanco Texas has the best brewery around: Real Ale. Great to take a ride there and taste as well as Shinner Texas.
You need a ride, try :
They are in Dallas (3hrs north of Austin) but they might have a solution. They also have great ride maps available (see the top bar on their website). I do know tht Harley dealerships rent bikes if you are into that type of bike. Anyway, Austin is cool. Get a sticker for your bike that reads: Keep Austin Weird. And don't miss the music scene and maybe some kayaking in downtown.

visovm 11-10-2012 04:23 AM

Thanks for the responses so far.
I like all the places to eat as well as scenic locations to check out! Keep those coming.

The google map is nice to visualize the towns and good roads to ride.

I will add all these suggestions to the list.

Keep them coming!

Meriden 11-10-2012 09:22 AM

Not sure if you'll still be in town, but Lone Star BMW's holiday open house is on the 8th. A not to miss party!

visovm 11-13-2012 07:31 PM

Unfortunately I will not be around long enough to go the BMW holiday party. Im sure its a good one!

Any other suggestions? Im seriously considering a 2-day rental, so any ideas are worth while.

Cycledelic Relic 11-13-2012 08:58 PM

2 Day Rental?? might need more....
SERIOUSLY....Texas is BIG....even the area around Austin. My suggestion.... Get a Butler Texas Hill Country Map(I'm a dealer...nudge nudge) ....Ride as many of the really fun little paved "goatpaths" as possible in your time available. (there are plenty shown on the map!!) Don't forget a pic at Oatmeal Tx!!

Stop at the store in Castell west of Llano(beats the line at Coopers!)....On weekends they have BBQ or steaks (check before ya go though) Maybe the chicken is still there doin it's thing. Interesting place?!

The whole area around Fredericksburg is covered with those "goatpaths" & Luckenbach is closeby. There's also an old railroad tunnel with bats if you're into that. (or the Congress Ave bridge in Austin too)

The really big hills (3 sisters) are farther away & the roads get super crowded on weekends. Weekdays are the only time to ride em.

Just remember when riding the roads on the Butler map....the further west you stay away from I35....the better traffic wise. Generally close to or west of US281

PirateJohn 11-13-2012 09:06 PM

Austin is tremendously interesting. Ride the Hill Country, and check out the Food Channel and Travel Channel sites for all the restaurants they have hit around Austin.

Also, as someone else said the Austin BMW dealer is surprisingly hip. Check them out.

WoodButcher 11-14-2012 05:58 AM

What days are you going to be here? This Saturday there is a stunt riding show (throughout the day) at the BMW dealer. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is the monthly Pie Run by the Two Wheeled Texans to Hutto (just NE of Austin) and is a good opportunity to meet and hang out with riders.

I'm supposed to be laying wood floor with my extra time off for Thanksgiving, but will definitely make the Pie Run. We usually will add some miles on either side of the ride.

Anyway, if you PM me a regular email address I can send you a gpx file with some potential routes on fun roads.

Have you found a place to rent a bike yet?

eric2 11-14-2012 06:04 AM

Looks like these guys have some rentals. Good replies so far wrt eating, I might suggest a few in town places like threadgill's, chuy's, or z tejas. Out of town coopers in llano or opies in spicewood. Could also rent biciycles and ride around town lake which is an easy 10 miles. If you want to see hills and curves go west, things flatten out east of town.

New F1` track will open this w/e, might be worth driving by on our 85 mph roads.

visovm 11-19-2012 05:11 AM

Thanks a million for all the replies. This is exactly what i am looking for.

I have scheduled a rental for Nov. 27 and 28. I wish i had the money to do 4 days. I will make a point to get out to the twisted sisters and other destinations mentioned above. I was already in Llano and at Coopers on my last trip through TX (with my own bike that time).

I fly out to visit family this i still have a week to plan what i am doing, and i dont mind riding over 500 mile days to see as much as i can.

Keep them suggestions coming!

bloc 11-19-2012 11:48 PM

Restaurants: Barley Swine, Torchy's Tacos (seriously. SERIOUSLY.), Trudy's, Any of the food trucks on S. Congress, Snack Bar, Amy's Ice Cream, Home Slice Pizza, Magnolia Cafe, Shady Grove, Chuy's... this list could get long.

BBQ: Drive out 71 West toward lake Travis and go to Opies. Flat out EPIC. Salt Lick is pretty good.. but IMO overrated.

Lime Creek Rd on the East side of lake travis is a blast to ride.. probably the most twisty road I've ever been on. It is paved though.

The green belt is great for easy hiking, and right in town. Enchanted rock for hiking as well, though it is an hour to the west.

I haven't been out there but I've been told that the Lost Maples area is incredible if you catch it when the leaves are turning.

This is a great city to visit.. if you need any other tips let me know.

visovm 11-20-2012 10:32 AM

Thanks a lot for all the food stops. I went to Magnolia Cafe this morning, so I can check that one off the list.
If you have any other riding and/or visitation destinations i would love to hear them. I can always make a long list and would be a great excuse to come back and finish checking those items off.

please keep feeding me more great ideas!:clap

mike 11-21-2012 07:38 PM

if you go out Lime Creek Road take 1431 on out to Marble Falls. One of my favorite rides.

6th street is waaaay overrated.:puke1

Excellent drag strip in Marion about 60 miles southeast of town, if you like that kind of thing.

If you have more time in the future, the Big Bend area is well worth checking out.

exhaust_nut 11-25-2012 06:38 PM

Still in Austin?

Have ya been to Rudy's BBQ yet? My fave, all here will have strong opinions about Texas BBQ FYI.

The Texas State Capitol is free as is the LBJ Library.

Ya can catch some free live music while you eat home style cooking at Threadgill's, I prefer the north location it's the original & is less touristy.

Hope you are enjoying the cool weather - Pete

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