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Music-Filled Trip to Austin

The upstairs bar at Lamberts Downtown Barbecue.

Photo: João Canziani

The Texas capital is home to a rollicking music scene. T+L takes a spin through its roadhouses and saloons. Read the article

Destinations: Austin · Hill Country

Inspired by: Austin's Hot Music Scene — by Matt Lee, Published Jan. 2010

Hotels (4)

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    Hotel Saint Cecilia

    Hotelier Liz Lambert’s newest property is a music-inspired retreat in a former Victorian manse. Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews were recent guests.

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    Hotel San José

    Located in the modern bohemian neighborhood of South Congress (or SoCo), the über-hip San José Hotel has 40 sleek, minimalist guest rooms with eart

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    The Driskill

    Built in 1886 by cattleman and ex-Confederate Colonel Jesse Driskill, whose goal was to create a “frontier palace,” The Driskill continues to be on

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    Four Seasons Hotel, Austin

    Unpretentious oasis on Lady Bird Lake; public spaces are distinctly Southwestern (a hide-covered sofa and the like). 

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Restaurants (9)

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    Walton’s Fancy & Staple

    Sandra Bullock owns this flower shop, bakery, and deli where the motto is Perishable, cherishable, fetishable.

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    Jo’s

    The coffee house is adjacent to the Hotel San José and is perfect for iced coffees and people watching.

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    Hoover’s Cooking

    At this unassuming restaurant in Cherrywood, local chef-owner Hoover Alexander serves Deep South—style comfort food with Tex-Mex, Cajun, and Jamaic

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    El Borrego de Oro #2, Austin

    Order the birria, a hearty Mexican goat stew. The light burgundy broth has an oily sheen, and should be showered with minced jalapeño, onion, cilan

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    Blue Star Cafeteria

    This updated version of the traditional diner concept is not, in fact, a cafeteria at all but a sit-down restaurant popular for its take on traditi

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    Bess Bistro on Pecan

    Bess translates an idealized French bistro into western terms (pewter bar; encaustic tile; distressed mirrors). Yes, it serves killer steak frites,

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    Counter Café

    Stop by for grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, cult-favorite Coca-Cola from Mexico, and a stellar burger topped with crumbly cheddar.

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    Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

    The postmodern barbecue joint, housed among mid-construction condo buildings in an airy, historic brick warehouse, delivers outstanding barbecued c

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    Wink

    Despite its unassuming strip mall location, this New American restaurant is often lauded as one of the best in the city. The dining room is intimat

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Activities (10)

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    Town Lake Kayaking

    The calm waters of Lady Bird Lake, the dammed portion of the Colorado River that runs through Austin, provide an excellent vantage point to experie

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    Mexic-Arte Museum

    Art from South of the Border includes several José Clemente Orozcos and Rufino Tamayos (and a number of other painters of a heroic, postrevolutiona

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    Barton Springs Pool

    Three-acre watering hole has lifeguards and diving boards just like a swimming pool, but its 68-degree waters are fed by underground springs. Don’t

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    Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria

    An Art Deco house set on 12 waterfront acres, featuring a rotating collection.

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    Longbranch Inn

    The Longbranch Inn, which is not an inn at all but a small dive bar on a corner in gritty but renascent East Austin, is a popular neighborhood bar

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    Broken Spoke

    The Broken Spoke has been around since 1964, when this classic honkytonk was on Austin’s rough-and-tumble outskirts. While strip mall development

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    Austin City Limits Music Festival

    The Austin City Limits Music Festival is an annual three-day event held every October in Zilker Park with more than 100 artists covering a wide spe

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    Hamilton Pool Preserve

    Long privately held but open to the public because its owners didn't feel right about not sharing it, Hamilton Pool is now the centerpiece of a nat

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    Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon

    This cramped honky-tonk isn’t licensed to sell spirits but does provide the setup—the ice and juice—for only a few dollars.

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    Continental Club, Austin

    Music strikes a note in Austin, known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” so dance your way to this bar for blues, country rock, and rockabil

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