Lifestyle & Parenting


April 9, 2009

Head south and be charmed by the coolest, quirkiest city in the big
state of Texas.

boutique hotel Kimber
in the hip SoCo neighbourhood is a modernist masterpiece,
replete with clean lines, splashes of colour, Philippe Starck fixtures
and Eames chairs. The five-room wonder skips the stodgy formalities of
check-in and check-out with keyless entry that lets you pick your own
passcode when you book. In the morning, help yourself to a gourmet
breakfast in the gorgeous common area then kick back in the courtyard
for cocktail hourits all included. From $315, Kimber Modern, 110 The
Circle, Austin, 512-912-1046,

For a true taste of the regions specialties on
the cheap hit up Rudys for barbeque and Chuys for Mexican. After youve
gorged on smoked meat and margaritas, get back to your sushi roots at Uchi.
We were skeptical it could rival the West Coast, but as soon as we
spotted rap diva Kanye West there, we knew itd be top-notch. We partook
of traditional and untraditional fare and both held up. Uchi, 801 South
Lamar, Austin, 512-916-4808,

You cant go to Texas without wrangling a pair
of cowboy boots, and the place to get them is Allens
. The legendary shop has row upon row, from classic black to
walking works of art. Then its just a hop, skip and a jump to fully
embracing your inner Johnny Cash at Blackmail
down the street. As the name suggests, its about all things
blackfrom leather jackets to scented soaps.

Other than the obvious must-dos for music
loversSouth by Southwest in spring and Austin City Limits Music Festival
in falltheres the Barton Springs Pool to satisfy the year-round
sun-worshipper in us all. Fed by cool natural spring water and
surrounded by green grassy knolls, the three-acre swimming hole is a
veritable oasis just an earshot from downtown. Also an exhibitionist at
heart? Topless sunbathing is permitted. Barton Springs Pool, 2101 Barton
Springs Rd., Austin, 512-476-9044.



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