Local Talent Takes the Stage at The Long Center

There are very few places in Austin that offer the variety of entertainment options provided by The Long Center, a non-profit that serves as a creative resource for the community. More than 80 percent of performances hosted here showcase the talent of local artists. Whether you’re interested in seeing ballet or the symphony, a local singer or flamenco guitarist, children’s theater or Shakespeare, The Long Center truly offers it all and then some (including one of the best views of the city skyline!).

Comprising multiple performance spaces, the building has been renovated over the years to keep with the times. The most impressive space within The Long Center is the grand hall, which seats more 2,400 people over three levels and features flawless acoustics. Most patrons seem to agree that there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Be sure to visit the website for a calendar of upcoming performances!

The Long Center
701 W. Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 457-5100

Beware Coffee: A Startlingly Good Cup of Joe

There’s nothing to be afraid of at Austin’s Beware Coffee, a quaint, tiny coffee truck near the University of Texas campus. With only a small green truck and a nearby tent instead of the usual brick and mortar storefront, this is a unique alternative to the city’s numerous other coffee shops. Despite its small size, Beware Coffee churns out expertly brewed coffees, frothy cappuccinos, and ice cream-topped affogatos. For those who like a sweeter beverage, lattes (like the beloved Fantasy Sweet) get a touch of rich, creamy sweetness from the addition of coconut oil and real honey.

The owners are also the baristas at this independent operation, and they really know their stuff when it comes to crafting the perfect cup of joe. If you’re a coffee lover who cares more about the quality of the drinks than the bells and whistles in the shop itself, Beware Coffee is a must-try.

Beware Coffee
2908 Fruth St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 571-3392

Black Lagoon Art + Yoga: Cultivate Flexibility in an Inspiring Space

Part art gallery, part yoga studio, Austin's Black Lagoon promotes healthier bodies and imaginations in Austin. Not that Austin needs much help staying "weird," but this indie art gallery and fitness studio certainly helps. When it first debuted in 2010, its founders likely had no idea the profound impact it would have on yogis and artists alike—although they probably hoped.

Today, it's become a staple of the neighborhood. Exercisers flock to the art gallery for yoga classes amid the masterpieces hanging on the walls. There's a class appropriate for every level of ability, even if you've never stepped foot in a yoga studio before. And with multiple yoga classes offered on a daily basis, you should be able to squeeze in practice even if you have a busy schedule. If you're just interested in seeing the art, make an appointment to check out what's on display right now or attend one of the receptions held at Black Lagoon Art + Yoga.

Black Lagoon Art + Yoga
4301 A Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 534-6719

Mingle with Peacocks at Mayfield Park

It may be tucked away in the heart of a major city, but Mayfield Park still manages to retain an atmosphere of calm. That's despite its particularly flashy residents, about two dozen peacocks. The promise of seeing them sunbathing, tree-climbing, or just meandering around draws many locals to Mayfield Park time and time again. After all, they look a little bit different depending on the season, so it's a new experience each time. Perhaps the best time to visit is late winter or early spring, when the male peacocks fan out their colorful feathers in an attempt to attract the ladies.

Even if you don't spot one of the majestic birds, though, your trip to Mayfield Park will still be well worth the time. Its 21-acre nature preserve contains snaking trails, perfect for a hike or a stroll through the trees. After your hike, stop by the picturesque Mayfield Cottage and Gardens for a glimpse inside the way Austin's elite lived in the early 20th century.

Mayfield Park
3505 W. 35th Street
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 974-6797

Blue Velvet: A Vintage Clothing Store with 20 Years of History

With a long-standing community presence and a loyal customer base, Blue Velvet is considered one of the best vintage clothing stores in a city that boasts quite a few. In fact, Austin’s Blue Velvet clothing store has been in the area for so long, many of the items that came out when it opened are now considered vintage! The prices are very reasonable for the items that the store sells, and the knowledgeable, stylish salespeople are friendly, but not overly pushy.

Blue Velvet offers a wide variety of women’s dresses and skirts, vintage band t-shirts, men’s jackets and buttondown shirts, and a number of retro accessories. From the fedora hats to the rows up on rows of vintage jewelry and sunglasses, this store sells the types of items that you’ll wear for years to come.

