Fully Furnished Private Homes, Condos and Lofts

#shopping

Live Like a Local in SoCo

Remodeled 1930s bungalow front door view

Where, according to Conde Nast Traveler magazine, is the best place to shop in Texas?

Answer: Austin.  South Congress Avenue (“SoCo”), to be exact.

#GOPLAYSTAY on Austin’s South Congress

Top Trip Rentals’ updated 1930s era SoCo bungalow is a mere one block off of Austin’s famous South Congress Avenue. Some of the coolest (and weirdest) shops are a short walk away in the heart of this incredibly fun neighborhood.

Stroll over to Big Top Candy, Austin’s famous Continental Club, Amy’s Ice Creams, Kendra Scott Jewelry, Perla Restaurant ,and many more than we can list in one blog. Also, some of the best boot shopping in the state as mentioned in the Conde Nast article. It’s old Austin meets new.

Cottage style vacation rental bungalow in Austin's South Congress neighborhood
Top Trip Rental’s adorable SoCo Bungalow

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July 23, 2016

Seaholm Development Brings New Shops, Restaurants to Downtown Austin

View of the decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant

It’s been a long time coming, but one of Austin’s newest transformations is the Seaholm EcoDistrict near West Avenue and 3rd Street. (Sure; the district’s bigger, but if you want to tell a driver where to drop you off, that’s a good corner.) Commissioned in 1948, the Seaholm Power Plant produced power until 1989. It closed in 1996 and became a Texas Historic Landmark and National Historic Place. Now, it’s becoming a downtown destination.

View of the decommissioned Seaholm Power PlantEstablished highlights of this downtown area already exist: salons (Jackson Ruiz has a location in this development), grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, and restaurants, including True Foods Kitchen. You can enjoy a lovely outdoor dining experience with a view of the decommissioned power plant steam pipes. The Seaholm Power Plant sign is still there. Commissioned in 1948, Seaholm produced power until 1989. The plant closed in 1996 and became a Texas Historic Landmark and National Historic Place.

A quick trip these days reveals an ongoing construction site. The new Austin Central Library is in final stages (that completion date keeps changing); the entire area, once completed, will be a pretty cool spot and interesting mixture of iconic and cutting-edge Austin architecture.

Austin Central Library sign lit up in early morning.
Austin’s new Central Library waits behind construction fences for new patrons. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

Once the dust has settled, the Seaholm District will be an amazing gem of a destination for locals and travelers alike.

 

April 28, 2016

Stroll Austin’s West 6th Street Shopping District

Interior view of Jonathan Adler boutique in Austin TX

Twenty years ago, Austin’s shopping options were pretty basic.

Now, if you needed camping or backpacking equipment, plenty of choices for water purifiers and tents existed. But Austin was not exactly known as a destination for high fashion and design.

That, my friends, has changed.

New Shopping Options in Austin

In the last few years, Austin has seen amazing retail growth. The newly developed (and constantly expanding) Domain Shopping area north of town, Hill Country Galleria (near Hwy. 620 and 71), and an amazing and unique number of small boutiques around downtown offer something for just about everyone.

Some of the most interesting and unexpected shopping can be found near Top Trip Rentals’ Littlefield Lofts, located at 6th and Brazos. One option for shopping is known as the West End (or West Sixth Street.).

Street signs in front of Austin's Littlefield Lofts on 6th and BrazosWandering Austin’s West End Shopping

Where is the West End? Start from the Littlefield Lofts building on 6th Street. Take a long walk (or catch a pedicab) heading west; your destination is the intersection of 6th Street and Lamar and Blvd.

Taking in a few boutiques and shops along this expanding downtown shopping corridor is a wonderful way to pass a few hours. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Walton’s Fancy and Staple (owned by Austin’s sweetheart Sandra Bullock) before stopping in at stores.

Housed in a historic building, Walton’s has a little of everything: food, pastries, coffee, antiques, garden supplies and other curios. Get some Southern comfort food, like the shrimp and grits (their specialty, it seems), or go for the  breakfast tacos.

Interior view of Jonathan Adler boutique in Austin TX
Shopping in Austin at the gorgeous Jonathan Adler boutique.

After filling up on breakfast and cappuccino (the coffee is good!), I was ready to walk toward my ultimate destination– the Jonathan Adler Boutique on West 5th Street. My companion was  destined for BookPeople, a well-known locally owned book store, so we strolled by not-yet-open bars and not-yet-finished condo construction one our way to 6th and Lamar.

This busy pedestrian- and traffic-filled intersection is surrounded by a few women’s clothing stores (chains like Anthropologie, Free People, and Title Nine, and local shops, such as  By George). But nothing caught my eye.

At  5th and Lamar, I made a quick dash into West Elm before entering the shiny explosion of cool next door that is Jonathan Adler’s Austin store. Oh, I want to buy everything in there! From subversively messaged cross-stitch pillows to candles vodka-scented candles, this shop has everything a downtown Austin loft needs to shine–sparkly, modern, and cleverly crafted furniture and accessories.

And if you are still in the market for camping supplies, never fear. Austin hasn’t quite let go of its roots. REI is housed between BookPeople and Anthropologie.

From the outdoors to the outré and outlandish, Austin’s got you covered.

Shop on!

May 2, 2016

Downtown Austin Farmer’s Market Held Every Saturday

Every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., you can buy yummy, healthy and local food brought to you by local farmers and one of Austin’s best non-profits the Sustainable Food Center. The SFC/Downtown’s Farmer’s Market is at Republic Square at 4th and Guadalupe.

If you’re staying with us at our Downtown Properties like Littlefield Quarters or 410 E. 6th Street, you’re within easy walking distance. Enjoy!

Photo from Sustainable Food Center’s FB page. Thanks SFC!

January 8, 2016