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Katie
Los Angeles

Katie from Los Angeles asked

What's the best neighborhood in Austin for a first time visitor?

I've never been to Austin and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the hotel options. I'd like to stay in a hotel that is central and gives me good sense of what Austin is like. I'd love to know where locals tell their friends to stay when they visit, and why those areas and hotels are special. thanks!

Austin (Texas)

12 Answers
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answered by
Janelle from Charleston

For a first-timer to Austin, I'd recommend staying downtown north of the river.  There are options at all budgetary ranges.  Austin's downtown is a great area, although it can get rather crowded and noisy on Friday and Saturday nights as the tourists and hipsters come out to party.  I don't know what your budget is, but I can tell you that if you can afford it The Driskill Hotel (a historic property with a great vibe) is a great place to stay.  Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown Convention Center is a great mid-range choice.  Another person recommended the Hotel San Jose - I haven't stayed there but I did have a few drinks with some friends at their courtyard bar and it's a great spot to hang out.  It does tend to draw the Birkenstock wearing, Taliban-bearded hipster sorts though, something to ponder if that's a turnoff for you.  When I was with Mum and Dad years ago we stayed at the Four Seasons, but I wouldn't recommend it as it is a bit stuffy.

On a side note, if you're going to have your own car, downtown Austin is a traffic gridlock 24/7 and driving through it is best avoided.  Leave the car at your hotel or at one of the lots on the outskirts of downtown and walk.  It's flat and the grid system makes it easy to find your way.


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Pat
Austin is the Cesspool of TX, The Berkeley of TX....Need I say anymore!
 

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Janelle
Pat V I agree...I wouldn't want to live there but Austin is a great place to visit for a long weekend, and there are plenty of spots in the vicinity to go visit to escape the left-wing bull feces and experience the "real" Texas :-)
 
 
 

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answered first by
Jessie

If you're not doing Airbnb to infuse yourself into an actual Austin neighborhood home (Hyde ParkTravis HeightsEast Austin depending on your scene), I'd go with Hotel San Jose on South Congress. I've never stayed in a room since, well, I already have a home here, but the hotel and immediate area are quintessentially Austin. Not just the Austin of today, but the area visitors [and certain crowds of hip locals] have flocked to for decades. You'll have a direct view up to the Texas State Capitol, and easy access to downtown when you're done checking out small businesses in that area. I tend to focus half of my trips around food, but just tell anyone who's been here for 10+ years what you're into (casual, quiet, bustling, nature-driven), and we'll hook you up with a good recommendation based on that. You're right, it's easy to get overwhelmed until someone helps you narrow down your options.


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  1. Austin (city)
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answered by
Eric

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answered by
Monica

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answered by
Sara
The Driskill Hotel is right in the middle of downtown Austin. Close to great restaurants, the Texas State CapitolThe University of Texas at Austin.

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answered by
Cole
I moved away in 2000, but I visit Austin frequently. Compared to Houston, where I live now, Austin hotel rates are very high. I generally try to find a quality chain that has the best price. Austin is too large to suggest a central location, unless you want to visit the University of Texas at Austin. You can sometimes find good rates at nice downtown hotels. I would opt for this. If you are ok with the rates at the Hyatt Regency Austin on Barton Springs Rd, that is pretty central to the entertainment action (dining and nightlife). But any hotel just north or south of the Colorado River will work. There was one place on South Congress that advertises an Austin vibe, but it seems to be just an updated old motel with really outrageous rates.
Best of luck.

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answered by
Brittany
The Driskill Hotel is a historical landmark hotel in downtown Austin. It has a great hotel bar and events. It's easy to get to 6th street, Eastside, and Rainey Street for bars and music venues.

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answered by
JL
Would suggest something downtown (JW Marriott AustinAustin Proper Hotel are excellent!) or South Congress Hotel)

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answered by
Kit
Austin Motel is awesome!  It's right on S. Congress, walking distance to many restaurants & shops. And they have a pool! I definitely recommend a pool if you're coming between May & September.

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answered by
Dana from Austin
Marriott Courtyard or Residence Inn, right next to each other.

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answered by
Lori
There are so many new hotels in downtown Austin. It depends on your pricepoint. 6th Street is the busy street where all the bars/music are located. Austin City Limits is filmed at the W hotel, but there are many hotels within walking distance of that as well. There are many tours you can take around Austin, including segway tours, if you want to try that. You can also rent scooters and bikes to jet around. Just be courteous of the drivers trying to get to and from work. There are riverboat tours, paddle boats, etc if you want to be on the water on Lady Bird Lake (Townlake).
Best of luck! Enjoy Austin.

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answered by
Steven

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