Austin makes for a fabulous bachelorette party destination, thanks to its abundant natural beauty and plethora of endlessly cool, eclectic bars, hotels, shops, and restaurants. Here's where to go and what to do with your "I Do" crew in the capital city.
Where to Stay
Each of these hotels offers a different experience—whether you want proximity to rowdy nightlife, impeccable design and a hip setting, or a wellness retreat on the lake, these are the best places to stay during your bachelorette shindig.
- Hotel San Jose. Located amidst the hustle-and-bustle of South Congress Avenue (but surprisingly serene), Hotel San Jose was originally built in 1939 as a motor lodge and revamped by famed local hotelier Liz Lambert in the 90s. The lush courtyard is a standout, as are the upscale amenities and bamboo-lined lap pool—where it’s always frosé-o-clock (and you may spot a local celeb or two).
- South Congress Hotel. Another SoCo gem, the South Congress Hotel is impossibly hip, with its industrial-chic décor and rooftop pool with sweeping views of the downtown skyline. Plus, you’ll find a collection of some of the best eateries and shops in the city here, including Cafe No Se (more on that below), Otoko, Central Standard, and more.
- Kimber Modern. The Kimber Modern is unlike any other boutique hotel in Austin. This bright white, minimalistic chic oasis is as small as they come, with just seven rooms set around a multi-level, open-air courtyard, underneath the shade of a giant live oak tree. Enjoy awesome perks like a communal fire pit, gourmet self-serve breakfast every morning, and a Jura coffee system that spits out specialty drinks 24/7.
- Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt. Thoughtful amenities abound at the Hotel Van Zandt. You and your crew can rent free bikes from the front desk and relax with complimentary wine or beer before heading out in the evenings. The hotel also boasts a prime location, on the edge of Rainey Street—a strip of converted bungalows that’s now a lively social scene, complete with a slew of noteworthy food trucks. Oh, and the rooftop pool at the Van Zandt (with a full-service bar) is a perfect atmosphere for your celebration.
- Lake Austin Spa Resort. Low-key lavish, with an unbeatably serene, beautiful waterfront location, Lake Austin Spa Resort is the ideal spot to stay if you want to make it a wellness-focused weekend. There’s a range of classes and recreational activities—yoga, hydro-bike rides, and culinary workshops, just to name a few—included in the package rates. And a visit to the world-class Lakehouse Spa is a must-do where guests can choose from more than 100 unique spa treatments and services.
- The Carpenter. Quirky and endlessly cool, The Carpenter is located just two blocks from Town Lake and just a few blocks from Zilker Park/Barton Springs, but it’s so hidden away behind a grove of pecan trees that it goes unnoticed by passersby. Once you’re in, you’ll immediately see what the fuss is all about—it feels a little like being on a Wes Anderson film set (and if you understand that reference, you’ll love staying at The Carpenter).
Where to Eat and Drink
It must be said—Austin is a foodie town. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the best places to eat, but it’s an excellent starting point.
- Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop. It’s all about the tacos at breakfast time in Austin, as you may have heard. And at the family-run Joe’s Bakery, you can sample some of the best tacos in the city—the migas con todo plate is a standout, featuring fluffy homemade tortillas, beans, and tangy pico de gallo.
- 24 Diner. A staple on the Austin breakfast scene, 24 Diner serves hearty portions of biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, frittatas, and more. It’s a great place to go the morning after doing one too many tequila shots; let’s put it that way.
- Veracruz All Natural Tacos (Radio Coffee & Beer location). Run by sisters Reyna and Maritza Vazquez, Veracruz is an Austin institution at this point. Though they have five locations in town, at the South location, you can enjoy a perfect cup of coffee from Radio alongside your migas poblanas taco.
Lunch and Brunch
- Ah Sing Den. This Asian-inspired cocktail den on East Sixth is beautifully designed, with plush velvet and leather finishes, round marble tables, and eclectic artwork. Technically, they serve food until 2 a.m., but the brunch menu is outstanding.
- Elizabeth Street Cafe. Delectable Vietnamese-French fusion is the name of the game at Elizabeth Street Cafe, in Austin’s trendy South First/Bouldin Creek neighborhood.
- Hillside Farmacy. A former 1950s pharmacy that’s since been charmingly restored, Hillside Farmacy has an excellent farm-to-table menu and great happy hour drinks (get the grapefruit jalapeno margarita).
- Cafe No Se. Located in the South Congress Hotel complex, Cafe No Se boasts a delightful setting, with wicker chairs and outdoor seating, and a healthy, delicious menu with offerings like a tuna poke bowl, a salmon burger, and avocado toast with a soft-boiled egg, crème fraiche, and arugula.
