Life

Secrets To Planning The Perfect Staycation In Any American City

Part of self-care is knowing when to unwind before burnout sets in. Which is why we love travel. But unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard of the increased threat of coronavirus which — whether you’re all-out panicked or taking a more measured approach — makes investing in a big trip more daunting. Couple that with event cancellations on a global scale and it can make you wonder, “What’s happening to my travel goals 2020?”

Do not fret. You don’t have to leave home to reset while making iconic memories. Whether because of budget reasons or pandemic fears, you can put your upcoming tax refund to good use by planning the ultimate staycation. Not only does a staycation help you to appreciate the city where you live even more, but it also puts extra bucks into the local economy. After the cancellations of Ultra Music Festival in Miami and SXSW in Austin, and with more events sure to follow, your city-of-residence just might end up desperate for that sort of boost.

Below you’ll find my secrets to the perfect staycation. I’ve used my home city of Austin as the example here but, as you’ll see, the themes can apply to virtually any city in the country. Check it!

Visit the Local Taproom, Brewery, or Winery

Whether you’re a wino, whiskey enthusiast, or tequila lover – or all the above – take a trip to the local distillery, brewery, or winery that’s in your city. Many of these boozy haunts feature not only tours, but classes and live music nights.

If You’re in Austin, Try:

ATX and its surrounding area (known as the Texas Hill Country) are sprinkled with distilleries and wineries. However, I’m a sucker for Still Austin Whiskey Co., right within the city limits, because you’re able to learn about their grain-to-glass process. The milling, mashing, fermenting, distilling, barreling and bottling is all done in-house. You’re greeted with a welcome cocktail, and who doesn’t like to be welcomed with an Old-Fashioned? Then when you’re done with the intimate tour, be sure to sign up in advance for their Craft Your Own Cocktail class, where you learn the history and ingredients for two classic cocktails, before crafting your very own.

Stay at That Luxury Hotel You’ve Been Eyeing

Every city has an ultra-exclusive hotel or B&B that begs for your presence. Make your staycation extra memorable by staying at a luxe hotel – and don’t forget to get breakfast in bed and a massage! Check deals pages for local discounts or try apps like Hotel Tonight!

If You’re in Austin, Stay at The Driskill:

Built in 1886, this 4.5-star, vintage beauty is right in the heart of downtown Austin. You’re near the famous Sixth Street which is lined with bars, pubs, and music venues, plus merely minutes away from the Texas State Capitol. Plus, The Driskill Bar, located in the property’s bottom floor, has some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had (the Blackberry Smash is divine).

Hit the Coolest Vinyl Record Shops

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We have @theblackpumas hats and shirts in stock now 😁

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Vinyl records have made a comeback in a major way. With the resurrection of their popularity comes stores catering to audiophiles who love record players. Many vinyl record shops not only sell records, but also host intimate shows with some of your favorite local bands and DJs.

If You’re in Austin, Try:

Waterloo Records has been in operation since the early 1980s and is an ATX mainstay. They offer a vast range of records across any genre you can think of. Plus they host artist showcases in-store which add a unique, intimate element.

Shop at Your City’s Next Hotspot

Is there a certain unique shopping center or department store you’ve been itching to shop at? Now’s your chance. Many boutiques and specialty stores have one-of-a-kind pieces for you to shop from. Get fly while supporting the local economy.

If You’re In Austin, Try:

Texas-native Neighborhood Goods, a distinctive experiential retail concept, is opening its third storefront in Austin inside the Music Lane development on South Congress Avenue on March 13th. The 10,600 sq. ft. location will be home to brands and products that are geared toward the unique tastes and preferences of Austin. The retail area will introduce brands including shoppable food community Food52, contemporary art online curator Uprise Art, sustainably focused apparel brand Entireworld, and much more. After you’re tired after all that shopping, have a bite at Prim and Proper — the brand’s original eatery, featuring a seasonal menu highlighting local favorites and the best ingredients Austin has to offer.

Hit a Natural Wine Bar

The next big wave in the wine and spirits world is drinking beverages with all-natural ingredients. Be ahead of the curve and experience the refreshing taste of an organic white wine before the crowd hops on this trend.

If You’re in Austin, Try:

I’m a sucker for a good glass of wine and equally great ambience. LoLo, a new natural wine bar and bottle shop, opened its doors just last month in the heart of Austin’s bustling Eastside. They exclusively serve natural wines working with boutique producers and independent farmers to offer a list of wines from Texas and beyond. Whether you want to enjoy your glass of vino at its welcoming bar or patio or purchase a bottle to enjoy in your abode, this place is a gem.

Finally Have a Proper Nightcap

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Small Victory brings the cold front every night 🌬🍸

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Regardless of the city you reside in, there’s a watering hole that surely speaks to your palate. Treat yourself and a couple of friends to a nightcap at your town’s premier cocktail bar.

If You’re in Austin, Try:

If you’re craving to try something that comes with a story that will more than likely end with you having your very own story, then the brandy-infused Philadelphia Fish House Punch is the route to go at swanky cocktail bar, Small Victory. This $60 punch bowl dates back to the 1730s. Indulging in this cocktail is, well, no small victory. Go big or go home.

Visit That One Music Venue People Are Buzzing About

Even if you don’t have a swoonworthy music scene, there’s definitely live music to be heard. It’s always a rewarding feeling when you can discover your next favorite musical act by catching them live at your city’s hottest music venue.

If You’re in Austin, Try:

The best way to bar hop and take in who’s next in music is by hitting Rainey Street. The street is lined with bars and music venues, plus there’s even a square filled with a variety of food trucks. One of my favorite places to go on Rainey Street is Bungalow. The spot is a glorified house, not a club — with energy that feels like being at a legit house party.

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