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8 Best Austin Areas – Where to Stay & Coolest Hotels (2023)

8 Best Austin Areas – Where to Stay & Coolest Hotels (2023)
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Often referred to as “The Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is a town filled with artists, idealists, and innovators that live by the mantra ‘keep Austin weird.’ As a Texas native, I have always preferred Austin to any other local city. I’m drawn to the natural swimming holes, an abundance of live entertainment, and arguably the best food in the South (a fusion of Tex-Mex and Southern comfort).

After solidifying itself as a major tech hub in recent years (venture capitalists investing nearly $6-billion in 2021), Austin is growing more rapidly than ever before. Locals are learning to evolve their culture, embracing this crossover of liberal’s paradise and tech giant’s haven.

Since there is so much to see, use this guide to map out the best of Austin’s hotels, restaurants, family activities, hiking trails, lakes, waterfalls, music venues, speakeasies, and charms you won’t find anywhere else! We’ll also offer tips on what to pack, where NOT to stay, and common FAQs.

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

Where to Stay in Austin, TX - A Local’s Guide

  • 1. Best Areas to Stay for Families in Austin, Texas

    Zilker, Downtown, South Congress

    Happy people in Barton Springs, laughing, splashing, dogs, joy
    Barton Springs in Zilker Park; Austin, TX

    Why these areas are great: Austin is the state capital and one of the most walkable cities in the U.S., making it easy to immerse your family in the action! Let your kids run free at Zilker Park, swim in Barton Springs, and check out the Austin Zoo; These are just a few of the most popular, kid-friendly attractions in the heart of the city. Avoid long commutes by staying close to the epicenter of shops, museums, restaurants, parks, and water sports. You may also want to stop by The Austin Children’s Museum.

    Keep in mind: The city is divided into 100+ neighborhoods, most of which are safe for families. Brentwood or Hyde Park are also safe options if you want to save money by staying 10-20 minutes out of the city. Keep in mind that expenses may balance out (you will either pay more for the central location and incur less transportation fees, or you will save on the accommodation and spend more on commuting).

    Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Austin

    • Luxury: The Four Seasons Hotel

      The Four Seasons Hotel in Austin is a lakefront property that creates a luxurious experience for every age group. As a kid- and pet-friendly hotel, there are rooms offered specifically to host larger families and all indoor spaces are smoke-free to create a safe environment for children. There is an outdoor pool and games for the kiddos, while parents can relax at the spa, bar, fitness center, or restaurant overlooking Ladybird Lake. Babysitting is available for an additional fee.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      The Four Seasons Hotel
    • Mid-Range: The Fairmont Austin

      The Fairmont Austin is a moderately-priced accommodation for waterfront views, an outdoor pool, and proximity to everything you could need. There are several dining options to choose from, including Rules & Regs, Good Things, Fulton, and In-Room Dining. Parents can unwind in the Wellness Center or wake up slowly with a sauna session. You are close to Mount Bonnell, The Austin Museum of Art, and Waterloo Park.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Fairmont Hotel in Austin, Bird's eye view of pool
    • Budget: Radisson Hotel Austin

      This budget-friendly stay provides all of the most dazzling attractions within arm’s reach! Delivering value at an economical rate, guests will be welcomed to free breakfast at The Crossroads Grille and can relax with after-dinner drinks in the hotel lobby. Sunbathe the afternoon away in the outdoor pool or unwind with friends in the hot tub. This centrally-located property has the bare necessities along with bang for your buck, stay once and you’ll understand the Radisson’s high ratings for location, cleanliness, and affordability.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Radisson Hotel, Pool, Austin Hotels
  • 2. Where to Visit for Nature & Healing

    Barton Springs, Hamilton Pool, State Parks

    Hamilton Pool, Austin nature, swimming preserve
    Hamilton Pool Preserve; 45 minutes West of Austin

    Why these areas are great: Austin is one of the most healing places you can find in the Texas Hill Country. It is filled with stunning nature options like natural swimming holes, hiking trails, biking trails, dog parks, rivers, lakes, and numerous ways to rejuvenate yourself.

