Recently Aaron and I spent a few days at a resort that is about 30 miles outside of Austin. It was truly the best of both worlds for us. We were in the “woods,” but really close to our home city. While there we met three different families from Chicago that were in Texas for Spring Break. What are the chances that three different families from the same part of Chicago who didn't know each other would end up in the great state of Texas at the same resort?
The way we met them was through me being all up in their business. Aaron thinks I'm nosy. I call it just being aware of my surroundings! Anyhow, I overheard two of these couples talking about how they were heading into Austin for the day and they didn't know what to do. Y'all I couldn't keep my mouth shut then!
In the three and a half years that we've lived here I have said numerous times how much I love living in Austin and how I could die here because I don't plan on ever leaving. This city has truly captured our hearts and we love all the craziness about it! We love that our kids get to live miles from a very cool downtown and that we frequently eat at lots of crazy places with our kids. I have yet to eat at a chain restaurant, except CFA, but come on, momma needs her chicken biscuits. There are so many fabulous places to eat that are truly local and I love that!
I gave them my advice.
Head to South Congress.
Park your car.
Get out and walk.
It's that simple. I don't think you can go wrong with those instructions. You can park on South Congress and find some fabulous restaurants, trailer eateries, dessert places, funky thrift stores and a view of the bats coming out at night! It's awesome.
Recently we packed up our kids and told them we were heading to South Congress for lunch and gave them two options. We offered them GUERO'S or HOME SLICE. Two very different restaurants, but both equally local feeling and delicious.
Majority ruled and our family ended up spending our lunch at Home Slice on South Congress. This place has truly some of the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life. We get the exact same thing every time we go, because when you find something that does you right, there's no reason to change. One of my favorite things about Home Slice is that is combines Austin life with NY style pizza and that makes this lover of Austin and NYC very happy!
I met one of the chefs last year and he told me that each year they close down their shop and head to NYC to taste pizza and get better ideas on how to make their pizza better. Oh my I love that!
This place is perfect for kids! Immediately my kids ran to the courtyard where they spent the whole time playing ping-pong and we had to literally drag them away from it! One of my most favorite things about Austin is that people just take their kids anywhere and it all works out well! Kids fit in most places around town and we love that our family can do lots of fun stuff together that's not adult only!
Our next stop was Amy's ice cream and if you are visiting Austin you for sure need to get to an Amy's ice cream during your stop here. They have such great flavors and my kids love getting the works on their ice cream! Nothing beats local ice cream!
Finally, if you're visiting South Congress, grab your camera and your loved ones and get your picture taken in front of the sign “I love you so much!” So fun and it would be a fun family picture to document your visit to Austin!
We love family days on South Congress. Whether we eat at Home Slice, Perla's, a trailer, Guerro's, Vespaio (one of our favorite date spots) or South Congress Cafe, we're going to get great food, lovely family time and lots of fun in our favorite city in America.
$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway
Travel Texas and BlogHer are sponsoring a great giveaway to one lucky reader. Please leave a comment telling me where you'd like to visit in Texas. You can request a free Texas Travel Guide from the TravelTex.com website where you can get lots of great ideas!
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/1/2012-6/1/2012.
Be sure to visit the Discover Texas page on BlogHer.com where you can read about other bloggers' adventures and find more chances to win!
Hmm…a place to visit in Texas…I think I’d pick the Rio Grande Valley or go back to West Texas and check out the McDonald Observatory again. Both places intrigue me with either their history or their science. I look forward to hearing other places people want to visit, then I can make a ‘bucket’ list of places to visit in Texas!
I would love to visit Austin! I have family in the Houston and Dallas areas and have visited briefly but Austin just sounds SO FUN.
Hey, Jamie! Next time y’all are on SoCo have Aaron give me a ring–my backyard touches the Home Slice parking lot. Would love to see y’all!
I’d like to visit Dallas sometime soon!
Nice!! I seriously love living in Texas. We live in Houston but I’ve only been to Austin a few times. Never REALLY explored it. I would love to do that.
