Explore Austin TX, Staycation: 6 Best Weekend Getaways for 2023

, Oct 30, 2023

Prepare to discover the vibrant charm of Austin, TX in a unique way with an amazing staycation! With numerous options for places to stay dotted around the city, you’re bound to find something that fits your needs. From modern boutique hotels and luxury resorts to family-friendly activities at Lake Travis, there’s plenty on offer for an incredible weekend trip next year. Come along as we explore all that this great Texan city has to offer together!

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Austin’s unique staycation spots with trendy rooftop bars, captivating street art, and luxurious resorts in the Hill Country!
  • Enjoy family-friendly fun on Lake Travis with water sports, parks, and lakeside dining.
  • Unwind at a historic hotel downtown for gourmet meals and easy access to attractions.

Urban Oasis: East Austin Boutique Hotel Experience

East Austin is an excellent destination for a Texas staycation, offering visitors to the Lone Star State plenty to do. With its chic boutique hotels and trendy rooftop bars, there’s something special about this part of town that makes it such a popular spot. Tourists can admire the captivating street art scene, which completes East Austin as an ideal place for anyone wanting to experience all that Texas has to offer without having to go too far from home

Chic Accommodations

Experience the unique fusion of luxury and contemporary design in East Austin, with options for an unforgettable stay that include both grand hotels such as the W Austin, boasting stunning lake or city vistas alongside a range of facilities, and boutique alternatives like the Archer Hotel, which showcases Texas limestone among its signature wildflower gardens while mirroring Austin’s inspiring creativity.

Rooftop Bar Scene

Experience the vibrant atmosphere on top of Austin’s buildings, where you can find drinks and food in abundance while taking in spectacular views. Popular spots like Azul Rooftop at The Westin Austin Downtown and La Piscina at Austin Proper Hotel serve both traditional cocktails as well as more creative beverages featuring special fruits or infusions for all kinds of tastes.

Street Art Exploration

Take a journey into the creative atmosphere of Austin while exploring the vibrant street art and murals located in East Austin. Two iconic pieces to visit are the “I Love You So Much Austin” mural and Daniel Johnston’s beloved “Hi, How Are You?” artwork. Have your camera ready to capture all your unique experiences during this urban exploration! Be sure you have plenty of shots from each place visited within Austin that’ll fill up any photo album with vibrancy.

Texas Hill Country Hideaway: Luxury Resorts and Spas

Escape the city and immerse yourself in the peaceful beauty of Texas Hill Country. Restorative resorts await, with views that will astound you along with a wealth of outdoor activities to discover as well as spa treatments for ultimate relaxation.

Experience total rejuvenation on your vacation at Horseshoe Bay, not to mention pampering par excellence when visiting Hotel Van Zandt nearby! Allow Texas Hill Country hospitality and serenity to set a tranquil backdrop to all your adventures while residing within these opulent Hill Country hotels.

Breathtaking Scenery

Experience the enchanting scenery of Texas Hill Country, which makes it a sought-after vacation spot. The rolling hills and limestone formations, combined with vibrant vegetation, present stunning backdrops for your staycation in this part of Texas. Make sure to take memorable photos such as those found at Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg or by dipping into the serenity of the Frio River’s waters in Concan during your visit!

Outdoor Adventures

There are plenty of exciting outdoor activities for those wishing to explore the picturesque Hill Country. Take a hike on some of the popular paths in Colorado Bend State Park or spend time atop a horse at Tres Molinas Ranch and Resort—whatever you’re looking for, there’s bound to be an adventure that suits your interests!

Relaxing Spa Experiences

If you’re looking to truly relax during your stay in Hill Country, look no less than the array of luxurious spas that offer a wide range of services. Get an in-tent massage at Collective Hill Country or enjoy some alone time with a private hot tub on The Retreat’s deck; both experiences are perfect for pampering yourself while vacationing here!

Lakeside Leisure: Family-Friendly Fun on Lake Travis

Gather the clan for an exciting staycation on Lake Travis. There’s a range of water activities, parks, and restaurants around the lake to ensure that all family members have plenty of fun together, making long-lasting memories.

Water Sports and Activities

Enjoy an exciting and fun-filled day on Lake Travis with your family. You can rent a boat or explore the lake by kayaking, paddleboarding, wakeboarding, and tubing for a thrilling experience. There is something here to suit every member of the clan, making sure that you always have plenty of activities at hand!