    Keep in mind: The city is sprinkled with options in every direction and you do not need to leave the city limits for adventure. Barton Springs is my absolute favorite oasis in the middle of town! Pro tip: There is a paid side that feels like a manmade pool, but I prefer the unpaid side that is natural and untouched. It is first-come-first-serve, so be sure to arrive early!

    Parks & Hiking:

    • Mount Bonnell
    • Enchanted Rock
    • Austin’s Green Belt
    • St. Edward’s Park
    • Bastrop State Park
      • Waterfalls:

        • Twin Falls
        • Sculpture Falls
        • McKinney Falls State Park
        • Pedernales Falls State Park
          • Swimming & Water Sports:

            • Jacob’s Well
            • Lake Austin
            • Ladybird Lake
            • Lake Marblefalls

    Best Hotels For Nature Access

    • Luxury: The Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa

      For the best landscapes, escape the fast pace of downtown and stay somewhere a little more secluded. Boasting a 9/10-star rating, The Omni Resort & Spa is a wellness-lovers paradise! Located 20-minutes from Downtown Austin, the resort offers 3 outdoor pools, 1 indoor pool, 2 hot tubs, 4 award-winning golf courses, 10 tennis courts, 7 restaurants and bars, as well as a full-service spa. Amenities of this scale warrant a much higher price point and there is something for the entire family. Take the kids for a round of mini-putt-putt, get a full-body massage after yoga class, then treat yourself to a romantic dinner at the onsite restaurant, Bob’s Steak & Chop House.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Omni, luxury hotel in Austin hillside, Texas hill country
    • Mid-Range: Walnut Cabins in Fredericksburg

      Get off the beaten path for this 1-hour road trip to Fredericksburg. This taste of Napa Valley is nestled quaintly in the Texas Hill Country where the soil is rich in limestone, sunshine, and layers of preservative clay. This results in aromatic flavors and diversity of tannins that any wine connoisseur will love! There are more than 100 wineries in the area so you will easily stumble upon tasting rooms, cave tours, craft beer, and wildflowers blooming for miles. The Walnut Cabins offers a moderately-priced stay and hiking trails wrap around the property. This detour could be the perfect day-trip from Austin, or you may consider splitting your time between the city and the countryside.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Nature, Fredericksburg, Texas Wine Country
    • Budget: Springhill Suites by Marriott

      Explore the emerald green waters of Hamilton Pool Preserve and savor the idyllic canyon, hiking trails, 50-foot waterfall, and surrounding grotto. You’ll also be nearby Lake Travis for boat rentals, jet skis, kayaking, tubing, and fishing. Springhill Suites by Marriott Austin West/Lakeway will give you the best of both worlds (the peace of nature with proximity to city excitement!)

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Springhill Suites by Marriott, Austin hotels
  • 3. Best Neighborhoods for Nightlife

    Red River Cultural District, 6th Street, Rainey Street

    Austin Nightlife, Sixth Street
    East 6th Street at Night; Austin, TX

    Why these areas are great: Downtown Austin has legendary music, trendy cocktails, and plenty of options to curate your own experience. If you’re looking to stumble upon live music, the Red River Cultural District is your safest bet. The notorious 6th Street is a stretch with a club-like atmosphere and enough gritty biergartens to attract indie rockers too. Rainey Street was once a quiet residential area but has been converted into a hub for restaurants and bars, making it ideal for Sunday Brunch.

    Keep in mind: 6th Street is the most well-known area when researching Austin’s nightlife, but it is also the rowdiest with higher crime rates. Traffic shuts down on the weekends and thousands of people roam the streets while cops stand by onguard (picture Vegas mixed with Bourbon Street, adding a touch of Millennial rebellion). It can feel quite normal in the daylight, but the locals refer to this area as ‘Dirty Sixth,’ for a reason. By night, it is not family-friendly and you may want to stay on West Sixth, which is considered much classier.

