The only bugs I’m interested in catching these days are those of the travel variety, and apparently Dolce Vita feels the same. The brand is taking their shoes on the road for a 12-city tour to discover the best of the U.S., from art and music to food and fashion. They’re capturing their own version of a city guide for each destination, so if you’re planning on jetting around the U.S. anytime soon, keep your eyes peeled for inspiration aplenty. This month, they’re headed to Austin, TX (just in time for South by Southwest and 70-degree weather) and tapped Man Repeller to help drum up a feel-good itinerary chock full of places to go and things to do for the sole purpose of feeling good.
Below are 13 recommendations sourced from the Man Repeller community, accompanied by outfits and Dolce Vita sandals to wear while you’re out and about (modeled by yours truly because if there’s anything I want to put out into the universe in March, it’s the possibility of going to Austin). I can personally confirm the sandals are super comfortable, perfect for walking around all day in a city with lots to see and do. They’re also neutral without being boring, making them an ideal footwear option to pack in a suitcase when you’re not quite sure what clothes you’ll end up wearing. But enough chit chat! Scroll down for the goods.
The Coolest Karaoke Bar
510 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
What it is: A karaoke bar
Why it will make you feel good: Because there aren’t many places where you can listen to people belt Tina Turner in front of a crowd at a karaoke bar inside of a parking garage.
Tips for first-timers: Get your name on the list to sing before 9 p.m. (The list fills up fast!)
The Best Place to Chill Out on a Hot Day
2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746
What it is: A natural spring in Zilker Park
Why it will make you feel good: The pool is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees, making it perfect for year-round swimming.
Tips for first-timers: It’s legal to swim topless 🙂
The Excuse to Leave Your Phone at Home
310 W Willie Nelson Blvd #1B, Austin, TX 78701
What it is: A live performance venue
Why it will make you feel good: It’s one of the best places to see live acts in the country, with performances ranging from stand-up comedy to major musical groups.
Tips for first-timers: There’s a no-phone policy, a.k.a. it’s the perfect opportunity to do a mini digital detox and soak up the experience screen-free.
The Cocktail Spot You’ll Want to Tell Your Friends About
307 W 5th St. – Unit B Austin, TX 78701
What it is: A cocktail lounge
Why it will make you feel good: Amazing cocktails (or mocktails, if that’s your thing), plus a rotating food menu of 11 items.
Tips for first-timers: Order a Milk Punch (it comes with cookies) and ask your server to tell you the history behind the cocktail.
The Coffee Shop Where You Can Hang With Dogs
2421 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78705 & 720 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
What it is: A chain of coffee shops and mobile coffee trailers
Why it will make you feel good: True to the company’s name, its locations are known for being very dog-friendly.
Tips for first-timers: Order a homemade pop tart.
The Museum You’ll Want to Instagram
200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78712
What it is: The primary art collection for the city of Austin
Why it will make you feel good: It houses artist Ellsworth Kelly’s famous chapel, a breathtaking monument of marble and colored glass.
Tips for first-timers: Go right when the museum opens so you can see the morning light filtering through the chapel’s rainbow slats.
The Spa You’ll Want to Camp Out in All Day
100A Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701
What it is: A spa
Why it will make you feel good: The staff has a reputation for being incredibly kind, and all of the treatments are best-in-class.
Tips for first-timers: Arrive early before your appointment so you can take advantage of the steam room.
The Best Breakfast Tacos
3736 Bee Cave Rd #6, Austin, TX 78746
What it is: A taco and sandwich shop
Why it will make you feel good: The menu features incredible build-your-own breakfast tacos for $2.49 a pop — ideal for curing hangovers or simply incentivizing you to get out of bed.
Tips for first-timers: Ask for a chocolate chip pancake instead of a taco shell and add bacon.
The Cheese Platter That Comes With a Personality Quiz
4220 Duval St, Austin, TX 78751
What it is: A cheese shop that focuses on sourcing the finest artisanal cheese
Why it will make you feel good: They will put together a custom cheese spread just for you based on your taste, personality, mood, astrological sign, etc.
Tips for first-timers: Sign up for one of their weekday cheese classes, where the icebreaker is, “If you were a type of cheese, what would you be?”
The Magical Natural Phenomenon
Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
What it is: An opportunity to see the world’s largest urban bat colony in action
Why it will make you feel good: Sunsets are cool enough, but imagine a sunset peppered with millions of bats taking flight against the pink and orange hues of Austin’s city skyline. Pretty magical.
Tips for first-timers: Call the “bat hotline” (yes, that’s a thing) at 512-327-9721 to determine whether or not it’s a good time of year to see the bats.
The Antique Shop You’ll Want to Get Lost In
1602 Fortview Rd, Austin, TX 78704
What it is: A self-proclaimed “emporium of transcendent junk”
Why it will make you feel good: There’s truly something for everyone here, whether you’re hunting for unique antiques or simply in the mood to wander around a maze of beautifully curated oddities.
Tips for first-timers: Walk to Sundaze food truck afterward for vegan burgers and Mexican cola.
The Vegan Ice Cream Shop That Doesn’t Taste Vegan
4631 Airport Blvd #125, Austin, TX 78751
What it is: A dairy-free ice cream shop
Why it will make you feel good: The shop prides itself in taking a scientific approach to vegan ice cream, finding the perfect balance of liquids, sugars, fats and proteins to make it taste delicious — even to non-vegans who might otherwise shun the notion of dairy-free ice cream.
Tips for first-timers: Get the sunbutter chocolate chip flavor.
The Ideal Reprieve From City Living
Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX
What it is: A scenic reservoir on the Colorado River
Why it will make you feel good: It has a trail that loops around the entire lake, perfect for running, walking or biking.
Tips for first-timers: Keep an eye out for cute turtles lounging on trees and swimming in the river.
Any other feeling-good-in-Austin suggestions? Drop them below.
Photos by Edith Young. Makeup by Regard Tang.