Hometown Tourism: South Congress in Austin, Texas

South Congress Austin

Nothing really says “Austin” quite like the “Keep Austin Weird” bastion of South Congress. A street known for its quirky stores and businesses, this is a great place to spend an afternoon if you’re into people watching, great food, and vintage/antique shopping. This should be on your list of what to do in Austin.

It can be a quick picker-upper for the soul on a warm and sunny day just taking in all the sights, sounds, and general awesomeness that the South Congress vibe creates. Here are a few of my favorite spots to hit up when you are down there:

Homeslice

What to do in Austin
Consistently listed as one of the top 10 restaurants in Austin, this is where I get my New York pizza intake when not in New York. Post coming soon. This place rocks my face.

Guero’s

What to do in Austin
What used to be a feed store in the 1800s (to ~1995) became a TexMex institution. Guero’s is a GREAT place to sit outside and people watch while eating tacos and sipping your hand-shaken margarita.

Lucy in Disguise

South Congress
If you’re looking to burn a few hours, your time will easily be sucked away inside this costume shop. Established in 1984, this has been the place to go for your random all year long costume parties and celebrations. They have just about EVERYTHING.

Uncommon Objects

Austin Texas
I really wish they would allow cameras inside the store because it is a place like no other. These guys are garage and estate sale gurus, bringing you the best from the Central Texas area. From mannequins from the early 1900s to old signs, I had to talk myself out of buying an old, green arsenic bottle once… because, you know… IT IS AWESOME.

Big Top

Big Top Candy Store
Also with a pending post on it’s gloriousness, this newish establishment (well, new for South Congress) is not going ANYWHERE. Founded by Shorty Stump, the 7ft tall ukulele player from one of my favorite Austin bands, the White Ghost Shivers, this place is a steampunk-circus DREAM. Make sure to order some chocolate covered bacon to go with your Italian soda.

Food Truck Lot

Food Trucks in AustinSouth Congress Austin
Austin is going through a sort of food renaissance where the city has more than 1500+ food trucks. For a city of less than a million, that is quite the number! With so much to choose from, keep your mind open and your stomach empty when traversing this part of South Congress.

Walk Around and Soak the Weirdness

Keep Austin Weird
After stuffing your face, make sure to take a quick walk around the neighborhood. There are some amazing gems that you can find.

What to do in Austin

South Congress Austin

Quirky Austin

South Congress

If you ever do happen to find yourself in Austin, make sure to drop us a line. We would love to meet up with you for a coffee or beer down ’round these parts. Let us know!

….and our welcome back home…

South Congress Austin-29

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19 Responses to “Hometown Tourism: South Congress in Austin, Texas”

  1. Peg February 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    I LOVE Austin, and have always had good things happen every time I’m there. It was always a nice escape when I lived in Houston. My very good friends were always the best part of the city.

    I have great memories of most of the places you’ve shown (I need to get me to Big Top soon), and a very special one of Guero’s. It was the place I gathered my girlfriends and told them I was leaving my then-husband, and they told me they still loved me. We cried a. lot. and drank a. lot.

    Everybody needs girlfriends like that. Lucky me.

    Thanks for the photos, and bringing back such great memories!

    • Erica February 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      I’m so glad I could give you a bit of nostalgia. I’ve spent so many great days down there. I had to share!

  2. Faisal February 6, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    I’m planning on going to Austin this year, for the Formula 1 race. I’ll make sure to check out some of these places and rent a truck ;)

    • Erica February 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      Right on! I think we’re going to be out of town again for this year’s race. It gets crazy around here!

  3. Steve Whitty February 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    It has been a long time since I was in Austin. The photos have brought back some faded memories.

    • Erica February 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      It is crazy how many people have been here and remember all the landmarks! I think it is AWESOME.

  4. Camels & Chocolate February 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    I love your city SO much! And I’m in a wedding there next spring, so I’ll definitely be back then (if not before), weeeee.

    • Erica February 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      And I’m so not going to be in town when you are… OF COURSE. If you ever need advice, I’m your gal!

  5. Natalie February 13, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    What does the inside of Guero’s look like? It seems to be like a shed from the outside?

    • Erica February 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      It was an old feed store. The next time I’m there I’ll grab a few more pics. :)

  6. A Montrealer Abroad (@amontrealer) February 13, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    I think it’s fair to say that Austin looks pretty quirky!

    • Erica February 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      We had personality overflowin’. :)

  7. Ali February 15, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    I’ve never been to Austin but I’ve heard it’s amazing. Hopefully whenever I do make it there for a visit, you guys will be in town!

    • Erica February 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      If you come when we aren’t here I will be a little mad – FYI.

  8. Stephanie - The Travel Chica February 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Bookmarking for when I FINALLY get to visit Austin.

    • Erica February 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      I’ll give you a list… or hand you my Hometown Tourism link. Too many things to do!

  9. Michael March 26, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Austin is straight blowing up with all these NYC and LA transplants burning out on their adopted homes and looking for somewhere, cool, laid back and less pretentious. Lets hope Austin is able to withstand the influx and keep its down to earth charm and relatively cheap rents…

  10. Erica February 9, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Hey! Just moved here about 5 months ago (originally from the Boston area) and lists like this are really helpful. I’m actually going to venture onto S Congress this afternoon, I’m on a hunt for old record stores and thrift shops and it seems this area would be a good place to start? What’s the best place in town to find out of print, used vinyl and CD’s? I’m even looking for a few cassette tapes as well for my collection!

    Thanks! xx- E

    Oh, PS… we have the same name ;)

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