    Best Hotels for Austin Nightlife

    • Luxury: Hotel Van Zandt

      Spoil yourself with a nightcap in the onsite bar of the Hotel Van Zandt. This swanky spot will transport you through time to a Gatsby-like era. The lounge frequently hosts live musical performers, inviting you to sit back and enjoy craft cocktails from their award-winning menu. You’ll enjoy multiple restaurants, a rooftop pool, a fitness center, and in-room massage and body treatments. In fact, you may not want to leave the hotel!

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Hotel Kimpton Van Zandt, Austin Bar Scene, Nightllife
    • Mid-Range: The LINE Austin

      The LINE Austin is the perfect blend of indulgence and moderacy. In the heart of downtown, this hotel offers multiple dining options, a wellness spa, saltwater pool, canoe rentals, and free bike rentals. Guests will be treated to lakeview rooms in every suite, with a sun terrace and free parking. Pre-game with drinks here before your night on the town!

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      The Line Hotel, Austin, Sunset, Nightlife
    • Budget: Hotel Indigo

      This is by far my favorite affordable hotel in the city! I have stayed at The Hotel Indigo Austin Downtown at least six times and always have a wonderful time. Before you explore the local scene, soak up a sunset view from the rooftop pool as you sip on their delicious cocktails. Major perks for me include the reasonable rate, free breakfast, free parking (something that cannot be taken for granted in Austin!), and a central location that can’t be beat!

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Hotel Indigo, Austin, Nightlife, Rooftop Bar
  • 4. Where to Stay for Art Lovers

    East Austin, South Congress

    Hope Gallery, Austin Art Scene
    Hope Gallery; Graffiti Park in East Austin

    Why these areas are great: The hippest neighborhood is undeniably East Austin. Most galleries will be concentrated in this district and there are some fantastic photo-ops since you will be surrounded by murals, colorful buildings, and quirky shops. Check out South Congress, (also known as ‘SoCo;’ a Texas landmark). It is probably the city’s most popular street for tourists and despite this, it still has an authentic energy and nostalgic charm. Check out the vinyl record stores, candy shops, and the most idiosyncratic flea market you’ve ever seen, Uncommon Objects.

    Keep in mind: Southern hospitality can be found throughout Texas; it’s in our roots. But frankly, the locals are overwhelmed by the influx of growth (Millennials making up 31% of Austin’s population and the population nearing 1-million with a projected growth rate of 27% by 2030). Locals have earned a reputation for being a bit pretentious and snooty, but I think they are just protective over the identity behind ‘keep Austin weird.’ Regardless, Austin has been voted in ‘The Top 5 Friendliest Cities,’ and you shouldn’t have an issue making connections as long as you are friendly and respectful of the liberal lifestyle.

    Best Hotels in Austin for Art & Design

    • Luxury: Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts

      This one really calls for a collage! Styled in contemporary glamor, the Commodore Perry Estate offers world-class accommodations and celebrity treatment. This artistic palace is one of a kind and may actually take your breath away! With an ambiance that feels carefully preserved from the English Regency Era of the 19th century, the 10-acre property is filled with all kinds of whimsical magic. If you are looking for artistic expression mixed with opulence, look no further.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts in Austin
    • Mid-Range: The East Austin Hotel

      The East Austin, a 9-star rated boutique hotel, is a design-lover’s dream. Each room has a unique theme, yet the feel throughout is cohesive. Filled with colorful bars and restaurants that locally-source fresh foods, you will be blown away by the intention put into every detail. This hippie refuge also offers onsite activities such as morning yoga, game nights, karaoke, talent shows, and community watch parties for important television events.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      The East Austin Hotel, Art, Design, pink decor
    • Budget: The Austin Motel

