Everything’s bigger in Texas, and if you find yourself in Austin, be prepared for an extra large dose of inspiration. With musical roots, retro designs, not to mention incredible food, Austin is the perfect destination for your next weekend getaway. We asked some of our favorite Austin locals and top interior designers to share their favorite places to eat, shop, and get inspired, plus the one thing you shouldn’t leave town without doing!  Get ready to plan your ideal itinerary for the ultimate Texas vacation thanks to our Design Insider’s Guide to Austin.

Discover Austin’s Hottest Furniture Finds >>

White fur rug, contemporary black chair, and blue bed frame in Hotel Saint Cecilia room
Hotel Saint Cecilia by Nick Simonite courtesy of Hotel Saint Cecilia

Where To Stay

“Hotel Saint Cecilia is quintessential Austin, from the shady grounds to the eccentrically decorated suites. Their private lounge and pool are reserved for guests only, and are the perfect place to have a pre-dinner cocktail. The South Congress Hotel also has some great restaurants and poolside frozen Palomas.” — Sarah Wittenbraker

“Hotel Saint Cecilia because 1) I can walk there, 2) it’s immensely private 3) there is always fun to be had in the garden or by the pool.” — Consuelo Pierrepont

“South Congress Hotel or Hotel Ella.” — Shannon Eddings

“Hotel Saint Cecilia, it’s right in the heart of South Congress. You can walk to great shops, restaurants, even the lake!” — Meredith Ellis

Green bar stools at bar, and wooden dining chairs in kitchen/bar
Photo by Casey Dunn, courtesy of Clark’s

Where to Eat & Drink

How to choose! Some favorite meals are the ceviche at Clark’s, P38 roll at Uchiko, shrimp spring rolls and pho at Elizabeth Street, or lump crab salad (with frites and champagne!) at Justine’s Brasserie.” — Sarah Wittenbraker

“Olamaie or the bar at Jefferies (biscuits, popovers, carpaccio, wine).” — Consuelo Pierrepont

“Contigo and Asti.” — Shannon Eddings

Austin has so many great restaurants, but depending on my mood…. Clark’s for Oysters, and Matt’s El Rancho for the Bob Armstrong Queso dip.” — Meredith Ellis

Art installation with assorted contemporary paintings and white sculpture
Installation view of Archer M. Huntington Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin

Where to Get Your Culture Fix

The Austin City Limits Festival every October breathes so much life into this town. Also, cruising South Congress any night of the week makes for a good time.” — Sarah Wittenbraker

The Blanton Museum of Art and then a walk around the UT campus – it’s pretty, it’s bustling with youth and it reminds me of my college days. The South Congress Ave area is also great for shopping and dining.” — Shannon Eddings

“Laguna Gloria … contemporary art & art studio with some of the prettiest grounds in town.”  — Meredith Ellis

Assorted pieces of wood decor and vintage art at Round Top
Photo by Sarah Moore

Where To Go For Vintage Goodies

Twice a year, Texans flock to the Round Top Antiques Fair, only about an hour and a half from Austin. You can find anything from fine antiques, rugs and art… to bizarro yard art.” — Sarah Wittenbraker

“The Rener Project.” — Consuelo Pierrepont

“Austin Antique Mall and Uptown Modern. Round Top in the Spring and Fall – of course.” — Shannon Eddings

“Uncommon Objects – my favorite treasure trove.” — Meredith Ellis

Looking for more places to shop? Check out a few of our favorite Austin-based Chairish Sellers:

C the Light Interiors
Negrel Antiques
The Distillery
Jean-Marc Fray Antiques
Majolica Dream
Everything Distinct
Castle Hill Antiques

Austin skyline featuring lush park around the lake and highway.

Where to People Watch

Walking the trail around Lady Bird Lake is the best way to see the the wonderful, motley crew that makes up Austin.” — Sarah Wittenbraker

The Town Lake Trail.” — Consuelo Pierrepont

Patio/front sidewalk of Guero’s; I’ve seen Bill Clinton!” — Meredith Ellis

Where to Get Inspired

I love to pop in to JAMES and Supply Showrooms for incredible fabric and wallpaper inspiration. They both have created such unique spaces that cater to my love for color and pattern. Jean-Marc Fray houses fine antiques and gorgeous lighting, and Page Home Design is a perfect spot to grab art or unique pieces for my clients.” — Sarah Wittenbraker

“Ellsworth Kelly Chapel – peaceful and elemental.” — Consuelo Pierrepont

Walking though any of the older, historic neighborhoods in Austin inspire me. Clarksville, Travis Heights and Hyde Park…  I love history!  And maybe a trip into some of Austin’s Art Galleries.” — Shannon Eddings

“JAMES Showroom (which I own)! JAMES Represents artisanal textiles, lighting and Tibetan rugs from around the world. The showroom, housed in a 1930’s bungalow, also carries one-of-a-kind antiques and vintage pieces. It’s decorated to be an inspiration to all who visit!” — Meredith Ellis

Crowded audience at Austin city Limits music festival with skyscrapers in the distance
Photo by Katrina Barber courtesy of Austin City Limits Music Festival

Don’t Leave Town Without…

If at all possible, go see an Austin City Limits show or taping at the Moody Theater on Willie Nelson Blvd. Not a bad seat in the house.” — Sarah Wittenbraker

An evening at The Broken Spoke or The White Horse.” — Consuelo Pierrepont

“Barton Springs. The natural fed spring always has a temperature of 68 degrees. Take part in the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day to start the year invigorated!” — Meredith Ellis


A huge thank you to our Austin experts! Be sure to check out their amazing work.

Sarah Wittenbraker
Consuelo Pierrepont
Shannon Eddings
Meredith Ellis

Feature Photo by Nick Simonite courtesy of Hotel Saint Cecilia


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January 22, 2019

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