I would love to visit more of West Texas to go camping! Especially before it gets too hot 🙂
I visited Houston as a kid but I’d like to see Austin one day…I’ve heard a lot of good things!
I’m a true Texas girl and I’m a sucker for the hill country…it’s perfection! And of course West Texas with it’s quirkiness and beautiful stars!!! Marfa is one of my favorite places to visit and the McDonald Observatory is amazing! Hmmmm…making me a little homesick! HA!
I tweeted about the giveaway!
I would like to visit San Antonio
Weird story, pretty sure those families stopped at the same restaurant in Bloomington, IL on their way to Austin. They (or another group of families from Chicago) discovered they were headed to the same place while my family was eating there.
I was born and raised in Texas and would love to come back for a visit. It’s been years since I’ve been to Austin.
I would love to visit Dallas, but after hearing about Austin, we may just have to head that way soon!
Having grown up in Austin, I can totally understand your love for my hometown. I miss it dearly since I’ve relocated to the Texas Hill Country, which everyone from “town” loves to visit. I know why, now…it’s amazing, and I love it out here, too. I still try to visit Austin as often as possible, though.
I’ve been all over most of Texas, but I’ve never been to the Big Bend area…and I would REALLY LOVE to go! Do the Marathon, Alpine, Marfa drive, and visit the McDonald’s Observatory outside of Ft. Davis…head south to hit Presidio and Lajitas and Terlingua. Hike the national park and raft the Rio Grande. Then north to take a dip in San Solomon Springs at Balmorhea State Park on the “way” home…what a trip that would be!
i wouldlike to go to Austin
i want to visit austin! my best friend just moved there and its a long way away from california!
Never been to Austin – that would be fun!
The Texas Hill country or west Texas – I want to see some wide open spaces!
I’ve never been to Texas. I think I would like to start at Galveston and drive west… zig zagging across the state
I’d love to visit Austin for the music scene and amazing food. We went to South Padre recently and loved it.
One place I’ve always wanted to go see is the “big tree” on goose island in rockport. It’s supposed to be giant! I love trees and to have a famous monster in Texas is just too cool. I’d also like to stay in a hotel in Austin and explore the city as if we didn’t live here and take it all in differently from what I know and love about it!
Loved your review. Austin exactly the city in Texas that I want to visit 🙂
I would love to visit Fredericksberg! The vineyards and antique stores are fun, plus it’s so darn cute!
I would love to visit Austin. I have not been in a while and my hubby has never been!
Hmmm…pretty sure your blog has convinced me to visit Austin! 🙂
I would like to visit Dallas.
Buc Days Rodeo, Festival and Carnival in Corpus Christi Sounds like fun. I think my kids would love it.
Amy [at] utry [dot] it
Tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/#!/uTry_it/status/198685803193438208
Amy [at] utry [dot] it
i want to visit san antonio! Thanks for a super giveaway!
Thanks for the chance to win!
email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com
I’d love to visit funky Austin or San antonio….I’ve heard the riverwalk in SA is beautiful
Oh, so many wonderful things to discover in Texas. I am always up for a visit to Austin (my favorite city in TX) but the thing I’d love to do that I haven’t ever done…go to the Kerrville Folk Festival. Days of great music and strangers becoming friends? Yes, please!
I would love to visit Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX with my son and husband! I have heard really great feedback from friends who have been. We will actually be staying in Arlington in June for 2 nights to take my mother-in-law to see Il Divo in concert in Grand Prairie. Super excited about that upcoming trip!
I want to take my kids to sea world in Texas!! Our kids tell us they want to move to Texas, maybe someday!
We live in Austin, and I think will try a lot of the places you said above! I do love Amy’s Ice Cream
I tweeted too https://twitter.com/#!/jrwarfield/status/199302521511088128
I would love to visit San Antonio
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com
I’d like to visit Houston.
tcarolinep at gmail dot com
corpus christi to visit a friend
I’ve never really thought much about visiting Texas, but after reading your post, Austin sounds pretty cool!
