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3.5-Star Family-Friendly Mystery Hotel in Austin
Although it’s the state capital and home to the University of Texas, Austin still feels like a small town thanks to its friendly locals and mom-and-pop shops. Dozens of food trucks park along SoCo, or South Congress, an eclectic shopping destination where you might find vintage cowboy boots and Japanese cat sculptures in the same store. When the shops close down, the city’s renowned live music scene comes alive inside hole-in-the-wall saloons and honky tonks, where it’s not uncommon to see legends such as Willie Nelson take the stage. This 3.5-star mystery hotel is located about 3 miles from these charming spots and downtown Austin, and makes for a convenient home base for exploring the nearby Texas Hill Country.
A collection of local artwork in the lobby reflects the city’s unique character. You can also get a taste of Austin at the hotel restaurant, which serves hearty burgers, vegan fare, and Texas-brewed beers. During the day, guests gather at the courtyard pool and its Jacuzzi. At night, the outdoor lounge is the place to be for chit-chat and cocktails. The hotel offers other convenient amenities, including a complimentary airport shuttle and a “grab and go” café stocked with Starbucks coffee and snacks.
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 is 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 and 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.
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