As the weather changes in Austin, summer activities and attractions are cooling down. So, we’ve gathered some adventures around the city that are perfect for sweater weather. These three fall picks will help you wind down and relax with laid-back vibes, yummy cocktails and hearty food in the capital of the Lone Star State.
Just far enough out on the outskirts of Austin to make you feel like you’re in a faraway lake land, Lakeway Resort & Spa is a vintage property with modern amenities. I’ve visited a few times and every time I’m there, I remember why I love to return time and time again. The reasons you come here are simple: the lake views (from your hotel room), the expansive pool scape, and the laid-back lake vibe throughout the property that’s been a part of the rolling hills for decades.
The lobby, situated on the fourth floor, has a Texas feel, with its deep wood floors and paneling. Friendly customer service helps you to settle into the scene. Guest rooms on each floor (ask for a lake view) are large and comfortable. And, a simple pleasure, Molton Brown shower products include shampoo and conditioner with kumudu, and shower gel with coastal cypress and sea fennel.
Dine at TR Restaurant, which sits to the right of the main building, overlooking the lake, of course. It has a ‘70s steakhouse feel, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast, the migas are a fan favorite and the dinner menu is small but mighty. Enjoy a light Chicken Kale Broth-based soup followed by the Funghi Pizza (mushrooms, arugula and truffle oil). Pair with a delightful wine and voila, dinner is served lakeside!
Make a point to relax and detox at the spa on the second floor. The small relaxation lounge has an indoor/outdoor view of the lake and the Lakeway Lavender massage (50 blissful minutes, $165) is the ideal vehicle to ultimate tranquility. ~ Marika Flatt
Making their Austin debut in April 2021, Lutie’s Garden Restaurant opened on the grounds of the reborn Commodore Perry Resort in the historical Hancock neighborhood. Ranked “No 1 Resort Hotel in Texas” by Travel & Leisure World in September, The Commodore sits on ten perfectly manicured acres with Lutie’s as her culinary jewel. The intimate dining area (designed by Ken Fulk) reflects the great Jazz Age, when Austin socialites Edgar and Lutie Perry began entertaining their guests here a century ago at their sprawling “country” estate. . . now more in town.
Arrive early to stroll among the well-lit grounds complete with the Perry mansion, chapel, sparkling pool and stately trees. Prepare for an exquisite dining experience set beneath an indoor canopy of live greenery and elegant Murano chandeliers at the full bar. Admire the colorful glassware and place settings which echo the period and cradle delicious creations. Envelope yourself in rich velvet seating while overlooking the Italian sunken gardens adding to the ambiance.
Well-known locally for their previous Austin work at Barley Swine, Executive Chef Bradley Nicholson and Executive Pastry Chef Susana Querejazu are a culinary power couple who have carefully curated their locally-sourced menu. Begin with the signature Petite (or Grand) Aioli served with the freshest of marinated autumn garden veggies. The family-style Grapefruit and Goat Cheese Salad is both healthy and bursting with flavor. Baked with flour from Barton Springs Mill, the warm estate bread rises to all occasions and complements your special meal. Equally memorable, the Maitake Mushrooms in red pepper and soy sauce (with smoked estate pecans) delivers rich fall flavors, and the Delta Blues Rice served with seasonal fish scores big points.
Request Chef Querejazu’s Kouign Amann Ice Cream drizzled (at your table) in creme caramel with burnt honey and beeswax with fruited pastry, for a sweet ending. Other unique desserts include the “Baby Blue” (blue cheese, smoked pecans, and fig) and the Chocolate Shaved Ice (with cocoa nibs and vanilla chantilly). End with a signature cocktail like the Mon Cheri, a blend of sherry, orange, honey, and seasonal jam for a lighter finale to a grand dinner.
One of the many attractive things about downtown Austin is all the rooftop bars that are emerging lately. One that stands out is Gin Bar.
Located on the rooftop of buzzy East Austin’s Arrive Hotel, Gin Bar is the perfect stop for anyone who likes a little bit of an edge with their cocktails. Here you can find creative cocktails featuring unique gins, such as one that changes color and one that tastes like whiskey. Gin Bar has a great atmosphere, lots of space and features more than 90 unique gin varieties and some of the most talented bartenders in town.
After you explore the many options that Gin Bar has to offer, head down to Vixen’s Wedding, the boho-chic restaurant that provides a fine-dining experience like none other.
Vixen’s Wedding is the restaurant at Arrive which combines the classic taste of Texas with international flavors from Goa, India, Portugal and more. Their special menu is perfect for all palates with five tasty and unique courses made to share. Stars of the menu include the Chickpea Tamal, Roasted Garlic Naan with ginger raita and an Eggplant and Lavender Mousse for dessert. They also make vegetarian modifications as needed.
Whether it’s date night or girl’s night out, Gin Bar and Vixen’s Wedding make for a unique time to remember with delicious options. ~ Gracie Watt
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Cover: Vixen’s Wedding. Photo courtesy Arrive