GOTTA GO: Dog Friendly Hangouts
- Mandola’s Market- The fresh italian restaurant and market allows dogs during the summer
- Taverna- Known for their delicious pizza and risotto, the restaurant is a popular brunch spot and welcomes dogs at outside tables
- Cru Wine Bar- Pets are allowed at both the Second Street and Domain locations of the upscale wine bar
DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Be Inthavong
Be Inthavong is an Austin-based textile and handbag designer. After graduating pre-med from TCU, Inthavong began his career in 2004 with the launch of Be&D handbags. The line was instantly successful and picked up by several high-end department stores. He later began designing his own textiles for the bags, drawing inspiration from both Italian leather and the ancient weaving method of his native country Laos. After spending time at his family’s 100-year old silk mill, he came up with an idea to merge traditional silk craft with modern leather tanning. The result was a series of beautiful fabrics that united leather, silk, and other materials.
After using his original textiles for a new line of handbags, Inthavong was encouraged to make them available for wall coverings. His have been used in several hotels, yachts, planes, and residential homes. The textiles are sold at Interior Design Collection in Dallas and Houston.
GOTTA GO: Austin’s Weekend Calendar
GOTTA GIVE: Paddle for Puppies
The Austin Pets Alive Parvo Puppy Program provides shelters as an alternative to euthanasia for dogs that contract parvovirus. The care they deliver saves lives of puppies that may later be put up for adoption. Over the past few years, the program has saved more than 1,300 puppies from euthanasia, with a 100% adoption rate upon completion of treatment.
This Sunday, August 24th, the annual Paddle for Puppies event to benefit the Parvo Program will be held on Lady Bird Lake. The charity paddle starts and ends at the rowing dock property. Participants may use any approved watercraft, including kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, or water bikes. There will be live music from Come Drum for Fun and food provided by Austin Java at the finish line. Sign up now to take part in the event and help save the lives of adoptable puppies.
GOTTA GO: Austin’s 10 Best Art Galleries
GOTTA TRY: Children’s Toy Organization
- Get rid of puzzle boxes and store them in zippered pencil pouches to save space
GOTTA GIVE: Big Brothers Big Sisters Ice Ball
The 10th anniversary Ice Ball Gala benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas will be held on August 23rd at the Hyatt Regency. The evening will consist of cocktails, dinner, an auction, and live music.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity strong one-on-one relationships, creating support and changing their lives for the better. This year, the organization will provide mentoring to nearly 1,400 kids in the Austin area. Children who participate in the program are more likely to stay in school, make better grades, and avoid early parenting.
To attend the Ice Ball Gala, you can purchase tickets online, either individually or by table. There are also different levels of sponsorship, as well as underwriting opportunities for businesses. The gala is a wonderful chance to enjoy a fun evening with friends while supporting an extremely worthwhile cause, and cool off in the hot summer!
GOTTA GO: Weekend Getaways with Direct Flights Under 3 Hours
Summer heat has officially come to stay and it’s time to get out of Dodge. All of these destinations can be reached directly from Austin, in 3 hours or less. Keep in mind that the best window to book a flight is between 104 and 29 days before your trip, and fares are historically least expensive on Tuesdays.
- Nashville, TN- Southwest. The 404 Hotel offers five incredibly designed king suites in the center of The Gulch, one of Austin’s hippest neighborhoods.
- Las Vegas, NV- American, United, and Delta. The Cosmopolitan and Aria Hotels are a fresh take on Vegas. Be sure to get tickets to a world-famous Cirque du Soleil show.
- Atlanta, GA- Southwest. Stay right in the heart of downtown at the historic Ellis Hotel, which just underwent a $30 million renovation.
- Chicago, IL- Southwest. Just three hours away, Chicago is full of culture, incredible architecture and world renowned museums. Visit Millennium Park to tour the Field Museum, and don’t miss the chance to eat a classic Chicago meal at Portillo’s Hot Dogs. Into late fall, catch the architectural boat tours for a perfect tour of the city.
