It’s Saturday morning and you’ve had a hard week. You have a tank full of over-priced gas and 30 hours to kill. What do you do?

Austin, baby!

We’re not talking about reliving your college days in 6th Street debauchery (even though that can be enticing). These days, South Congress, or SoCo, is the place to be and here is your 30-hour itinerary.

8 a.m.
You aren’t 21 anymore, so sleeping on the street isn’t an option — you need a room. Call Hotel San José, 512-444-7322. Their rooms are usually booked well in advance but they often have cancellations. Backup plan: call The Austin Motel, 512-441-1157. 

Pack. This should be very fast since all you need are some comfortable sandals, shorts, t-shirts and the coolest shades you own.

Check in at Hotel San José,  1316 S. Congress.  A small, boutique hotel with 40 rooms, San José pulls off an eclectic look of hippy chic and Zen with a touch of industrial design. Rates range from $75 – $250.

1 p.m.
Lunch at Fran’s Hamburgers,  1822 S. Congress.  An Austin tradition for 32 years, Fran’s serves up old-fashioned burgers in three sizes: Large, Larger and Way Huge!

2 p.m. 
Take in a few of the shops and galleries.

Yard Dog Folk Art, 1510 S. Congress. A fun collection of folk art from the American South.

Uncommon Objects, 1512 S. Congress. Groovy antique shop with curious collections from 17 dealers.

Allens Boots,  1522 S. Congress. Exclusive dealer of Old Gringo Boots. Enough said.

Gallery SoCo, 1714-A S. Congress. Contemporary fine art by local and national artists.

5 p.m. 
Time for a little refreshment. Here are some of our favorite places to replenish:

Jo’s Coffee, 1300 S. Congress.  Hot coffee, cold beer and live music on the sidewalk.

Amy’s Ice Creams,  1301 S. Congress. In Amy’s words, “Good people. Naughty, naughty ice creams.”

Doc’s Motorworks Bar and Grill,  1123 S. Congress. 31 different types of beer served up in an old filling station.

6 p.m.
More exploring!

Crofts Original Boutique, 1714-B S. Congress. Funky clothing and jewelry, both new and old.

Creatures Boutique, 1206 S. Congress. Fine shoes, threads and things for your pad.

Pink Hair Salon and Gallery, 1204 S. Congress. Buy a painting, dress or cd from local artists and designers, or get your hair cut.

8 p.m.
Dinner and music.

Guero’s Taco Bar, 1412 S. Congress. Authentic Mexican food and live music in the Oak Garden. Be careful with the margaritas.

10 p.m.
(or later)  Get some rest!

10 a.m.  
Breakfast Austin-style.

Magnolia Café,  1920 S. Congress. No trip to Austin is complete without breakfast at the Magnolia. May we suggest the “Love Migas”?

2 p.m.  
Arrive home refreshed and in time for some Sunday  afternoon yardwork.