10 Celebrity-Approved Restaurants in Austin

The food in Austin is so good that even celebs are waiting in line. Wine and dine like a star at these 10 celebrity-approved restaurants.

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Maui
Maui

Maui

With more than 120 miles of coastline, Maui tops Mandy Ingber's list. Channel your inner roar, and strike a warrior pose, as you take in the sights and sounds of the deep blue Pacific splashing against the island’s rocky headlands. 960 1280

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Ibiza

Ibiza

“This is one of the most beautiful, soulful spots I have been to,” says Ingber of this Mediterranean island off the coast of Valencia, Spain. “Bohemian, a place where living and enjoyment are an art -- even just sitting on the beach feels like yoga here!” 960 1280

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Viceroy Bali

Viceroy Bali

“I have wanted to travel to Bali, and have seen the pictures of the Viceroy -- luxury resort!” says Ingber. Luxury, indeed: The family-owned-and-operated property on the Indonesian island of Bali is home to 25 villas, nestled on a hill overlooking the “Valley of the Kings.” 960 1280

Viceroy Bali  

Harbour Island, Bahamas

Harbour Island, Bahamas

This island, located off the northeast coast of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, may be a trek to get to, but it’s worth it for the “quaint, sweet town [vibe] and casual, beachy feel,” says Ingber. We’re betting you’ll agree as you stroll past colorful rows of homes and “om” away on the island’s pink sand beaches. 960 1280

Adam Nowek, flickr  

Ganeshpuri

Ganeshpuri

This small village, about 50 miles north of Mumbai, is “very poor, but soulful and where many gurus have lived and died,” says Ingber. Explore the village’s Siddha yoga tradition at the local ashram, then while away the hours in one of the hot springs near the area’s Tansa River. 960 1280

Nadine Incoll, flickr  

Chiva-Som Resort

Chiva-Som Resort

This world-class resort in Hua Hin, Thailand, is on Ingber’s travel wish list. “They have programs tailored to detox, weight loss and rejuvenation here,” says Ingber. “Sign me up! Sometimes I want to be the one on the retreat!” 960 1280

Chiva-Som International Health Resort   

Kauai

Kauai

“Incredible setting!” says Ingber of this Hawaiian island. “Not only were we in a gorgeous, Bali-style house but the boat ride up the Na Pali Coast is dreamy. Waterfalls and beautiful hikes. So much wild nature here. One of the most bountiful and beautiful places I have been to and taught in.” 960 1280

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One & Only Palmilla, Mexico

One & Only Palmilla, Mexico

Ingber gives this Los Cabos resort overlooking the Sea of Cortez high marks. “I have been here twice, and have had some lovely yoga sessions in this beautiful setting,” says Ingber. “Many of my clients love Mexico because it’s sandy and close -- and we love the sunny weather!” 960 1280

One&Only Resorts  

Tulum, Mexico

Tulum, Mexico

This ancient city, one of the last inhabited and built by the Mayans, appeals to Ingber for many reasons: “The ruins and the blue of the ocean. The open-night sky. This spot is a dream … we were at a private estate. Heaven.” 960 1280

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Sha Wellness Clinic

Sha Wellness Clinic

This medical and luxury spa, overlooking Spain’s Costa Blanca coastline, also makes Ingber’s shortlist. A big draw is the surrounding natural beauty; the resort is situated in the Sierra Helada Natural Park, home to protected areas of plants as well as vibrant marine wildlife such as bottlenose dolphins. 960 1280

Sha Wellness Clinic  

Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence

This region in southern France is another personal favorite; Ingber stayed at a private estate in the country. “We had fresh eggs from the chickens on the property and practiced yoga daily,” she says. “A little sweaty in the summer, but with a farmers’ market and incredible architecture!” 960 1280

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Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat

Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat

This posh oceanfront hotel, built on a stretch of sand near the Costa Rican town of Santa Teresa, came recommended by a friend. “It’s on my wish list,” says Ingber. With 2-story villas built around a saltwater pool, a restaurant with organic fruits and veggies, and tropical gardens, we can see why. 960 1280

Pranamar Villas Yoga Retreat   

Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
Encore at Wynn Las Vegas

Encore at Wynn Las Vegas

Opened in December 2008, the 2,034-room Encore is all about pure opulence, including the gorgeous European Pool. The classically elegant pool surrounds a unique outdoor casino. 960 1280