Blue Velvet is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Blue Velvet
217 W. North Loop Boulevard
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 452-2583

Consignment Stars: Stylish Furnishings for the Thrifty Shopper

Consignment Stars is a consignment furniture store located in the Pflugerville area of Austin. Though the city is filled with a seemingly endless number of thrift and consignment stores, this shop is unique because of its large selection of both new and used furniture.

Consignment Stars’ knowledgeable staff is always on hand to answer any questions about the consigning process or a specific piece of furniture, and the shop carries items for every room in the home. The 10,000-square-foot store hosts beds, couch and loveseat sets, televisions, and even outdoor furniture for exceptionally low prices. If you have your own used furniture that you’d like to sell, Consignment Stars also offers a convenient selling process in which you pocket half of the money once your item is sold.

Consignment Stars is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The shop is closed on Sundays.

Consignment Stars
2405 W. Pecan Street
Pflugerville, TX 78660
(512) 202-3800

Jumpoline Park: A Hop, Skip and a Jump to All-Ages Fun

The next time you’re looking for something fun and out of the ordinary to do with the kids, your friends, or even your coworkers, check out Jumpoline Park. This colorful facility is filled with wall-to-wall trampolines that visitors can bounce on and play games on, and because bouncing burns 600 to 1,000 calories an hour, it even makes a great workout that’s much more fun than your usual jog.

If you want to host a unique birthday party for your child, Jumpoline Park features private party rooms that can be rented out for children’s parties and other social events. Order a pizza from Jumpoline Park’s concession stand, bring your own cake and ice cream, and then watch as the little ones let out their energy on the many trampolines filling this safe, fun facility.

Jumpoline Park is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Jumpoline Park
13801 Mopac Expressway
Austin, TX 78727
(512) 310-1420

Take a Dip at Shipe Park

Shipe Park only claims two acres of Austin's Hyde Park, but it packs a lot of opportunities for outdoor recreation into that relatively small outdoor space. One of the biggest draws—or, more accurately two of the biggest draws—is its set of pools. Between the shady swimming pool and slowly ebbing wading pool, there's an appropriate spot to dive in no matter the age of your kids, or if you don't bring any kids along at all.

You'll want to cool off in the pools after spending time enjoying Shipe Park's other features, like the pair of basketball courts or tennis courts. It also boasts a multi-purpose field and a picnic area where you can set up camp after a day of running around. You can also bring your youngsters to the playground, surrounded by towering trees, and let them explore the playground in the shade.

Shipe Park
4400 Avenue G
Austin, TX 78751

Ritual Salon + Spa: A Stylish Salon Specializing in Modern Hairstyles

From the moment you walk through the large glass doors and into the immaculately decorated, modern industrial-style salon, you’ll likely fall in love with Ritual Salon + Spa. This full-service Rosedale beauty shop specializes in all of the most current hairstyling services, from cutting that elongated bob to giving customers the perfect ombré color. Ritual is separated into a number of different areas, including a comfortable waiting area with eclectic throw pillows and hair product displays, a media bar, and comfortable styling stations surrounded by unique light fixtures.

Services include not only haircuts and coloring services, but also more intricate beauty treatments like eyelash extensions, brow tinting, and hair extensions. Ritual even provides full spa treatments such as massages, nail care, and facials. Pop in to treat yourself to a trim, or spend a full day being pampered!

Ritual Salon + Spa
4800 Burnet Road
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 391-0010

Barton Springs Pool: Cool Off Where Robert Redford Learned to Swim

Any pool that's good enough for Robert Redford should be good enough for the average swimmer. Barton Springs Pool is that pool. Redford took his very first strokes here as a 5-year-old while on a trip to visit his relatives. Perhaps what drew the Redford family to Barton Springs was its one-of-a-kind aesthetic, unlike any other public pool. You see, the pool's waters filter into it from a hot underground spring, so it's a cross between a typical pool (with lifeguards, diving board, and concrete walls) and a natural lake (with algae underfoot).

Head to Barton Springs Pool any time of year for a swim in crisp waters. They average around 70 degrees no matter the season due to the font from which they flow. Locals love cooling off in the chilly pool on an oppressive Texan summer day or just coming here to sunbathe and people-watch.

Barton Springs Pool
2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 476-9044

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