6 Fun Places to Visit in East Austin on Bike

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You’re in Austin. That’s already one step in the right direction. If you want to take another step in the right direction, jump on a bike and head to East Austin. East Austin is rich with a distinctive culture that is a unique blend of its past and present that has created the blossoming area that it is today. You will find yourself immersed in an area that is filled with countless shops, music and entertainment options, as well as mouth-watering restaurants (and, of course, food trucks)! There is no doubt that visiting East Austin give you a taste of what Austin is all about.

 

Music & Entertainment

1) The White Horse is a traditional country honky tonk with a bike rack out front that is usually full. The acts are mostly local, the dance floor is packed, the people are friendly, the drinks are cheap and the tacos in the truck out back are very good. You don’t need a cowboy hat as the crowd is very diverse at this east side bar. There is usually a small cover on the weekends, and free dancing lessons are also provided as well.

Hours and Details for Visiting The White Horse:

  • Open 3pm-2am daily
  • Free two-step lessons at 7pm most Saturday nights
  • Must be 21 or over

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2) Stay Gold is a modern, intimate venue for craft cocktails and beers with live music. On any given night, you can walk in and catch a funky-soul artist from New Orleans, a string quartet from France, or a mellow indie rock band from Michigan. Of course, Stay Gold is also a popular venue for many local Austin artists and bands. Aside from the music, Stay Gold has great food and drinks with additional seating out back. You can take a break from the music and enjoy anything off of their food truck, Toaster's, menu or order something off the extensive drink menu. The live music paired with great food and drinks makes this the perfect stop to end any bike ride.

Hours and Details for Visiting Stay Gold:

  • Open Monday-Friday 3pm-2am
  • Open Saturday-Sunday 12pm-2am 

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Art

3) Canopy is a large creative community set within a redeveloped east Austin warehouse. The property consists of 45 small studios, 3 galleries, several offices, and a cafe/coffee shop. This set-up is meant to portray the connectedness between art, culture, and the public. The multi-functional communal spaces also opens up room for collaboration and engagement. As you see, even Canopy's architecture is art. A popular gallery within Canopy that many people enjoy experiencing is Big Medium, which supports and promotes contemporary art in Texas. Canopy also has plenty of parking and bike racks. 

Hours and Details for Visiting Canopy (Big Medium Gallery):

  • Monday-Saturday 12pm-6pm
  • Closed Sundays

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4) grayDUCK gallery is a recently founded gallery that is located in refurbished 100 year-old house. The architecture is a mixture of old and new with clean lines and comfortable wood. The grayDUCK has monthly shows that that highlight artists' work from a range of experiences, both locally and nationally. The beautiful space is home for not just artwork, but also poetry readings, film, music, and performance!

Hours and Details for visiting grayDUCK gallery:

  • Thursday-Saturday 11am-6pm
  • Sunday 12pm-5pm

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Food and Drink

5) Paperboy is the perfect food truck to grab some breakfast food and coffee. They offer a menu with produce and dairy from local farms and bread from local bakeries. As you can tell, Paperboy is all about supporting local suppliers and businesses! Paperboy also has a cozy patio that joins the vibrant scene of Austin's growing east 11th street neighborhood. Overall, Paperboy has a laid back vibe and will give you a quintessential Austin food truck experience!

Hours and Details for Visiting Paperboy:

  • Tuesday-Friday 7am-2pm
  • Saturday-Sunday 8am-2pm
  • Closed Mondays

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6) The Veracruz All Natural Taco Truck makes some of the best tacos in town, hands down. The tortillas and salsas are all made in “house” and the ingredients are top-notch. Expect a wait on the weekend and at lunch time, but it’s worth it. A favorite of many customers are the migas taco and the chorizo and nopales taco. Their fresh fruit drinks are perfect for washing your tacos down.

Hours and Details for Visiting The Veracruz All Natural Taco Truck:

  • Open daily from 8am-3pm

5 Reasons to Have Your Next Bachelor and Bachelorette Party in Austin

Getting married is a monumental step for every person out there. It’s a day you won’t forget from the “I do’s” to the dance floor and everything in between. As great as the wedding day will be, there is one infamous pre-wedding event that every groom and bride can’t miss out on—the bachelor and bachelorette party. If you’re looking for a fun place to make the memories of a lifetime and have one last bonding moment with your best friends before the big day, we know just the city for you—Austin, TX.


