A few years ago, long before I moved to Austin, I visited Austin for the first time, it was one of my best friend's bachelorette parties and I was in charge of planning it.
I've felt bad/guilty about it ever since because.
I didn't give it the attention it was deserved
I was overwhelmed trying to plan a party for a place I had never been
At the time I had a vision of what I thought a bachelorette party needed to be, none of which matched the personality of the bride-to-be
So this post is my attempt at redeeming myself; an attempt at helping you plan a great weekend for your friend whose idea of a good time doesn't involve (or at least exclusively involve) getting drunk and dancing on Dirty 6th Street.
If I could do it all over again, these are the things I would do and the places I would take my dear friend now.
Where I Would Stay:
In my personal (and bias) opinion, all of the great things that make Austin, Austin, happen in South, Southeast Austin. So I would get a hotel or AirBNB in this area.
If you prefer a hotel:
I recommend East Austin Hotel. They are located on 6th street but on East 6th which is known for boutique bars and restaurants, third wave coffee shops and yoga studios, instead of the dirty night clubs and drunk donuts.
In addition to a great location, pretty pool and all the hipster chic decor, it also has a restaurant 6th and Waller (a great stop even if you aren't guests of the hotel) and a rooftop bar, The Upside.
Bonus: If you are one of those bachelorette parties coming in for a long weekend, every Thursday night at 8:30pm, The Upside features an outdoor movie night hosted by Vulcan Video.
If you prefer an AirBnb:
We have a great house: enough space to sleep 6 comfortably in South Austin only a 15 minute drive to all of the festivities I'm about to recommend.
What I Would Do:
Goat Yoga at Berkeley Farm
One of my favorite Austin locals is Jenny Peterson, owner of Berkeley Farms ATX, an urban farm that hosts happy hours and goat yoga on the weekends. It's one of the first things I did when I moved to Austin and one of my favorite places to return. Berkeley Farms treats their animals like family so you can go get your zen on, have a smoothie and cuddle baby goats til your heart's content.
Register your group here (classes are dependent on weather).
And because I believe that every day is best started with a latte, after I dressed in my cutest yoga wear possible (Berkeley Farms is filled with great photo ops) I would make a pit stop at Radio Coffee for a latte and Veracruz breakfast tacos.
Camp Lucy -Day Pass
Camp Lucy is a beautiful resort in Dripping Springs, Texas, the wine country right outside of Austin. Starting the Summer of 2019, they opened their resort pool to the public with day passes available for $50 Sunday-Thursday 11am-6pm.
The locals get mad when I openly talk about this one, but I love Camp Lucy too much not to tell everyone I know, even if it does mean that it will get harder to find a pool-side lounger.
Your $50 gets you:
Access to the pool
$50 of drink and food credit at the poolside bar (which is connected to Tillie's, Camp Lucy's gourmet, fusion inspired restaurant.
Access to the grounds - Camp Lucy is a beautiful place to walk. Make sure you visit the Alpacas for another heart-warming experience and Instagram worthy photo op.
Treaty Oaks Distilling
No trip to Dripping Springs would be complete without a trip to Treaty Oaks Distilling, Ryan and I LOVE Treaty Oaks; it's where we decided to move to Austin, it's where we've met some of our best friends since moving to Austin and it's home of the best gin on the planet (I don't even like gin, but I like Treaty Oaks' gin).
Go for the drinks, the food (which is actually good, not junk pub food), the live music, the corn hole and all the gorgeous Oaks. At Treaty Oaks they love to do special events for the public, so make sure you take a look at their calendar to see if anything out of the norm is going on during your stay. You'll want to make sure you prioritize it if they do.
Tube the San Marcos River
This is the one thing we did right on that original bachelorette party weekend, and it's one of those experiences that is fun no matter how often you do it.
I believe this is a MUST for your bachelorette party and because I've done it a few times here's what I would recommend packing:
Snacks - You're going to be on the river for awhile, make sure you have some food to ward off the hangry and up absorb some of the booze
Water - You guys it's Texas, it's hot. Make sure you stay hydrated (beer alone does not suffice)
Adult beverages - If you meet the bus downtown they will stop at a gas station store on the way to river. But if you want to avoid the rush of people you can shop beforehand and bring all your drinks with you (they provide a cooler so when you stop at that gas station all you'll need to grab is ice)
Hats - this is a great place to wear bachelorette themed baseball caps
Water proof speaker - Clip it to your float and sing your way down the river
Water proof case/lanyard for your phone - get the ones that float so if someone tips over the phone and all those bachelorette photos from the night before aren't lost forever.
Have your makeup done by a professional makeup artist, shop gluten-free, cruelty free makeup AND sample champagne at the champagne bar at Elevé Cosmetics.
Owned by two Austin local sisters, you'll love the atmosphere, the vibe and their story.
This is a perfect way to start a night out on the town!
Hope this helps you plan an unforgettable weekend for your lovely bride-to-be. If you've been to Austin and have any recommendations I love to hear them below!