Romance in Austin Knows No Limits
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 romantic inspiration is welcome. Are you searching for 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 to the mix? This list — compiled by Steven Leigh, Archer Hotel Austin’s chef concierge — 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.
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.
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 (which is 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.
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 that was remodeled in 2013 using 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.
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.
With origins in Austin, the high-end prime seafood brand has grown nationally — and one visit will attest why. Serving several varieties of oysters and caviar, along with a delicious myriad of fish, seafood, chicken and tofu, plus steaks with a choice of four sauces, Eddie V’s easily has something delectable for everyone. Maine Lobster Bisque, Georges Bank Scallops and Alaskan King Crab Legs? And live jazz, too? Yes, please. The downtown location has a table in its lounge area that’s coveted, making it one of the most romantic spots in Austin.
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 Formaggio al Forno (baked brie, fig marmellata, almonds and grilled crostini), Capellini con Gamberi (angel hair pasta with shrimp, tomatoes concasse and cracked red chili) and Filetto di Manzo (wood-grilled beef tenderloin with Gorgonzola and a Sangiovese demiglace). Save room for the Affogato — an award-winning vanilla bean gelato served with a shot of espresso poured over it. Delizioso.
“It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing.” Every Thursday at the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs (aka The Fed), Austin Swing Syndicate holds wildly popular swing dances 8 PM – midnight. An intro swing class is included in the price of admission and begins at 8:15, with $5 – $10 covering the evening, depending on if there’s live music. Learn various forms of swing dances in the Side Room, and then practice with your partner. Experience is not needed for this grand time of getting close with your significant other.
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.
Founded in 1993 as an education outreach program, One World Theatre is today a working green-built theatre made out of 85% recycled plastic foam. The theatre — built to resemble a Tuscan villa — showcases the artistic talents and diverse art forms of world-renowned artists in a uniquely intimate forum. Before most concerts, dinner is available at One World Café, which serves fresh, seasonal fare alongside full bar service. The theatre also provides arts education programs and summer camps for youth, all in a beautiful environment.
Archer Hotel Austin knows how to wow.
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 in acclaimed executive chef David Bull’s Second Bar + Kitchen. 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 getaway stay at one of the most romantic spots in Austin: Archer Hotel.