Things to Do

Austin Detours Offers Tours Off The Beaten Path

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Climb on a bus, jostle for a window seat, and listen to textbook facts about the landmarks that just zoomed past the window. This type of sightseeing may be well and good for some, but for those who prefer to use all five senses to experience the city around them, there’s a detour. Austin Detours. With over 20 different tailor-made tours designed to immerse you in Austin’s culture, Austin Detours ensures you will experience Austin like a local. Whether you’re a solo traveler, planning a birthday weekend, or organizing a team building project, take a Detour.

Austin Postcard Mural

Photo: Jessica Pickett

For a five senses experience, the Real Austin Tour lets you see, taste, smell, hear, and touch what makes Austin great. Your local guide (who is most likely an award winning musician, passionate foodie, accomplished artist, actor, history buff, or a combination of any and all the above) will arrive in style in one of their Mercedes-Benz vans and burst at the seams with trivia and knowledge. The Detour begins by hopping  from must-see landmarks to off-the-beaten-path treasures through different neighborhoods that comprise Austin, while learning exactly the thing that makes each one unique.

Texas State Capitol

Photo: Jessica Pickett

It all starts with a walking tour of the illustrious Texas State Capitol building. Run your fingers along the engraved door knobs and hinges while learning about the pink granite that adorns the nation’s largest state capitol building. Your guide will also let you in on all the great photo ops along the way. Explore the 600,000-square-foot underground extension and view the dome through the skylights set at ground level. Stand in the middle of the open-air rotunda and hear your naturally amplified voice as you hone your public speaking skills.

Open Air Rotunda of Texas State Capitol

Photo: Jessica Pickett

After the Capitol, continue exploring downtown with a stop at the HOPE Outdoor Gallery. Meander through the ever-changing graffiti and chat up the artists currently creating their masterpieces and the gentleman who photographs their work in order to preserve it. The only one of its kind in the country, the HOPE Outdoor Gallery offers street artists, students, and other creatives a unique outlet to express themselves.

Continue on through the hip South Congress (aka SoCo) area, visit the Littlefield Fountain at the University of Texas campus in Central Austin, and cruise through the Red River District while taking notes as your guide recommends their restaurants and live music venues.

Graffiti at HOPE Outdoor Gallery

Photo: Jessica Pickett

Snap a selfie in front of Austin’s postcard mural then follow your nose and belly up to a picnic table in front of Gourdough’s Big. Fat. Donuts. Gourdough’s is famous for serving up gourmet donuts with quirky names and piling them high with mind-numbing toppings.

Try the Mother Clucker, crowned with fresh fried chicken strips and honey mustard. Or Fat Elvis which is smothered with Gourdough’s house made peanut butter icing, bacon, grilled bananas, and drizzled with honey. Or a personal favorite, the Squealing Pig which is slathered in cream cheese icing, drenched in Gourdough’s house made strawberry and jalapeño jelly, layered with crispy bacon and topped with candied jalapeños.

Austin Detours Offers Tours Off The Beaten Path

Photo: Jessica Pickett

After you have completed your real Austin Detours tour, you will not only have an entirely new list of “must-sees” recommended by one of Austin’s very own, but you will also feel like you made a new friend after taking part in one of the friendliest, most genuinely engaged tours there is. After all, their tagline is “Come as strangers, leave as friends!” So if crowded buses and photos taken through smudged windows aren’t your style, take a Detour.