In case you missed it, I visited the Austin, Texas area a few weeks ago to #StaySonesta at Sonesta Bee Cave Austin. and I ate lots of tacos and BBQ.

Austin was a vast and really cool city that we only scratched the surface of, and we would definitely love to go back, especially because it was 70 degrees in January! 

Love from Austin

Austin has an extensive food truck scene that they are famous for, and we loved this little area in Barton Springs. That section of town felt super cute and artsy; it made me feel like I was in California, and had parking been easier to find, I would have loved to explore a bit more.

Austin food trucks

While I was visiting to blog for Sonesta Hotels, my husband had a conference at UT Austin, and I got to visit their absolutely beautiful campus.

UT Austin

I loved that there were flowers in January, and the view of the Texas State Capitol from the main building was really neat. It was fun to wander campus. . . though I definitely felt very old!

UT Austin

Since my husband was there for work, we also met up with a group of his co-workers outside of Austin for a Texas Stars hockey game. I’m not much of a sports fan, but it was fun to see the excitement for the local team!

Texas hockey

We luckily made time to stop and explore Hope Outdoor Gallery, the graffiti park in Austin. Word on the street is that it is being demolished, so to see the graffiti and the artists in action (on a most gorgeous day)

Hope Outdoor GalleryHope Outdoor GalleryHope Outdoor Gallery

Austin and surrounding areas definitely had its fair share of art in all sorts of places. The world-renowned Forever Bicycles sculpture on the Austin waterfront was absolutely mesmerizing. It definitely made me a bit dizzy!

Austin, Texas

The waterfront itself was a lovely, natural work of art that we enjoyed immensely. That’s the thing about when we travel; we don’t need to do too much to really get a feel for a city or enjoy ourselves to the fullest. I love a nice long walk in a beautiful area.

Austin, Texas Austin, Texas

And speaking of beautiful, Bee Cave was just lovely. The Bee Cave Sculpture Park, which I wrote about for the Sonesta blog is a must-visit. It offered a variety of unique and enchanting sculptures set in a sprawling natural area, tucked in amongst busy roads and shopping. It was the perfect place to unwind.

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Sonesta Bee Cave Austin is a short drive from Lake Travis, which I can only imagine is a ton of fun for swimmers, boaters, and sun worshippers when it’s just a bit warmer out. I would love to stay at the Sonesta in Bee Cave and spend my days swimming and kayaking and enjoying some of the festivities around Lake Travis!

Lake Travis

For more of my recent travel posts, along with cocktail recipes and more, definitely visit the Sonesta blog from time-to-time. It’s the perfect spot for travel lovers!

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Tags: art, Austin, Bee Cave, Texas, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger

Our recent visit to the Austin, Texas area to stay at Sonesta Bee Cave Austin was a whirlwind of beautiful scenery, music, and of course food!

Tacos and BBQ were the theme of the trip, and we got some great recommendations. We could have stayed for weeks to eat! Feast your eyes on just some of the deliciousness we enjoyed in this beautiful part of Texas.

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The Brushfire at Torchy’s Tacos: Jerk Chicken, Grilled Jalapeno, Mango, Sour Cream, Cilantro, and Diablo Sauce – I loved Torchy’s because they let me buy a huge crock of the tear-inducing Diablo sauce. I love spicy food!

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Beef Nachos at Maudie’s Tex Mex – I loved the pickled veggies on these giant chips, which were really well-topped!

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Lunch at Schmidt Family Barbecue in Bee Cave – Pulled pork, brisket, jalapeno mac and cheese, beans, cole slaw, and all the pickles I could eat made for the perfect lunch. This was some incredible food in a fun atmosphere with picnic tables and lunch trays.

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Tinga Chicken Rellenos at Blue Corn Harvest: Anaheim peppers stuffed with tinga chicken and jack cheese on top of green chile sauce and ranchero cream sauce, black beans, veggie rice and a drizzle of sour cream and cotija cheese.

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Deliciousness in the form of avocado toast at Forthright Cafe, which felt like THE place to get brunch. I can’t drink these days, but I was practically drooling over their on-tap beer selection.

