If I had a dollar for each time I was asked for Austin recommendations — specifically, for bachelorette parties — I’d have enough cash to buy a one-way ticket to Bali. But why would I do such a thing, when this town has so much going on all the time? We just wrapped SXSW, but in a few short months we’ll be talking ACL music festival, then Formula One, and so on. With so many attractions and events, it’s no wonder visitors feel the need to reach out for suggestions — sure, Austin is pretty small and centralized, but it’s still so easy to feel overwhelmed by all it has to offer.
Which leads us to today’s post: a detailed guide to planning the best ever weekend bachelorette party in Austin. I don’t care how big your group is, what kind of bride you’re catering to, or where you’re visiting from, there’s something on this list for you. I’ve broken down where to stay, what to do, what to eat and where to drink, and within each of those categories, a ranking of the most inexpensive to the priciest options. Click through, take notes, and in the comments section feel free to add in your two cents!
STAY // Steal $
+ Vacation Rentals. It’s hard to beat the convenience and affordability of a short term rental, and the market in Austin has a lot to offer. Pile a big group into this South Austin gem, enjoy the historic charm of this bold manor, or party on in this Downtown loft.
+ The Austin Motel boasts an unbeatable location. Its iconic (read: suggestive) neon sign, retro interiors and kidney-shaped swimming pool make it clear you’ve landed yourself at an Austin institution, and best of all, the nightly rate is a total steal.
Also check out: Firehouse Lounge & Hostel
STAY // Spend $$
+ Native Hostel has a prime location and bumpin’ lounge, and in recent years has become a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike. Book one of their amazing four- or six-bed rooms for a group slumber party, or the impressive Romper Room which sleeps between 10-20 fun-loving folks.
+ The iconic Hotel San José (pictured) attracts out-of-towners and locals alike, and it’s the stuff that Austin dreams are made of. Hidden behind ivy-covered walls and boasting lush courtyards and modern design, the centrally located bungalow-style hotel is an oasis from bustling South Congress Avenue.
+ South Congress Hotel. Beware: booking rooms at this hotel is risky, as its sparkling swimming pool and half-dozen restaurants, bars and shops might tempt your group to hibernate within its walls all weekend long.
Also check out: Kimber Modern
STAY // Splurge $$$
+ Hotel Saint Cecilia (pictured). Talk about the best bachelorette party ever! Images of this dreamy property likely already fill up your Pinterest boards, what with its manicured green lawn, exclusive lounge and iconic lap pool. If you’re able to secure a few rooms (or better, a few bungalows) at the Saint Cecilia, and if your friends are willing to pony up the cash, you won’t regret it.
+ For a bachelorette party that’s relaxing and rejuvenating, it doesn’t get much better than Lake Austin Spa Resort. Invite your besties out for a staycation here, and prepare to feel like a new woman by check-out on Sunday — now that’s a bachelorette party first!
Also check out: Hotel Ella
DO // Steal $
+ Barton Springs (pictured) is the watering hole when it comes to beating the heat. If you’re headed our way during the spring or summer months, this natural pool is a must-visit, but be warned: parking gets bad, so get there early, or plan to bike or cab it.
+ Put on your tennis shoes and head out to the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail or The Greenbelt to spend a few hours in nature. That fresh air might be just what you need to recover from the previous night’s revelry.
+ Just a 15 minute drive outside of Downtown Austin, Mount Bonnell is this town’s most famous vista. Head out while it’s still light for a quick photo-op before dinner, then stick around to watch the sun set for some unforgettable panoramic views.
Also check out: Zilker Park
DO // Spend $$
+ Strolling up and down South Congress Avenue is the quintessential tourist activity in Austin, and with good reason. Pop in to one-of-a-kind shops like Lucy In Disguise, Big Top Candy Shop, Tesoro’s Trading Company and Feathers Vintage (pictured) for souvenirs and photo-ops.
+ Kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddleboarding on Town Lake is the very best way to get active while soaking up some gorgeous Texas weather.