- San Diego, CA- Southwest. Stay beachfront at the L’Auberge Del Mar for a relaxing getaway, close to several shops and restaurants. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is the next best thing to an African safari.
- Denver, Co- Southwest, United Airlines. The Hotel Teatro in the Theatre District is known for their delicious food. Take a day trip to hike the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Charlotte, NC- US Airways. The beautiful Ballantyne Hotel has a full spa and golf course. Spend time exploring art museums or enjoying the outdoor attractions.
- Orlando, FL- Southwest, JetBlue Airlines. Bring the whole family for an unforgettable weekend at either Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, or Sea World.
- Washington, DC- Southwest. Book a room at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, walking distance from all of the capital’s museums and monuments - which are always free to enter.
- Memphis, TN- Delta. Stay at famous The Peabody Hotel, and watch ducks march through the lobby daily. Don’t miss Sun Studio, where music greats like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash got their break.
GOTTA TRY: Outdoor Kitchen Inspiration
With summer heating up, we know that cooler fall days are to come - which make for the perfect evenings to cook outdoors. These tips will help you create an outdoor kitchen that is convenient and comfortable to use, and also low-maintenance so you’ll get maximum use out of the space.
Choose durable materials. We recommend stainless steel appliances, smooth stucco, slate, or stone countertops, and resilient tile. These things are easy to clean and can endure varying types of weather conditions.
Include enough storage for necessities. Plan to keep a set of cups, two sizes of plates, utensils, and other supplies stored outdoors. This will reduce your amount of trips inside when entertaining outdoors.
Supply outlets and a water source. The outlets will allow you to power small appliances, such as blenders, and the water will come in handy for cooking and cleaning. Rinsed dishes make for a much more pleasant clean up at the end of a long night.
GOTTA GO: Austin’s Weekend Calendar
Barton Creek Live- The last night of the summer music series at the Omni resort, with a performance by Gary P. Nunn
The Who’s Tommy- ZACH Theatre presents the adaptation of The Who’s 1969 album, all weekend long
Cinema East - Screening of the film Above All Else, outdoors at the French Legation Museum
Jazz Brunch- Live jazz music and delicious food at Duchman Family Winery
Edwin McCain- Popular singer-songwriter playing at One World Theatre, open to all ages
GOTTA GIVE: Where to Donate Clothing in Austin
As you clean out closets to make room for the fall, there are many places around town that will accept gently-used clothing. All of these organizations either give the items directly to those in need or sell them at an affordable price for a worthy cause.
St. Vincent de Paul- Assists the disadvantaged by helping people fulfill basic needs. Bring items to either the South Congress or Yager Lane location.
SafePlace- Provides a safe place and victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Bring items to the Gil Crane Warehouse at 1515 Grove Boulevard.
Salvation Army- Search online for the nearest drop-off location, or they will even schedule a time to come pick up donations from your house.
Eastside Community Connection- Proceeds from the sale of all donated items helps to fund a food pantry and adult education programs. Call them at (866)900-9308, and they will locate the box closest to your home.
Goodwill of Central Texas- The national organization sells second-hand clothing, with a mission of empowering people to transform their lives through work. Drop off locations are all around town like the convenient 701 Newman location, just off Lake Austin Boulevard or the Westlake location at 2814 Bee Caves.
GOTTA GO: Austin’s 10 Best Concert Venues
Living up to its status as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is home to countless places to take in musical performances - from bars on East 6th Street to outdoor amphitheaters in hill country. Each space offers a unique experience, attracting different types of artists and fans. These are some of our favorite concert venues around town.
The Belmont- The 1000-person capacity historic building was recently renovated to include cutting edge sound and light systems. The venue typically hosts hip-hop, new rock, and electronic dance music shows.
Stubb’s BBQ- The famous BBQ restaurant holds frequent concerts, both indoors and outdoors at their Red River location. Every sunday, the venue hosts their Gospel Brunch with live music from a worship band.
Saxon Pub- A favorite spot for many celebrities, the intimate club has also been featured in several movies, videos, and live recordings.
The Mohawk- Bar and venue that features diverse collections of performing and visual talents, primarily from local artists.