Austin assistance please

Old Aug 29th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Austin assistance please

Hi:

Our first time in Austin, TX will be October 12-15th. My husband is in a wedding, so we will be staying at Vintage Villas on Lake Travis. We have Thursday (will arrive in Austin about noon) and likely Friday morning to entertain ourselves before the wedding festivities begin. We like outdoorsy things more than museums and we are interested in potentially going to Barton Springs, wandering through Zilker Park, watching the bats, and hitting a bar or club for live music either the Warehouse district or 6th street (I figured we can check the Chronicle when we get there.)

Restaurants we are considering based on research here and elsewhere are the Oasis, and the Ironworks. Can anybody tell me anything about Shades or Logan's Texas Rib Kings? Where else would you recommend we consider for 2 lunches and a dinner? I've rarely met a margarita I didn't like and we like all types of food.

Also, is there any hiking you would recommend nearby the Vintage Villas? We will have a car. We also thought about hanging out on the lake, can anybody recommend a place to rent a canoe or kayak for the day on Lake Travis? (Bride & Groom are definitely not into that kind of thing and VV website not helpful.)

One more thing, is the weather usually convertible friendly in October or should we stick with a sedan?

Any other suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks,
Kristen
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Although I haven't been there yet, I've been warned over and over again to not eat anything at the Oasis other than nachos or some other easy snack. Supposedly the fod is generally terrible so it's a drinks-only spot at sunset.

We were in Austin last month and I would strongly recommend one of the boat trips to get a great view of the bats.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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I can answer a few of your question.

October is iffy for bats, as they start heading back to Mexico in the fall. You might want to ask around when you get here to see if the bats are still here. Here's some bat info:

http://austin.about.com/cs/bats/p/bats.htm

October has glorious weather, but of course, rain is always a possibility. But I still say go for the convertible!!

Good idea about checking the Austin Chronicle when you arrive, or you can check on line at:

http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/home

If you've never been to Esther's Follies on 6th street, I highly recommend it. It's a comedy show and you will laugh until your whole head hurts.

For canoeing on the lake, check out this link. If they can't rent you a canoe or kayak, they will know who can:

http://www.texasrowingcenter.com/

I've been to Shades and enjoyed it very much, mostly for being out over the water. I think Oasis is still partly under construction from the fire last year, but I believe they have completed rebuilding most of their outdoor seating. Their food used to be so-so, but it has improved in recent years, especially the Sunday brunch.

We recently went to the Iguana Grill and enjoyed that:

http://www.iguanagrillaustin.com/

But my all-time fave for lakeside dining is Hula Hut, which is a combination of Mexican and Polynesian cuisine. (yes, that's odd, but the food is good). The 'ritas are fantastic.

http://www.hulahut.com/

I don't know anything about Vintage Villas, I hope someone else can help. Enjoy your stay in my city.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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Hello erdockac -

You may find the town a bit crowded that weekend as the Longhorns have a home game. Things get a bit "testy" after the games, especially if things don't go as planned, lol! I only mention this to let you know the restaurants may be a bit more crowded than normal.

I'm not sure if the bats will still be around. I'll check that out for you.

The hot, hot summer days should be over by then (are you listening, weatherman!!), so a hike at Zilker Park should be lovely.

Of course, the downtown scene on a Saturday night is always fun. Definitely check the show schedules as it gets closer. If you'd like something really Texan, you might look into the Broken Spoke, not for the food but for the music. Nice dance floor.

I haven't eaten at Shades or Logan's, but finding good ribs is not a problem here. I could recommend a couple other places, but if you have those in mind, perhaps someone else knows more.

As far as a convertible, that should be fine. But if you're not taking a ride into the Hill Country, I wouldn't bother. If you're staying downtown, I wouldn't think there would be much point.

Welcome to Austin! We're happy to have you!
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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I wasn't impressed with Ironworks. How about Threadgills?
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