Yay, you’re visiting Austin! Where should you stay for your weekend visit to this amazing city? We’ll tell you! Since the Austin Things is owned and written by local Austinites, we know all the ins and outs of ATX. Here’s where to stay for your weekend visit.
Where To Stay In Austin For Your Weekend Visit
Why? Downtown Austin has some amazing hotels with incredible rooftop bars, year-round swimming pools, and crazy good views of the city. Downtown is also where you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Austin for brunch, happy hour, or dinner. There are some great spots to listen to live music in downtown Austin, a shopping district, plenty of murals to see, and even a food hall!
Stay in downtown Austin if: you prefer a hotel instead of an Airbnb, and you’re willing to splurge. (Prices are higher downtown.)
Things to do in Downtown Austin: see a show at the historic Paramount Theatre, eat an upscale dinner at Hestia Live-Fire Restaurant, catch some live music at the ACL Live Moody Theater, visit one of these rooftop bars in downtown Austin, relax by your hotel pool, check out the Tau Ceti tallest mural in Austin, go to Garage for cocktails.
2. South Congress
Why? South Congress is one of our top picks to recommend to first-time visitors because it’s the hottest tourist section of Austin. South Congress Ave is home to some amazing shopping, iconic instagrammable places like the famous “I Love You So Much” mural, funky hotels, houses you can rent, and music venues like The Continental Club.
Stay in the South Congress area if: you want to be in the most iconic part of Austin.
Things to do on South Congress: eat brunch at Aba, see some live music a C-Boy's Heart & Soul, check out the Kendra Scott flagship store, get an iced turbo coffee at Jo's, lounge by the kidney-shaped Austin Motel pool, afternoon happy hour at June's Neighborhood Wine Bar, and see the Congress Bridge bats in the evening.
3. East Austin
Why? East Austin is the new up-and-coming part of Austin for twenty- and thirty-somethings. It has a bunch of bars, breweries, boutique hotels, and a TON of really great restaurants. It’s a very walkable area and it’s just a quick ride share (or a long walk) from downtown.
Stay in east Austin if: you’re a foodie. East Austin is home to the best bbq and tacos in Austin. If you care more about visiting restaurants, breweries, and bars (and you care less about shopping) then you’ll love east Austin.
Things to do in East Austin: Go to Lolo Natural Wine bar, get some of the best BBQ in Austin at Franklin Barbecue, catch a concert at the Historic Scoot Inn, visit these 10 cool East Austin coffee shops, check out some craft breweries like Lazarus, Zilker, and Blue Owl.
4. Rainey Street
Why? While it’s technically part of downtown, Rainey Street is its own little section of bars and nightlife. There’s a great hotel there (Hotel Van Zandt, a Kimpton Hotel), or you can find a house to rent nearby. If you’re visiting Austin for a bachelor or bachelorette party, you’re probably going to wind up on Rainey Street anyway.
Stay on Rainey Street if: you want to drink and party for the whole weekend. Rainey Street has bars, brunch spots, food trucks, and a hotel with one of the best rooftop pools in Austin.
Things to do on Rainey Street: Reserve a table at upscale dinner restaurant Emmer & Rye, get a cabana at the rooftop pool at Hotel Van Zandt, bar-hop to your heart's content, brunch at Banger's, catch some live music at Parlor Room, caffeinate at Little Brother Bar.
5. Literally Anywhere in Austin
Why? Austin really isn’t all that large. If you book a house or an airbnb in literally any other part of Austin, you can ride share to downtown, Rainey, South Congress, or anywhere else for probably $20 or less.