Whether it’s a homegrown indie rock band playing in a favorite local’s bar or a star-studded multi-day festival, Austin’s vast music scene offers visitors a live show virtually every day of the year at almost any time of the day. This, plus the city’s growing entertainment and dining offerings, have given way to an uptick in leisure travel arrivals and subsequent hotel boom. Here’s a small sampling to help your clients navigate Austin’s festival line-up and robust hotel landscape.
1. Stay: Fairmont Austin
Reservations are now open for the Fairmont Austin debuting this September in Austin’s Central Business District. When guests aren’t indulging their appetite at one of the downtown hotel’s five distinct restaurant and bar experiences or luxuriating in a treatment at Fairmont Spa, featuring nine treatment rooms, including two couples’ massage rooms, they can explore the city’s famed music scene, as well as the area’s celebrated cuisine and artistic offerings.
Fairmont Austin features 1,048 guest rooms, each with picturesque views of Lady Bird Lake, the State Capitol building or the Austin skyline. Rates start at $319 per night. For more information, call (512) 600-2000 or visit fairmont.com/austin.
2. Play: H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks
When: July 4, 2017
Where: Downtown Austin at Vic Mathias Shores (formally Auditorium Shores) and the Long Center (600 W. Riverside Dr.)
What: Celebrate the nation’s independence this Fourth of July, Texas-style, at the H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks festival. The annual tradition features free fireworks, a free live performance, a variety of local arts & crafts vendors, and, of course, great food and drinks. For more information, visit roadwayevents.com/event/symphony-july-4th.
3. Stay: Hotel San Jose
From 1936 until 2000, Austin’s Hotel San Jose served as an “ultra-modern,” motor court hotel; for today’s guests it has been transformed into a 40-room, bungalow-style property. Located on South Congress Avenue a few blocks from downtown and Lady Bird Johnson Lake, the dog-friendly hotel reflects its unique surroundings by offering whimsical amenities—kimono bathrobes, typewriters and Polaroid cameras that guests can borrow—as well as more traditional amenities—a pool, courtyard lounge, and bike rentals. For more information, call (512) 852-2350 or visit sanjosehotel.com.
4. Play: The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
When: Aug. 20, 2017
Where: Location unconfirmed
What: The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a small hot sauce contest in 1990. Today, the annual festival is one the largest competitions of its kind and one of Austin’s best-known annual food events, drawing as many as 10,000 spectators and over 350 entries each year. In addition to the hot sauce competition, this Austin food event features tastings from local restaurants, culinary demonstrations, sauces for sale, cookbooks, peppers and, you guessed it, live music. For more information, visit austinchronicle.com/hot-sauce.
5. Stay: Element Austin Downtown
This July, the 144-guestroom Element Austin Downtown is opening in the 6th Street Entertainment District Of Austin, a few minutes’ drive from the Texas Capitol and the University of Texas campus. The property represents just one of the seven Element-branded Starwood Hotels and Resorts properties opening in the Lone Star State between 2017 and 2019. Amenities include an in-house bakery where pastries, cookies, and desserts are served daily; casual eatery, Caroline; and a fitness center. Rates start at $209 per night. For more information, call (512) 473-0000 or visit starwoodhotels.com/element.
6. Play: Austin City Limits Music Festival
When: Oct. 6-8 and Oct. 13-14, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Zilker Park; 2100 Barton Springs Rd.
What: Each year, the Austin City Limits Music Festival features a diverse lineup of more than 140 acts playing across eight stages. This year’s event spans two weekends in October and will feature performances from Jay Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chance the Rapper. General admission tickets start at $255 per each 3-day weekend and include one commemorative RFID-enabled wristband, food from over 35 award-winning chefs and restaurants with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, access to secure lockers onsite with charging capabilities, and access to complimentary official festival shuttles provided by ACL Fest. For more information, visit aclfestival.com.
7. Play: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
When: Dec. 14-24, 2017; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd.
What: The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is an 11-day family-friendly event offering an eclectic selection of fine art and handmade gifts from national and local artists, craftspeople, and vendors, as well as two full bars and live music from at least three live bands per day. This annual tradition is one of Austin’s longest running art and music festivals attracting around 40,000 shoppers each year. For more information, visit armadillobazaar.com.