Austin, Texas, United States

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Austin, Texas, United States

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Urban cool meets outdoor action in Austin

Deep in the heart of Texas, Austin has long been known for its world-class barbeque and lively arts and music scene. These days, it’s considered a tech industry hub and foodie destination for everything from breakfast tacos to microbrews. Austin’s urban core is relatively compact, so no matter where you book your vacation rental, you’ll be close to the food trucks, historic landmarks and late-night hotspots that put the city on the map. Centrally located neighborhoods downtown and in nearby Clarksville offer easy access to local favorites like 6th Street, Barton Springs and Zilker Park. Those looking to get a glimpse of the more eclectic side of Austin will find it in the hip eastside district, while the neighborhoods around South Congress are the epicenter for offbeat shopping and some of the city’s best dining. Family-friendly vacation rentals are plentiful in the quieter (but still entertaining) north-central communities of Allandale, Hyde Park and Brentwood.

Austin’s urban outdoors

When the sun’s out (over 300 days a year), Austinites head to their closest swimming hole to cool off. Take a dip in Barton Springs, the crown jewel of Austin, or explore Lady Bird Lake via SUP, kayak or canoe. Outdoorsy types will find plenty of opportunities to hike along one of the many shaded greenbelts without having to leave the city. If your idea of the great outdoors is shopping alfresco, you can get a breath of fresh air while browsing the stores along trendy SoCo or at the open-air Domain shopping mall.

Austin soundcheck

It’s only natural that the Live Music Capital of the World should host two of the most high-profile music festivals, ACL Fest and South by Southwest. Even if you’re not visiting during festival time, Austin’s nightlife is built around local and touring musical groups, so there’s always a show to catch. Travelers who want a taste of Texas history can enjoy a free tour of the domed Texas State Capitol building seven days a week. And be sure to put the South Congress Bridge at the top of your must-see list. There you’ll find locals and visitors alike lining the sidewalk at sunset to watch the city’s famous bat population take flight.

Spend an endless summer in Austin

Summers in Austin are blazing hot — if you’re visiting between June and September, expect temperatures in the 90–100° range. To beat the heat after a long day, book an Austin vacation rental with a private pool. Things cool off in the spring and fall, which are also high seasons for Austin’s many music and street festivals. If you’re visiting during these peak times, be sure to book your vacation rental months in advance as accommodations can be scarce. In the winter months, Austin makes a great getaway for outdoor enthusiasts, with mild weather perfect for hiking and biking.

Scenic views in and around Austin

Austin is located on the Colorado River, with three man-made lakes within city limits: Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake and Lake Walter E. Long. Lady Bird Lake, formerly Town Lake, divides the city between north and south and is the spot where locals like to hit the trails for a picturesque waterfront walk or run. Climbing Mount Bonnell’s 102 steps is well worth the effort, especially at sunrise or sunset. The natural limestone formation offers one of the best views in the city. And because Austin sits on the edge of the rolling landscape of the Texas Hill Country, it’s the perfect basecamp for daytrippers to experience the vineyards, lavender farms and small-town charm of nearby Fredericksburg and the surrounding area.

Attractions In and Around Austin

First time in Austin and looking for places to see? Don’t miss landmarks such as University of Texas Tower and unique cultural highlights like Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and Blanton Museum of Art. If some outdoor time is on the agenda, experience the natural beauty of Zilker Park, Zilker Botanical Garden and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

You could easily spend a day shopping at Southwood Center, Brodie Oaks Shopping Center and Barton Square Mall. If you have extra time, you might want to explore the campuses of University of Texas at Austin and Huston Tillotson University. Don’t forget to buy tickets if you want to attend a game or event at Frank Erwin Center or Mike A. Myers Stadium. Other popular places to visit in town include Governor's Mansion, Texas State Capitol and LBJ Presidential Library.