While we love Austin, my husband is British and essentially can’t tolerate the Texas summers. So, on the first of June each year, our family heads to the beaches of California for 3 months to escape the Texas heat. It’s a luxury and a necessity in our lives and although I can’t imagine life any other way, I often find myself hankering for a dip in Barton Springs pool or a delicious Taco Deli taco while we are away.
You see, while we are gone, I find myself talking about Austin a lot. Although I am originally from Arizona, I consider myself a Texan and I am proud of it. I spend much of the summer telling our California neighbors all of the reasons we love Texas, and especially Austin.
Over the past 2 years, one of our friends in California has begun frequent work trips to Austin where he meets with (and entertains) his Texas clients. He often comes to me for ideas on the best places to take and entertain clients in Austin. Through numerous discussions and a lot of research, these are my favorite new and different ways to entertain clients in Austin…plus a few recommendations on filling them up with good Texas food:
NLand Surf Park claims to be the only surfing destination of its kind in North America and I believe it. I have met several surfers who live near the beach and surf in the Pacific Ocean every day who are making a trip to Austin just to experience this wave park. Check out some of the videos – you will want to try it too.
And entertaining clients is something NLand is set up to do. Their concierge can help you tailor your event to your needs whether it be for very small or very large groups. They can accommodate speakers, live music, yoga, custom gift bags, and the list goes on.
While this is not an ideal option for large corporate events, if you are entertaining a few clients, you can’t beat a tour of Austin from the sky. Austin Helicopter Tours offers a number of different tour options to satisfy the interests of any Austin local or visitor. They also have options to charter a helicopter to the Flat Creek Winery for some wine tasting and dining or even to the Salt Lick to enjoy some authentic Austin barbecue.
I am not talking about the driving range/golf course although Austin is full of those as well. When clients come to Texas, they often want to check out the shooting range.
The Range At Austin is a great indoor range that services both seasoned shooters and beginners and can accommodate everything from small client meetings to large corporate events up to 150 people. They offer instructors, catering services, and they rent everything you need for a fun day at the range. So, if a day at the shooting range is what your clients are looking for, check this place out.
One of the most important part of Client entertainment is great food and great drinks. Since Austin is full of both, you really can’t go wrong. I recently wrote a blog about Still Austin Whiskey Co. They offer tours, whiskey tasting, and have a great event space for larger corporate events. This is still my pick for your next client outing but some other food and drink options to consider include:
Second Bar + Kitchen – Not only is the food amazing, this downtown spot offers multiple options for entertaining clients. With 3 distinct spaces, Second Bar + Kitchen can accommodate parties of up to 100. The first floor is great for smaller group dinners amidst the energy of Austin’s Second Street District. The second floor, with an open air balcony overlooking Second Street, is perfect for private events up to 44 people. The third space, Congress Hall, is a fully independent event space which can accommodate 80 seated or 100 for passed hors d’oeuvres. Congress Hall also has a small private dining room which seats up to 12 guests. The options are endless and foodies will love it!
Franklin Barbecue – An Austin sensation, Franklin Barbecue is open 6 days a week from 11am until they sell out. The food is delicious and visitors love the chance to sample the famous bbq. We suggest pre-ordering because the line starts early and the bbq sells out!
Salt Lick – I mentioned it above and have to throw it in as a Franklin Barbecue alternative. Salt Lick has been a tried and true bbq experience in Austin for ages. It is a great place to entertain groups big and small and give them a taste of Texas cuisine.
Whatever you choose, remember to check out Loanables for all of your rental needs. They have everything from chairs for the surf park to pop up tents to rental items for a full scale client conference.