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where to stay, what to do, where to eat

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M R
Jerome, Idaho
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where to stay, what to do, where to eat

My sisters and I are travelling to Austin for our first ever trip sans kids. We're all in our 30's. We would love to stay downtown and we don't want to spend more than $400/night. Where do you recommend? We would also love some recommendations for food and activities. We're all runners and would appreciate a nice route around town/parks. As we're all foodies, where's the BEST food in town. Do you recommend a food tour?

Pearland, Texas
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1. Re: where to stay, what to do, where to eat

There's links over on the left about what to do in Austin.

My favorite hotel in Austin is The Driskill. Its a historic hotel directly on 6th street. Its on the pricey side and the rooms aren't as large (in many cases) as in modern hotels, but you can't beat it for service and style

Everyone's taste in food is different. What are you looking for? For TexMex Chuy's is a good choice (there are several in the city), and Rudy's is a good place for BBQ - there are also several of those. For steak's I like Sullivan's Steak House (its pricey), Italian - Carmelo's, and Japanese - Kenichi's. There are many good restaurants so its hard to say what is "best".

Round Rock, Texas
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2. Re: where to stay, what to do, where to eat

Check prior forum posts for hotel options (for $400/night, you'll have plenty of choices). You might also check out a downtown condo rental via Home Away.

Most downtown hotels will be easily within reach of the Town Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, which is great for runners.

I don't know of anybody who does an organized food tour - but you can easily create your own foodie experience in Austin. In addition to high-end restaurants and eating as much BBQ & Tex-Mex as you desire, check out the local food truck scene (many of which are surprisingly gourmet). Some of the most accessible trucks are located on SoCo (South Congress -- an area with fun shops & tons of other restaurants as well).

Czech Republic
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for San Antonio, Lubbock, Prague
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3. Re: where to stay, what to do, where to eat

you could also visit the workd headquarters of Whole Foods Grocery and

one of H.E.B. Central Markets ..both are foodie experiences

Edited: 17 February 2012, 07:08
djr
Austin, Texas
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4. Re: where to stay, what to do, where to eat

Although the 2012 poll isn't out yet, here's a link to the 2011 restaurant poll. Always double check to make sure the restaurant is still open. austinchronicle.com/Awards/RestaurantPoll/

On the poll I noticed #1 was LaCondesa, the pastry chef there was just named the "Best New Pastry Chef" by Food & Wine magazine. I'd look over the list (see both the readers & the critics polls) and develop your own tour... there is so much good food in Austin!

I also love to use yelp for reviews and to narrow by location. You will have plenty of great of choices down South Congress: Hopdoddy (burgers, beer and AMAZING milkshakes) Vespaio (italian) ... also the trailer eateries, Amy's Ice Cream, Gueros (not so much for the food -- although it's ok, but the atmosphere). Shift over to South Lamar for Uchi

If you've never ridden (driven?) a segway, there are several companies doing segway tours in the city which are fun. In addition to running, look into kayak, paddleboard or waterbike rentals (the options along Lady Bird Lake are all good options -- so a google or yelp search).

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: where to stay, what to do, where to eat

The Driskill gets my vote as a great downtown hotel. There's a concierge there who'll be very helpful with suggestions for restaurants and such. You might also look at San Jose Hotel on S. Congress, located amid all the shops and fun of S. Congress or the W hotel, new and in the middle of the 2nd St. District.

Lady Bird Lake is an easy walk from the hotels and the trail around it is a good way to get a feel for Austin.

The Austin Visitor Center has lots of info, maps and souvenirs. It's across the street from the Driskill. VC will also clue you into the mobile app for Austin that gets you some great discounts at restaurants and more.

Don't miss Chuy's for Tex Mex while you're here and plan to buy a t shirt there. T shirts with attitude that have been spotted around the world!

There is a food tour, info at the Visitor's Center but not sure it does anything you can't do on your own. Spend the money on food itself!

Start out the night with Esther's Follies at 6th and Red River. You'll be laughing long after you return home!

Welcome to Austin!

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: where to stay, what to do, where to eat

The Driskill is a beautiful hotel, but for $400 a night, I would look at either the Four Seasons - http://www.fourseasons.com/austin/ - or the Hotel Saint Cecilia - http://hotelsaintcecilia.com/#/about/ - off of South Congress. Rooms at both can be way over $400, but you can find rates below that depending on when you are planning to visit. The Four Seasons is a great location for running along Lady Bird Lake and within an easy walk of the downtown scene. The restaurant there - TRIO - is also highly rated. Hotel St. Cecilia is located on a secluded estate off of South Congress Ave., and it's where Mick Jagger stayed when the Stones did their last show in Austin. South Congress has lots of great restaurants and shops.

For food, here are the top two on my personal foodie list -

Uchi for sushi - http://www.uchiaustin.com/ - make reservations for an early dinner, or be prepared for a long wait, but it's worth it.

Olivia - http://olivia-austin.com/ - is upscale American with some European influences. It was one of Bon Appetit's 10 Best New Restaurants in America in 2009.

Hurst, Texas
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7. Re: where to stay, what to do, where to eat

Use. Biddingfortravel as an entry to priceline.com for good hotel prices in Austin

Hurst, Texas
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2 posts
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8. Re: where to stay, what to do, where to eat

Use. Biddingfortravel as an entry to priceline.com for good hotel prices in Austin

9. Re: where to stay, what to do, where to eat

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