For Austin Woman intern Madelyn Geyer, preparing to leave Austin for graduate school brings to mind a memorable summer day.

Photo by Megan Markham on Unsplash

By Madelyn Geyer, Photos by Madelyn Geyer

As I was packing up my apartment on my last day in Austin, the song “Last Train to Clarksville” by The Monkees began playing on Spotify. Any song that references the “last train” to or from anywhere strikes a melancholy note, but this was particularly affecting. Clarksville was my area of residence in Austin. As my life here was ending, memories of those two and a half years flashed before my eyes. My sister visited in the summer of 2019, which motivated me to plan days packed full of activities I always wanted to try. This determination resulted in a joyful summer day we still reminisce about.

Here’s my personal itinerary for a perfect hot summer day in Austin.

1. Barton Springs Pool

A landmark that’s completely unique to Austin, Barton Springs is a three-acre pool filled with natural spring water. It’s cold year-round. But on a boiling hot summer day, you’re grateful for how refreshing it feels. I remember laughing hysterically as we waded inch by inch into the water.

2. The Picnic

A food truck park that’s a three-minute drive from Barton Springs (you can walk if you’re up for it), The Picnic is the place to go when it’s time for lunch. There are many cuisines to choose from, but I recommend the Have a Taco truck.

3. Sno-Beach

After lunch, walk right across the street from The Picnic to Sno-Beach, a sno-cone truck. The number of flavors is overwhelming. The smallest size is a hefty 12-ounce cup and the feelings are pure summer. I made it my mission to grab one on my last day in Austin.

4. Rowing Dock

If you’re not completely exhausted already, paddle boarding is a fun after lunch activity for any athletic level. Drive to Rowing Dock and head out to Lady Bird lake for some of the best views of downtown Austin.

5. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in

At the end of the day, relax at the movies. We went to Alamo Drafthouse because it was 2019 and the movie theater was a viable activity. In 2021, we’re reverting back to the 1940s with drive-ins. Blue Starlite is an urban boutique drive-in that takes 15-40 cars a night. It’s an intimate experience surrounded by the buzz of the city. You can order food right from your car, so no need to worry about dinner beforehand.

After this memory, I jerked back to reality and continued packing. As I drove home from dinner, I reveled in the warm air and glowing lights. It seemed as if someone was playing a mean trick on me. The city felt more peaceful and beautiful than it had in a while. The ridiculous amount of construction—growing pains of a city bursting at the seams trying to support how many people want a piece of its charm—faded away. I’m content knowing I appreciated the positive aspects while I was here. But you can always stop and soak it in a little longer. Austin isn’t a perfect city, but no city is. It has a lot to be proud of and a lot to work on. Though I’ve moved to a different and much colder part of the country, I know I’ll think of Austin often and hopefully one day, I’ll be back. Stay weird, Austin.


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