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Mondrian Los Angeles

Mondrian Los Angeles

This ornately designed Sunset Strip hotel has an exclusive pool and poolside lounge, and more scene than even the Sunset Marquis. The Mondrian Los Angeles’ white walls and hanging potted plants gives this pool a beachy feel -- despite it being several stories above bustling Sunset Boulevard. 960 1280

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La Reunion Golf Resort & Residences

La Reunion Golf Resort & Residences

La Reunion Antigua Golf Resort is an outstanding luxury pick, located in the shadow of 4 volcanoes -- 2 of them active -- about 30 minutes from the colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala. Rooms have private patios with infinity-edge swimming pools, but the resort also has a main pool as well as a separate kiddy pool. These gorgeous volcanic views are hard to beat. 960 1280

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Gansevoort Turks and Caicos

Gansevoort Turks and Caicos

The Gansevoort Turks and Caicos is without a doubt the sexiest resort on Grace Bay, and a large part of its appeal is thanks to its stunning pool surrounded by palm trees. The pool features 4 hard-decked islands. 960 1280

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The Joule

The Joule

The Joule is one of the coolest -- and most luxurious -- hotels in Downtown Dallas. And it features one of the most talked about pools in the states. The Joule's cantilevered pool juts out over Main Street, so swimmers can get a glimpse of pedestrians below. 960 1280

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Biltmore Coral Gables

Biltmore Coral Gables

Built in 1926, the iconic Biltmore, a national landmark, brings timeless luxury to Miami’s hotel scene. Though far from any beaches, it offers -- among many other luxuries -- an amazing pool. This 22,000-square-foot pool is the largest in the continental U.S. Actor Johnny Weissmuller, better known as Tarzan, was a swimming instructor at the pool many years ago. 960 1280

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Gansevoort Park Avenue

Gansevoort Park Avenue

This 249-room hotel with flashy decor, lots of bars, and an outdoor pool is the uptown sister to the original, once wildly popular Hotel Gansevoort. The Gansevoort chain knows how to do their pools. One of only a handful of rooftop pools in New York, this is the only one that features a sexy pin-up mural. Plus, the pool has an underwater sound system and is a popular scene during the summertime. 960 1280

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Ventana Inn & Spa

Ventana Inn & Spa

Situated on more than 200 acres of picturesque land -- in Big Sur, CA -- , the Ventana Inn & Spa looks like a rustic cabin nestled in the woods -- yet it features a long list of on-site amenities, including 2 pools. This pool is in a secluded spot for a reason -- it's the resort's clothing-optional pool. So forget your bathing suit and enjoy a dip au naturel. 960 1280

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Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa

Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa

The beautifully designed, 780-room Grand Wailea has one of the top US spas, a prime location on one of the best US beaches, and 9 pools -- including arguably the best one in Hawaii. The massive main pool has several fun features, including volleyball nets, a waterslide, and a rope swing. Dive in! 960 1280

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Four Seasons Maui

Four Seasons Maui

An immaculate, art-filled property fronting Wailea beach, the Four Seasons Miami stands at the pinnacle of the area's resorts, offering spacious rooms, a top-notch staff and a slew of amenities, including three high-design pools. The poolside cabana staff refills guests' free glasses of ice water, and employees patrol the lounge chairs with cold towels and spray-bottles of Evian to spritz guests' faces. 960 1280

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Royal Corin Resort

Royal Corin Resort

For Costa Rica’s Royal Corin Resort & Loto Spa, this 54-room boutique hotel has a lot to offer, including great views of Arenal volcano, a lovely spa, a bar with an outdoor terrace, an on-site restaurant and a beautiful pool. This hot springs pool features natural thermal waters that help guests relax and take in the scenery. 960 1280

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The Raleigh Hotel

The Raleigh Hotel

Some things at the Raleigh Hotel are vintage-bordering-on-dated, but not the stunning free-form pool. This pool became a Miami landmark when former swimmer and movie star Esther Williams leapt from its waterfall diving board in a sequined bathing cap. 960 1280

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12 Amazing Pools  12 Photos

Photos

Mikey Roe in the kitchen at Frank

Mikey Roe in the kitchen at Frank

Mikey Roe in the kitchen at Frank, home to "the ultimate trinity" of booze, bands and artisan sausages. 960 1280

  

