All of us here at XOXOAD can’t compete with the love that New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones has for her hometown of Austin, Texas. And being able to visit Austin while on the #BellesOnWheels Bus Tour is just one of the many reasons Lisa is thrilled to be traveling the deep south. Check out some of her fav places below!


Hi everyone!

I am SO very excited that the Belles on Wheels tour is going to my hometown where “Keep Austin Weird” is a saying you find printed everywhere. A place where we say y’all but we don’t ride horses. Okay some ride horses but they have cars too 🙂 Austin is a melting pot of cultures and people which I attribute the University of Austin Campus being present. People come and never leave.

And seriously, what other city gives you hot cowboys, hot food, South by Southwest, several lakes, and bats? That’s right. Bats! Sorry ladies, not Bruce Wayne, in a skintight suit. March through November of each year, large groups of locals and tourists from all over visit the Congress Bridge at sunset to see the Bats take flight for the evening. You can take a sunset cruise as a fun way to see the Congress Ave bats from a different perspective!  batpic







Now, on to the important stuff. One of my favorite things about Austin, and Texas, is the FOOD and Entertainment. My mouth is watering just thinking about this list of a few favorites:

The arboretum is a shopping complex at 183 and Great Hills with tons of food and shops. One of my favorite parts of this complex is the Barnes and Noble. It has a big garden and seating area outside with a short walk to a pond. It’s a great place to buy a book, get a cup of coffee, and go find a grassy spot to sit and read. It’s also where I met my husband and where I wrote some of my first books 🙂 There are tons of restaurant choices there and even a movie theatre.

Alamo Drafthouse where my sister-in-law is lucky enough to work. Sit back and enjoy a movie with dinner and drinks! Plus they have a no tolerance level for loud guest so you get to enjoy dinner, drinks, and a movie all at once! They have the current movies, old movies, sing alongs, and themed movies events,  This is a cool place and all the food is great, especially the queso!

Luby’s MACARONI AND CHEESE baby!!!! I went there three times in 4 days the last time I was in Texas 🙂

Whataburger is my husband’s Luby’s. It’s a hamburger joint and if you live in Texas and say you haven’t been to Whataburger people will think you are nuts. He always has to go there frequently when we visit. Lucky us they have one right next to a Luby’s!









1886 Café & Bakery This café is inside the beautiful Driskill Hotel. The hotel is haunted, and the cheese soup, is to die for! At Christmas the decorations in the hotel are beautiful and who knows? Maybe a ghost will kiss you and say “happy holidays!”

The Driskell is a part of the Austin Ghost Tours too!

Bacon Bacon and Beer…  What more needs to be said??

Lots of Bacon. Anyone else thinking of the commercial where the dog is yelling bacon, bacon, bacon?

South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery Gourmet food trucks have become increasingly popular everywhere and Austin has become a mecca of Food Trailers. They are almost on every corner (literally) and now have their own Food Trailer Parks! This particular park in South Austin has trucks from Torchy’s Tacos , Holy Cacao, and Conscious Cravings and are almost always swarming with hungry customers!

So there you have it! The starter list and I could type pages and pages more, but these are a few of my favorite things in Austin.