So why choose to have you party in Austin?

1)    Hike before you get hitched! Getting some good cardio in and working those muscles is a sure fire way to get your adrenaline pumping and your mind and body ready for the big day, and there is no better place to do that than in Austin. You can visit Barton Springs, a natural swimming hole, for a quick swim or go kayaking in downtown Austin with your friends. If you’re looking for some serious cardio before the big day, there is no way you can pass up the chance to hike in the Greenbelt. After a day in the outdoors in Austin, both your mind and body will feel ready to go for the big day.

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2)    Have a night out on the town! There is no way you haven’t heard of Austin’s night life. A night out on 6th Street will be one for the books... or may only end up being a few fragments from your memory. 6th Street is one of the most iconic streets in Austin, and it’s one of the major reasons for Austin’s famous reputation as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Bars line the street and some even offer dollar shots. For all you music lovers out there, you will also find live music almost every night of the week at places like Maggie Mae’s and many more! There is no doubt that this is a great place to start or end the night. 

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3)    Picture-perfect memories! Come on, it’s your last fun event with your closest friends before you’re officially hitched! Austin offers many great “picture-friendly” locations to capture your last hooray together. Snap a picture in front of the abundance of beautiful graffiti artwork that covers walls all around Austin or maybe swing by the HOPE Outdoor Gallery if you want to get a really good idea of what Austin’s talented graffiti artists have to offer. If you’re more of a natural, scenic background person, check out the 360 Bridge during the day or at sunset. Here in Austin, we don’t let memories fly by without a way to remember them.

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4)    Great food means a happy bride or groom-to-be! Many people who visit Austin can assure you that the city of Austin is synonymous with the words “great food!” Trust me, you’ll believe it when you try out Kerbey Lane Café (many customers highly recommend checking out the pancake special of the day!) or any food truck parks if you’re looking for more of a quick but delicious meal. You can also never go wrong with many locations on South Congress. Eat away to your heart’s content with all of your friends, and trust me, there will be PLENTY to eat!

 

5)    Don’t worry, we didn’t forget the alcohol! There is no way you can have you party in Austin without visiting a brewery. Luckily, Austin has no shortage of specialty alcohol. For all you self-proclaimed wine connoisseurs, you have to check out the Apothecary Cafe and Wine Bar. For the advent beer lovers out there, a favorite local place for many is Hops & Grain where the tap room is open 7 days a week from 10AM to 10PM. We will not allow our renown wine and beer to go untasted here in Austin!

Best Places to Visit in Downtown Austin

Austin is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States! They have plenty of bike lanes, and most places have some sort of bike rack to keep your cycle safe while you explore all of the strange and wacky things that help “Keep Austin Weird.” This list contains just a few of the awesome sights you can see in Austin, so hop on one of our bikes and get out there to see which ones you think are the best!

 

Texas State Capitol

No visit to Austin would be complete without a visit to the Texas Capitol building! While the capitol isn’t accessible to cars, it is perfect for checking out on bicycle. The beautiful area surrounding the capitol has plenty to look at. Check out the memorials that line the paths around the building, or head inside to escape the Texas heat and check out some of the beautiful architecture inside the building!

 

See a Movie at the Alamo Drafthouse

The Alamo Drafthouse is a movie theater  crossed with a restaurant. This theater shows blockbusters like the latest Marvel flick, but they also have been known to screen indie films as well as host screening parties for series like the Harry Potter movies. You can order a full on meal (with alcoholic beverages) or just stick to the classic soda and bottomless popcorn as you relax and enjoy the show. Once you’re done, you can jump back on your bike to work off that burger, and check out these other great sights.