Mikey talks to customers at Frank

Mikey talks to customers at Frank

Mikey talks to customers at Frank, where he's introduced to the Jackalope: custom-made antelope, rabbit and pork sausage, with cranberry compote, sriracha aioli and cheddar cheese. 960 1280

  

Chi'lantro's kimchi tacos

Chi'lantro's kimchi tacos

The food truck Chi'lantro's kimchi tacos are a big hit with Austin’s college scene. 960 1280

  

Chi'lantro's kimchi fries

Chi'lantro's kimchi fries

Chi'lantro's kimchi fries are the ultimate in late-night fusion food. 960 1280

  

Mikey talks to a customer at Sam's BBQ

Mikey talks to a customer at Sam's BBQ

Mikey talks to a customer at Sam's BBQ -- the go-to spot for late-night Texas barbecue. 960 1280

  

Mikey films outside of Sam's BBQ

Mikey films outside of Sam's BBQ

Mikey films outside of Sam's BBQ. The restaurant offers their succulent ribs and brisket until 3 a.m. 960 1280

  

Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin

This bridge in Austin is a well-known hangout spot where spectators gather to watch bats. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Mikey outside the Magnolia Café

Mikey outside the Magnolia Café

Mikey talks to a band outside of the 24-hour Magnolia Café, where musicians and roadies eat after their gigs wrap and the last amp is packed ... usually around 3 a.m. 960 1280

  

Mikey at Magnolia Café

Mikey at Magnolia Café

Mikey talks to a band at Magnolia Café, where even the employees are musicians. 960 1280

  

Mikey jams out with The G.O.A.T.

Mikey jams out with The G.O.A.T.

Mikey jams out with The G.O.A.T., a regular in Austin’s Dirty Sixth district. 960 1280

  

Miguel's Cuban Café food truck

Miguel's Cuban Café food truck

Mikey eats a Cubano at Miguel's Cuban Café food truck. 960 1280

  

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

This Oklahoman park (the only one of the list not in Texas) is a six hour drive from Austin and offer miles and miles of hiking. Another big draw is the bison herd that roams the land here; these majestic beasts can be seen grazing throughout the park. On your way out, be sure to drive to the top of Mt. Scott for 360-degree views of the land below. Bonus: this is the only park on the list that doesn't charge an entrance fee! 960 1280

Jeremy Pawlowski / America Y'all  

Pedernales Falls State Park

Pedernales Falls State Park

I like to refer to this state park as a jungle gym for adults. Pedernales Falls is more about creating your own path rather than following set trails. Climb around the limestone cliffs and bluffs that make up the bulk of the land; or if you happen to visit during the heat of the Texas summer, take a dip in the river that runs through this park. Being only thirty miles outside of Austin, this park is perfect for a day trip or a weekend where you'd rather spend your Sunday enjoying the sun instead of spending hours driving home. 960 1280

Jeremy Pawlowski / America Y'all  

Pace Bend Park

Pace Bend Park

This is one of the closest parks to Austin, but with 400+ campsites, you're always able to get away from others and enjoy some solitude. It's best enjoyed during the summer when you can take full advantage of the cliff diving that makes this place famous. Get there early in the day and get yourself a campsite along the nine miles of shoreline, as this park does not take reservations. 960 1280

Jeremy Pawlowski / America Y'all  

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park

Stretching five miles along the Gulf Coast of Mexico, this state park offers a few RV spots, but what you really want to do here is pitch your tent right on the beach. No hiking trails, no mountains to climb, this place is all about relaxing in the sun and enjoying the waves. 960 1280

Jeremy Pawlowski / America Y'all  

Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake State Park

In a bayou cloaked in history and mystery, you can pitch your tent under towering pines and bald cypress trees with low hanging Spanish moss. It's one of the only natural bodies of water in the state, so be sure to rent a canoe and paddle yourself through the swamplands that divide Texas and Louisiana. Just be sure to watch out for the alligators.  960 1280

Jeremy Pawlowski / America Y'all  

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

The most ambitious of all Austin weekend trips, and probably one that should be saved for a three day weekend at the minimum, is Big Bend National Park. This Texas national park has it all: the Chisos Mountains, The Rio Grande, and the Chihuahuan Desert — an ecosystem for every explorer. After hiking to the top of Emory Peak, the highest point in the park, be sure to take a dip and relax in the 105-degree hot springs located within the park. 960 1280