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Pulled pork, beans, slaw at Lambert’s in Austin – This was a bit of an upscale BBQ experience, and it was delicious. I loved the expansive space, which features great live music, local beers, and cocktails too!

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One of my favorite Austin finds was Alta’s Cafe. It was right on the water, and it was the perfect place for a cold tea and lots of warm sunshine. It was pure bliss.

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A mocktail margarita and all the chips and dips were a delicious break after lots of walking around Austin. 70 degrees in January is perfect for me!

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Mi Madre’s was one of our absolute favorite finds. Their patio was ideal for a sunny Sunday morning brunch with loads of guac and breakfast tacos that filled me up for the day.

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And the service was fantastic! The owner came out to chat with us and share that he has worked with the same local, quality suppliers for decades. You could taste it!

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Austin is such an incredible food city, and while we just got a taste of it, we are definitely looking forward to exploring more!

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Tags: Austin, BBQ, Bee Cave, tacos, Texas, Travel, travel blog, travel blogging

Mardi Gras is almost here, and it’s fun to imagine the transition New Orleans has made since our visit to Royal Sonesta New Orleans back in December!

This coming week the hotel hosts their annual Greasing of the Poles tradition to kick off Mardi Gras, and it promises to be an exciting and revelry-filled time for all!

New Orleans was definitely one of those places where I took a ton of photos, and the below are a few scenes I wanted to share.

New Orleans

Voodoo shops and ghost tours were definitely on our list of things to do in New Orleans, and a Haunted History tour was a fun way to see the city. The New Orleans Ghost Tour showed us around the French Quarter, where we learned some spooky stories, took in amazing architecture and history, and had a cocktail stop at the famous Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.

LaFitte

This spot was most DEFINITELY haunted. I could feel it all over.

They also made a delicious Dark n Stormy.

New Orleans Ghost TourNew Orleans Ghost Tour

Throughout the tour we learned tales of New Orleans’ most haunted places like LaLaurie Mansion. I think it would have been creepier at night, but I would recommend it at any time!

Drinks to-go were a novelty and freedom that we took advantage of a few times. I am not a fan of sweet drinks, so I skipped the Hurricanes and enjoyed a Mint Julep from Pat O’Brien’s.

New Orleans

We had incredible weather in New Orleans and loved our time admiring architecture like the St. Louis Cathedral and outdoor spaces like Jackson Square, both a short walk from the Sonesta. Everything in New Orleans felt so bright and fresh and vibrant!

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Inside the cathedral offered a beautiful calming feeling; I am not super religious, but I love the peace that comes over me in a church like this.

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Arnaud's

French 75s at Arnaud’s French 75 bar were delicious, and set me on a French 75 kick for the week. We loved the service at the bar as well; it had such a classic old vibe. It also felt pretty haunted; a few times I felt something brushing my face and hair and had a few “out of the corner of my eye” sightings. I love a haunted city!

Cafe du Monde

Coffee and beignets from Cafe du Monde were of course a must-try. We ended up ordering a ton of coffee for home. I liked the beignets, but those at Royal Sonesta New Orleans ended up being my favorite by far.

NOLA

We found music everywhere in New Orleans (and I danced), and it just added to the festive, relaxed vibe of our getaway. Since it was almost Christmas, we saw several parades of local school children singing and playing instruments. It was so sweet.

Armstrong Park

To work off all of those beignets and cocktails and yummy dishes, we explored most of the city by foot. Armstrong Park is a must-visit for enjoying the outdoors, art, and pop up performances. It’s a great escape when the rest of the city feels too bustling for you.

Armstrong Park

New Orleans was quite an experience, and we are excited to plan another visit.

More posts about New Orleans

Lunch at Cochon

Brunch at Brennan’s

Brass-a-holics at Royal Sonesta New Orleans

Cafe Amelie New Orleans

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Tags: cocktails, ghost tour, New Orleans, NOLA, tourism, Travel, travel blog, Travel Tuesday

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