      Don’t be intimidated by the word ‘motel;’ This retro inn is a gem! Built in 1938, this original Austin landmark will welcome you with the same neon sign that has been illuminating SoCo for nearly 100 years. They’ve recently renovated their 41-room motel and the aesthetic is simply captivating. You’ll discover unique murals in every suite, an outdoor pool, an onsite bodega (market), and a community garden where everyone is free to mingle. Keep in mind – The Austin Motel is still moderately priced due to its central location on South Congress. If you’re looking for a better deal, aim to visit on the weekdays for a lower rate.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      The Austin Motel, South Congress in Austin, TX, Retro, Vintage, Inn
  • 5. Best Places for Foodies

    Ceasar Chavez, University Place, East Austin, Lake Travis

    The Oasis Restaurant on Lake Travis in Austin
    The Oasis Restaurant on Lake Travis in Austin, TX

    Why these areas are great: Combining Texas BBQ with Hispanic flair, the flavors of this town are in a league of their own. Any of these neighborhoods will give you countless options for local bites. Franklin’s on 11th Street is a must-visit for BBQ (arrive early because the lines can wrap around the block). Other famous eateries include Loro, Homeslice Pizza, Hillside Farmacy, and Cuantos Tacos. My favorites are Il Bruto for a romantic dinner under the stars, and Enoteca Vespaio for a feast (both are rustic Italian). For cocktails, check out Whistlers, The Roosevelt Room, and Midnight Cowboy. If you’re up for a scenic road trip, The Oasis on Lake Travis is stunning at sunset.

    Keep in mind: As gentrification occurs, neighborhoods are quickly evolving and you will find a mix of new and old restaurants. Therefore, you can transport yourself to the past or experience something more modern. Keep in mind that most restaurants in Austin will be fully-booked on Friday and Saturday nights. Be sure to make a reservation at least 1-2 weeks in advance, 2 months in advance if the occasion is important to you. Arrive at lunch spots early or anticipate lines around the corner.

    Best Hotels in Austin for Dining

    • Luxury: Best Hotels in Austin for Dining

      Hotel ZaZa is a Texas staple! Found in Houston, Dallas, and Austin, they provide an experience with unparalleled comfort and an ideal location. Foodies will be elated by the options of 5 dining options to choose from, along with an onsite coffee bar. Group Therapy and Bob’s Steak & Chop House are the best options for drinks and fine dining. Merging a sophisticated style with avant-garde execution, this boutique hotel offers everything you could need. You will also gain access to a luxury spa retreat, rooftop pool, cabana bar, inclusive lunch, and lounge service.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Hotel Zaza, Austin Foodie, Steak and Wine
    • Mid-Range: The Driskill

      The Driskill/The Unbound Collection by Hyatt has been a guest favorite for decades. Cure your hangover with the incredible brunch offered at the onsite restaurant, 1886 Café & Bakery; (I haven’t stayed at this hotel, but I have visited the Café many times and adore soaking up the French quaintness in the middle of such a posh hotel). There are monthly beer tasting dinners hosted by a local brewery and guests can enjoy live music every night of the week.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      The Driskill, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Door
    • Budget: Holiday Inn Austin Midtown

      A foodie should always have a meal nearby, regardless of budget constraints. The Holiday Inn has an onsite restaurant, The Red Pepper Bar & Grille, with Texas BBQ and American fare. Happy hour specials are available in the bar and a top-rated breakfast is provided at an additional fee. As a budget-friendly way to stay only 10-minutes from the city center, you will have a plethora of meal options at your fingertips!

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Holiday Inn Austin Midtown, Restaurant
  • 6. Where to Stay for Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

    Northside, Downtown, Lake Austin

    Bachelorette Party on Lake Austin, Balloons, Celebrations

    Why these areas are great: Austin is top-rated as one of the best cities for bachelor or bachelorette parties. Adventure can fill each day and night so you won’t have any trouble packing your itinerary. Consider activities like pub crawls, Austin food tours, water activities on Lake Austin, shopping down West Fifth, and a thrilling Downtown nightlife that will give you enough stories to last a lifetime.

