Austin, Texas, United States of America
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Austin Hotels

Kayak through the city on the Colorado River, head downtown to the 6th Street bars, and drink local beers to the sound of live music, there’s more to Austin than meets the eye. Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin has a laid back vibe that extends beyond the nearest jazz club and late night acoustic jam session. Its central city skyline casts a lengthy shadow over the gently snaking waters of the Colorado River, and its lush parklands, cool spring-fed pools, and winding cycling trails offer a sometimes welcome escape from the potent attraction of its pulsating entertainment blocks.

Things to see

If you’re looking for the true heart of Austin, you’ll find it at 6th Street, a hyped-up and happening late night entertainment strip where belting blues and rock music mixes with the bright lights of happy hour, and nightclubs doors lie wide open till well after dark. The University of Texas is also worth a visit. It’s more than just a seat of learning, with 24 museums, centers, and specialist libraries squirreled away on its sprawling campus. Its Texas Natural Science Center is a perpetual favorite, with more fossilized exhibits than a paleontologist could shake a little brush at. Over at Circuit of the Americas, the fun is fast paced and furious on this nearly 3.5 mile long racing circuit. Formula One, the Motorcycle Grand Prix, and many other international motor racing championships find themselves burning rubber here. For somewhere a little more laid back, head down to Zilker Park, a lush 351 acre recreation ground that’s always busy with locals on warm weekends. You can ride a miniature train past lakes and beneath overhanging forest canopies, share a swimming pool with salamanders at Barton Springs, and wander through trails of languishing statuettes in its Umlauf Statue Garden and Museum.

Hotels in Austin

Austin is a sprawling city and although most of its luxury hotels can be found in its spirited Downtown district, you’ll find plenty more on the edge of the city, taking full advantage of the verdant landscape, trailing streams, and gently rolling hills, many of which have been developed into exceptional golf courses. There are ample mid-range hotels if you’re not looking for anywhere too lavish to stay, and these often have WiFi, satellite televisions, and occasionally swimming pools to enjoy. Most cheap Austin hotels are very welcoming, and if you’re prepared to travel to get into the city you can get some excellent hotel rates by choosing to stay north of Downtown.

Where to stay

Downtown is the best district for staying at the heart of Austin, steps from an unusual collection of fine-dining restaurants and not-quite-greasy burger joints. You’ll be within walking distance of the neon illuminations of the 6th Street bars, and steps from luxury boutiques, designer jewelers, and the converted warehouse bistros and eateries of Market District in northwest Downtown. Hotels in South Austin district put you right next to the picturesque waterfront of the Colorado River. It’s less urban here, and instead of pricy restaurants you’ll find cozy cafés, bookstores with snug sofas and freshly ground coffee, and gaudy retro-style ice cream parlors.

How to get to Austin

International travelers generally arrive via the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. City buses called Airport Flyers provide onward transport for a minimal fee, although they only drop off at Downtown or the University of Texas. Taxis are available for hire, and the Supershuttle service, which doesn’t need to be pre-booked, will take you to hotels in the Austin City limits.

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