By Melissa Kravitz
April 23, 2019
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The campaign to keep Austin weird may or may not be succeeding — Austinites all have their own opinion about the rapidly changing city — but Austin certainly is unique, with distinct neighborhoods characterizing different facets of Austin city life. On Rainey Street, colorful former homes welcome in the partying hoards, while blocks away, on Sixth Street, traffic shuts down for University of Texas students and more visitors to roam between shot bars and bar parties spilling out into foot traffic. Pockets of Downtown Austin quiet down on the weekends, while more residential neighborhoods like East Austin and South Congress are at their best on weekend afternoons.

Here's where to stay in Austin, Texas. 

 

Where to stay in Austin for bachelorette or bachelor weekend: Rainey Street

One of two essential party areas in the city of Austin, Rainey Street is strewn with colorful houses-turned-bars, most with outdoor patios and spacious backyards for drinking and fueling up with food from nearby food trucks. DJs blast dance music throughout the bars well into the night (and early morning, if it’s a weekend) and the surrounding hotels carry on the party vibe when you eventually roll out of bed in the morning (okay, early afternoon).

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Where to stay near Rainey Street

Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt

This stylish music-themed property looms over Rainey Street. A pool with a spacious party deck and bar, as well as a connected restaurant, Geraldine’s, which hosts live music most nights, is packed with partiers and relaxers on sunny afternoons. A daily complimentary wine, beer and margarita hour in the Van Zandt’s lobby makes sure everyone is in a party mood before dark.

605 Davis St, Austin, TX 78701, (512) 542-5300, hotelvanzandt.com

To book: expedia.com

Fairmont Austin

With over 1,000 rooms and 37-stories high, the Fairmont, which opened just in time for South by Southwest in March 2018, is one of Austin’s largest (and glitziest!) properties. Inside, the vibe is Miami-meets-Texas, with colorful interiors, neon lights wherever you look and a palm-tree adorned pool area with outdoor TVs, plenty of lounge space and an enviable view of the Austin skyline.

101 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701, (512) 600-2000, fairmont.com

To book: expedia.com

Where to stay in Austin for cheap: Downtown Austin

A hub of activity during the workweek, Downtown Austin is where you’ll find the city’s skyscrapers, office buildings, and yes, hotels. Cheap deals can be found on weekends, when business travelers are less likely to be staying in downtown Austin, and the density of hotels means that prices remain reasonable throughout this central area.

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Where to stay in downtown Austin

The Line Hotel

Officially opened in June 2018, this trendy property housed in an iconic 1960s-era building is the result of a $75 million dollar renovation. Some rooms offer incredible views of Lady Bird Lake, as does the hotel’s restaurant, Arlo Grey, helmed by "Top Chef" winner Kristen Kish. Across the street, Austin’s first official food hall, Fareground, is just steps away for more bites by culinarily influential Austinites.

111 East Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701, (512) 478-9611, thelinehotel.com

To book: expedia.com

Native Hostel

This well-appointed, contemporary boutique hostel looks more like an after shot on a home renovation show than a traditional hostel. Think velvet curtains shielding bunk beds, wood flooring, exposed beams and brick walls, as well as plenty of Instagram-worthy decor. Private and shared rooms are available.

807 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78702, (512) 551-9947, nativehostels.com

To book: expedia.com

The Driskill

Known as the oldest operating hotel in Texas, this late 19th century hotel is packed with character. Now operated by Hyatt, guest rooms in the historic Romanesque building are a range in size, from petite rooms for those who just need a place to sleep to balcony-equipped suites.

604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, (512) 439-1234, thedriskill.hyatt.com

To book: expedia.com

Where to stay in Austin without a car: East Austin

Though areas of Austin are walkable, the city itself isn’t quite a Mecca for those who love strolling from site to site. East Austin, however, is easy to navigate and guided by pedestrian sidewalks that can take visitors from the new Rosewood restaurant, located in a Victorian home, to the farmer’s market and streets full of boutiques and old school Tex-Mex joints.

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Where to stay in East Austin

Hotel Eleven

This three-star boutique hotel nestled on Eleventh Street — across from a food truck park — offers spacious rooms, a communal rooftop with 360-degree views and a community feel, thanks in part to a casual cafe that also serves as the check-in area.

1123 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702, (512) 675-0011, hotelelevenaustin.com

To book: expedia.com

Heywood Hotel

Tucked into East Cesar Chavez Street, checking into this design-focused boutique hotel feels more like getting settled in a room at your friend’s dreamy Austin vacation home. Rooms are all uniquely and creatively appointed and the property is surrounded by walkable destinations.

1609 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702, (512) 271-5522, heywoodhotel.com

To book: expedia.com

Where to stay in Austin for a weekend: South Congress

One of the most recognizable areas of Austin to out-of-towners may be South Congress, a revitalized shopping and dining district with views of the Texas State Capitol building, as well as several now-famous Austin relics like the iconic “I Love You So Much” mural and vintage neon signage.

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Where to stay in South Austin

South Congress Hotel

Stylish, spacious and often full of locals at happy hour, this hotel is built on prime real estate on South Congress. A rooftop pool, as well as proximity to all of South Congress’ shops and restaurants sweeten the deal.

1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, (512) 920-6405, southcongresshotel.com

To book: expedia.com

Hotel San Jose

This forty-room bungalow-style hotel is a renovated version of a 1930s motor inn at the same location, though the new iteration is hypermodern and relaxed, with a spacious outdoor dining and drinking area and small backyard pool that attracts guests and Austinites alike.

1316 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, (512) 852-2350, sanjosehotel.com

To book: expedia.com

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