- Clark’s Oyster Bar. Clark’s is the spot for oysters and champagne in town—it’s a chic, pleasant eatery with an East Coast-ish seafood menu, but you can’t come here without at least sampling the oysters.
- Josephine House. Situated in a cute bungalow cottage in Clarksville, Josephine House is a total fine-dining throwback, with entrees like steak frites and orecchiette with chicken sausage and broccolini.
- Justine’s Brasserie. In an unassuming spot on the East Side, Justine’s Brasserie is beyond hip. This sexy, dimly lit French dinner bistro could be the backdrop in a scene from a David Lynch film. Wait until at least 9 p.m. to show up (Justine’s is known for its late-night dinner service) and treat yourselves to buttery escargot and steak tartare.
- La Condesa. Get your upscale Tex-Mex fix at downtown Austin fixture La Condesa, where you and your group can split tacos, helote (authentic Mexican corn), and ceviche, paired with margaritas with fresh pineapple and lime juice.
We’re going to assume you know all about Dirty Sixth and Rainey Street, two of the city’s most notorious (and most notoriously rowdy) going-out scenes. As such, we’re outlining some of our other favorite, can’t-miss, quintessential Austin bars for you and your gals to check out.
- The White Horse. The whiskey shots and Lone Star tallboys flow like water at the White Horse, where the live Americana and alt-country bands are reliably raucous and the crowd is made up of equal parts tattooed hipsters and grizzled cowboys ready to take you for a spin.
- Whisler’s. Enjoy expertly crafted cocktails at the coolest bar on East Sixth. And, don’t miss the "secret" bar upstairs, Mezcaleria Tobala. This Oaxacan-style mezcal bar carries a wide selection of wild varietals of mezcal (a smoky, agave-based liquor) that’s served in traditional clay copitas or tall veladora glasses.
- The Highball. Rent a private room and karaoke the night away at The Highball. There are seven themed rooms to choose from here, plus a great bar and food menu and easily one of the thickest songbooks you’ve ever laid eyes on.
- Garage Cocktail Bar. The aptly-named Garage—it's located inside an actual parking garage on Colorado Street—is one of Austin's most covert bars, and it's also one of its best, with bartenders churning out superior craft cocktails inside a cozy, swanky space that you'd never be able to discern from its industrial exterior.
- Donn’s Depot. A true gem on the dive bar circuit, Donn’s Depot is legendary. If you go, you’d do well to wear your dancing boots—country tunes fill the main room nearly every night (with owner Donn Adelman himself often sitting at the piano) and the dance floor is always populated by white-haired, two-stepping regulars.
- Barbarella. This is the best place to go out dancing in Austin. Full stop.
- Take a dip in Barton Springs. If Austin had a soul, Barton Springs would be it. This clothing-optional, 3-acre, spring-fed pool has been Austin’s #1 summer staple since the 1940’s. Don’t let the icy-cold temperatures deter you—Barton Springs is one of those magical, only-in-Austin spots that can’t be missed. It’s also a naturally gorgeous spot, with swaths of towering oak trees and plenty of grassy lawn for sunbathing. (And, be sure to check out those 70’s-chic open-air bathrooms and changing rooms.)
- Hike on the Greenbelt. The Barton Creek Greenbelt, a network of nearly thirteen miles of trails in the heart of the city, is a must-see for outdoor lovers.
- Stroll along the Town Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail. Flanked by the downtown skyline, Town Lake (or Lady Bird Lake, if you’re not local) is always dotted with dozens of folks paddleboarding or kayaking, and the hike-and-bike trail encircling the lake is a great place to get your miles in for the day.
Things to Do
- Rent bikes and ride around town with BCycle. Downtown Austin is relatively easy to navigate by bike, and with BCycle, you can hop on and off bikes as you wish and pay as you ride.
- Get a spa treatment at milk + honey. This cult-fave hometown spa offers a full range of relaxing treatments, and their products are all plant-based and organically sourced.
- Rent a boat on Lake Travis. Did someone say party barge? Pack a cooler of Topo Chico and hit the lake on an ATX Party Boat for an unforgettable day with your best gals.
- Spend the afternoon at Jester King Brewery. In the Hill Country, about a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin, Jester King is an authentic farmhouse brewery that serves year-round and limited-edition beers (which are mostly sours), alongside crispy wood-fired pizza. Surrounded by gnarled live oaks, soft grasses, and fields of sunflowers, the setting is just plain picturesque.
Tips for Having a Bachelorette Party in Austin
- Book early. At certain times of year in Austin, it can feel like the entire downtown area is full of people wearing glittery matching T-shirts and carrying giant goblets of mimosas. As such, you should do all your booking well in advance.
- Avoid August. If at all possible, avoid booking your bachelorette bash for late July through August. It’s sweltering (and unpleasant) in the Texas capital during the late summertime.