Hot spots to rub Austin, Texas weather in your friends' faces


Admittedly, the wintry rites of passage have a certain camaraderie to them, like when everyone's snot freezes to their faces while walking from the car to the bar. But that was then and this is now; now, you're on vacations, and your friends are throwing out their rotator cuffs shoveling snow. It's time to snap some candid shots of yourself in shorts and shirt sleeves, sipping on a cool beverage and gloating about the warm weather in Austin, Texas.

Just being hula-gins 👅 #hulahutaustin

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The Tropics Are a Little Closer
Austin may still be several thousand miles from Kauai, and the nearest pig roast is probably at a local barbecue hot spot like Franklin. But as long as you keep a hula on your hips and a lei around your neck, you can feel tropical whenever you want. Or, you could just stop being a lazy sod and drive over to Hula Hut. Next to the dammed up Colorado River (what we like to call Lake Austin), the thatched palm roofing and open air seating treat you to a tropical experience in the city. And nothing says "nyah" to your frozen friends like food porn filled with fresh seafood and shot in a sunny environment.

Go Jump in a Lake
In most locales, come December, January, or February, you'll be digging yourself out of the latest wintry slap to the face. Here, you can social media the hell out of your envious family members with selfies of yourself leisurely (and temperately) floating down the river or reclining in a rental boat from the middle of Lake Travis. Dependent on the weather, you can snag a spot on a Capital Cruises or check with one of several boat and kayak rental facilities like Texas Rowing Center, for a chance to relish the outdoor perks of this comfortable clime.

"this is exactly what I wanted to do today and I didn't even know it" #atx #austinsocialride

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Year-Round Bars and Bicycles
Normally, cycling while under the influence isn't the most advisable activity. But in and around Austin, Social Cycling Austin maps out numerous well-organized bike tours in and around downtown. You can hit the streets with a gaggle of hipsters in the middle of March and get a responsible buzz on. Imagine the jealous looks on your friends' faces when they stalk your Instagram only to find you pedaling away on a winter's day. Check out SCA's website for bike friendly activities for everyone from casual biker to the fitness fanatic.

Keep Austin Warm
Even cave dwellers have probably stumbled across a tie-dyed t-shirt (note t-shirt, not winter jacket) proclaiming the need to "Keep Austin Weird." As a tourist, we won't hold it against you (very much) for wearing one of these around. If you do decide to don one, then we ask that you enjoy some of the warm-weather "weirdo" hot spots. For instance, you can hike over to the Hope Gallery and watch local spray paint artists add to the work in progress, all while clambering around a living, breathing installation. If all that tagging sounds too fumey, you can also marvel at one man's monument to recycling at the Cathedral of Junk.


Dining Al Fresco in Winter
Of course, Austin's sunnier climate teems with possibilities. Feel free to tackle alternatives to cold weather activities here, but Texas in winter the perfect place to avoid feeling like a Northerner. Nothing says "have fun scraping your window, sucker" like snapping a shot, sipping on a cool brew and hoisting a piece of fried chicken—all while lounging under a sun umbrella that overlooks Lake Travis at Lucy's Fried Chicken. Closer to town, you can post up along the river and upload a pic with a locally-sourced sandwich or an iced coffee on Town Lake from Alta's Café.

Take that, winter! Once again, check for alternative seasonal hours and closures on all activities.

Andy L. Kubai writes about travel and pop culture for a variety of websites. As a transplanted Austinite, he's been exploring the wonders of his new home for the last 6 years. Find out more about Andy on his website.

More from Andy:
5 extremely fun winter adventures in Austin, Texas
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