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Things to do in Austin

Catch a game of American football

It would be a crime not to mention that college football is one of Austin's most beloved pastimes. The University of Texas' football team, the Longhorns, are one of the nation's best sides with several Rose Bowl awards under their belt. If you like sports, it's worth checking out a game at their looming 100,000-seat arena (tel: +1 512 471 7437; www.texassports.com).

Get in line at Franklin’s Barbecue

How you feel about queuing five hours for smoked meat really depends on how you view the life-affirming qualities of incredible brisket. But to get a meal at legendary local eatery, Franklin's (www.franklinbarbecue.com), you are going to have to be patient. Open for lunch from 11am until they sell out, you will need to get in line by 7am at the latest. Closed Mondays.

Hike the Barton Springs Greenbelt

Located near Barton Springs Pool, the Barton Springs Greenbelt (tel: +1 512 477 1566; www.austinparks.org) offers hikes through the city's most green spaces. Walkers, joggers and dog owners love this area for its beauty, shade and swim holes. If you're looking for a country spot in the middle of the city, this is your place.

Hire a party barge on Lake Travis

Since Austin fluctuates between desert and humid climates, it's important to take stay hydrated. Lake Travis, located roughly 20 minutes outside of the city, offers Mediterranean-style views of multi-million dollar homes in the Hilly Country. At Lakeway Marina (tel: +1 512 371 6852 9887; www.lakewaymarina.com) you can rent everything from tubes to paddleboards, ski boats to party barges.

Kayak along Lady Bird Lake

One of Austin's greatest selling points is Lady Bird Lake, the river-like lake that snakes through Downtown Austin. Rent a kayak from Zilker Park Boat Rentals (tel: +1 512 478 3852; www.zilkerboats.com) and paddle through town, waving to the locals on their lunch breaks. Single and double kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are all available.

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Featured Hotels


Hotel Saint Cecilia

Owned by the same proprietors as Hotel San Jose, this quaint boutique hotel located in a gorgeous Travis Heights estate was named after the patron saint of music and poetry. Hotel Saint Cecilia offers 14 impeccable guest suites and a photo-worthy pool with a neon sign illuminating it. Favoured by celebrities.

Heywood Hotel

Arguably East Austin's first modern boutique hotel, this seven-room converted home features coffee service, Wi-Fi, bicycles, parking and an internet jukebox. For travellers who enjoy simple and sleek designs or to be in walking distance to the hot spots of East Austin and Downtown, the Heywood Hotel is a perfecting resting place.

Holiday Inn - Town Lake

Located on Lady Bird Lake (formerly called Town Lake) and I-35, this chain hotel is in a prime location for accessibility to Austin. It's easy to jump on the Hike and Bike Trail where you can head down to Congress Avenue Bridge to see the bats or South Congress to go souvenir shopping. Nearby the hotel, it's easy to rent a kayak or bike to enjoy on the lake. This hotel offers beautiful views of the area as well.

Doubletree Suites

This chain hotel is located in the heart of Downtown, within walking distance to some of the city's main central attractions and the UT campus. Though not as charming as the boutique hotels listed here, it offers nice amenities and polished rooms perfect for families and business people.

The Driskill

Built in 1886 and still standing as one of Austin's oldest buildings, this stately, and allegedly haunted, hotel sits in the epicenter of Downtown at Sixth Street near Congress Avenue. Enjoy staying in the ornate and classic rooms, grab a bite at the restaurant, 1886 Cafe and Bakery, and a drink at the Driskill Bar.

Intercontinental Hotel Stephen F. Austin

Located on Seventh Avenue at Congress Avenue, this impressive hotel is a common destination for travellers needing to be in the thick of the action. Featuring 189 large rooms with soft bedding, the hotel also offers a beautiful pool, a Jacuzzi and bar and restaurant offering hand-crafted beer, wine, cigars and fine food.