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Where to Stay in Austin
Austin caters to all kinds of personalities. The city’s high density of technology companies attracts thousands of business travelers every year, many of which stay in northwest Austin where much of the industry is located. Those looking to take in the city’s world-renowned live music scene should search for discount rooms in the downtown area, particularly along Austin’s 5th and 6th Streets. If you’re visiting one of the thousands of college co-eds who call the city home, look for a hotel adjacent to the University of Texas campus. With the beautifully serene Lake Travis just 30 minutes away, you can take a retreat into the Texas Hill Country at an exclusive waterside resort.
Austin Hotel Tips
Although Austin might not be a large metropolis like Dallas to the north, it still gets a heavy amount of traveler traffic during certain times of the year. This means that if you’re planning on taking a trip down south, call around in advance to see if any special events are occurring. Homecoming and commencement season are especially difficult times to get cheap hotel rates as alumni and families flood the city. Likewise, the annual South By Southwest music festival, which takes place in March, attracts thousands of bands, managers, agents, industry executives and music fans from around the world, creating hotel havoc.
Outside of these annual events, it’s usually easy to search for great hotel deals, from discount chains to funky downtown boutiques. For those last-minute deal hunters, look for accommodations during the middle of summer and winter. That’s when tourist season dies down. This is also a good time to find cheap flights to Austin.
Austin Hotel Recommendations
Unlike other major cities, Austin is not overrun with expensive five-star boutiques. However, if you still want to live it up in luxury, schedule a stay at The Driskell Hotel. Originally built in 1886, the historic Driskell is conveniently located right in the middle of Austin’s 6th Street, the center of the city’s nightlife scene. The Driskell is also pet friendly, offering up special services for your pooch, and all children who stay at the hotel receive a commemorative sheriff’s badge.
If you’re looking for a touch of Texas class, then check out the Mansion at Judges’ Hill. Located just three blocks from the University of Texas campus, the Mansion at Judges’ Hill is a historic boutique that features a stunning white columned exterior and an equally lavish interior. Guests can relax in the hotel’s courtyard, which boasts lush greenery, gorgeous springtime blooms and century-old crepe myrtle trees, or order an in-room spa treatment. Also, the hotel is pet friendly.
For those looking for some lakeside relaxation, then check out the Lakeway Resort and Spa located along Lake Travis. Choose a room with a view of the lake to watch boats sail past your window, or select private villa and enjoy the Texas sunset from your very own balcony. The resort also features three swimming pools with a swim-up bar, a full-service spa, four golf courses and a full-service marina.
With a number of highways passing through the city, including I-35, the easiest way to get around Austin is by car. Visitors will want to consider renting an auto at the airport, which has limited ground transportation options. If you don’t plan on leaving the area around downtown and the University of Texas campus, you can try to traverse the city by foot or bike, granted the weather isn’t in the triple digits.
Austin has a bus system that provides transportation throughout the city, including to and from the airport. In 2010, the city unveiled its new tram system, which provides service from downtown Austin to north of the city.