Even frequent tourists, much alone first-timers, may find it difficult to choose a place to stay in Austin since the city is filled with diverse arts, mouthwatering cuisine, and outdoor activities abounding. Having a time crunch and just wanting to see the highlights? Starting in downtown is usually a wise move. Maybe you’re a hipster youngster who wants to browse antique stores and relax at a few dive bars with friends. Head east. Or are you hoping to indulge in some opulent R&R by the lake? West is, in fact, greatest. And that’s only the beginning; there are many more worthwhile places to explore North, South, and across the middle.
Good news if you need a little assistance in determining what’s best for you! Within those nodes, we’ve selected five excellent neighborhoods that stand out from the crowd. bursting with fun activities around every corner, unique character in classic ATX style, and many of them are even walkable (which, in Texas, is a huge bonus). With our list to the best places to stay in Austin TX, be ready to check in and have an awesome time.
1. Downtown Austin
Downtown Austin is the starting point for a jam-packed weekend of excitement since it is a hive of activity day and night. Although the central center is small enough to stroll around, there are plenty of must-do activities there, from the most romantic restaurants to unique sightseeing excursions. Take an early-morning walk around the museums, then eat all over the city before enjoying one of Austin’s numerous comedy performances and the downtown nightlife.
You’re aware of such huge plates that help the undecided? That’s an overview of Fareground. You may food-hop for your appetizer, main course, side dish, and dessert in Austin’s first food hall, which is situated at One Eleven Congress. Our top recommendations include the guacamole and queso at Taco Pegaso, the rotisserie chicken at Austin Rôtisserie, and an Israeli dessert from TLV. There are two on-site bars where you may have a drink.
The hottest nightlife destination in downtown offers a sinfully fantastic time (it is spiritually themed, after all). Stained glass windows, religious objects, and a DJ booth constructed from an old organ decorate the ancient structure. Consider a cocktail inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins, such as Lust (tequila, mezcal, absinthe, strawberry syrup, and blackberries) or the devilishly delicious Gluttony (vodka, heavy cream, coffee liquor, and nutmeg).
Austin is Texas’ Live Music Capital, and it knows how to put on a show. The Paramount Theatre is Downtown’s best venue for performances of all kinds, including music, comedy, cinema, musicals, lectures, drag shows, and more. The oldest theater in Austin was founded in 1915, and celebrities like Miles Davis and Dr. Maya Angelou have performed there. A simple glance at their events schedule will undoubtedly reveal something to pique your interest. Their annual Paramount Anniversary Gala is an Oscar Party-style night out for those wishing to turn it up in a gown (when Congress Avenue is converted into a red-carpet extravaganza).
The Fairmont Austin is the trendiest place to stay in town since it is a marvel of architecture and often serves as an official partner of almost every significant event. Although the hotel’s towering rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that allow visitors to take in cityscape views, you won’t want to spend the whole day in bed since there are so many social areas available that you won’t want to miss. The biggest rooftop pool in the city is surrounded by palm palms and a very happy population, and below is the highly regarded Garrison restaurant, which is known for serving Austin’s finest steak.
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2. East Austin
East Austin is one of the communities in the city with the highest population growth, and it is very diverse. You’ll discover classic dive pubs with the greatest drinks in town, to start. In addition, this creative area is home to a ton of art galleries, vibrant street art, small shops, taquerias, and juice bars.
One thing about Old Thousand that Austinites like is that they produce the best Xiao Mian and Egg Rolls in the whole state (sorry, Houston). The hangout combines Chinese and Texan flair, making for a fantastic night out. They even accommodate vegetarians (Kung Pao Brussels? Yes, please) and offering a fantastic drink menu.
The bare stone walls at this famous location are lighted by flickering flames. Scranton Twohey, a seasoned Austin bartender, is in charge, and it’s the ideal spot to wet your Whisler (ahem). The Mezcaleria Tobala is an intimate space designed after the typical Oaxacan mezcal bar, located upstairs in addition to the main interior bar and a large outdoor terrace.
Urban Axes will enable you to vent, regardless of whether you have a vendetta. You and your friends may engage in friendly rivalry as you each hurl a 1.5-pound hatchet at an archery-style target at the end of a fenced-in lane. After you’re done, relax with some food and beverages (BYO cuisine, soda, beer, and wine) and talk about your methods.
East Austin creates a great first impression when you ARRIVE. As part of your check-in experience, you may saddle up to the bar and have a complimentary drink and snack. With polished marble that contrasts with concrete, wide windows next to a wooden bar, and the ideal amount of elegance and informality, this place exudes an industrial-chic ambiance. Pick between the on-site gin bar and Cartel Coffee Lab for your dose (both will give you a buzz).
3. South Congress
South Congress is a popular location even for locals, located just over the river from downtown. Along with some of Austin’s most well-known cafés, lively avenues are lined with hip stores and taco restaurants. Visitors come to this area of town from March to October in search of the 1.5 million bats that participate in a nightly migration, which is attracted by the Congress Avenue bridge. Then what? If you depend on public transit, this neighborhood is a good spot to stay since it has routes for many buses along Congress.