Jeremy Pawlowski / America Y'all  

Amistad National Recreation Area

Amistad National Recreation Area

Go here if you want to camp in true solitude. This reservoir has shores in both the USA and Mexico, so bring your passport if you plan on paddling across the border. With more than 65,000 surface acres, Amistad is a haven for fishermen and water sports enthusiasts, but come night time, the place is empty. Pitch your tent anywhere along the 547 miles of shoreline and enjoy complete isolation.  960 1280

Jeremy Pawlowski / America Y'all  

Kayaking on the Colorado River

Kayaking on the Colorado River

Feeling a little adventurous? Go kayaking on the Colorado River in the summer. Make sure you look up when you’re underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. Why? Because about 1 million Mexican free-tailed bats migrate from central Mexico to this popular roosting site, making it the largest urban bat colony in North America. 960 1280

Live Love Paddle  

Austin City Limits Music Festival

Austin City Limits Music Festival

Austin is a hot spot for music. We recommend that travelers plan a fun trip to this city in October to catch the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park. Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Eminem, Beck, Foster the People, Pearl Jam and the Replacements have been featured artists over the past few years. In March, Austin hosts South by Southwest, the hottest ticket in town. The 10-day event consists of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences. 960 1280

Erika Goldring/FilmMagic/Getty Images  

Mount Bonnell

Mount Bonnell

Don’t miss out on catching some of the best panoramic views of Austin from Mount Bonnell, located near Lake Austin. In addition to its long staircase that visitors can climb to get an amazing view, this area — a major tourist destination since the 1950s — is also a popular spot for hikers and bikers. 960 1280

Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau  

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

A trip to Austin wouldn’t be complete without spending some time horseback riding along a few of the city’s popular trails. We recommend saddling up at the 350-acre Lake & Creek Ranch in the Hill Country. Texas Trail Rides also offers patrons sunset and romantic rides, as well as a winery tour on horseback. 960 1280

Kenny Braun  

Lake Austin Spa Resort

Lake Austin Spa Resort

Unwind and relax at Lake Austin Spa Resort. This luxury lodging offers more than 100 spa treatments and services, including a Rosemary Citron Sensation scrub, wrap and massage. Special treatments are also available for men and teens. Hot tubs, steam rooms and 2 pools are just a few of the spa’s amenities. Now we understand why Condé Nast Traveler named it the No. 4 destination spa in the world in its 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards. 960 1280

Lake Austin Spa Resort   

Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs Pool

No matter the weather in Austin, the blue waters of Barton Springs are always welcoming, hovering around a cool 68 to 71 degrees.  The pool has year-round swimming, full-moon parties, free yoga on Saturdays and a New Year's Day polar bear plunge.  As Austin as it gets. 960 1280

Heather Cowper, via Flickr  

Fly-Fishing

Fly-Fishing

Explore the great outdoors in Austin! Go fly-fishing at Barton Creek or in Bull Creek District Park. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch a Guadalupe bass, largemouth bass, redbreast sunfish or catfish — native marine life in Austin’s creeks. 960 1280

Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images  

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum

Enjoy a nice day outside and visit the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, which is dedicated to American sculptor Charles Umlauf. He and his wife donated their home, studio and 168 sculptures to the city of Austin. Several pieces are eye-catching masterpieces, such as The Kiss, a sculpture of an intertwined couple kissing that is located in the center of the garden. 960 1280

ParisSharing, via Flickr  

Zilker Botanical Garden

Zilker Botanical Garden

Located near the bank of the Colorado River, the Zilker Botanical Garden — the centerpiece of Zilker Park — attracts 500,000 people from around the world each year. Green thumbs will feel right at home at this 25-acre site, which features the Mabel Davis Rose Garden, the Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden and the Doug Blachly Butterfly Trail and Garden. 960 1280

Stephen Saks/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Hippie Hollow Park

Hippie Hollow Park

Shed your clothes on the 109 peaceful acres known as Hippie Hollow. Located about half an hour from downtown Austin, this clothing-optional park is a popular hangout for locals to swim and sunbathe near Lake Travis. Crowds flock to Hippie Hollow in the summer because it’s the only clothing-optional park in Texas. 960 1280

Matthew Rutledge via Flickr  

Hope Outdoor Gallery

Hope Outdoor Gallery

Check out local artwork at one of the largest outdoor galleries in the US. The Hope Outdoor Gallery is an educational art project developed to provide muralists and graffiti artists with a 3-story canvas to display inspirational and positive art. This unique, open-air exhibition is located at 11th and Baylor streets in Austin. 960 1280

