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A Day at Mueller, Austin’s newest urban park

If you’re in town with kids, one of Austin’s best locales is the Mueller Neighborhood, home to food trucks, several amazing parks, the Austin Thinkery Museum, the Alamo Drafthouse, and restaurants galore. Centrally located, Mueller draws Austinites (and tourists) from all corners of our city. You will see families, hipsters, soccer games, ice cream vendors, food trucks, and ducks. Lots of ducks.

First Stop: The Thinkery

A first stop for visiting with kids is the Thinkery–Austin’s children and science museum which was the original development within Mueller for the surrounding restaurants that followed. The 40,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space boasts several perennial favorites including the Cooking Lab, the Light Lab and The Backyard climbing area, along with rotating exhibits every few months. There are several water features so if you have small children, bring a change of clothes.

The Light Lab exhibit is always a favorite where children can draw pictures with lasers and view them on a television screen. Other features include a “shadow” machine where you can freeze your shadow on a wall. Very creative, very fun. Browse the current and permanent Thinkery exhibit spaces here.

Top Trip Tip: Eat lunch before going to the Thinkery, or take lots of snacks. There is a snack area with vending machines but unfortunately, no restaurant within the museum. Not a bad idea to take a change of clothes for water exhibits.

Photo Credit: Sandra Castro

Second Stop: J.T. Youngblood’s

To fill up after a trip to the museum, walk next door to J.T. Youngblood’s, a reimagined version of the classic Texas family restaurant. Check your diet at the door, because the fried chicken is the real deal here. For a full Southern experience, order the greens (well spiced) and the mashed potatoes as sides. There are chicken nuggets for kids and cocktails for weary parents. It’s a great spot to unwind following what will most likely be an exhausting trip to the sensory overload of the Thinkery. Check out the menu to get your taste buds going.

Top Trip Tip: Visit during Happy Hour for drink and snack deals Tuesday-Friday 3-6 p.m.

Final Stop: Mueller Park and Lick Honest Ice Creams

Photo Credit: Cara Thibodeaux

Run off some of that food before finishing your action-packed day by visiting the Mueller Lake Park across the street from the Thinkery. A giant mosaic dragon sculpture, “Nessy,” guards the gate. This park has plenty of climbing fun, swings, spinning platforms and is fenced in with benches to give parents a place to sit and watch kids go crazy. Take a breather, you’ve earned it.

Before you head back to the Thinkery parking garage, walk by Lick Honest Ice Cream for a final treat. The delicious handmade confections are an Austin favorite because of their inventive flavor options (try their “Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil & Seasalt” or their “Goat Cheese, Thyme & Honey) and locally-sourced ingredients.

Why you should go: To get a sense of the soul of Austin, check off all the boxes at Mueller Park. Food Trucks, check. Great new restaurant and bar district, check. Plenty of greenspace, check. A great science museum for kids, check.

Rainy Day Plan: If it’s raining on your day to Mueller, you can always substitute a matinee movie at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in lieu of the trip to the park. Alamo Drafthouse is an Austin original with locations now across the country showing first run movies as well as special screenings of classic and obscure movies. There is special programming for families with children.

Top Trip Tip: Stay close to all that Mueller has to offer by reserving our 4-bedroom home in University Hills just moments away by car. To plan your family getaway to Austin, check our website for availability.

September 20, 2018

Historic Provident Loft on Austin’s 5th Street Welcomes Travelers Again

The Provident is the perfect spot for exploring Austin

Built in 1887, this spacious historic loft comprising the entire third floor of one of Austin’s few remaining 19th-century buildings is now available as a unique vacation rental in the heart of Austin’s entertainment and business district.  

The building on East 5th Street got its start as the “Provident Hotel” operating from 1890 to 1920 as a “first class” hotel. Some 100 years later, the Provident, managed by Top Trip Rentals, is available again for travelers exploring the tourist mecca of Austin. Completely remodeled while retaining the building’s original charm, this home boasts an enviable location at 5th and Brazos Streets.

This home is an ideal location for friends traveling together looking for a stylish launching pad to explore Austin or corporate groups wanting to have a downtown presence while in town on business. The Provident is walking distance to hundreds of bars, restaurants and cultural landmarks including the HandleBar (next door), the Paramount Theater, World-famous 6th Street, the Austin Convention Center, SXSW, the ACL shuttle, the Texas State Capitol and hundreds of bars and restaurants.

This spectacular space features high ceilings, exposed brick, original hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows with treetop views of 5th Street. The Provident home retains the classic loft feel with an open floor plan that features 3 bedrooms, 2 living spaces, a modern kitchen and 2 baths.

The views out of the Provident’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer a similar scene of a bustling downtown that 19th-century guests would have seen—the world-famous clubs and bars of Sixth Street that have been entertaining saloon goers and bar hoppers for more than 100 years of Austin’s history.

To enjoy the historically recognized Provident-Heierman building for your next trip to downtown Austin, visit Top Trip Rentals to reserve your dates.

by René Craft, Staff Blogger

July 12, 2018