I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I cannot come up with a way to get what I want from the search engine. Work will bring me to Austin in September and I am restricted to paying no more than the Federal government rate for a hotel room ($108/night before taxes). In past trips to Austin, I have stayed downtown and have never had a problem finding a hotel for that rate (Hilton Garden Inn, Omni, etc...). For this trip in September 2013, a city wide convention will also be in town and most downtown hotels are booked solid and are not offering the government rate.
With meetings at UT and not being able to find a room downtown (obviously availability could change by September, and I will keep looking), where else in Austin would you stay. There is availability at airport hotels, at the Arboretum and in the far north suburbs. We will have a rental car, but wanted to be close to the "action" for grabbing a drink at night, etc...
I appreciate any advice!