Kimberly Brotherman/Moment Mobile/Getty Images  

Renaissance Market Shopping

Renaissance Market Shopping

In addition to the Austin farmers market, Lakeline Mall and Round Rock Premium Outlets, shoppers should also stop by the Renaissance Market, located near the University of Texas’ campus. More than 90 vendors sell handmade arts and crafts, including candles, pottery and jewelry. 960 1280

Richard Cummins/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Tour this nature preserve that was founded in 1982 by Lady Bird Johnson, who was renowned for her campaign to beautify highways when she was the nation's first lady. You can amble through the bluebonnets in the spring and enjoy the walking trails, native plants and amazing landscape year-round. And don’t forget to take the kids to the new children's garden. 960 1280

Stephen Saks/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Spend the day hiking and exploring the more than 600 acres of Longhorn Cavern State Park. Guests should not miss out on the guided tours, such as a walking tour, wild cave tour, photography tour and, yes, a paranormal tour. Stories and legends about the cavern draw large crowds each year. One story claims that outlaw Sam Bass hid $2 million inside the cavern, but there’s no concrete evidence that he was ever in the park. 960 1280

Texas Tourism  

Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail

Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail

Stay active in Austin! Walk, jog or bike on 10 miles of trails around Lady Bird Lake. While you’re there, check out the memorial that honors legendary blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. 960 1280

Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau  

East Side Kings

East Side Kings

The East Side Kings trailer behind the Liberty Bar serves Thai fusion food so good that it will, as the motto states, "make your eyes roll back." The fried Brussels sprouts salad, overflowing with mint, basil and other fresh herbs, is a consistent favorite. This is just one of many delicious East Side Kings food trailers feeding hungry Austin revelers near bars across town. 960 1280

Bill Oriani, via CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0  

Harry Ransom Center

Harry Ransom Center

This museum, library and archive is a treasure chest of literature and art. In the museum, you can see the first permanent photograph ever taken and a Gutenberg Bible, as well as the current temporary exhibition. The archives, available to the public, overflow with gems such as Jack Kerouac's journal and the manuscript collection of David Foster Wallace. 960 1280

Kenny Braun  

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Find out all you want to know about Texas’ history here. Located north of the state Capitol, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is named after former Texas Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock. This $80 million museum has 3 floors of interactive exhibits, a 200-seat Texas Spirit Theater and a 400-seat IMAX theater with 2-D and 3-D projectors. 960 1280

Bullock Texas State History Museum  

Franklin Barbeque

Franklin Barbeque

Indulge in the holy trinity of Texas barbecue: brisket, ribs and sausage. But be prepared to arrive early and wait for it, because lines at Franklin Barbecue are known to be long. But Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly's expert in smoked meat, says it's the best of the best and worth the wait. 960 1280

Eric Ellis  

Blanton Museum of Art

Blanton Museum of Art

If you’re near the University of Texas campus in Austin, don’t miss out on your chance to visit Blanton Museum of Art. The museum houses the largest collection of art in central Texas, which features more than 17,000 pieces, including modern and contemporary Latin American art, European paintings and more. 960 1280

Blanton Museum of Art  

Alamo Drafthouse

Alamo Drafthouse

Visit one of 5 Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in Austin and find out why Entertainment Weekly ranks it as the No. 1 theater in America. From the classics and indie films to current box office hits, these unique theaters host events and make watching a movie an experience, providing patrons with a variety of food, a full-service bar and reserved seating. 960 1280

Nick Simonite  

LBJ Presidential Library

LBJ Presidential Library

With a major renovation just completed at the end of 2012, the LBJ Library is now sporting the latest interactive technology, giving us new insight into an often-misunderstood presidency. Listen in on Lyndon B. Johnson’s private phone conversations and participate in the new Vietnam War exhibit to get a behind-the-scenes perspective on the president's decision-making process.  And don’t miss seeing the replica of the 1960s Oval Office. 960 1280

Lauren Gerson  

Broken Spoke

Broken Spoke

Practice your two-step at this true Texas honky-tonk bar. If you're lucky, you may catch Willie Nelson visiting the Broken Spoke. He and Kris Kristofferson are known to swing by and play a song or 2. 960 1280

Winker Withaneye  

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