Parks and Playgrounds

Head to family-friendly parks and playgrounds located near Lake Travis with your loved ones for a fun day! Recommended places include San Gabriel Park or Lakeside Park. Bring along necessary items such as sunscreen, drinks, snacks, and whatever you need in order to make the most of your time outdoors by the lake.

At these recreational areas, visitors can appreciate several amenities like barbecue grills, play equipment, and access to beautiful Lake Travis, perfect for having picnics on sunny days too. So don’t forget those must-haves that will surely turn it into an unforgettable experience!

Lakeside Dining Options

Relish flavorful dishes from restaurants around Lake Travis, which present remarkable views and a large variety of cuisines. Enjoy the spectacular scenery at The Oasis or chill out with friends at Sundancer Grill—whichever way you choose to go, there is surely something that appeals to your tastes.

Finish off an ideal day on the lake by lifting up a toast!

South Austin Retreat: SoCo Charm and Entertainment

Experience all the fun and culture that South Austin has to offer with a staycation in SoCo. This unique district offers eclectic shopping, delicious dining experiences, as well as some of the best live music Austin has to showcase. Making it perfect for your vacation retreat.

Quirky Shopping Finds

When visiting South Austin, you’re sure to find something special and unique in the area’s eclectic array of boutiques, vintage stores, and artisan shops. Little Bluebird offers cute accessories, while Uncommon Objects is a great place for one-of-a-kind antiques and perfect mementos from your Austin staycation!

Flavorful Food Trucks and Restaurants

Discover the many tastes of Austin’s South Side with its vast selection of restaurants and food trucks! Whether it is tantalizing treats from Bananarchy or savory barbeque at LeRoy & Lewis, you’ll have difficulty deciding what to try first. Embark on a delectable journey that will make your taste buds sing!

Live Music Hotspots

Experience Austin’s renowned live music culture by visiting a range of performance places. Get your fill at historical venues like the Broken Spoke or be up close and personal in intimate settings such as the Elephant Room, with no shortage of options to feel the city pulse through sound!

Nature Lovers’ Paradise: Outdoor Adventures near Austin

Experience the stunning natural landscapes of Texas near Austin with a staycation! Go for hikes, take a dip in the cool swimming holes, and observe local wildlife; it’s an ideal way to appreciate central Texas.

Scenic Hiking Trails

Discover the stunning natural environment through a variety of trails in this area, ranging from leisurely strolls at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve to more challenging routes such as Enchanted Rock. Bring your camera and take some memorable shots along the way, no matter which path you choose!

Refreshing Swimming Holes

Beat the heat with a revitalizing swim in some of the country’s most alluring swimming spots. Blue Hole Regional Park offers crystal-clear waters, great for either lounging or thrill-seeking with cliff jumps! Just as stunning is Hamilton Pool Preserve, which will take your breath away no matter how many times you visit it.

Always remember to follow safety procedures and check water conditions prior to taking an adventure into these lovely natural places.

Wildlife Watching Opportunities

For an incredible wildlife-watching experience in Johnson City, make sure to bring your binoculars and camera! Local preserves like the Austin Nature and Science Center provide visitors with unique opportunities to observe native species of fauna as well as beautiful wildflowers throughout Lady Bird Lake. Exploration at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will show off spectacular displays each spring. There are also plenty of chances for birdwatching near this popular body of water, along with deer spotting among other animals around town.

Historic Hotel Havens: Timeless Elegance in Downtown Austin

Experience the charm and grandeur of Austin at downtown staycations in classic hotels. With convenient access to popular attractions, you can indulge yourself with scrumptious culinary delights and timeless elegance for a one-of-a-kind getaway right here in Austin!

Vintage Charm

Guests looking for a special type of lodging will appreciate the allure and beauty offered by vintage-style accommodations. Each contains unique, antique furniture pieces as well as captivating architectural details such as original windows and doors or stunning skylights, along with charming historic lanterns adding to its distinctiveness. Such features provide an elegant ambiance, making it perfect for those seeking something extraordinary in their stay experience.

Gourmet Dining Experiences

Experience the best of both local and global cuisine with indulgent dining opportunities at Austin’s on-site eateries. Dine out to your heart’s content while savoring specialties like farm-fresh food from Garrison in Fairmont Austin or explore innovative recipes presented by Arlo Grey in LINE Austin—whichever you choose, it is sure to satisfy all cravings!

Proximity to Downtown Attractions

Take advantage of the ease and convenience available to you when staying at one of the downtown Austin hotels, which offers quick access to shopping on South Congress Avenue To famous attractions like the Texas State Capitol and Bullock Texas State History Museum. All these points are only a short distance away from your cozy historic hotel located conveniently in Austin.


