East Austin is a gentrifying, hip, and growing area of our vibrant city. There is no shortage of both indoor and outdoor, year-round activities. East Austin is home to numerous music venues, bars, and restaurants as well as a growing brewery scene and a string of small businesses. For just a few attractions of Austin’s East Side, read on.
1. Grab the entire family and explore the Thinkery, Austin’s children’s museum. The Thinkery is full of exhibits that promote innovative thought and creative problem-solving. Not only does the Thinkery boast captivating activities for kids ranging from 3 to 18 years old, it also boasts Thinkery21, a monthly night of equally captivating events for adults over 21. These evenings typically involve some sort of tinkering and cocktails, and they do sell out.
2. Austin has no shortage of craft beer and craft cocktails, and the East Side does not disappoint. Wander from Zilker Brewing to Ah Sing Den, then to Blue Owl Brewing, Hops & Grain, and finally Whisler’s.
3. Swing by the Paper + Craft Pantry for unique stationary, greeting cards, and an array of workshops to make your home or office beautiful and functional. This is Austin’s only retail paper company, and the owner keeps a rotating stock of paper goods full of character.
4. Instagram it. Austin is known for murals, and you’ll find some gems in East Austin. The “You’re My Butter Half” mural is found at the local United Way building. At the Carver Public Library, you’ll find the mural called “Voyage to Soulsville,” painted in 1986 by John Fisher.
5. Head out to Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for a wide range of events. Book a tour in advance or just swing by on the weekend to see all the track has to offer. Watch the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix, the Pirelli World Challenge, and the MotoGP Grand Prix, in addition to other auto racing events. COTA is in the process of adding a go-cart track and has nearly completed a minor league soccer stadium near the Austin Amphitheater concert venue.
6. Launderette is a renovated—you guessed it—laundromat turned hot restaurant. It is one of many popular small-plate, tapas-style restaurants. Launderette has a unique vibe and well-planned menu. Guests rave about the desserts and drinks in particular.
7. The East Austin Studio Tour, also known as EAST, is held annually in November. EAST is free and self guided; you can wander from art studio to gallery to pop-up event throughout East Austin to meet with artists and craftsmen and shop as you go.
8. Take a walk through the Texas State Cemetery. This cemetery is the resting place for judges, governors, legislators, and other legendary Texans who have made our state what it is today. The grounds are impeccably kept and offer a peaceful respite in the heart of East Austin with a clear view of the Capital.
9. Head out for a night on the dance floor. Visit the Volstead Lounge for classic cocktails, and head next door to Hotel Vegas for live DJs and dancing. Head a hop, skip, and a jump over to The White Horse to join some talented two-steppers at this popular honky tonk. Either way, you’ll dance the night away.
Photo Credit: Modern Brunette