 

Take a Ride Down South Congress

South Congress Avenue, or SoCo as it is often abbreviated, embodies the spirit of the city and epitomizes the city’s motto “Keep Austin Weird.” Whether you just want to pass and sight see on your bike or actually go into the stores to look around, this street is full of colorful buildings and colorful people. Sights to see here include the “I love you so much” wall, the antique store Uncommon Objects, Big Top Candy Shop - a sweet store sure to satisfy your inner child, and much much more ranging from artist’s boutiques to street performers. If you’re hungry you could even stop in for a bite to eat at Homeslice or Hopdoddy’s. This eclectic street is sure to be one of the highlights of your bicycle trip.

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The Austin Bats

Austin is home to the world’s largest urban bat colony, and from the end of spring to early fall, you can watch this massive group of animals emerge from South Congress Bridge. The sight of about 1.5 million bats all taking flight at once is a spectacle sure to impress, and it will get you plenty of likes on Instagram too. This is free to watch, and happens every night, so it is definitely worth checking out!

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Learn about Latin Culture at the Mexic-Arte Museum

This little museum boasts an incredible collection of art and other exhibits that both celebrate and teach about Mexican-American culture. Their mission is to educate people and develop understanding of Latin American culture. This museum is one of only a handful of museums in America dedicated to promoting and presenting Mexican and Mexican-American art and culture, so don’t miss your chance to see these beautiful works of art and learn about a group of people who helped shape Texas into what it is today.

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Take a Relaxing Ride Around Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake is the perfect destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. As beautiful as the First Lady that it was named after, this lake is a gorgeous place to relax and destress. These shady paths run right along the water and offer a welcome retreat from both the sun and the busy streets of the city. The trail is perfect for biking and is even pet friendly, so Fido can run along with you (as long as he can keep up with your bike). Locals and tourists alike love this charming path, and it is a great place to get some exercise in!

10 Things You Should Know Before Your Next Bike Rental

If you’re planning on renting a bike for a day, a year, or even a couple of hours, there are a few things you should know first. Such as: What type of bike is best for you?, How do you make sure your bicycle is the right size?, What are the rules surrounding bike rentals (e.g. wearing a helmet, paying for a bike, returning it, etc.)? 

Austin is a very bike friendly city, so getting around on a bicycle should be easy. If you are planning on visiting Austin, consider renting a bike from one of the many shops around town. Rental shops provide customer friendly service, transparent pricing, as well as on demand assistance and repairs. A rental bike can come in handy if you want to explore the many hike and bike trails around Austin, or beat the traffic and ride around the city on your bike. Here are a few helpful things you should know before renting a bike to ride around the city.

1. What type of bike is best?

There are a wide variety of different bikes that you can rent depending on your preferences and needs. The main kinds of bikes that you can rent are the following: Road bicycles, city bikes, cruiser bicycles, and hybrid bicycles.

Road bikes are best to rent if you’re planning on going fast and you’re riding on smooth pavement. These bicycles have smooth, skinny tires, and are usually lighter than other kinds of bikes. They can be rented for use of paved trails, but riding them on unpaved roads can be uncomfortable and unstable.

 

Source: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/road-bikes/c/B200/

City bikes might also be called “urban” bikes or “commuter” bikes. A city bike might be best to rent for riding around the city since it has some features that make it easier to ride in regular clothes rather than cycling-specific clothing (e.g. chain guard, fenders, etc.). A city bike might also have built in lights for safety when riding it after dark.

Source: http://cyclevancouver.com/rentals/

Cruiser bicycles might also be good to rent for riding around the city because they are designed for casual riding. Cruiser bikes have a very comfortable, upright riding position and a large seat, as well as wide tires. These bikes work best for routes that are fairly flat, so they are probably not best to rent for use on hike/bike trails. These bikes also come in a variety of different colors so you can show off as you ride it around the city.

Source: https://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Men-s-Kent-Bayside-Cruiser-Bike/47443494


Hybrid bicycles provide advantages of both road bikes and mountain bikes. They have large seats, upright handlebars that provide a comfortable riding position, and they are best for riding around town. They can be used on either paved or unpaved roads but are not intended for off-road mountain bike trails.

Source: https://www.rei.com/c/hybrid-bikes?r=c&origin=web&pagesize=90&ir=category%3Ahybrid-bikes&page=1

2. Sizing

When renting a bike, it’s important to know that you are renting the right size. Here are the basics: The bike size is measured from the crank to where the seat post starts. Using a bike size chart (such as this one: http://whatsizebike.com/bike-sizing-chart/) will likely come in handy and will help you decide what size bike to rent so you can ride in comfort. The bike rental attendant at the rental shop will also be able to help with measurements and finding a bicycle that’s the proper size.

