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Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

Chicago, Illinois
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Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

I was just wondering recommendations for a weekend in Austin. 4 guys going to see the Longhons play Saturday. Do most people stay downtown? Wise to rent car? Good places for nightlife (we are mid thirties)? Restaurants? Any help greatly apprecciated!

Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

Yes, definitely stay downtown. If you're staying downtown and are here just for the weekend to see the game and experience the nightlife, you don't really need a car. If you are here for longer than that, or you want to venture out to the Hill Country or Lockhart for BBQ, you'll need a car.

Most of the nightlife is centered around 6th Street, the Warehouse District, and Rainey Street. Lots of discussion about all of these on the forums, if you do a quick search. We also have lots of restaurant discussions. What types of food/atmosphere are you interested in? Let us know and we can make some specific recommendations.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

Well thanks a lot....we're all from Chicago (so sick of it) and want to experience "Texas" Any types of cuisines unique to here? We want to do things down here we can't by us. Staying downtown seems much more expensive...is it really worth it when you can stay a few miles out and cab it?

Austin, Texas
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3. Re: Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

Experiencing Texas and visiting Austin are two different things. Are you going to have time to get out of the city? In Austin, you're going to see tall buildings (not quite like Chicago though) and general city things like bars, restaurants, traffic, shopping, etc. What many people consider the "real Texas" exists outside of the major cities -- Hill Country, ranches in south and west Texas, west Texas desert, the Big Bend. For all of this, you will need a car no matter where you stay in Austin.

If you are coming to Austin for a weekend of football and fun, then yes, I think it's worth it to stay downtown. You can walk to bars and restaurants and more easily get to the stadium. Too far out of downtown, and you're just in the suburbs that look a lot like Chicago's suburbs. Taxis are not as readily available in Austin as they are in larger cities, so if you are staying too far out of downtown, you will have to call for one to pick you up. Taxis to the suburbs are also expensive.

As for cuisine, you may have heard of Tex-Mex (Texas' take on Mexican food) and Texas BBQ, which is very different from midwestern BBQ. Austin has lots of great resturants though that aren't either of these, as well as a very lively food truck scene.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

Well we'd have a half of day Thursday and all of Friday, so we'd be able to leave downtown but would want to stay in the vicinity somewhat. I would still think if we stayed soley in downtown, we'd still enjoy the different types of places (we'd know we weren't at home). Big question is: Isn't 4 days and 3 nights too much in just the Austin downtown area?

Getting a hotel/motel 5 miles out is much less expensive and a cab ride would seem pretty cheap as well. Again, I've never been to Texas and don't want a "mini" Chicago type experience. Thanks!

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

One more opinion, definitely stay downtown and feel comfortable having the second or third! margarita and walk back to your hotel. Cabbing it sounds easy but it isn't nearly as quick as you're going to wish. Staying in the outer area will entail calling for a taxi. Unfortunately, you're at their mercy. Once in a while they don't show up. (yes, happened to a friend who lives off S. Congress going to the airport). Then you're faced with trying to get a cab when the bars close. (best option on that are the taxi stands at the Driskill and the Hilton).

You can arrange to rent a car for a day or so and most of the companies will deliver to a downtown hotel.

Five miles from downtown is light years from what makes Austin unique. We have nice bland suburbs just like every other city.

By the way, Bus 100 , the Airport Flyer is $1.00 and only serves downtown and UT and returns to the airport. It runs every 30 minutes.

Welcome to Austin!

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

I don't think three nights is too long to spend just downtown, especially when one day is a game day. It's a Saturday night game, but the tail-gating and parties will start on Friday! October is a wonderful time for outdoor activities, so you could spend Friday at Barton Springs pool (a spring-fed pool close to downtown, very popular with locals), or rent kayaks or canoes on Lady Bird Lake, which runs right through downtown. If you feel like it's too much, then do as yankeetransplat suggested and get a car for the day and go exploring. There are lots of easy and fun day trips you can take from Austin. San Antonio is about an hour's drive if you want to see more of Texas.

If you can't afford to stay downtown, and have found something 5 miles out that suits your budget and other needs, then go with it, but you are going to end up spending some money on taxis and as noted above having to call for one isn't an ideal situation. Downtown, including the area around the Unviersity of Texas down to South Congress, is really where all of the action in Austin is concentrated, especially on game weekends. I would hate for someone to miss out on that on their first visit.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

Downtown it is then...thanks all!

Austin, Texas
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8. Re: Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

I think you'll be pleased, Mike! look at www.austintexas.org and order the free visitor guide and maps.

we'll hope the Longhorns win the weekend you're here and you'll see the UT Tower with orange lights! Be prepared for the huge tailgating before, during and after the game and lots of friendly fans! Smell that barbecue already????

Again, welcome to Austin!

9. Re: Weekend in Austin Oct. 18

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