HER Guide to SXSW: Off the Beaten Path Places to Check Out

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Team @ HERdacity

HER Guide to SXSW: Off the Beaten Path Places to Check Out

Part 2

So you're in town for SXSW? The 10 days you're here are going to be hectic- with crowds, lines, and traffic that will take over the city. We have created this guide to cool spots around the city that won't be taken over by people wearing lanyards. Whether you're looking to recharge your mind and body, reward yourself shopping, or just want to get away for some low-key food, coffee, or drinks, we've got you covered. Let us know if you head to any of these spots using #HERguideSXSW


First, coffee

  • Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors 
    This beautiful coffee shop on the east side has everything you're looking for: stunning natural light, copper bar top, and of course, perfect cups of coffee. Located at 1111 Chicon st (stop in at Fox Den plant shop right across the street).

  • Vintage Heart Coffee
    Right on E. 7th st, this insta-worthy coffee shop is serving up some serious baked goods and breakfast tacos. They even have a gorgeous outdoor patio to relax on. 

  • Cuvee Coffee
    This is the place for you if you love nitro cold brew. They have it on tap so you really can't go wrong. Over on E. 6th st, you'll get out of the SXSW traffic but don't have to stray too far.

  • Seventh Flag Coffee
    Set in a little house on S. 1st st, this is the minimalist coffee shop of your dreams. They serve avocado toast to go along with your americano.

  • Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
    This newer coffee + beer garden is over on Pickle rd. A bit further out than the rest of the shops, it's definitely worth it. They have great coffee, tasty cocktails and beer, and several food trucks in case you're hungry. They even have a chicken coop in the back!

Treat yo self

  • Positive Images Gallery
    Located on W. 6th st, Positive Images is an adorable gallery with tastefully curated  jewelry, art, and clothing. You'll find the perfect piece or accessory you've been looking for. 

  • Cavender's 
    True Austinites head to Cavender's for their boots and hats. Located on S. Lamar, this shop will have all of your SXSW gear.

  • South Congress shops
    This avenue is guaranteed to be crowded this week but still worth checking out if you're in town. There are tons of cute shops to pop into and you'll be sure to find something neat.

  • ModCloth
    Right on W. 2nd st, ModCloth is your one-stop shop for any last-minute clothing needs you might have. Specializing in vintage-styled fashion, the store is filled with adorable pieces. (tip: their vintage section in the very back corner of the store is the best part). 

  • The Fox Den
    Hands down the best plant shop in town. It is a tiny store filled to the brim with the healthiest, greenest plants around. Having both succulents and fig trees, a plant would be the perfect souvenir to take home. Recommend the small potted succulents which are perfect for travel.

Get outside

  • Running + Hiking on Town Lake trail
    The trail is on Lady Bird Lake, or Town Lake as known to locals. It circuits around the lake in two and four mile loops. It is a well-attended, well-groomed trail, and the view of the downtown skyline is unbeatable. And don't forget to take your photo with the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Check it out at sunrise or sunset for a positive start/end of your day.

  • Hiking at the greenbelt
    You can't go wrong taking a hike on the Barton Creek greenbelt. It's a 14 mile trail that is gorgeous on a sunny day.

  • Barton Springs
    An iconic part of Austin, you can't leave the city without taking a swim in Barton Springs, nestled in Zilker Park. It's  temperature is consistently between 68 and 74 degrees year-round but the clear blue water will make it so worth it.

  • Austin Bouldering Project
    Over on Springdale rd, this rock-climbing gym is always a lot of fun (and definitely a tough workout). You can buy a one-time day pass for $16.


Get movin'

  • Black Swan Yoga
    A completely donation-based studio, there are two locations: one on W. 5th st, and another further out on Westgate blvd. The first downtown location might be pretty busy during SXSW, but it is such a beautiful studio that it is sure to rejuvenate you. 

  • Ballet Austin
    Definitely a hidden gem, Ballet Austin usually has 10 drop-in classes that you can attend anytime. Ranging from intermediate Afro-Brazillian dance to beginner Jazz, they'll have a class you'll love. Located right downtown on W. 3rd st, it's a great place for an high-energy workout.

  • Physique 57
    If you're not interested in leaving your Airbnb, Physique 57 is the place for you. It's a completely online workout program that specializes in barre classes. You can do a 15 day free trial if you want to test it out.

  • Pure Barre
    But if you are looking to get out for a bit, Pure Barre has you covered. They have three locations around town and you can always try a week's worth of classes for free.

  • SoulCycle
    If you're looking for a quick workout while you're in town, you can't go wrong with taking a SoulCycle class. It is a 45 minute indoor cycling class that you'll definitely feel the burn of next week. There are several around Austin.

Hangry yet?

  • Sweetish Hill Bakery
    Also located on W. 6th, this locally-sourced bakery has pastries, baked goods, and desserts. We'd recommend checking out their daily lunch specials for a quick bite. 

  • Food truck parks on S. 1st, E. 6th, and E. 11th
    You can't go wrong with any of these parks, they all are guaranteed to have plenty of tasty trucks. We love Wasota African Cuisine on E. 11th. 

  • Voodoo Donuts
    Open 24 hours, this W. 6th donut shop will satisfy your late-night sugar craving. Specializing in funky donuts such as the Voodoo Bubble (vanilla frosting, bubble gum dust, and a DubbleBubble on top), you better be feeling adventurous. 

  • Counter Culture
    This vegan spot on E. Cesar Chavez is the place for you if you've indulged in too many breakfast tacos since you've been in town. They have amazing daily specials and bottles of kombucha galore.

  • Blue Dahlia
    Inside of the cutest house E. 11th st, this place is a little off the beaten path. Located on the east side, 11th st is full of cute shops, restaurants, and bars and hopefully won't be as crowded as downtown. 

Forget somethin'?

  • Austin Macworks
    This is exactly where you'll need to head if you're missing anything tech related. It is centrally located on W. 2nd st so you'll be right near the shop when you need it.

  • Barton Creek Square
    From Sephora to Cotton On, this mall will definitely have anything that you have forgotten. Right off of 360 and Mopac, it isn't far out at all.

Hope you enjoyed these women-specific suggestions for how to get the most out of this conference without burning out. Compliments of HERdacity.org, a non-profit dedicated toward women supporting women.

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