Why not start arranging your ideal staycation in Austin for 2023? No matter if you’re leaning more towards the city sanctuary of East Austin, Texas Hill Country’s sophisticated escape, or the timeless allure of historic lodgings, there are several distinct options to pick from that will fulfill each traveler’s preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of accommodations can I expect in East Austin?

Experience the chic and stylish accommodations East Austin has to offer, with unique boutique hotels boasting modern amenities and design elements for the perfect staycation.

Are there family-friendly activities available on Lake Travis?

Lake Travis is the perfect destination for a family outing, offering activities on and around the lake such as water sports, parks, and lakeside dining to enjoy. There’s something here that will be enjoyable for all!

What outdoor adventures can I experience near Austin?

Head to Austin for a relaxing staycation and experience the best of nature with breathtaking hikes, and swimming holes that will refresh you, as well as chances to see wildlife!

Can I find live music venues in South Austin?

South Austin is definitely the spot for incredible live music. A plethora of venues are ready to showcase local and visiting performers alike, making it a mecca for those seeking unique entertainment experiences.

What makes historic hotels in downtown Austin unique?

Treat yourself to a luxurious staycation in one of downtown Austin’s timeless, historic hotels, with acclaimed eateries and attractions right at your doorstep! Enjoy unparalleled convenience and elegance while soaking up the local culture.

About the Author

Last updated: 10/30/2023

2300+ Client reviews!

Sally was referred to me via a business network when I first moved to Austin in 2022. She helped me understand the area, evaluate my options, and find the perfect spot in a tough market. Sally has been a joy to work with because she creates partnerships + friendships with her clients!

I was impressed by Sally’s expertise in selling both my investment property and my primary residence, and in helping us buy our dream home. At our initial meeting, we found Sally knew the real estate market, but found even more impressive her emotional quotient in understanding and navigating the differences between my partner’s and my very different personalities. For my investment property, she timed the showings and sale perfectly and created a helpful Excel spreadsheet comparing the many offers. She was also savvy enough to suggest we pay the tenants a fair amount of money to make the property available for viewing from 9am – 5pm on the first weekend to make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to get through, and we let her deal directly with the tenants because we could tell her people skills would serve us well

We got multiple offers by the deadline on Monday afternoon with one outlier that was $150K higher than what we had unsuccessfully listed the property for (with a different realtor) a year earlier!

When it came to selling my primary home, Sally’s expertise in the luxury market, and in historic homes in particular, truly shone. She understood that selling a high-end property, with various restrictions, required a different approach. Sally crafted a listing for the home that perfectly captured its unique character and premier location. Her marketing strategy was well timed and appropriate for the more limited market, attracting the right buyer pool and creating a sense of exclusivity around the property. She suggested listing it on the private market for a week or two before sending a message that it would be listed on the MLS. She organized private showings that allowed buyers to experience the warmth and charm of the home and the neighborhood, which I believe was instrumental in securing a sale.

The pricing and marketing strategy Sally recommended was spot-on, and we sold the home at a price that far exceeded our expectations. Sally helped thread the needle perfectly.

Sally is also accessible. We found more well-known realtors would respond to our email days later, whereas she was always available right away to answer my questions, and provided us with regular updates, making sure every detail was handled with care. Selling a high-end property can be a stressful experience with fewer potential buyers and some downtime inherent in waiting for the right buyer, but Sally made it a smooth and surprisingly easy process encouraging us to be patient while giving us enough information on what was happening to satisfy both me and my partner. In the end, we were thrilled with the results

Sally’s rep of us as sellers could not have been more professional, but her work repping us as buyers is the most memorable. We were trying to be our dream home in an overheated market, and Sally gave us advice that at each turn proved invaluable. She recommended offering just the right amount above the offer price for us to make it to the next round of offers. She handled a very difficult appraisal process by advising us on financing sources, even offering to help us put down a higher amount by loaning us money herself! We were able to finance the home without taking her up on that offer, but how many realtors make that kind of offer to their clients? In the end, we closed on the house ontime and ended up with the home of our dreams, thanks to Sally’s world-class advice and service.

We cannot say enough good things about Sally’s technical knowledge, people skills, and responsiveness. You won’t find a better realtor in Austin.

