A few weeks ago I traveled to Austin Texas for the first time. I have been to Texas many times prior but never to Austin so this trip was rather exciting. My travels to Austin were for a convention that I was personally attending. I normally wouldn’t travel to Texas for anything on a personal level but the convention was special. So the hunt started back in February of 2017 for airline tickets and hotel accommodations.
Getting to Austin is not that difficult but it is not the cheapest airport to fly into in Texas, it was rather expensive in my opinion. Either way, I flew from BOS to AUS for nothing because I used my Delta SkyMiles (besides the $5.60 in security fees). I think if I paid for it out of pocket, the total would have been $170.00 one way? So I used miles to save on overall cost because the trip home (AUS to BOS) was CRAZY $$$ through Delta (about $600.00), so I ended up purchasing my return flight with American Airlines. But this ticket was still $380.00 … I normally don’t pay that much for a single ticket and some time not even for a round trip ticket. But as I said, this was a special event and I could only go on specific dates.
Flying into Austin was smooth and the airport seemed new and very easy to navigate through. Transportation out of the airport was also easy and not that expensive, as I often use Uber for local short rides.
The hotel was actually included in the convention cost so I didn’t end up needing the additional cost of accommodations, which was nice. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Midtown Austin. This hotel was ok in general and very much what one would expect for a Holiday Inn. I don’t have any specific complaints but I wouldn’t stay there on my own if I had the choice. I know there are cheaper options out there that would have been the same quality.
When I wasn’t attending events at the convention, I did venture out in the city as often as I could. The first place I visited in Austin was the Barton Springs Pool, this is a natural warm spring that is just a short drive from the center of Austin.
“Within Zilker Park’s 358 acres lies one of the crown jewels of Austin – Barton Springs Pool. The pool itself measures three acres in size, and is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees, ideal for year-round swimming. Over the years, Barton Springs Pool has drawn people from all walks of life, from legislators who have concocted state laws there to free-spirited, topless sunbathers who turned heads in the 1970s. Robert Redford learned to swim at the pool when he was five years old while visiting family in Austin. Today, Barton Springs still attracts a diverse crowd of people and has seen record-setting numbers of visitors nearing 800,000 in recent years.
The Springs serves as home to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander, and is listed as a federally protected habitat. The pool is closed to the public from 9a-7p every Thursday to allow for the vigorous and methodical cleaning methods required to help maintain the pool area for wildlife and guests alike. Depths of the pool range from 0’ to 18’ with surrounding grassy areas for patrons to lounge upon. Adjacent to the pool bathhouse is Splash!, an educational exhibit where patrons can learn about the history and biology of Barton Springs and the Edwards Aquifer which feeds it.” Source: Austin Texas City Website
Pretty neat place… It was also not busy at all but it was an odd time of the year to go swimming (November). I bet in the summer this place is packed. If you do decide to visit here, check the city website for information and admission pricing.
My next visit was to the downtown sector, specifically the Downtown area on 4th and 5th street. There are many bars on these streets and the drinks are very cheap… well compared to other inner city places I have been (i.e., Boston, NYC, LA). The downtown area is busy with people walking from bar to bar, restaurant to restaurant and office building to anywhere. I rather enjoyed the size of the city and the more liberal feel. Most of the people within this city were very open-minded and not like the rest of Texas (often conservative). So depending on who you are, this could be a positive or negative attribute.
If you like food, well Texas has some of the best food I have ever had and Austin was no exception. I had several amazing meals at various locations;
This was an amazing meal at Trudy’s Texas Star. Great food, great service and SUPER nice staff.
Questions? Just shoot me a message!