In the spirit of the holiday, Memorial Day weekend is a time to enjoy our family and friends and celebrate our beautiful country. What better way to enjoy the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave than in our own backyard?

So, this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, forget the TSA security check lines and exorbitant baggage fees, and try a staycation! Here are a few Austin ideas and itineraries the whole family will love.

OPTION 1: The Domain/North Austin

Where to Stay

Aloft Austin at The Domain ($159) is a trendy, modern hotel with contemporary decor. Lone Star Court ($174/night) has a funky, cool, and totally Texas vibe. The Westin Austin at The Domain ($189/night) is a beautiful, family-friendly hotel. Each hotel is conveniently located on Domain Drive.

Where to Eat

Breakfast options include Tacodeli or brunch at Punch Bowl Social. As for lunch, check out NYC’s own Shake Shack, Austin’s Salvation Pizza, or Dallas import Velvet Taco. Try the super-fun Culinary Dropout or Hat Creek Burger Company Domain for a kid-friendly dinner.

What to Do

Day 1: Explore the green spaces, play areas, and art displays around The Domain. Do a little shopping at the mix of upscale and traditional retail stores. Indulge the kiddos by taking a train ride from Just Train Fun or stopping by IT’SUGAR for sweet treat after dinner.

Day 2: Hang poolside in the morning. Read the latest RW Book Club pick under the warm Texas sun. Grab the family for an action-packed and always entertaining scavenger hunt. End the day with a family-friendly movie at iPic.

Day 3: Spend more time lounging around the hotel pool. (You deserve it!) You’ll hit an ace with the kiddos when you head over to TopGolf for an afternoon of family merriment before grabbing dinner.

OPTION 2: Waco

Where to Stay

Hotel Indigo Waco-Baylor ($155/night) is an upmarket, modern hotel. Residence Inn by Marriott Waco ($179/night) and the newly-renovated Hilton Waco ($155/night) both offer deluxe accommodations and contemporary decor. All hotels are located minutes from the highway and less than a mile from city center.

Where to Eat

Try Lula Jane’s or the hot and trending Magnolia Table for breakfast. Lunch and dinner options include the food trucks at Magnolia Market, dive-bar Twisted Root Burger Co., George’s Restaurant, or the eclectic Jake’s Texas Tea House.

What to Do

Day 1: Spend some time at Waco Mammoth National Monument. Take a 45-minute guided tour starting at the Welcome Center and dig for fossils at the Dig Shelter. Visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. Later that evening, take a Branding the Brazos sculpture walk along the Brazos River.

Day 2: Party with the animals at Cameron Park Zoo. Walk the trails and play in the splash pad in Cameron Park. Walk the Instagram-able Waco Suspension Bridge. If you’re up for it, take a swim in the hotel pool that evening.

Day 3: Celebrate and sample Texas’s finest at the Dr. Pepper Museum. Scour the market for trendy home décor or play Cornhole on the lawn of Magnolia Market at the Silos. Although it is closed on Sundays, the store will be open regular hours on Memorial Day. On a budget? Check-out the Magnolia Warehouse Shop on Bosque, open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

OPTION 3: Downtown Austin

Where to Stay

Hotels range from cheap, family-friendly options like Holiday Inn Austin-Town Lake ($149/night) to luxurious options like W Austin ($284/night) and the 4-star South Congress Hotel ($399/night). You can’t go wrong with any of these highly-rated and conveniently-located hotels.

Where to Eat

As for breakfast, the options are endless! Check out Magnolia Café, Kerbey Lane Café, or Gourdough’s. Try Home Slice Pizza, Top Notch Burgers, or Shady Grove for lunch. Family-friendly dinner options include Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Waterloo Ice House, or Stiles Switch BBQ.

What to Do

Day 1: Tour the new Central Library. Stroll and shop South Congress, including a stop at the Big Top Candy Shop. End the evening watching the bats from under the Congress Avenue Bridge.

Day 2: Play tourist and take a walking tour of Austin or see the sights and sounds of Austin by bus and boat on the Austin Duck Adventures tour. Witness the peacocks at Mayfield Park before climbing Mount Bonnell to watch the sunset over our beautiful city.

Day 3: Fly a kite, kick a ball, explore the playscape, and ride the Zilker Zephyr at Zilker Park. Plunge into chilly waters of Barton Springs Pool. Stock up for summer reading at Book People. Walk over to Amy’s Ice Creams on W 6th for one last treat.

Did I miss anything? Share your must-stay, must-eat, or must-do places in and around Austin for the Memorial Day weekend!


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