One of the greatest things about Formula 1 is all the incredible destinations it can take you and at the end of Oct., the sport is making it's stop in Austin, Texas for the 2014 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™! The atmosphere in Austin is full of southern charm and tradition, and while you're in town for the F1™ USGP, you must take advantage of experiencing this city!
From the scenic outdoor elements, to restaurants full of Texas fare, to the active nightlife, there is something in Austin for everyone, regardless of age group. Not to mention, when the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ comes to town, plenty of Official Parties and events take place that draw celebrities and racing legends alike into Austin.
Another plus? Halloween falls on the Friday of the USGP weekend so Austin will be hosting a plethora of festive parties and events!
Clearly, there are not a shortage of things to do while you're in town for the F1™ USGP! Keeping that in mind, the grand prix will fill up majority of your time in Austin since it's a three day event, so it's important you plan your sight-seeing festivities in advance to ensure you have time to hit all the hot spots on your list.
That's where this guide comes in! Take a look at the Traveler's Guide to Austin, TX to help you pick which local hot spots, Halloween inspired events and F1™ USGP parties you want to hit during your free time!
Good 'Ole Austin Grub
Austin boasts an assortment of delicious restaurants. From seafood to barbeque, from food trucks to high class restaurants, the city offers an assortment of tastes for any traveler. Take a look at some of the restaurants we'd recommend.
Located at 900 E. 11th Street, Franklin Barbeque is not a hidden gem; it seems everyone and their mother knows how delicious it is! If you're looking for some downright good Texas barbeque, you've come to the right spot, but keep in mind Franklin's gets packed out! Lines will be formed before they open their doors each day.
Definitely place it on your list of restaurants to eat at, but be smart and order ahead! This way, it'll be ready when you get there and you can get straight to noshing!
Turf N Surf Po' Boy
One of Austin's "moving" hot spots, this food truck can be found at 4th and Lavaca! The Turf N Surf Po' Boy food truck offers an array of delectable, farm-fed dishes, specializing in seafood. With shrimp scampi, fried catfish, free range chicken po' boys, Philly Cheesesteak, and burger options, there's something for every taste. You're missing out if you don't find this food truck!
Where to even begin with Gourdough's! Whether you're looking for a lunch or dinner spot, or if you're trying to start your day with breakfast, plan a stop at Gourdough's. The restaurant is known for it's mouth-watering donuts, and they're incorporated on their menu everywhere!
Stop by for breakfast and get your fill of melt in your mouth donuts, or stop by for lunch or dinner for a sandwich or burger on a donut bun. Oh yes, they went there! Find them at 1503 S 1st Street.
Jack Allen's Kitchen
With all of their dishes created with local produce and meats, Jack Allen's is 100 percent Austin-made. Whether you're looking for a fresh steak, salmon or another item from the grill, a Southern Texas inspired platter or anything seasonal, Jack Allen's is your place!
Stop in for a visit at 7720 Highway 71 West!
The Great Outdoors
If you're looking for outdoor activities while in Austin, you won't have a shortage of things to do. Take a look at our recommendations for outdoor adventures!
With several different walking trails all leading up to infamous lookouts, Mt. Bonnell offers a picturesque view of Austin! The park, full of natural beauty, looms almost 800 feet over the city and it's a great place to get a birds-eye view of the landscape.
Barton Springs Pool
Home to Austin's hot springs and geysers, Barton Springs draws a crowd year-round. Folks can swim in the 1,000 foot long natural limestone spring or enjoy the numerous walking trails nearby. Even if the weather isn't ideal for swimming, the location is gorgeous and it's definitely worth a visit.
If you're looking for a way to get active on the lake that runs through Austin, this is the place to go. Rent a canoe or a rowboat and enjoy a crisp afternoon on the water! With the city surrounding you, you'll be able to relax while you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city life from affair.
Austin Comes Alive at Night
This city isn't known as the "Live Music Capital of the World" for nothing! Austin comes alive after dark! There are plenty of bars, clubs and music venues throughout the city for you to hit up come the evening hours. Here are a few stops we recommend making.
If you're looking for one big block party, 6th Street is where you want to be come evening. The street is blocked off to pedestrians at 11 p.m. for a full on bar crawl every weekend! There are plenty of different bars and clubs along the strip so you are sure to find your scene.
Continental is infamous for bringing in big names such as David Byrne and Neil Young after they finish their shows at larger establishments. In other words, this is where the stars come to hang out! The music played favors rock and alt-country, sounds that defined the city during the 90s, and this club should definitely be on your list of places to check out.
When Antone's was opened in 1975, it was known for being all blues, all the time. The club has moved forward with the times, however, and along with moving to a new location that allows a capacity of 650 people, it offers more than just blues. Music is always rockin' on Antone's stage and you should stop in for a listen.
If you're worried being away from home during Halloween might hinder your fall festivities, think again! Austin goes all out! Throughout the F1™ USGP weekend, you'll find Halloween events taking place fun for all ages.
From Halloween PubCrawls, to Haunted Halloween Balls, to costume parties, to kids' parties, there is plenty to do so be sure to bring your costume!
Official Formula 1 United States Grand Prix Events
And let's not forget the reason you're heading to Austin, TX in the first place! With the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in town, there are an assortment of official parties and events you can partake in - all you have to do is get official invites through COTA Experiences!
Take a look at the two events that should be on your radar:
Thursday Night Party and Tower Viewing
If you've ever dreamt of getting exclusive access to Circuit of The Americas™ before any other F1™ fan, then you're going to want to be at the Thursday Night Party! You will be invited to tour the circuit and viewing tour at COTA before heading inside the VIP Legends Club within the circuit to meet racing legend Mario Andretti!
After Andretti meet-and-greets with YOU, singer/songwriter Edwin McCain will take the stage and rock the night away performing his hits such as "I'll Be" and "I Could Not Ask For More."
All the while, you'll be invited to enjoy a full open bar and gourmet dinner stations! Talk about being wined and dined!
Friday Lunch with a Legend
With an invite to Lunch with a Legend, head inside the VIP Legends Club on Friday to meet racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi! Fittipaldi will tell stories of his racing career, his journey through the Championships and will partake in an interview right in front of you. Plus, you could get a chance to meet this two-time F1™ Champion!
Gourmet lunch and open wine, beer and champagne options are included!
Still Need to Book Your Trip to Austin?
Haven't yet secured your spot at the 2014 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™? There's still time, but you must act fast! Official Ticket Packages direct from Circuit of The Americas™ are going fast and the grand prix is almost here!
Get more information on how you can get tickets to some of the best viewing locations at the circuit complete with Legends Club hospitality access each day by visiting COTA Experiences website or by calling 1-866-801-6975 to speak to a representative.
And be sure to join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #COTAVIP and #F1USGP!