If romance is in the air and you’re in Texas, you know that it’s bigger and better here than anywhere else. And no matter how long you and your love have been stoking the fires, there’s a good chance that some inspiration is welcome when you’re looking for romantic things to do in Austin.
Are you searching for date night ideas, like a gorgeous place to take some romantic photos? Hungry to satisfy your gastronomical cravings in a romantic atmosphere? Wanting to add some close-knit adventure (perhaps a weekend getaway) to the mix? This Archer-approved list highlights some of the most romantic spots in Austin.
Bordering the Colorado River just south of downtown Austin, Zilker Park is a photographer’s dream locale. With wide-open spaces, shaded areas, gardens, streams, waterfalls and ponds, you can take your pick from a myriad of backdrops. Best bets: Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail, Botanical Gardens, Austin Nature and Science Center and Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum.
This swanky jazz club off the beaten path is south of the Colorado River on South Congress, and you’d never know that it opened in 2013 instead of 1960. With a stage that showcases classic soul and R&B, plus the cozy Jade Room that’s reminiscent of a 1950s Japanese GI bar and an outdoor patio, C-Boy’s has a well-deserved reputation as a funky, eclectic, one-of-a-kind experience. This red-lit neighborhood club has soul in spades.
Downtown Austin is home once again to Antone’s, the iconic blues venue. B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, James Brown, Steve Ray Vaughan and many others have graced the stage. Come hungry and enjoy a beer-steamed Cliffy Dog hot dog or one of five varieties of Antone’s famous Po’ Boys, then settle in for a musical evening that’ll have you hummin’ the blues.
Indoors and out, Siena Ristorante Toscana is romantic. Italian architecture with gorgeous stone and brick walls, dark wood beams and warm, old-world lighting set the mood for Italian-inspired romance. The authentic and highly praised Tuscan cuisine includes Schiacciata (grilled Tuscan flatbread, Gorgonzola, balsamic roasted onions, toasted walnuts), Capellini con Gamberi (shrimp, tomatoes, capers, garlic, olive oil, oregano, basil, red chili) and Filetto di Manzo al Funghi (wood-grilled beef tenderloin with a porcini mushroom Chianti demiglace). Save room for the Tiramisu with toasted almonds. Delizioso.
Since 1975, Fonda San Miguel has been treating guests to the regional Mexican cuisine from the country’s interior culinary centers: Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz and Yucatan. The entire experience is a feast for the senses, with museum-quality artwork, international décor, exotic plants and a welcoming staff. Go for the enchiladas and ceviche, then stay for the mojitos and crepes with goat milk caramel, almonds and cajeta ice cream.
The Texas chain steakhouse is anything but ordinary. With a warm, intimate atmosphere accentuated with plenty of mahogany woodwork, Italian marble surroundings and white linen tablecloths, it’s no wonder III Forks is one of the most romantic spots in Austin for countless proposals and other celebratory events. Enjoy a cocktail in the piano bar before dining on some of the city’s best steaks, seafood and local favorites. Delicious butters and crowns quite literally top off the meal nicely.
One of Austin’s longtime fine dining establishments, Jeffrey’s in Clarksville has a new American menu and chic atmosphere that make it a special-occasion destination. A cozy environment with the finest finishes and upscale furnishings, Jeffrey’s has intimate tables and a fireplace at the bar — ideal for a romantic photo. By all means, stay for a romantic dinner; it promises to be unforgettable.
Farm-to-table Italian at its finest: Welcome to Intero. Meaning “whole,” Intero uses whole local ingredients from their entirety, complementing the Italian cuisine with Texas roots. The menu is constantly changing. It could include a handmade bucatini served with grilled kale, aged cheddar, chile oil and chive. Or steamed gulf grouper with carrot, grilled fennel, pistachio and lime. Complete the evening with a made-in-house dessert, like the brown butter cake with cinnamon gelato and pecans and an amaro of your choice.
Founded in the fighting spirit of Angelina Eberly, who helped fend off a rebellion and preserve Austin as the Texas capital, Eberly is a “gathering place for risk takers, creative types and liberated thinkers.” Its historic mahogany Cedar Tavern bar was brought from its original home in Greenwich Village, New York, to Austin. Find your adventurous, romantic spirit and snap a few photos at the legendary bar (where the likes of Bob Dylan and Jack Kerouac have lingered), the study room (spectacular in its own right), the dining area or the patio with a water fountain. A hidden speakeasy-esque room with a two-way mirror has its own entrance and bar. Then stay for a meal and enjoy the ambiance; the menu includes contemporary American fare, along with select cocktail concoctions, wines and draft beers.
Happy hour with your hon at Honey Moon — Austin’s vintage-chic hot spot. A fun vibe inside complements the patio with plentiful seating outside. Toast to your romantic date night or weekend getaway with one (or more) of their inventive cocktails, then share the Heirloom Tomato and Burrata. Enjoy Argentinian Prawns or a Honey Moon Burger (wagyu or plant-based) and truffle aioli pommes frites. An after-dinner Amaro Nonino? Yes, please.
A concrete art deco arch bridge that crosses over Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, Lamar Boulevard Bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places. Completed in 1942, the bridge carries Lamar Boulevard/Texas State Highway Loop 343 and makes a lovely backdrop for photos. From the auto bridge, the view of Austin’s skyline is lovely. Another photo-op view is of the bridge itself in the morning, with the arches mirrored in the water; walk along the pedestrian bridge for a symmetrical, serene, romantic photo.
One of the most romantic spots in Austin is The Domain NORTHSIDE’s Texas-chic boutique retreat — Archer Hotel — providing a luxe experience and stellar, sincere service to its guests. Enjoy rooms with a distinct Austin flare, five-star bedding, Pinterest-worthy pillows and a fully stocked refreshment bar. Tempt taste buds with the vibrant cuisine and crafted pours at AKB Austin. Head up to Archer’s pool patio, complete with a Lone Star splash pool, limestone fireplace, 14-ft. television, cozy cabanas and poolside bar. Archer helps elevate your romantic getaway in both form and function. Celebrate your love with a weekend getaway stay at one of the most romantic spots in Austin: Archer Hotel.