I just got back from the Formula 1 in Austin. It was my first F1 adventure and hopefully not the last. I found it amazingly fun and chill. Very diverse and interesting crowd. Food and drinks abound. Lovely day, sunny and warm. I also had a chance to spend some days in the city and to try a few places I recommend if you visit.
We didn't stay right downtown (hotels were very expensive for the F1 weekend) but a few streets down, closer to the interstate, at the corner of RedRiver St which is packed with bars, restaurants, food trucks and nightlife. If this is not your cup of tea try staying downtown which offers a more sterile environment!
- Veracruz All Natural Tacos, a food truck or more so an old school bus turned into a food truck - best tacos I have eaten outside of Mexico. Cheap, amazing flavors. My favorite place in Austin. The breakfast migas is to live for.
Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill - right on Red River St, American southern comfort food. The building is very interesting and big and the same is always packed which is a good sign. Portions are massive (yummy green chile chicken macaroni!) and the corn bread alone is worth the visit.
La Condesa - Guadalupe St, downtown Austin. Mexican (or modern Mexican as they describe themselves), sit down restaurant, packed and kinda trendy. The food was really good but I'd still go to Vera Cruz instead. Although for dinner La Condesa was a good option.
Juan in a Million - also an amazing option for Mexican. Not as fancy/pretentious as La Condesa. Maybe a step up in comfort from Vera Cruz although the flavors are pretty similar in quality. Definitely a great option.
As for museums:
- The Blanton Museum of Art, right on the University of Texas-Austin campus. I wasn't lucky to see their permanent collection (going through renovations) but the two exhibits they had on were pretty sweet. For a 9 dollar ticket it is worth your time just for the hall work by Teresita Fernández, called Stacked Waters. I think I spent at least 10 minutes circling this room in awe.
- Thinkery (former Children's Museum) - great option if you are traveling with kids. Beautiful, modern building with lots of interesting activities for kids of all ages (from babies to maybe 9-10 years old). Very cool to offer kids a breather from adult programs when you are traveling as a family.