The greatest Indian food in Austin is on South First Street, so take a detour there. The long-established South Asian café and lounge, G’Raj Mahal, has evolved into Mumtaz Market. Authentic traditional curries and inventive interpretations of meals like the Pork Rechaad, Gnocchi Saag, and Seafood Malabar are abundant on the menu. Whether you’re having breakfast, lunch, happy hour, or supper, spice up your life by ordering a mango lassi.
This Music Lane Mediterranean eatery also serves as a great bar. Try one of the Israeli or Armenian Blanc de Blancs or cool down with Life on Freezy Street, a frozen drink that is best savored outside on the patio under the shade of the oak trees in Aba’s bar program, designed by Liz Pearce. Additionally, Aba offers a variety of non-alcoholic beverages in case it’s still too early for the booze (although in Texas, it is never too early).
The Continental Club, which is located on South Congress Avenue, first opened its doors in 1955. Since then, guests have included Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, Wanda Jackson, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, which is appropriate for a venue that frequently featured acts like Double Trouble, Paul Ray & the Cobras, and Joe Ely in the 1970s and 1980s. The performances in front of the famous red curtain elevate this venue to the top of SoCo’s live music scene despite the small stage and cramped space.
This residential-style boutique hotel Hotel Colton House has been quite popular since it opened on SoCo. Patrice Rios, an award-winning Austinite, created the interior decor, fusing Texan charm with modern elegance for a luxurious home-away-from-home experience. There are just 80 suite-style rooms total, all of which include kitchens, dining areas, sizable living rooms, and even washers and dryers. This preview will answer any questions you may have about life among Austin’s tech community. A heated outdoor swimming pool, an open area for playing bocce ball, croquet, and lawn bowling, as well as Simona’s, a coffee and cocktail bar, are some examples of the social spaces. The outdoor hangout was created around three 80-year-old historic oak trees.
4. North Loop
North Loop, which is just 10 miles north of the city center, is a laid-back area with unique cafés and stores. At five well-known consignment stores that are close to one another and provide a variety of records, clothing, and household goods, vintage enthusiasts will lose sight of time. This northern corner has a bohemian air that makes it the ideal informal destination for both tourists and residents.
For informal get-togethers and Sunday brunch, the modest North Loop eatery is a popular choice. Treat yourself to fried chicken biscuits or a cast iron frittata over the weekend. Grab some pals for a tasting menu for nighttime trips, or tuck into an entrée like butternut risotto. In search of a bargain? Take advantage of a happy hour discount to celebrate the tastes of Austin artisan beer.
Workhorse Bar is the perfect place for you if you’re a jukebox addict. Along with its comfort food-focused cuisine, this dive boasts a terrific selection of music. To fill your tummy while downing a few beers—which you should absolutely do, since the beer selection here is strong—go for the mac and cheese, substantial burgers, wings, and an oozing grilled cheese sandwich.
Richard Linklater, an Academy Award winner, has worked on many noteworthy projects, but the Austin Film Society stands out as being especially significant. AFS, which Linklater founded in 1985, helps Texas-based independent filmmakers and attracts the movie industry to Austin. Select from movies playing on two screens, each with a great sound system.
The modest and locally owned hotel Habitat offers all the room and independence of an Airbnb, even if the North Loop may not have the most opulent accommodations. For a private dinner experience of Japanese delicacies and sake delivered right to your suite, order in from OSOME, Austin’s at-home sushi adventure (selected by famous chef John Gocong). All suites feature dining rooms, making them the ideal setting for omakase. To that, kanpai.
5. South Lamar
South Lamar is your best option if living close to well-known outdoor attractions like Barton Springs and Zilker Park is a priority. Fantastic restaurants, stores, and everyone’s sweet passion, Lick Honest Ice Creams, can be found throughout the tiny but expanding area. It is a short distance from the Long Center for the Performing Arts, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, and the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. Want to check out a bustling location at night? Immediately after crossing the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, you will find yourself in the heart of the busy West 6th neighborhood.
A pleasant Korean delicacy, Jjim BBQ is known for its delectable braised ribs that may be shared. Glass noodles, braised kimchi, and mozzarella cheese are available as add-ons (hey, Texans love it), but if that all seems too much, Korean pancakes and hot seafood tofu soup are other fantastic options.
Even on the worst of days, Tiki will make you want to dance because to its gorgeous island setting, vibrant drink jars, strobe lighting, and cavern of riches hidden underneath Ramen Tatsu-Ya. Be cautious to line your stomach since the beverages are potent (the Pu Pu Platter of wings, tots, ribs, and other tasty nibbles should do nicely).
A nearby non-profit organization called ZACH produces small theatrical events that spark the imagination, uplift the soul, and include the neighborhood. The best actors and musicians in the city may be seen here presenting musicals and plays including Into the Woods, The Sound of Music, and A Christmas Carol. Nothing like it has ever been seen on Broadway or the West End.
The Guild, a network of apartments that caters to individuals who like to feel like they are living in an apartment as opposed to a hotel room, is your best option if you are looking for a rental in a growing residential neighborhood. The Guild South Lamar’s guest rooms each have a distinctive design that reflects Austin’s vibrant arts and cultural environment. Additionally, there is a fitness facility, a large outdoor pool, and on-site dining available to guests. The Highball, a well-known karaoke and trivia venue, is also conveniently located close by.
If you are planning to visit Austin TX, make sure that you pick one of these spots to secure an unforgettable vacation. Then you will be able to get the most out of your vacation, and you will surely fall in love with everything.