Photo by Leonid Furmansky, courtesy of coXist

Modern design lovers, architecture buffs, and those looking for a unique home builder will have a chance to explore even more homes in the Central Texas area at this year’s Austin Modern Home Tour. The Modern Architecture + Design Society (MA+DS) has announced the addition of a second day to their 14th annual showcase at the end of February, giving the bonus day its own name, the Hill Country Modern Tour.

Taking place on February 25 and 26, the goal of the two tours is to showcase the talent and hard work of architects, designers, and developers around the Central Texas area. To date, over 9,000 people have attended the event. The tours also serve as a networking and volunteer opportunity for students at Texas State University’s Interior Design program, the tour’s selected non-profit partner.

Visitors on the Austin leg of the self-guided tour will be able to view beautiful modern homes in Allandale, Bouldin Creek, Hyde Park, Zilker Park, and more, while the Hill Country Modern Tour will include homes in Driftwood, Wimberley, and Spicewood.

Cornerstone Architects, Tornbjerg Design, refuGe Design Studio, and Kelle Contine Interior Design are the Hill Country tour’s featured participants, while the full list of participants included on the Austin Modern Home Tour includes:

The Austin Modern Home Tour will take place on February 25 from 10 am to 6 pm, and the Hill Country Modern Tour will follow on February 26 from 10 am to 4 pm. Both tours are self-guided.

Tickets and more information about the tours can be found on Modern Architecture + Design Society’s website.

A modern home by coXist

Photo by Leonid Furmansky, courtesy of coXist

The Sculpture Residences are situated overlooking Dimension Gallery Sculpture Park in East Austin.

Photo courtesy of Nils Juul-Hansen

11 historic homes to explore on Preservation Austin’s 30th anniversary tour

Preserving Austin

If you’ve ever wanted a look inside some of Austin’s historic homes, now’s your chance. Preservation Austin just announced dates and tickets for their 30th Anniversary Homes Tour from April 22-23.

Now in its 70th year of operation, Preservation Austin is a nonprofit that seeks to honor the diverse culture and rich architectural history of the neighborhoods that have made Austin what it is today. The Homes Tour is one of their premier events, and the nonprofit is marking this milestone year with a special VIP Preview Party on April 18.

The party will provide an exclusive look at one of the “most charming featured homes” included in the tour while offering “new ways to engage with architectural enthusiasts and taste-makers,” according to a press release.

Past tours have explored neighborhoods such as Bouldin Creek and Castle Hill, as well as East Austin’s Rogers-Washington-Holy Cross Historic District. This year’s tour will showcase six homes in Central and East Austin on the first day, and five homes in West and South Austin on the second day.

Highlights of the tour include a 120-year-old converted train depot and an East 7th Street home designed and constructed by Genero P. Briones as a testament to Mexican-American heritage and innovation, now widely known as the Casa de Sueños.

Another featured home is a former boarding house that was once occupied by Herman Sweatt, the civil rights pioneer who challenged the Jim Crow ideology of “separate, but equal” in 1950 in order to attend the University of Texas School of Law. Other homes on the tour have been featured on Dwell and The New York Times.

Homes on the tour will be open from 10 am to 5 pm each day from April 22-23. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for Preservation Austin’s 30th Anniversary Home Tour can be found at preservationaustin.org.

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Here are the top five things to do in Austin this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

A mix of live entertainment and interactive happenings rank high on our agenda for the next few days. Get inspired at the Austin Spring Home + Garden Show, or enjoy an illuminating and reflective evening with family at the Water Lantern Festival. Check out the top five things to do in Austin this weekend. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, March 23

Austin History Center Association presents Our Austin Sound: Women of Antone’s
Celebrate some of the women who have defined local entertainment at this special event supporting the Austin History Center. Guests can enjoy discussions and intimate performances by Marcia Ball, Lou Ann Barton, Sue Foley, Ruthie Foster, Eve Monsees, and special guest Susan Antone. Zach Ernst will serve as the evening’s moderator. View ticketing options on the event website.

Friday, March 24

Austin Spring Home + Garden Show
All things home and garden return to the Palmer Events Center for another annual installment. This year’s three-day spring show will feature a variety of home-related products and services, displays, informative sessions from industry experts, interactive exhibits, and more. Attendees can also enjoy live discussions with YouTuber and home improvement expert April Wilkerson on Saturday and Sunday. For tickets and more information, click here.

The Austin Symphony presents "Song of the Night"
Enjoy composer Gustav Mahler's exquisite Symphony No. 7 (Song of the Night) live at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. This rare program, conducted by Peter Bay, is part of the Long Center’s ongoing Masterworks Series. Tickets for both nights are still available.

Saturday, March 25

Water Lantern Festival
Photo courtesy of Water Lantern Festival

The Water Lantern Festival takes place this weekend.

Water Lantern Festival
Bring friends and family to Mueller Lake Park for another year of Water Lantern Festival fun. Highlights of the evening include a vendor market, live music, food, activities, and the chance to witness thousands of lanterns reflected upon the water after sunset. For a full schedule of events and to buy tickets, go to the festival website.