    Keep in mind: Bookings for larger groups will need to be made significantly in advance (4-6 months in most cases), especially if you have any special requests like adjacent rooms or private events. Inquire about the group rate as hotels often offer a discount for parties over 8-10 people.

    Best Hotels for Bachelor & Bachelorette Celebrations

    • Luxury: Lakeway Resort & Spa

      For a more elevated bridal experience, treat your girlfriends to the getaway of a lifetime. The Lakeway Resort & Spa overlooks Lake Travis and caters to your every sense. Unwind in the 3-tier infinite pool with a swim-up bar, full-service spa, hot tub, and countless restaurants. Sip on fine wine by the fire, watch the sunset over the lake, and enjoy this private escape (only a 25-minute commute to Central Austin).

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Lakeway Hotel Resort & Spa overlooking Lake Austin, Pool
    • Mid-Range: Canopy by Hilton

      One of my favorites on this list, The Canopy by Hilton is located in Downtown Austin and creates a real home away from home. You can release all worries with everything on-hand: Versatile dining options, multiple bars, free bikes, a rooftop pool, and a canopy-draped garden that lives up to its name. Relax on the sun terrace and explore the nearby attractions (you will be perfectly nestled between the artistic East Side and exciting City Center).

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Canopy by Hilton, hotel garden, fireplace, cozy
    • Budget: Austin Southpark Hotel

      What it lacks in glamor, it makes up for in convenience and affordability. Opt for a more economical stay at the Austin Southpark Hotel where you will enjoy an onsite restaurant, a bar, a spa, 2 pools, a hot tub, champagne on-call, and other generous amenities that make this location a great find!

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Austin Southpark Hotel, Pool
  • 7. Best Hostels in Austin, Texas

    Hostel living, bunk beds

    Why these areas are great: Hostels are a communal and affordable way to visit many global destinations. They are located in the most popular cities, making it easy to travel in a group or solo while meeting interesting people from all around the world.

    Keep in mind: Although they are cost-effective, hostels will normally require a room-share with 4-6 people per suite (sometimes, there are private rooms available for purchase at a higher rate). You should be aware of the following:

    • You may lack a degree of privacy
    • There is a risk of theft
    • Bathrooms and common spaces are generally co-ed
    • You will need to bring your own toiletries
    • Some hostels may have a curfew and won’t let you in late
      • Pro tip: Bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper. The walls are typically thin in these older buildings and someone will inevitably snore.

    Best Austin Hostels

    • Best Location: Firehouse Hostel

      Built into Austin’s oldest standing fire station, this one-of-a-kind nook offers charm in spades! You’ll find hand-crafted cocktails in their lounge, live music, a hidden bookshelf, and a complimentary continental breakfast. For some of the best prices in town and a community vibe, this hideaway may become your new go-to.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Hostel built into Austin Firehouse, team of happy employees behind bar
    • Best for Party-Goers: Native Hostel Austin

      The Native is one of Austin’s best-kept secrets. For the curious travelers and wandering nomads, Native offers a historical experience in a factory that was built in 1897. With bunk-style rooms, it has 65 beds, a full bar, a restaurant, and a coffee shop, as well as 2-block access to downtown. You can choose from a 4- or 6-person bedroom; There are 4 private rooms with single beds. (Warning – This is a rambunctious location next door to a tequila-fueled bar. The DJ’s set may go past 2 a.m. So if you are sensitive to noise, you may want to consider an alternative).

      View Rates on HostelWorld.com ➜

      The native hostel bar, Austin hostels
    • Best Overall Value: HOSTEL 512

      HOSTEL 512 provides a sleek accommodation for adults only. It comes equipped with a game room, shared garden, terrace, and lounge. This location offers community-living at a great value. You will also receive free WiFi, private parking, and a balcony for every room.

