If you haven’t already noticed from other posts, Austin is one of my favorite cities to visit. Whether you’re heading into town for a music festival or show, planning on eating your way through the BBQ scene or exploring the outdoor activities in the area there are countless ways to explore the city. No matter what you plan to do, one of the first things you need to decide is where to stay in Austin.
While the city does have public transportation, you can get to and from the airport on the bus, it’s not necessarily the most useful for visitors. You’re better off either renting a car or planning on using one of their local ridesharing apps (yep, they kicked out Lyft and Uber). This can make needing to pick where you want to stay even more important. Whether you want to stay downtown where you can walk to many of the cities attractions or you’re looking to be tucked near your main activity.
Place Yourself Right in the City Center
For many visitors to Austin, you’ll want to be right in the middle of everything. Downtown Austin is filled with a lively nightlife, a variety of concert views, the Capitol and other historical spots, and so many delicious places to eat. It’s also not that large of an area, making it easy to explore and still walk to nearby neighborhoods like South of Congress, Rainey Street, and East 6th.
If you’re staying downtown a great place to be is a couple blocks off 6th Street. That’s the main drag, and it can get rowdy at night so you don’t want to be right on it, but it’s worth being nearby. A great spot in the area is the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin. In a beautiful historic building, you can enjoy being in the middle of everything and enjoy some quiet.
Or consider staying at THE Austin hotel, The Driskill. At the very least you need to take a walk through it or grab a drink. This hotel has breathtaking details. All while being in the heart of the city.
Another area to consider is staying right on Rainey Street. One of my favorite neighborhoods and still easy to get around from. The Hotel Van Zandt, a Kimpton, recently opened.
Stay at a Boutique Spot Near Campus
If you’re heading to Austin for a game at the University of Texas or if you’re looking to get a little out of the craziness of Downtown, staying up near the campus can be a great option. In this area, you’ll find some great places to eat and the campus itself is worth exploring (although BOO Longhorns).
You’ll also find a unique boutique accommodation at the Hotel Ella. This plantation style building has been turned into a beautiful hotel. With a beautiful pool right in the middle of the buildings, you can have a perfect way to cool off on those hot summer days.
Rent a House in the Zilker Neighborhood (Perfect for ACL)
Right outside of Austin’s main downtown area you can find a variety of cute neighborhoods still in walking distance. If you’re traveling with a larger group or staying long enough to want a kitchen to consider renting a home. Airbnb is always a great option to consider.
I did this a few years back with my family when we were in town for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. It was perfect for getting away from the crowds after the shows and enjoy time with the family. For the festival, the Zilker and Barton Hills areas can be a great place to sneak away. We rented bikes and it was the perfect way to get around.
Traveling to Austin, Texas Soon?
Wherever Your Stay Austin is Worth the Trip
Like many major cities, there is a variety of great areas and places to stay in Austin. While my favorite options are above, what really matters is you take the trip! Whether you’re heading there for the food, the people, the music or sports, it’s one of the best cities to explore.