Chris D'Elia in concert
Comedian Chris D’Elia comes to ACL Live & 3TEN at ACL Live for two back-to-back shows on one night only. He’s best known for his podcast Congratulations with Chris D'Elia and has three comedy specials on Netflix. Seating for both performances is still available.

6 things to know in Austin food right now: Asian-Southern fusion leader to open new Cedar Park location

News you can eat

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.


From a food truck to a culinarily adventurous neighborhood restaurant, The Peached Tortilla has become something of a staple in the Austin food scene. A blend of Asian and Southern American comfort foods 13 years in the making, the menu is available at three locations across Austin, with a fourth coming to Cedar Park in late 2023 at 1915 East Whitestone Boulevard. The new location will seat 82 inside and 38 outside on the patio, will look similar to the locations Austinites are already familiar with, and will feature the same menu items before adding more that are specific to the new location.

Michelin starred chef Curtis Stone, who operates the restaurant Georgie in Dallas, is working to democratize the private chefexperience. A platform he co-created, Gathar, launched into Austin’s gig economy during South by Southwest (SXSW) at a secret house party, and plans to expand to Houston and Dallas later, as well as Florida. Instead of organizing around specific chefs, the website offers menus with small customizations like choosing between one appetizer or another. The most visible meals without filters are event-based and charge per person (as low as $35), but there are also options available for at-home meal prep (starting at $610, but coming out to about $25 per serving). Book at gathar.com.

Austinites who love a free group workout are likely familiar with Swift Fit Events, which offers yoga, cardio, and even fireside tarot at easily accessible downtown locations. The group is opening a new "wellness oasis" at 918 Congress Avenue, which includes a nonalcoholic cocktail bar, Sans Bar. One Sans Bar location already exists on East 12th, where it offers cocktails, tours, events, and even classes for aspiring nonalcoholic mixologists. The space will be open to the public on Fridays starting at 5 pm, from March 31 on.

Other news and notes

James Beard Award-winning chefIliana de la Vega is hosting Mexico City chef Billy Maldonado of Fónico at El Naranjo, one of Austin’s most acclaimed Mexican restaurants. On March 23, Chef Maldonado takes charge of five of six courses including a ceviche, a local fish with beans and habañero ash, a pork chop with spicy broccoli puree, and vegetarian alternatives. The 8:30 seating still has space. Reserve ($110) at elnaranjorestaurant.com.

The always-anticipatedButcher’s Ball is back in Round Top on March 24 and 25. All the ingredients have been sourced from within 100 miles of the Central Texas town, so Austinites can enjoy some foods local to them, plus some in farther reaches east at just half the drive. In addition to cocktails and bites by celebrated Houston chefs, there will be live music and a fun barn atmosphere. A few tickets (starting at $175) remain available on Eventbrite.

It's pretty easy to get a beer with dinner, but The Driskill is escalating things to a multi-course affair as it is wont to do. It's rebooting its Beer Dinner Series on March 28 with help kicking it off from (512) Brewing Company, later leading to a four-part summer series in June. This installation will pair four beers (half IPAs) with salmon tartare, burrata and citrus salad, osso buco, and chocolate and peanut butter semifreddo. Tickets ($80) are available on Tock.

Willie Nelson receives prestigious honor and inaugural endowment at UT Austin

Willie forever

Willie Nelson has earned countless awards for his seven-decade music career, but the legend is also well known for his activism — particularly in the areas of farming and food security. In recognition of his longtime advocacy work, the LBJ Foundation will present its most prestigious honor, the LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award to Nelson this spring.

The award will be presented at a special gala tribute dinner on Friday, May 12, 2023, which in turn will benefit the newly established Willie Nelson Endowment for Uplifting Rural Communities at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, a part of The University of Texas at Austin.

According to a release, the endowment will fund research and student fellowships focused on sustainable agriculture, eliminating hunger, resilient energy, sustainable water, and natural disaster recovery to benefit rural and farm communities.

Along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, Nelson organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise funds for struggling farmers, which has since raised over $70 million for those who own and operate family farms throughout the United States. He has also helped raise millions around disaster relief, for families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and for veterans, as well as working toward environmental and animal advocacy, and voting rights. His Luck Family Foundation provides financial grant assistance and other resources to artists, organizations, and programs in need, donating proceeds from Luck Reunion events to Farm Aid and other longtime charity partners like the Texas Food & Wine Alliance.

“Willie Nelson is a national treasure who gained fame through his sheer musical talent and won hearts as someone who truly cares about the lives of his fellow Americans," says Larry Temple, Chairman of the LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees, via release. "A product of rural Texas, Willie has never forgotten where he comes from. His longtime efforts to raise money and awareness for family farmers through Farm Aid and numerous other endeavors to help those in need throughout his career make him a true inspiration.”

The dinner will honor Nelson's lifelong support for rural communities, embodying President Lyndon Baines Johnson's commitment to public service, particularly in the areas of farming and food security. With their similar backgrounds as rural Texans, both President Johnson and Nelson shared a keen awareness of the struggles of those who work in the agricultural industry.

“The bounty of the earth is the foundation of our economy," President Johnson shared in a 1965 Special Message to Congress on Agriculture. "Programs in every aspect of our nation’s life depend on the abundant harvests of our farms.”