      View Rates on Booking.com ➜

      Exterior at night of Hostel 512 in Austin
  • 8. Best Area to Stay in Austin Without a Car

    Downtown, East Austin, Medical Center

    Man riding scooter, Austin Transportation

    Why these areas are great: Not only is Austin one of the most walkable cities in the U.S., but its public transport system is more developed than most urban areas. Tourists have many options to choose from, including The MetroRail, MetroBus, MetroRapid, the new High-Frequency Route Networks, as well as bicycle and scooter rentals on nearly every corner. As with most major cities, the typical cab services will be accessible, such as Yellow Cab, Lyft, Uber, Zipcar, and ride-share companies like Fasten.

    Keep in mind: The Capital Metro System will cover most urban neighborhoods and runs every 30-minutes (between 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. CST). MetroBus tickets are $1.25 per trip or $2.50 for a day pass (rates may fluctuate). You can also take the scenic route with a bike or scooter rental. The Scooter invasion has led to the most ‘Austin’ method of transportation (11K+ electric scooters now scattered around the city with more projected to appear before SXSW). City regulation states that you must not obstruct pedestrian paths and sidewalks, but you may notice that people don’t always abide by these rules.

    *Best hotels to stay without a car – Anywhere central or Downtown Austin. East Austin and the Medical center are also near the Cap Metro Access Points.

Where NOT to Stay in Austin, Texas

Austin is a very safe city, but as with any metropolis, there are a few areas you may want to avoid. I recommend staying East of I-35 and steering clear of Martin Luther King-Hwy 183. Austin voters recently banned the thousands of homeless people from camping under the highway bridges, but there are still shelters around 7th and Neches.

I would also avoid Govalle because the overall crime rate is 33% higher than the national average. Women should be more cautious at night, but the risk of a female-targeted crime in Austin is still below the national average.

What to Bring to Austin - Essential Packing List

  • 1. Cooling Towels

    The Texas heat is scorching and should not be underestimated. Be sure to plan intentionally for your time outdoors by drinking lots of water and keeping this cooling towel handy. These microfiber cooling towels are absorbent and hypoallergenic with a convenient size that makes them easy to bring with you anywhere.

    cooling towel

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 2. Backpack/Daypack

    A daypack can make your entire trip more organized by avoiding heavy bags and keeping all belongings in easy reach. This product has breathable mesh straps and is impressively compact, folding into the size of a sandwich. A must-have for any globe-trotter.

    Daypack

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 3. Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes

    Water shoes will be essential for rocky, underwater terrains like Barton Springs, McKinney State Falls, and other natural preserves. This brand is ideal for activities that use both land and water, meaning you won’t have to lug around an extra pair of shoes. This brand is lightweight, quick-drying, and non-slip.

    waterproof slip-on shoes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 4. Insulated Water Bottle

    Texas has regular heat waves that leave people vulnerable to heat strokes. I cannot stress enough that you must carry water with you at all times and ensure you are avoiding dehydration by consuming the recommended 64-ounces per day. Listen to your body and try to avoid direct sunlight from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. when ultraviolet rays are at their strongest. This hydro flask is a great investment for travelers, insulated and BPA-free.

    Insulated Water Bottle

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 5. Luggage Locks

    These are the perfect addition to your checked luggage or hostel stay! For peace of mind, always pack luggage locks to secure your day bag or suitcase to prevent potential theft. These heavy-duty locks are designed to keep thieves out but still allow TSA to examine bags when passing through security. This brand gives 1% back to the planet and supports sustainability, making this product a rewarding investment that will serve you in all of your future travels.

    luggage locks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for Austin

    Travel does not always go smoothly; This is why the U.S. State Department advises domestic travelers to always carry travel insurance. You will protect your investment against trip cancellations, delayed flights, lost or stolen luggage, unforeseen medical emergencies, and high medical transportation fees (especially considering that your medical insurance is likely not covered overseas). We recommend TravelInsurance.com to compare policies from the top companies and find one that best suits your needs.

