Two Decades In Austin – What I Haven’t Done

You don’t have to look far to find crazy long Austin bucket lists. After living in the area for over 20 years, I’ve done most of the things on those lists. But there are still a few iconic {some obscure!} Austin things I haven’t done. Here’s my list of 8 things I haven’t done but can’t wait to experience in Austin. Here’s my…

Austin bucket list

8 Things I Still Want to Do In Austin Bucket List

(This gorgeous photo is from Misael Nevarez on Unsplash.)

1 – City Wide Garage Sale

It seems like every time I drive by the Palmer Events Center, I see a sign for this event. And every time, I feel the urge to go but just never seem to remember to once I’m filling out my calendar. It’s time for that to change and for me to check this puppy out!

The City Wide Garage Sale started in 1977 in response to the gasoline shortages. People figured that having a big ‘old garage sale in one location would solve the problem of having to drive from neighborhood to neighborhood. Ironically, the City Wide Garage Sale, I now know, isn’t really a garage sale like I’m thinking. It’s a place where collectible, antique, and used vendors sale their goods.

2 – Whip In

Whip In is a convenience store located off south I-35. A funny choice for a bucket list item, right?

In college at UT I remember hearing about Whip In all the time. It’s pretty weird to hear about a convenience store located 15 miles from campus.

Since I never went there while in college, I can’t attest to what it was like in the late 90’s but I can tell you that now, Whip In is much more than just a convenience store. With 70 beers on tap, a wine list, a made-from-scratch kitchen, brunches, happy hours, and musical events, Whip In is a restaurant, store, concert venue, and bar all rolled into one small shop along the main corridor in Austin.

3 – Austin City Limits

This famous PBS show debuted in 1974 with Willie Nelson and has been a staple of PBS programming ever since. When it started, the show wanted to spotlight “Austin’s diverse mix of country, blues, folk and psychedelia.” But the show grew to include performers from around the world including Johnny Cash, Nine Inch Nails, and Jimmy Cliff.

Back in the day it was filmed on the UT campus. Now it’s filmed at the Moody Theater which is downtown, on Willie Nelson Blvd. in the second street district. Although there are other things associated with the name – Austin City Limit Live {Paid} Events and the Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL), an old-school taping is the event on my bucket list.

To get tickets, you simply fill out a form a week {scroll down this taping page until you find it} before the taping and keep your fingers crossed that your name will be chosen via a random drawing. More tickets are given out than there are seats which means you need to go early to secure a spot.

4 – Laguna Gloria

The Laguna Gloria is one of two campuses of the contemporary art museum in Austin. Located next to the famous Zilker Park. Every summer I plan to take my kids here and every summer I don’t. I’ll be honest, I’m not much into art museums which is why I still haven’t been. Yet…it has always beckoned me…

So this summer we will go early {to avoid the ridiculous heat} to walk around the gardens and look at the contemporary sculptures. The art school is located here as well so I’m hoping my kids – especially my artist daughter! – will have the opportunity to watch artists practicing their skills. From the reviews I’ve read, there isn’t a whole lot to look at – some nice walking/woods/paths and a few sculptures but I still need to cross this one off my list!

Note – I’m not sure how long we’ll last but Laguna Gloria is near both Mayfield Park and Mount Bonnell as well as plenty of restaurants so we’ll be able to make a good morning of it.

5 – La Fonda San Miguel

I have no idea how or why I first noticed this interior Mexican food restaurant but I’ve since learned that it’s an Austin staple. Opened in 1975, this restaurant boasts a colorful, playful exterior and interior and their weekend brunches are raved over.

I sure wish I would have discovered this place before I stopped eating gluten but, hey, I’m sure I can find something on the menu to satisfy my Austin bucket list #5.

6 – See Willie Nelson Live

Technically this isn’t really an AUSTIN bucket list item – Willie Nelson performs around the U.S. But he is so iconic to the Austin music scene and the general hippie vibe that {used to be} pretty strong in the city, that I consider this an Austin bucket list item. Whenever a Willie song comes on the radio we educate our kiddos and explain that if they’re going to live in Austin, they have to know who Willie is. My daughter even colored a Willie Nelson picture last year in kindergarten.

A must for this Texas Country Music Loving Girl!

7 – The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

This center hosts displays and presentations highlighting works by Mexican Americans and Latinos. Our family isn’t Mexican or Latino but most of our close friends are and I want my kids to become even more familiar with the culture and influence of these populations in Texas.

The center is located downtown, close to the one of my favorite parts of Austin – lower East Side. This area has undergone lots urbanization and is filled with many of trendy restaurants and lovely little shops. I liked it the old school way – it was filled with the homes of many Austin residents who had lived there for generations. Sigh – the very real downside of “progress” and growth.

Close by restaurants I like are Wilder Wood Restaurant and Bar {all Gluten-Free!} and Blue Dahlia Bistro!

8 – Austin Empty Bowl Project

Years ago my college roommate told me about this event and I’ve wanted to attend ever since. Apparently many areas have their own version of the Empty Bowl Project, an event dedicated to raising money for those who need food.

In Austin the event takes place the Sunday before Thanksgiving. $20 lets you pick out a handmade bowl by local artisans, provides you with gourmet soup, bread, and live music. The money goes to various food organizations that provide meals for those in need. At home, your bowl serves as a reminder that there are many who do not have food to eat.

This one is on my calendar for November.

There you have it, my Austin Bucket List. I’ve put these things on my calendar and will keep you updated!

 

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