What You’ll Need: Ironic T-shirt, bed head
Ten years ago a typical stroll along Austin’s South Congress Avenue involved sidestepping hookers and junkies on your way to a gun shop. Today an informal urban renewal has transformed it into the strip in Texas’s most self-aware city. When I was there one Saturday this spring, I saw Natalie Portman pet a Labrador puppy before blending into a daylong stream of the young and the stylish. Yet I still felt welcome, and that is the magic of SoCo: Even those whose hipness extends no further than the places they chauffeur the youngsters to—the latest High School Musical, Hannah, etc.—can know cultural relevance again, if just for one glorious weekend.
Only don’t call it SoCo. And don’t bring those kids. They’re actually not allowed at the Kimber Modern, a new B&B still flying under Austin’s radar despite two wide-eyed write-ups in the New York Times. The look is modern and minimal, all clean lines, stark whites, and pale grays, softened by Jacobsen eggs and Saarinen tulips in Starburst fruit chew colors. Since your only obligations will be browsing and lounging, draw the velvet curtain and sleep later than you have since the babies were born.
Once you awake, grab an organic quiche in the self-serve breakfast room,