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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

Hey y’all! I am back from my first trip actually exploring a place in Texas (I planned a conference outside of San Antonio years ago, and I never left the conference hotel!), and I am excited to tell you all about Sonesta Bee Cave Austin, my hosts for two nights.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

Bee Cave is a beautiful hill country town that is right next to Austin and about a 15 minute drive from downtown. With 75 mph speed limits and giant highways, getting around the area was swift and easy!

After stopping for some tacos on the way from the airport (more on that soon), we arrived at Sonesta Bee Cave Austin and were immediately blown away by how beautiful and still-brand-new-looking the hotel was. The grand lobby was always spotless, bright, and shining, and it just offered a beautiful, expansive welcome while also being home to cozy seating areas.

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Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

The gorgeous lobby piano was my husband’s favorite feature. He doesn’t play as much as I would like him to, but when we are out and he sees an open piano, he picks it right up beautifully.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

After a super friendly welcome, we were able to enjoy early check in to our corner king room, which had views of the pool (which due to gray skies and wind, I never got a good photo of)

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

Bee Cave pool

Photo source

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

The outside seating area and pool were definitely hotel highlights; if it was 10 degrees warmer I would have made an afternoon of lounging and swimming!

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

Once we had explored the lower floors of the hotel, we went up to the 6th floor to check out the place to be in Bee Cave, Meridian 98.

Talk about stunning.

From the moment we stepped out of the elevator, I think we were both awestruck by the rich decor, which featured lots of beautiful brown leather and cozy lounge details. I just wanted to (and eventually did) sink into those seats.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin TexasSonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

But once we got past all of that beautiful design, we were stunned again by some incredible bar and patio views. The area surrounding the hotel offers a ton of shopping in one direction, but it also offers green vistas that go on forever, and staring out at them never got old.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin TexasSonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

We visited Meridian 98 both nights of our stay, once for dinner and drinks and once for drinks and dessert.

I’m actually not drinking these days Winking smile, but my husband loved his Drone Dream (Yellow Rose Rye Whiskey, Vermouth, Fresh Lemon Juice, Cherry Juice, Blood Orange Bitters). Be sure to try one of the Bee Cave-inspired cocktails!

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

I love when restaurants have really good big salads, and the chef’s daily fresh greens were fantastic.

strawberry salad

The mojo chicken sliders were delicious, and the shoestring fries they came with were perfection. I am a fry aficionado and know good fries when I taste them!

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

Live music right at the restaurant made it easy to get a taste of some of the Austin area’s music scene, and it was great to not have to leave our hotel to do so!

Live music is offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings,

live music Austin

Meridian 98 was also home to delicious breakfast each morning. Those comfy leather chairs were even comfier with a hot cup of delicious coffee and a big breakfast in front of me!

The breakfast buffet is a steal at $12 (Our breakfasts were hosted kindly by the hotel.) compared to the $26 at the hotel we stayed at later on downtown for a conference. An extensive spread of hot and cold items varied each day.

Bee Cave

Pastries, fruit, smoked salmon, meats, cheeses, yogurts, and more tempted on one side of the buffet. Sonesta Bee Cave

On the other side, warm biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, and more awaited. I had a little bit of everything! The selection was delicious, and the pace was just perfect. While we had service when we needed it, we also got a real sense of that slower hill country vibe we were surrounded by, and it was lovely.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

As I mention above, the Sonesta Bee Cave Austin is easy driving distance to many sights and attractions, but it also offers a free trolley locally to places like the Hill Country Galleria, where you can shop-til-you-drop, get spa treatments, enjoy additional dining options, and more. It’s a fun and convenient way to get around and definitely a perk for business and leisure travelers alike.

Sonesta trolley

I am blogging for Sonesta Hotels and they are kindly hosting my stay, some of my meals, and my airfare. I am not obligated to blog on my own blog; all opinions are my own and I have just had some incredible experiences with them!

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Tags: Austin, cocktails, Food, hotels, music, Sonesta, Texas, Travel, travel blog, travel blogging

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