    Travel Insurance for Austin

    Compare deals on TravelInsurance.com ➜

  • 7. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    The growth of Austin’s tech sector is outpacing the national average – meaning a lot of potential hackers could be nearby. Protect your online security as you connect to public WiFi networks in cafes, hotels, airports, and music venues. VPNs provide a private network that will protect your passwords, credit card information, and sensitive personal data. It will also keep you online regardless of the local signal strength, making it an added layer of security and connectivity that you can’t afford to forgo. Protect your identity and any device at an affordable cost.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    View options at NordVPN.com ➜

FAQs about visiting Austin

  • 1. When is the best time of year to visit Austin?

    Austin is a good idea at any time of year. March and October are best-suited to trips centered around live music. The Austin Rodeo and SXSW (South by SouthWest) are both in March. By October, hundreds of performers are scattered around venues for ACL (Austin City Limits). Fall is considered the peak season for Austin due to ACL and lower temperatures.

    If you do not tolerate the heat well, avoid the Summer months of June through September when Texas can exceed 100°F with high humidity. It can be unbearable and even the locals are looking for a way to beat the heat.

    Temperatures will drop in the Spring and Fall, but simultaneously, prices will skyrocket for major festivals. We recommend booking well in advance to get ahead of the rate inflation.

  • 2. What are the best places to stay for ACL (Austin City Limits Festival)?

    Saint Cecilia hotel austin

    ACL is a cultural pillar for locals and tourists alike. Considering that ACL Fest created an economic impact of nearly $400-million in 2021, upcoming years may continue to scale in growth and positively serve the Texas capital. The capacity of the festival is 75,000, but approximately 450,000 people attended the city-wide event in 2021. Due to all of this, prices are gauged and you will want to book far in advance.

    Hotel Saint Cecilia

    The Hotel Saint Cecilia is, to put it simply, A vibe. This music-themed hotel is the best way to kick off your ACL weekend with classy decor and an exclusive energy that reflects their intimate 14-room accommodations. You’ll fall in love with the neon signs, marble tables, retro furniture, a fireplace lounge, community sun terrace, and secluded location. The pool feels like a private oasis despite being right next to SoCo. And after walking through busy festival crowds all day, you’ll be craving this little getaway in the middle of town. Sip a cocktail at sunset and enjoy views of the skyline, SOUL is absolutely oozing from this place!

    Honorable Mentions:

    • JW Marriott Austin
    • Hotel Ella
    • Kimber Modern
    • Stephen F Austin Royal Sonesta Hotel
    • The Carpenter Hotel
    • Holiday Inn Austin Midtown
  • 3. What are the best places to stay for SXSW (South by Southwest Festival)?

    In 2019 (pre-pandemic), the SXSW Conference & Festivals (in addition to SXSW EDU and SXSW Gaming Conventions) drew in approximately 418,000 attendees and generated more than $355-million for the city.

    SXSW will be different from ACL because it is a more comprehensive experience and the entire city comes out to express itself! While ACL is dedicated to mostly musical performances, SXSW will include live music, film screenings, discussion panels, celebrity appearances, business conferences, art installations, and more.

    Therefore, SXSW will draw in a more diverse crowd and you may see every type of person coexisting in harmony (rockers, CEOs, folk singers, wellness coaches, film directors, tech gurus, etc.)

    Hampton Inn Austin

    The Hampton Inn is more mainstream than most options on this list, but you may not find a better deal for the central location (note that rates fluctuate almost daily and prices will be higher during festival season). With skyscraper views, it is located one block from most venues and you will have easy access to everything you need.

    Honorable Mentions:

    • W Hotel Austin
    • Hilton Hotel
    • The Guild Lavaca St.
    • Springhill Suites Austin South
    • Days Inn by Wyndham University/Downtown

      • As you can see, Austin has a bit of everything and you can tailor your experience to what your soul is most craving. Happy travels!