Hotel at a Glance: Hyatt Place Austin Arboretum
Hyatt Place Austin Arboretum lies about 10 miles north of downtown Austin; a 15-minute drive brings you into the heart of the city, where you can tour the pink-granite Texas Capitol building. Just a block from the hotel, you’ll find restaurants, shops, and a 16-screen movie theater at a large shopping-and-entertainment complex. In the evening, retire to a spacious guest room outfitted with separate living and sleeping areas, a swiveling 42-inch high-definition TV, and upscale skin- and haircare amenities from KenetMD.
- Complimentary breakfast with egg-white breakfast sandwiches and freshly brewed Seattle’s Best coffee
- 24/7 dining: Get grab ‘n’ go sandwiches and bottled beverages at the 24/7 Gallery Market.
- Sip cocktails from a selection of six house spirits and six premium spirits at the Coffee to Cocktails Bar.
- Stay fit with a dip in the outdoor pool or a workout at a 24-hour fitness center with Life Fitness cardio equipment.
Austin, Texas: Proudly Offbeat State Capital and Live-Music Capital of the World
Built in 1888, the pink-granite Texas Capitol building in Austin is the largest state capitol in the country and even taller than the US Capitol in Washington, DC—proof that everything is, indeed, bigger in Texas. Yet Austin stands apart from the rest of the state politically and culturally, a fact that locals seem to revel in. “Keep Austin Weird” is a popular motto here, appearing on bumper stickers and T-shirts. The weirdness manifests itself all over town, where you’ll find a death-metal-themed pizza place, a cathedral made of garbage, and the Museum of Natural & Artificial Ephemerata, which displays an 1893 World’s Fair stereograph and one of Marilyn Monroe’s cigarette butts. Even nature plays along: each night at dusk (from mid-March to November), an estimated 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge to go hunting for food.
Austin has been dubbed the Live Music Capital of the World thanks to the city’s nearly 200 venues, where bands play everything from blues to punk rock. In fact, Travel + Leisure magazine named Austin one of America’s Best Music Cities, calling it the “mother ship for indie rock and alternative-country types.” Stubb’s Bar-B-Q books some of the bigger acts that come to town, including the White Stripes, Johnny Cash, and Snoop Dogg. In addition to the live entertainment taking place on a nightly basis, two massively popular music festivals—South by Southwest and Austin City Limits—draw in huge crowds each year.
The University of Texas brings its share of cultural attractions to the city as well. For starters, the sprawling campus is home to the Blanton Museum of Art, which boasts one of the country’s most impressive private collections of old-master paintings. UT-Austin is also where you’ll find the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, dedicated to preserving and exhibiting artifacts related to the 36th president.