We invited Kelsey Roslin, Nick Yeager, and Jesse Pitzler, our co-authors and photographer of 111 Places in Austin That You Must Not Miss, to share some places in their book that are wonderful small business. Supporting these Austin venues or the small businesses in your own area will bring you joy and help these business owners, their employees, and everyone's families immensely this season!
Austin is filled with the creative spirit, not the least of which merges with entrepreneurship. We have some of the most eclectic, unique, inspiring, and fun places to shop for treasures, find adventures, and enjoy entertainment in quintessential Austin style. Here are five places in Austin that we think everyone will enjoy, even if you're not actually in Austin! Maybe you'll come visit some day soon.
When you're picturing places to go in 2020, one of your requirements might be that it’s outside. If so, add The Great Outdoors to your list of spots to stretch your legs. This garden center and nursery is home to shady oak trees, a greenhouse, succulents, and anything else your green thumb could hope for. It’s a great place to shop for green gifts!
Give yourself plenty of personal space by visiting this 3,500 square-foot haven for vintage furniture fans. This building, a former 1950s pharmacy, is full of treasures from the 1950s-1970s, light fixtures, art, novelties, clothes, and much more. While the whole place feels like one cohesive entity, it’s actually the combined effort of seven vendors. It’s located in North Loop, a bastion of locally owned and operated businesses, so you’re supporting Austinites no matter what you buy. They have a very active Instagram page, so you can see a lot of their items for sale.
Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In Hop in a car and drive on up to this drive-in movie theater in East Austin to enjoy a classic movie this holiday season, or maybe a horror film if that’s what you’re into. This special spot is one of the first and only modern-day, urban drive-ins, and it’s an Austin favorite. Pick up a snack and say hi to Grace Kelly, the black cat who loiters under the twinkly lights near the concession stand.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center The lovely home to nearly 900 species of native Texas plants, the Wildflower Center is open now by reservation. Environmentalist champion Lady Bird Johnson founded this stunning research campus in 1982, some years after she had advocated for Austin’s hike and bike trail around the lake now named after her. Wildflowers probably won’t bloom until March, but the Luminations light show is open every night through December and beyond. (Photo courtesy of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)
Remember how a trip through a car wash as a kid was like going inside a kaleidoscope? What may seem like a chore now can still be just as fun as when you were little. Jurassic Car Wash is a great representation of Austin – take something normal and make it weird. Open 24/7 so you can visit whatever time you feel comfortable, this car wash has you surrounded by animatronic dinosaurs. The dino on top of the automatic car wash comes to life half hour between 10 am and 7 pm. There are also two coin operated beasts in the back.
Support your local businesses and stay safe this season. And keep Austin weird.
- Kelsey, Nick, & Jesse
This holiday season, take your friends and family on a treasure hunt across Austin with 111 Places in Austin That You Must Not Miss, created for locals by locals.