Austin, Texas is a vibrant city and state capital located in the southern part of the United States. The city is divided by the Colorado River and offers a plethora of fun activities from shopping to kayaking, hiking, and biking. The city is also known as the “live music capital of the world” and is one of the best places to discover emerging American artists and catch legendary shows.
Austin has also made its mark on the culinary scene with world-famous restaurants from BBQ joints to Tex-Mex infusions. Wherever you stay in Austin, be sure to try migas, breakfast tacos, and schedule in a weekend brunch.
Finding the best hotel in Austin depends on what you want to do in the city. Some areas offer convenient access to nature activities while others are better suited for nightlife. This handy guide will help you find the best area to stay in Austin.
The Best Areas To Stay In Austin on Your Next Trip
If it’s your first time to Austin, you’ll probably stay near the downtown area. This is one of the best neighborhoods in town since it’s walking distance to most sightseeing and tourist attractions including instagrammable street art murals, nightlife, and outdoor activities. If you’re in town on business, you may prefer to pick a place to stay based on hotel amenities and access to public transportation. Things like a fitness center, pool, and spa can make your business trip feel like a pleasure. For frequent Austin visitors, a stay out in Hill Country or one of the newer hotels in town is a way to keep the exploring weird and fresh. Here are some of the best areas to stay in Austin next time you visit.
East Austin includes all neighborhoods east of Interstate 35. The east side has grown rapidly in recent years and is one of the most innovative and inspiring areas of the city. It’s also the best area to stay in Austin if you like a lively atmosphere. Each day new restaurants, cafes, and live music venues pop up n the neighborhood, offering a great opportunity to discover new places before everyone else does. Hotels in East Austin offer easy access to South Congress Avenue (SOCO) where you’ll find the famous bat colony and hipster hotspots. Grab a bite to eat at Via 313, which serves up Detroit-style pizza or grab a drink outside on the patio at Whisler’s. Here you’ll find budget hotels as well as more luxurious Austin hotels depending on your preferences.
The Heywood Hotel is a boutique hotel that offers a romantic touch with modern finishes. The hotel features 1920’s architecture and is located at the site of an old bungalow. The hotel features seven bright and airy suites and even offers the use of complimentary bikes so you can check out everything the neighborhood has to offer.
South Congress Hotel
The South Congress Hotel offers 71 guest rooms, 10 suites, and 2 premier suites with courtyard and views of South Congress Ave and Travis Heights. The hotel boasts a rooftop pool, lobby bar, and retail shops so you have everything you need to start exploring the city. The hotel is also home to Café No Sé — one of the best places in the city to grab weekend brunch. You’re also just minutes away from South Austin where you can get off the beaten path.
6th Street District
The sixth street area belongs to downtown Austin but offers a truly unique personality all its own. The city is known as one of the hotspots for nightlife and live music. The neighborhood spans the area between Congress Avenue and I35 and is the center of all the action when it comes to entertainment.
This neighborhood is a great place to call stay for people who want to immerse themselves in the experience of a University of Texas football game or celebrate a raucous night out with friends. The area is also close to Rainey Street — another popular nightlife area. The streets are often designated as pedestrian-only during events and weekends so you can walk everywhere. It’s also within walking distance of many historical landmarks, nightclubs, and a thriving music scene to keep your trip fresh and exciting.
The Driskill Hotel (Unbound Collection By Hyatt)
The Driskill Hotel is an Austin icon and luxury hotel that has been serving up hospitality for over a century. The hotel is located on the corner of 6th street and Brazos Street and features 189 guest rooms as well as top-notch food at its on-site restaurant and storied spaces. The hotel also offers event space for meetings, weddings, and family celebrations.
Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Downtown Austin
The Holiday Inn Express is located in downtown Austin and features an outdoor pool you can cool off in after a day of exploring the city. The hotel is also located just down the street from the Texas State Capitol building so you can take a guided tour and educate yourself on the legislative history of the city.
Hampton Inn and Suites Austin-Downtown
The Hampton Inn offers free parking for guests and fast, free wifi in addition to free breakfast. At this hotel, you’ll also enjoy the benefit of an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel is located just steps away from the Austin Convention Center, making it a popular choice for business travelers.
Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt
The Kimpton hotel is located in the heart of Rainey Street Historic District. They pride themselves on offering guests a front-row seat to all of the action in Austin. Voted the best hotel in Texas by Conde Nast Traveler, benefits include live music in the hotel restaurant and a wide range of events. You’re also within walking or biking distance of the city’s attractions.
South Lamar is a great neighborhood for people who want to enjoy the nature hotspots — like Ladybird Lake — in Austin, Texas. The neighborhood is right next door to the Hike and Bike Trail and Umlauf Sculpture Garden in Zilker Park. The neighborhood is also home to the city’s most popular attractions including Barton Springs Pool and top-notch restaurants like Uchi and Odd Duck.
The Guild South Lamar
If you prefer Airbnb-style stays and rentals to hotel offerings, check out The Guild on South Lamar. The aparthotel features spacious living areas along with a swimming pool and local food options — including tasty food trucks — within walking distance.
North Loop/University Area
Austin is home to the University of Austin, Texas. The University has won more Big 10 football titles than any other team in the league. This is the best area to stay in Austin if you want to check out a football game. If you’re in town to root on the Longhorns, the North Loop is an excellent budget-friendly place to stay. The area offers a quiet vibe for people who like to mellow out after a day of adventuring around the city. It’s also a great blend of restaurants, shops, and homes so you feel like you’re truly immersed in the city. Within walking distance, you’ll find the Blanton Museum of Art and Bullock Texas State History Museum.
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Austin
Located just down the street from the University, this hotel is popular among football fans and parents bringing their kids to check out the university. Just north of downtown, the hotel offers easy access to livelier neighborhoods while also ensuring a quiet and enjoyable stay.
Stay in Style in Austin
Whether you want to be near art galleries, the State Capitol, or within walking distance of the Congress Avenue Bridge, there’s something for everyone in Austin. From East Cesar Chavez to the hills of the Texas countryside, there’s a lively or laid-back place to rest your head after a day of exploring this weird and wild city. Hangout with local Texans and indulge in authentic Mexican food or an affordable happy hour within Austin’s city limits and don’t miss the Red River cultural district.