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First trip ever to Austin--suggestions?

Baltimore, MD
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304 posts
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First trip ever to Austin--suggestions?

My husband, 22 year old son, and I are going to Austin this Augsut for two nights, three days. I'm looking for some great suggestions about where we should stay and things to do. I've looked at Radisson near the Congress Ave. bridge, the Embassy Suites on the other side of the bridge, the Hampton Inn downtown, the W, and even San Jose. What location is best for walking to everything? We want to explore 6th Street and the SoCo areas. My husband wants to bike the trail around Lady Bird Lake. I like to shop, and we all love music and great food and drinks. I'm 59, and my husband is 61, but we're both in good shape and enjoy travel. We're going to rent a car and then drive from Austin to San Antonio. Yes, I know it's going to be hot in August, but that's the only time we can plan this trip. Thanks for ANY ideas!

Austin, Texas
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1. Re: First trip ever to Austin--suggestions?

I just read an awesome article in a local magazine about the Park Lane Guest house and it's owners. It sounds awesome and I hope you will be kind enough to give it a review when you have time. This Austin forum is constantly getting requests for nice B&B's close to downtown area. I'm impressed with the ambiance which looks very, very nice. http://www.parklaneguesthouse.com

Here are 2 more in SoCO:



Be sure and visit my favorite downtown street for lots of coffee shops, nice restaurants and shops:


2nd Street is treelined and has many sidewalk cafes and around the corner on Lavaca is the ever popular Gloria's which also has a sidewalk cafe.

The downtown area and down the street SoCo area are loaded with restaurants and clubs. I can't begin to list good ones. I will say that at 68 I am partial to 2nd Street District because it so pretty. 6th Street is and has been in need of a remodel for a long long time. I never visit 6th Street clubs (I'm to old)


Lastly, I highly recommend to anyone visiting Austin to go to the Bob Bullock Story of Texas History Museum down the street from the Capital on MLK. I was there again last week. Also, they have an awesome gift shop that is huge and a very nice inexpensive order at counter cafe on the 2nd floor. Also, in the museum is an IMAX and one of the movies is about Texas and is excellent.

Go online now look at the Austin Chronicle online. It is a free entertainment paper that comes out every Thurs. view the entire paper cover to cover online at:


You can do all this, Museum, SoCO, 6th St., 2nd Street etc. if you stay downtown and not use your car because about every 15 mins. the 1L Capital Metro city bus comes and goes up and down Congress and also curves onto Guadalupe where "The Drag" is. The Drag is a 5 block area of shops and fast food across the street from the edge of the UT campus. $1 each way or $2 day pass from the bus driver

Northland Region...
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2. Re: First trip ever to Austin--suggestions?

Wow, thanks for the great information Georgetowngal. Fantastic tips for helping us in organising our stay in Austin.

We will be flying out of Austin after our Blues trip:


We intend to stay 2/3 nights to soak up the Austin hospitality and refresh for the long flight home to Darwin, Australia.

Much appreciated,


Austin, Texas
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for Austin
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3. Re: First trip ever to Austin--suggestions?

The hotels you've checked on are all in great locations for downtown activities. The Hotel St. Cecilia has an excellent reputation, it will be top price also. Also top price but super location is the Driskill. Even if you don't stay there, go by and enjoy the grand old hotel, beautifully restored. Perhaps have a drink in the lounge on the mezzanine and see the western art.

Downtown and S. Congress are easily walked and will also be a cheap taxi. The taxi means you can have the second margarita! Pedicabs will also be out and about in the evening.

www.austintexas.org is the web site for all things Austin. You can order a visitor guide and map. The Austin Overtures operates out of the VC three times a day and covers 30 miles giving Austin history as well as current events.

Sixth Street visitors are all ages. We generally say the younger crowd comes out after 10 or so. Some visitors feel the Warehouse District has a slightly more mature clientele. Mainly, just walk around and when you hear music you like go in. Cover charges tend to be low or non existent.

The Continental Club on S. Congress almost always has some popular bands.

Another way to start the evening is Esther's Follies - short skits, magician, they've been around for 30 plus years. They update their material as well as do some favorites from the past. We try to visit every six months or so. The Patsy Cline skit is a local favorite!

Welcome to Austin!

United States
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4. Re: First trip ever to Austin--suggestions?

Austin is a great city, one my sons lives there, and graduated from University of Texas at Austin, a nice campus to visit. Some other points of interests, include the state capital, the Stevie Ray Vaughn statute at Town Lake, of course, 6th street!! There is a big food truck scene in Austin. Austin is home to Whole Foods HQ, and flagship store. We always like to head out to hill country, to Driftwood, and chow down at Salt Lick!! Have a wonderful time!

5. Re: First trip ever to Austin--suggestions?

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