I have lived here in Austin for more twenty-five years, and have bought and sold several homes and rented others during those years. I have worked with five realtors during that time. SALLY IS BY FAR THE BEST OF ANY IN TOWN. Her work ethic is simply unmatched. She hides her competitive streak underneath a layer of Austin hip and friendly, but she will absolutely get you the best home, the best deal, and stop at NOTHING to get your home sold as well!

Sally loves real estate. She has a genuine passion for Austin, too, and for her client’s well-being. She took time to understand my needs and was always available to answer any questions and provide me with honest and insightful advice.

We toured many homes in Barton Hills and settled on a great home that was hotly contested by builders and homeowners. Sally understood how we could be the preferred buyer without getting into a bidding war. She knew the motivations of the Seller and we maneuvered and negotiated the contract and secured my dream home.

Furthermore, at the 11th hour, the day before we were set to close, our lender said we needed to put a fence around the pool before they would release the funds. The seller was not inclined to extend the closing again. We were out of town. Sally saved the day by racing to Home Depot and getting the largest tarpaulin available and then securing it over the pool at the house. Sent pics to the lender and we were set to close.

In short, Sally will work harder and smarter than anyone. She’s simply the best.

Sally is incredible! She spent nearly 2 years with us – understanding our very specific preferences and needs – to help us find our dream home. She was the first agent to reach out when the home was listed and negotiated the contract astutely so that we secured the home. The home was only in the framed stage, still had a few months until completion. Once it was completed, however, our plans had changed and we needed to get out of the contract. We were expecting to have to relinquish our very considerable deposit. But Sally spent the entire weekend working on a way to get us out of the contract AND get our deposit back. Everyone we have spoken to about this extraordinary outcome has been surprised that Sally managed to get our deposit back for us. Thank you Sally, we can’t recommend her highly enough.

Sally is reliable, diligent in her research, prompt on exchanges, creative in deal making, and has a tremendous work ethic. She is the sole reason we were able to close on our primary residence, which has been our dream home and a fantastic investment. From there, we’ve gone on to close on multiple rental property purchases in Austin together. Thanks to her astute analysis, we’ve passed on many deals as well, which has proven just as valuable. I cannot recommend her highly enough.

I highly recommend Kiel if you’re looking to rent a place in Austin. We originally met him to look around a particular unit, and when it was not to our satisfaction, he was able to quickly take us around many more units that day. He also set up a whole day of viewings for the very next day! Within 48 hours we had done enough viewings to be confident in choosing a new home. The landlord accepted our offer and Kiel handled all of the paperwork, even stopping by our hotel to pick up the needed checks. We couldn’t be happier.
Kiel is highly organized and unlike some realtors in the Austin area, he is responsive and ready to move quickly. We were always able to contact him and never left waiting.

Kiel has your BACK!! We are so grateful to have had his guidance and knowledge while navigating the intense, frustrating and way competitive Austin rental market. He quickly picked up on our taste and designed a game plan to help us push through the clutter and get to the properties that best suited us. He was ALWAYS available to us and answered our emails, calls and texts with great speed. We’re so grateful to have had him on our search team. Because my goodness, it really is a crazy market out there!

Kiel was amazing to work with! He walked us through everything, explained anything we didn’t understand, and he is is just a great guy to work with. As a first time home buyer, his knowledge was invaluable. 10/10 would recommend!

Kiel was referred to me by a friend, and we were so pleased with his services. He jumped in and guided us through the entire process, made himself readily available for us during the whole process, checked in with us via text every step of the way, and provided any and all information we requested. As a first time home buyer, I was not totally familiar with the process. Kiel helped me through the lending process, walk through inspection and closing procedures. It was such a pleasure to work with him, and we look forward to hiring him again when we purchase our next property.

I’ve never met anyone as knowledgeable and hard working as Kiel. Everything he said he was going to do, he did it. Kiel is a very easy person to get along with. He made us comfortable with the process and also made it fun. In 5 words…HE GETS THE JOB DONE!

It was great working with Kiel. He understood what we really wanted in a home. When it came to the process of the contract, it was obvious how knowledgeable he was. He did exactly what we wanted while giving great advice.

We had the pleasure of working with Will Mackintosh as our agent, and couldn’t be happier with the experience. From start to finish, the process was incredibly smooth and easy, thanks to Will’s expertise and professionalism. He guided us every step of the way making what could have been a stressful experience surprisingly enjoyable. Will’s attention to detail and dedication to finding the perfect property for us truly stood out. We couldn’t have asked for a better agent. I highly recommend Will and Bramlett Residential to anyone buying or selling a home in the Austin area.

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