• September 21, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

Treasures of Texas: Unearthing Austin’s Best Souvenir Spots

Austin, Texas continually lives up to its unofficial slogan, “Keep Austin Weird,” through a penchant for unique, locally-made treasures that reflect the city’s vibrant, diverse culture. This city certainly isn’t your run-of-the-mill American metropolis; when you’re shopping for souvenirs in Austin, typical fridge magnets and postcards simply won’t do. Instead, expect eclectic finds filled with personality, local craftsmanship, love, and, yes, undeniable quirkiness.

Visitors and locals alike appreciate Austin’s thriving shopping scene, where you can not only take home a cowboy hat to commemorate your visit but also discover something distinctly Austin that enhances your personal style or serves as a constant, cherished reminder of the city’s unique vibe in your home. Clearly, you’re in for something extraordinary with this guide to unique souvenirs in Austin.

The Unseen Austin: A Journey Begins

Any seasoned traveler will tell you that the finest souvenirs are more than mere keepsakes – they engage your senses and function as a portal into the local culture, history, essence. Whether you yearn for the cool, smooth feel of artisan ceramics, the bold flavors of locally-crafted salsas, or the thought-provoking textures and colors of local Austin art, you’re sure to unearth souvenirs that resonate with your love for this one-of-a-kind city.

So, fasten your seatbelt as we take you on a journey into the heart of Austin’s best souvenir spots, each one pulsating with the city’s vibrant character.

South Congress Avenue – SoCo’s Eclectic Souvenirs

South Congress Avenue, fondly known as SoCo, serves as a microcosm of Austin’s eccentricity. This bustling Austin artery teems with lively local shops, each one offering a smorgasbord of unique souvenirs that capture the essence of the city.

Parts & Labour

This boutique revels in its unwavering commitment to sell only goods made by Texan artisans and designers. Stepping into this shop feels like walking into a artfully-curated treasure trove of Austin creativity. * Unique T-Shirts: Adorned with recognizable Austin landmarks, in-jokes, or phrases that truly celebrate Austin’s spirit. * Eccentric Accessories: Pins, patches, stickers, and other accessories showcasing Austin’s offbeat sense of humor and style. * Austin-themed Prints: Local artists showcase their interpretations of the city through diverse mediums and styles. * Handmade Jewelry: Discover a piece of wearable art that serves as a constant reminder of your Austin adventure.

Uncommon Objects

This antique shop is a veritable haven for lovers of vintage and the unique. With goods that span different eras and styles, each artifact tells a story. * Storied Knick-Knacks: Quaint, curious, and even outright strange, these items come with histories of their own. * Eclectic Decor: From vintage signs to rustic hardware, Uncommon Objects has something to enhance any home decor style. * Antique Furniture: Find the perfect centerpiece for your room that brings a bit of Austin history into your living space.

Allens Boots

At Allens Boots, the Old West meets Austin chic. Immerse yourself in a uniquely Texan shopping experience. * Cowboy Boots: With over 4,000 boots in store, there’s a pair that’s perfect for every size, style, and personality. * Western Apparel: Bring a dash of cowboy charm to your wardrobe with apparel that channels Texas’ signature style. * Accessories: From silver belt buckles to Stetson hats, these accessories make distinctive, enduring Austin souvenirs.

Barton Springs Pool – Dive into Nature’s Bounty

Just a stone’s throw away from downtown Austin sits the natural spring-fed Barton Springs Pool. The gift shop here is laden with souvenirs that spotlight Austin’s enthusiasm for nature, making it an ideal stop for the conscientious shopper. * Local Wildlife Apparel: T-shirts, hoodies, and caps adorned with the native species of Austin. * Austin-centric Decor: Posters, prints, and fridge magnets that honor Austin’s distinctive ambiance. * Barton Springs Keepsakes: Simplistic and memorable, these commemorate your cherished experiences in this natural beauty spot.

The Domain – Austin’s Chic Souvenir Spot

If you’re seeking something a bit more upscale, make your way to The Domain. This outdoor shopping center fuses luxury with the everyday casual, mirroring the up-and-coming area in North Austin it calls home.

The Texas Store

Everything Texas, under one roof. The Texas Store is a go-to for Austin-centric souvenirs. * Austin-Themed Apparel: Show off your Austin pride with a range of themed clothing. * Gourmet Food: Treat your tastebuds to Texan flavors with salsas, BBQ sauce, and other Texan food staples. * Home Decor: From star-shaped wall hangings to Texas flag throw pillows and more, there’s plenty to celebrate your love for Texas.

Wild About Music Art

Nothing screams Austin like a music-themed souvenir. Immerse yourself in Austin’s world-famous music culture by getting a unique keepsake from here. * Music Memorabilia: pick out record plaques, band t-shirts, and more of your favorite artists and bands that touched your life during your Austin visit. * Instruments and Accessories: Whether you’re a dedicated musician or just starting to learn, find a musical memento to celebrate Austin’s rhythm. * Art Prints: Stunning musical artwork to enrich your space with the sounds of Austin.

Art Markets – Unleash the Creative Spirit

Creativity flourishes in Austin, and the city’s art markets are a testament to that fact. Here, local artisans showcase their talents, offering you one-of-a-kind works that are designed and crafted with the Austin spirit in mind.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar

A holiday tradition that Austinites eagerly anticipate, this four-week art bazaar offers a stunning range of local artwork. * Handcrafted Items: The best of Austin’s creative scene, with goods ranging from ceramics to handmade jewelry and more. * Unique Austin Art: Paintings, sketches, and sculptures that showcase Austin’s unique scenes and vibes. * Custom Work: Some artists at the bazaar offer commissions, allowing you to bring home a truly personalized Austin souvenir.

East Austin Handmade Arts Market

Held twice a year, this arts market is a go-to destination for handmade art, showcasing a variety of unique pieces. * Original Artworks: Paintings, sculptures, and installations that inject Austin’s avant-garde aesthetics into your own living space. * Handmade Crafts: From candles with Texan scents to Austin-inspired embroidery and more. * Jewelry: Unique, finely crafted baubles that serve as wearable reminders of your Austin journey.

Journey’s End: Your Austin Souvenir Guide

As we reach the end of this guide to unique souvenirs in Austin, it’s clear that the city isn’t your typical souvenir city. Rather, Austin boasts a wealth of local shops, art markets, and various shopping venues, each of which offers a slice of Austin’s soul to take home with you.

From the antique treasures at Uncommon Objects to the cowboy aesthetic at Allens Boots, and from the vibrancy of Barton Springs Pool to the high-end offerings of The Domain, there are countless souvenirs waiting to echo the authentic Austin narrative. Whether it’s art from the Blue Genie Art Bazaar or a homemade craft from the East Austin Handmade Arts Market, each souvenir tells a story about this fascinating city that’s cherished by both locals and tourists.

Let Austin’s unusual side captivate you as these treasures from the heart of Texas continue to delight and inspire you long after your visit. After all, in a city that’s famous for its mantra of “Keep Austin Weird,” you can bet that you’re destined to uncover some fascinating finds in every corner. Happy shopping!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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