austin extended stay

Plan a long trip to Austin for your next getaway. (Photo: Geoff Duncan)


Stay & Play: Ways to Make the Most of an Extended Stay in Austin

Has work taken you to Austin for an extended stay? Well, lucky you. Or perhaps you and the fam are planning a week exploring the city and region. Austin is a booming, exciting city, and there’s lots to do there and in the surrounding Hill Country.

Take advantage of all the city has to offer; here are some ideas to get you started.

Enjoy Natural Austin

This city supports an outdoorsy lifestyle. Take a walk, jog, or bike the 10-mile path around Lady Bird Lake (locals still call it Town Lake), or get up early to beat the crowds for a bracing dip in Barton Springs Pool, open year-round in Zilker Park.

And the Barton Creek Greenbelt has more than 12 miles of trails, as well as cliffs for climbing and, when the creek is running, swimming holes.

Hit the Taco Trail

Who has the best tacos in town? You can get a lively (maybe even heated) debate going on that by tossing the question into any gathering of Austinites. You couldn’t possibly taste them all, but make it your goal to taste as many as you can, from ubiquitous Torchy’s Tacos to the many small taquerias you’ll find all over town.

Go Where the Locals Go

austin extended stay
Find your favorite tunes at Waterloo Records. (Photo: Spencer Selvidge)

Austin is known for music, but it also has a robust literary scene. Check out the calendar at BookPeople, a large independent bookstore and local institution, and consider joining a book club, or just attend an author event — no loud music to impede conversation.

If you prefer loud music, there is no dearth of bars, clubs and other venues in town, but locals also know to keep their eye on the schedule at Waterloo Records, another Austin institution.

Take a Cool Dip

When summer settles in, long and steamy and sweaty, a day spent lolling at a swimming hole will seem less a luxury than a necessity. Sample a few and pick your favorite; you might be able to avoid crowds if you can sneak away from work for a midweek dip. If you’re not the shy kind, Hippie Hollow is the state’s only clothing-optional public park.

Do Your Own Foodie Thing

You have a kitchen in your extended-stay suite, so why not use it? Check out one of the massive Central Market locations; the company slogan is “Really Into Food.”

You can even take a cooking class there, or just use your own recipe and let them deliver the ingredients. Or visit one of the local farmers markets; the Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller, Wednesdays and Sundays, has been voted an Austin Chronicle fave for years.

austin extended stay
Good times at Thinkery. (Photo: Shana Berenzweig | Kirk Tuck)

Have Fun with the Family

There’s so much to do in Austin and the Hill Country, why keep it all to yourself? Bring the family down and explore, explore, explore. Learn about Texas’ colorful past at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, or let the kids get hands-on at Thinkery, formerly the Austin Children’s Museum.

austin extended stay
Try a taste of local wines on a winery tour. (Photo: Hill Country Light)

Catch some music at Gruene Hall; most shows are all-ages. Sample the barbecue in Lockhart, Elgin and other nearby towns. Go tubing on one of the scenic rivers lacing the region. Or enjoy an adult experience on the Hill Country Wine Trail.