I just wrote a post about my Texas roots (http://hillpen.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/victory-or-death/) but I haven’t been to Big Bend since I was a little kid. That’ my next stop. Can’t wait to see our mini-grand canyon again with adult eyes.
We were thinking of taking our boys to check out the Alamo in San Antonio. We forgot it. 😉
Definitely the Hill Country ….so lovely!
i want to visit San Antonio
id like to visit san antonio!
Oh I think I would like to go to Galveston, or maybe the Stock Yards?
LOVE those instructions! They say it all for a terrific visit, or lifetime, in Austin!
Id love to visit Austin
I love places like the “Wet ’N’ Wild Water World” in Anthony, Texas. That looks like somewhere you’d see me at!
2nd entry tweet https://twitter.com/#!/kytah00/status/201496275722567680
I’d love to visit Houston. A friend of mine moved there some years ago and says its wonderful.
I tweeted this
I’d like to visit San Antonio.
i would love to go see my some of my family out there
I would love to visit Corpus Christi, where my husband spent much of his childhood. I’ve never been there!
i’d like visiting San Antonio
I’d love to visit Big Bend National Park. I’ve never bee there and hear such great things about it!
I tweeted about it! https://twitter.com/#!/hollydennis
I would love to visit San Antonio! I
Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!
Would love to go back to Austin and San Antonio.
wolverina401 at gmail dot com
I’d love to tour the Hill Country and go to an Austin City Limits concert
Austin, of course. I’ve heard great things about it, even before reading this post. But I definitely do NOT want to watch any bats.
South Padre Island, i didn’t even realize texas had any islands until i saw it online
First of all, you have a beautiful family and you all look like you had such a lovely day! I’ve always wanted to visit Austin. I’m a foodie kind of girl, so you can see why it tops my list. Plus, the live music scene would be so much fun!
tweeted here: https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/204751059548246017
gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com
I would love to visit Dallas, where a couple of my cousins live! Thanks for the chance to win!
gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com
I want to visit fort worth, visit the gardens and shop. Thanks for the giveaway.
songyueyu at gmail
songyueyu at gmail
My son did his State project on Texas this year and desperately wants to go to San Antonio to visit the Alamo!
I would enjoy visiting Fredricksburg!
my tweet https://twitter.com/thismomwins2/status/206476515981017088
I’d love to visit Austin! 🙂
LOVE South Congress! When I make it back to Texas I would like to spend some time exploring Fredericksburg. I’ve only gotten to drive through, but it looks lovely.
I would like to visit Houston the biggest city in Texas and visit the 1940 Air Terminal Museum as well as the Bayou Bend Collection of the Fine Arts: 28-room Latin Colonial Structure.
I tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/ctong2/status/206980092906323968
We are heading to Austin in a few weeks – hoping to check out a couple places you mentioned above – sounds like so much fun!
I’d like to visit the Texas Hill country and then head down to the coast for some time at the beaches.
The Alamo for sure. My husband is a history-buff and has said for years we have to visit. I’d love to see all the artifacts people have found.
I would love to go to Padre Island National Seashore! I love the ocean and I love it wild not built up and with more people than nature.
I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/207488992030105602
I would like to visit Houston. My niece lives there so it seems like a good place to start.
I’d love to take my daughters to San Antonio. I’ve been there and loved it. 150.00 would be a great start!
I want to visit the Alamo! sweepmorey at gmail dot com
I would love to visit the Dallas Fort Worth area and check out a Cowboys game!
I tweeted! https://twitter.com/jfong1130/status/208405063964692481
I love the beach so would love to visit Galveston.
Very cool! And that “I love you so much” wall is a neat place for photos. I’d like to take a trip to Galveston someday. Visiting the beach would be a cool experience.
I’d like to visit Austin, Texas to attend the SXSW festival.
runningmatey at hotmail dot com
runningmatey at hotmail dot com