Austin may only be a few hours from Dallas/Fort Worth, but it seems like an entirely different world. Everyone in DFW loves Austin and the best places to go in Dallas are often loved because they resemble Austin. Besides the college atmosphere the University of Texas provides, the city itself has a vibe that is all its own. The city's slogan, "Keep Austin Weird" speaks to its individuality and the reason we love to travel there on weekends. There is so much to do in Austin that it can be overwhelming. That is where this guide comes in. Here, for your enjoyment, is a guide to a three-day weekend in Austin.
Hotel San Jose
1316 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78704
Hotel San Jose was built in 1936, but now has a hipster vibe with cement floors and minimalist décor. The rooms range in size from small with a shared bath to large courtyard suites. Each room is unique, and because of this, also vary in price, ranging from about $200 to $400 per night. It is located in the South Congress district, amidst restaurants and trinket and vintage shops, so you can easily take in the full Austin scene. It's also just a couple of blocks from the river, so a walkable distance to downtown.
242 W. Second St.
Austin, TX 78701
The original Jo's Coffee location is actually located next to Hotel San Jose, but this location has a more extensive menu. Not only does Jo's have the best coffee, but it also has breakfast and lunch. Grab a cup to go or sit and enjoy a meal. The free wi-fi means you can check your email if you just can't stay away from work all weekend. If you aren't in the mood for coffee, order a beer to sip while you work.
6th Street Nightlife
6th Street (between Brazos & Red River St.)
Austin, TX 78701
Probably the most well-known aspect of Austin is the nightlife, and that originates on 6th Street in downtown. Bars line both sides of the street with no space in between and live music abounds. After all, this is the live music capital of the world. Although the street is highly populated by UT college students at night, there are visitors of all ages that enjoy the famous strip as well, especially on home football weekends. The street is actually closed off to cars late at night, so bar patrons can roam freely from one place to the next.
Tube San Marcos
San Marcos City Park
San Marcos, TX 78666
If you haven't done a float trip, you must start now. New Braunfels is better known as a floating destination, but the San Marcos River is less treacherous and less crowed at peak times. San Marcos is also closer than New Braunfels, and since it is only 30 minutes from Austin, you can make it a day trip during your stay. Make sure to read up on all of the rules for coolers, Styrofoam and glass on the website before you go.
Run or Bike Austin
No matter what weekend you go to Austin, you will most likely encounter closed roads in the early morning. Almost every weekend, the city holds a race of some sort, whether it is a bike race, marathon or 5k. It is easiest to walk around downtown rather than drive, and that way the closures won't get in your way. An even better idea is to join in the race of your choice. There is a joint marathon/half marathon/5k coming up February 16, so adults and children can participate no matter what their level.
Emilie DesJardins currently works in Dallas television and worked with KRLD Restaurant Week for several years before that. She is always trying new places around the Metroplex to find the best food and unique things to do. See her work at Examiner.com.
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