+ Your girlfriends will thank you for booking a karaoke room at The Highball. Split among a group, the hourly rate is totally doable, and there’s not better way to kick off a night out than by screaming Spice Girls in unison.
+ Have a spa party at Viva Day Spa at The Domain. This local favorite is truly the best in the biz, and their gorgeous new location has party rooms to accommodate your group.
DO // Splurge $$$
+ Check the listings at one of Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations to reserve seats at one of their fun screening events. Sing-alongs and quote-alongs to some of our all-time favorite chick flicks aren’t uncommon at this Austin original, and the in-theater food and drink ain’t too shabby either.
+ Catch a show. They don’t call us The Live Music Capital of the World for nothing! Check venues like The Moody Theater, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Stubb’s and The Erwin Center ahead of time to see what acts will be in town, or pop in to The Continental Club, C-Boys Heart & Soul or Cedar Street Courtyard where you can catch great music any night of the week.
Also check out: Renting the amazing Miss High Life tiki party barge
EAT // Steal $
+ With the impressive Whole Foods Flagship Store in the heart of Downtown, you could easily get away with grabbing a quick bite here for every meal of the weekend. No matter what your group is craving, they’ll find it at this sprawling grocery store.
+ Home Slice Pizza (pictured) is an Austin institution, and a solid option for a casual group meal. They don’t take reservations, so get on the list early and peruse South Congress or enjoy a glass of wine in the garden while you wait.
EAT // Spend $$
+ Emmer & Rye is a favorite farm-to-table restaurant, and its location on the hoppin’ Rainey Street makes it a smart choice for a group of party-going bachelorettes.
+ Sway‘s large tables make it perfect for seating a group of 12-ish. Not only is this upscale Thai joint downright delicious, but every time I get the check here I’m pleasantly surprised by how affordable it is.
EAT // Splurge $$$
+ After almost a decade living in Austin, I still have yet to hear someone utter a bad word about Uchi (or its sister restaurant, Uchiko). The place is solid gold, and if your group consists of foodies looking for an unforgettable meal, this is the place for you.
+ Eden East is the ultimate farm-to-table experience… as in, the restaurant is on a farm. With picnic tables underneath giant Pecan trees, this BYOB spot makes for a once-in-a-lifetime 2- to 3-hour dining saga.
DRINK // Steal $
+ Yep, that’s a bar made entirely of shipping crates, aptly named Container Bar (pictured). In the heart of Rainey Street, the giant courtyard and lots of cozy corners make this is a great place to kick off a night of bar hopping.
+ Barbarella. Three words: ultimate dance party. Sure, you might have to pay a $5 cover at the door, but once you’re in, you can buy a $20 bottle of champagne at the bar. No glasses necessary — you can just hold the thing and pass between friends once you’re in a dance circle.
+ Lookin’ for a two-steppin’ Texan time? The dancing and people-watching at Donn’s Depot and The Broken Spoke are top notch, and the old-time country charm will ensure your group goes home with a real Lone Star State experience under their belts.
Also check out: Any of the bars on 6th Street between Neches and Brazos
DRINK // Spend $$
+ Don’t blink when you’re looking for Garage or you might miss it. The hip, dimly lit mid-century bar is literally hidden in a parking garage, making the reward of drinking one of their delicious craft cocktails that much sweeter.
+ Easy Tiger is perfect for when your group wants to go out, but doesn’t want to go out out. The buzzy beer garden is a favorite among locals, and its proximity to 6th Street means that spirits (heh) could escalate at any moment.
+ With its large outdoor courtyard, dangerously tasty drinks and hip East Austin locale, Whisler’s (pictured) has everything you could want in a bar. Snatch a picnic table early in the evening and prepare to wonder where the time went.
+ We’ve been waiting for a place like P6 to open for years. Finally, a rooftop bar that overlooks Lake Austin, making it the perfect place to eat and drink, day or night.
DRINK // Splurge $$$
+ No, you’re not at the wrong place. Midnight Cowboy (pictured) might disguise itself as an oriental massage parlor on the outside, but inside it’s pure mixology heaven. For a group of 8 or fewer, book a table online, then follow the website’s very specific instructions for getting in the door.