AUSTIN – For those of you that enjoy live entertainment, good food, photo ops and retail therapy, The Domain in Austin is the place for you.

Just an hour south of Fort Hood, The Domain is a large shopping center in North Austin filled with several activities for visitors to enjoy.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much the last time I visited The Domain that I decided that my roommate and I would make a trip down south to spend my birthday there this year.

I knew I wanted to kick off my birthday trip at Culinary Dropout, one of the many unique restaurants that you can find at The Domain. I recommend parking in the blue garage if you’re looking to have easy access to the restaurant. Once my roommate and I walked out of the garage we found ourselves just across the street from our destination.

I highly recommend checking out Culinary Dropout if you visit The Domain. The charcuterie board options are great, and I highly recommend their fish and chips.

After we finished eating, we packed our leftovers and began the short walk to one of the stores I wanted to visit. As we were leaving, we noticed that someone was beginning to set up for a live performance. It would have been easy to enjoy the music from the outside seating at Culinary Dropout and even the surrounding restaurants. Also, there was a nice grassy area nearby with balloon-looking light fixtures. I kind of wish my roommate and I could have stayed later to see the lights after sunset and the live performance.

Once I’d spent a hefty amount of money at the store I wanted to visit, we walked along the sidewalk window shopping. I was thankful for the shade provided by trees that are planted along the walking path, since the sun was beating down on us full force.

We also enjoyed many of the areas designated for photos. One photo wall was decorated with papel picado, paper with intricate designs cut in them, which are used as decoration during Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. The papel picado wall at The Domain has many intricate patterns with things that are associated with Austin. A great backdrop for a photo at a fun place in our state’s capitol city!