HotelTonight – Book Your Austin AUS Hotel Today
Few cities in the U.S. are hipper, weirder and more fun than Austin, Texas. This vibrant, youthful town has experienced a huge boom in popularity over the past decade, and people are flocking to Austin to live and to simply experience this wild Texas gem for themselves. I have long wanted to visit Austin, mainly because I have heard so many great things about the city. So when found myself sitting in the Austin airport during a long layover, I started to wish that I could leave the airport to explore the city. It was almost as if the universe heard my wish, because my flight got delayed until the following morning due to poor weather conditions on the other side of the country. While many people were understandably upset about this travel setback, I was excited. I was finally going to be able to explore Austin, even if I only had less than a day to see as much as I could. So without hesitating, I pulled up my HotelTonight app and booked a hotel near Austin AUS airport, then I set out to explore Austin.
Barton Springs Pool
I stepped out of the Austin airport and was immediately hit with the hot, humid summer weather Austin is known for. Since I wanted to see the hottest spots in the city without being, well, hot, I headed straight for Barton Springs Pool (located in Zilker Park). This local spot is a large pool fed by natural springs that becomes a popular hangout when the weather turns warm. I did as the locals do and threw on a swimsuit, slathered on some sunscreen, and hopped right into the water. Taking a dip in this three-acre pool along with countless locals was the perfect way to jump-start my quick trip to Austin.
The University of Texas
After I cooled off a bit at Barton Springs, I decided to head to Austin's best-known institution, the University of Texas. As a college football fan, I have long wanted to visit the Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium, and I finally had the chance. While I wasn't lucky enough to be in town for a home game, I did get to explore parts of the campus, and I got a great feel for the energy and enthusiasm of the student population. If there's one thing that all of Austin seems to rally around, it's the Longhorns football team.
The Bat Bridge
I'll be honest, when some locals recommended that I go check out the bats at sunset, I was a little freaked out. After all, I didn't know if I had ever seen bats in real life before. Apparently, though, Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in the U.S. So since this is something that's very unique to Austin, I decided I had to check these bats out. I headed to Lady Bird Lake to get a good view of the Congress Avenue Bridge, which is where the bat colony is located. As soon as the sun went down, the bats flew from their habitat and ventured out into the night. I was so glad I decided to get over my small fear of bats to see this sight, because it was certainly one of the highlights of my trip.
Once the sun went down, I knew I had to experience some of Austin's famous nightlife, so I started on Rainey Street. What looks like a sleepy, tree-lined street filled with beautiful bungalow-style homes is now one of the most popular spots in town for grabbing food and drinks. I loved the relaxed bar scene of Rainey Street, and I immediately understood why Austin locals consider their city to have the best nightlife.
There's a reason why Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World" – it's hard to walk down a block in downtown Austin without hearing live music coming from one bar or honky-tonk. I wanted to get a feel for Austin's musical heart and soul, so I went to Sixth Street. This loud, rowdy street is lined with live music venues and bars, and it tends to get a bit wild late into the night. But it was also one of the most fun evenings I've had in awhile, so I would go back to Sixth Street in a heartbeat.
HotelTonight – Last-Minute Hotels Near AUS Airport
Most passengers on my flight were probably annoyed at how delayed our flight was, but I decided to count my blessings instead. That minor travel inconvenience allowed me to explore one of the coolest cities in the country (in my opinion), and HotelTonight ensured I found a great Austin AUS hotel at a moment's notice. I love staying flexible when I travel, and HotelTonight is the best travel resource to help me do just that.