3. Weather

Another important thing to do before renting a bike for a cycling adventure is to check the weather. Austin pretty hot and dry year round, so the weather will likely not be a problem, but it’s always a good idea to check.

4. Bike Routes

There are many routes and maps for bicycling in Austin and there are many roads with bike lanes. Almost any bike rental shop will likely have a map of bike routes that you can take around the city. A good online resource is http://bicycleaustin.info/getaround/routes.html. The City of Austin also has a Bicycle Master Plan that can be accessed on https://austintexas.gov/bicycle and has information regarding bicycle laws, bicycle signals, and more.

5. Going to a Rental Shop vs. Renting a Bicycle Online

Before you start browsing for bikes online, make sure to consider the advantages of actually going to a bike rental shop. Going into a shop can prove advantageous because the owner/attendants will be able to suggest specific tours and answer any questions you may have. Renting a bike from a local shop could provide more insight into a series of tours such as landmark tours, bat tours, etc. Tour guides also serve as great local recommenders. Wondering where the BEST taco place is in your area? Have questions on how to get to the nearest watering hole? Your guide can be your guide guru.

6. Bicycle Parking

There are hundreds of bike racks installed for public use around the City of Austin. Bicycles are a great alternative to driving as you can zip around town without having to worry about parking. All buses in Austin have bike racks or bike hooks and bike parking is available at many bus stops. So if you need a break from biking, just park your rental bicycle, or toss it on a bus and continue your cycling adventure later. One thing to note is that B-Cycles need to be parked at a charging station or you will continue to be charged for the rental even while you’re not biking. An alternative to consider would be renting a bicycle from an actual bike shop rather than a charging station, to avoid idle fees.

7. Know How to Stay Safe

Before renting a bike, make sure you’re familiar with biking rules and regulations and how to stay safe while riding around town. Some of the more obvious and more important things to note include: wear a helmet, ride your bike in the same direction as traffic, know your hand signals, and make sure your bike has proper lights if you plan on riding at night. Always double-check a bike before renting it to make sure all of the equipment works properly (make sure the tires are inflated, the brakes work, etc.). Be alert to traffic at all times and yield to traffic when appropriate. You might also want to consider wearing clothing that makes you more visible, such as bright colors, or something that reflects light.

8. Payment

Payment may differ depending on the rental company, but most bikes can be paid for with a card and charge an hourly or daily fee. Memberships typically include 60-minute rides or you can choose a 24-hour option. Bikes need to be returned after membership expires, to either the rental shop or to a respective bike station around the city. Cash or card will both work for payment at most bike shops in the city. However, if you are planning on making reservations online, card is the way to go. Some shops will allow you to reserve a bike for pick-up and you may also have the option to pay cash in person.

9. Biking with Kids

Biking with kids may prove to be challenge in terms of bike rentals, since most bike rental stations only provide one size adult bikes. However, some bike rental shops may have more models and sizes available. Another option is to ask for an attachable kids seat when you rent your bike, this avoids the need to rent an additional bike. There are also plenty of beginner cycling tours around Austin, if you decide to rent bikes to ride with your kids.

10. Treat the Rental Bike Like Your Own

Avoid paying extra fees for repairing a damaged rental bike by taking extra care when riding it. Remember to always: yield to pedestrians, stay off the sidewalk, obey traffic lights, and ride in the same direction as traffic. Follow these simple rules while riding your rental bicycle to avoid damage to yourself and the bike, and ensure a happy rental experience.

Overall, Austin offers a diverse range of options in terms of bike rentals and there are many tours to take either around the city or off-road. Many bike rental shops offer multi-speed city bikes that are great for urban cycling adventures. Here at Austin Bike Tours and Rentals, we offer bikes equipped with water bottle cages and racks and all bike rentals include lights, helmet, and roadside assistance. Any bicycle rental shop will also provide bike maps of Austin and advice for what to do and which routes to take.