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Jul 8, 2009 11:16 PM

One Day to Live in Austin

I've got only one day in Austin. Sort of like ONE DAY TO LIVE in Austin.

What are the most charming or authentic, down to earth, casual but nice places to eat that are also close to places to see/ things to do?

I guess the question is what would be the perfect day in Austin? A day that includes eating in between every place to see! Or I guess what would be the most relaxing kick back fun day in Austin if I don't want to run around like a crazy tourist yet still feel like I experienced the real Austin? Sometimes doing less is better, but if less then what...

Best Country music?
Best place to get a beer?
Most beautiful place/park in Austin?
If I could only have one meal in Austin what would it be?

Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

~Emma from Seattle Washington

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  1. What day of the week is this final day? That might change some possible activities. The farmer's market, for instance is a nice way to spend an hour or so on a Saturday morning - small in comparison to larger cities but it has ready to eat food, crafts, and music in addition to the farmers stuff. Beware, the Wed evening version is not the same in my book tho if your last day was with your kids, it can be a hoot for different reasons. To your questions tho, it should be noted that Austin has changed dramatically over the past several years and if your looking for old school Austin hear are a few candidates: For cowboy fun: The Broken Spoke - just try to forget Rachael Rey promoted it. Despite it's name that to me sounds like a gay western bar, it is the real deal. Beer: The Draught House - been around since the 60's when 45th street was way north Austin. Word has it when the current owners bought the popular "Draft Horse" way back, the old owner's tried to finagle more money out of them after the fact claiming the name wasn't included - thus the "Draught House". Prob solved. Hut's Burgers downtown - one of the few old downtown spots left - oh on burgers - this may sound weird - but there's a van behind the star bar that serves awesome burgers. Check out downtown tho - it's nice for happy hour time and beyond tho new mostly. 6th street used to be the happening bar strip but now it extends down to 2nd. For bearings think of it this way - underagers go to 6th street and add 5 to 10 years per street south - OR - shots to wine is as 6th to 2nd. Views and ritas are out on 620 and people will tell you the Oasis. Once it burned down, the food got better and the ritas remained expensive. I like the Iguana Grill just south. Same view, more of the local lake crowd, less of the bill. Real homey Austiny restaurant, East Side Cafe. Local ingredients, by local I mean grown in their impressive backyard garden, totally Austin. Upscale food: Stay away from West - very suburban yuppie but Vespiao is on the edge of old and new SoCo - I say it still counts as old school enough and great food. While your there on SoCo, check out the few remaining antique shops there or better yet, start your day their with a cup of joe from Joe's coffee. You got to at least see the Austin Motel's sign. Parks in Austin are not like other cities, mostly used for frisbee golf or access to the lake (people swim, but it freaks me out with all the water moccasins). Town lake downtown has a nice path the run on if ur into that sort of crap; Commons Ford Park is nice for laying around, Zilker is good for dirt and kites. That should keep you busy.

    1. One of my favorite spots to relax with a beer in the afternoon is the Cedar Door. I've been going there since the previous location as I've only been around here for fifteen years. Others I know have been to all four. Here is a link to the website for some history: