The seasons are constantly changing as the temperatures rise and lower, the colors of the landscape turn from verdant green to rich reds, golds, and oranges, and the activities we participate in alter to fit the season, but the one thing that never changes is our desire to get away! We need the rest, the relaxation, and the opportunities to expand our horizons almost as much as we need air, food, and water, and if your journey is leading you in the direction of Austin, Texas for a summer or fall getaway—both are excellent times to visit—we have created this guide to ensure that your escape fulfills all your wants, needs, and desires. And because turning an ordinary vacation into an extraordinary retreat is something we specialize in here at Austin Vacation Rentals, your first step to perfection is choosing one of our Austin sanctuaries!
The Times Have Changed
Gone are the days when vacationing families crammed together in one small hotel room, sleeping on pullout couches, rollaway beds, or in one of our own more memorable childhood vacations, on a pallet of clothing on the floor! Today, travelers want space, comfort, and luxury amenities, and during your Texas journey, our Austin Vacation Rentals properties offer all of the above and so much more. Walk into spaces that are bright, airy, and designed to spoil, offering kitchens that are the heart of the home, living spaces filled with comfortable furnishings and state-of-the-art electronics, and bedrooms that will give you the best night’s sleep of your lives. Making you wish you could stay here forever, you soon will discover that it is the little things that add up to a whole lot of wonderful!
Coffee makers in the kitchen ensure there is no need to stay un-caffeinated at any time during your stay, and updated appliances that are easy to use can help cut down on vacation expenses. Free wireless internet allows hardworking travelers to keep in touch with the office but can also be used for updating social networks sites and streaming music to enjoy anywhere on the property. Fluffy towels in the bathrooms are soft against sunburned skin, high thread count linens make slipping under the covers each night a luxury, and the perfectly placed deck chairs turned to get the best views of the sun setting over the horizon, give your vacation accommodations a sense of paradise. The larger luxuries may vary from property to property, but are of equal importance, and can include private pools, hot tubs, and game rooms filled with everything you need to stay entertained!
Everything is known to be bigger in the great state of Texas, and the amenities we offer fall right in line. Whatever you need you will find inside, and if we do not happen to have that particular necessity, we can guide you to where you can find it!
Summer in Austin
Summer is one of our favorite times of the year; a period of time in which the days stretch out before you in an endless expanse of possibilities, and in Austin, the opportunities to play, explore, and relax are just as endless. Explore the history of our state with a visit to the Texas State Capitol Building, located at 1100 Congress Avenue. Constructed in 1888, guided tours are offered on a limited basis, Monday through Friday, but if you can’t wait for a tour to become available, self-guided tour brochures are free and can be found at the Capitol North Entry or at the information services booth. Either way, as you explore the fascinating (and air-conditioned!) expanses under the roof of the 6th tallest capitol building (Remember, everything is bigger in Texas and at the time it was built it more than likely ranked number one in height!), you get a sense of history that makes you proud to be an American.
Because it can get a little sultry in the summer, and also because some travelers can never get enough history, a summer visit to the also air-conditioned Bullock Texas State History Museum located just down the street from the Texas State Capitol building at 1800 Congress Avenue offers another chance to learn about our fascinating history while staying cool and dry! In addition to their usual exhibits, they are currently showcasing a temporary exhibit titled “Guitar: the instrument that rocked the world.” On display from May 19 until August 15, this exploration of the 5000-year-old history of the guitar should appeal to everyone!
For those who prefer the great outdoors, Austin is guaranteed to be your favorite playground, offering places to paddle, hike, or swim. McKinney State Falls Park offers hiking trails, picturesque views of the falls, and plenty of places to swim in the middle of the summer, or if swimming is all you are interested in, Barton Springs Municipal Pool is a three-acre body of water filled with natural spring water. This fun recreational spot is popular year-round. as the 68- to 74-degree water temperatures never vary more than the expected six degrees, so be sure to remember Barton Springs Municipal Pool when you come back in the fall!
Another unique summertime experience is one that may seem like a blast from the past but has made a comeback over the past year in many places. We are talking about a drive-in theater, or to be specific, the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In located at 2103 E. M. Franklin Avenue in nearby Manchaca! You won’t be able to see any of the latest films at this hip and updated miniaturized version of the theaters you remember fondly from your youth, but you will get to introduce your children to the tradition and watch a variety of films that range in genre. Indie films, cult classics, and your favorite childhood movies are shown on the big screen at the Blue Starlite!
Falling for Fall
As the temperatures fall and the leaves on the trees change into the most brilliant shades of red, gold, and orange, you may find yourself venturing towards Austin, and we are delighted to welcome you here! Fall in love with the beauty of Lady Bird Lake, surrounded by trees and offering a peaceful respite rarely found in the middle of big cities. Rent a kayak and ride along this river like reservoir named after our former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, or hike the trails that surround this beautiful body of water, being sure to keep an eye out for photo ops such as the way the rays of the setting sun reflect off its smooth waters, mimicking the colors of the trees that frame the lake.
Another fun outdoor activity in the fall (and in the summer) is to explore the many murals that can be found on the exterior of buildings located throughout the city! Colorful, vibrant, and cheerful the Dougherty’s Art Center (located at 1110 Barton Springs Road offers a free map of all the different murals in town. Take a selfie in front of the postcard-like “Greetings from Austin” mural on 1st Street and be prepared to be amazed by the sheer brilliance of the colors that make up the Austin Texas mural on Guadalupe! Offering a variety of different subject matters ranging from a portrait of Johnny Cash to a simple hand-painted mural that states “I love you so much,” these special paintings add another layer to the wonder that is Austin!
Looking for a uniquely fall activity in the city of weird? Visit Barton Hills Farms and pick your own pumpkin to help bring in a little of the holiday spirit to your Austin Vacation Rentals seasonal escape, take a sip of your favorite beer in celebration of Oktoberfest! Oktoberfest was canceled in 2020 for the pandemic, but many of our visitors still managed to celebrate in their own way, enjoying bratwursts and beer at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, located at 70 Rainey Street. In 2021 (and beyond) we expect a return to normalcy and the return of Oktoberfest, but if the wurst was to happen, (Yeah, we went there!) Banger’s is a wonderful substitute!
Halloween is a popular time to visit in the fall, and for those who live to be scared during this frightful holiday, the Murder, Mayhem, & Misadventure Walking Tour takes place on October 31 every year at the Oakland Cemetery. Actors dressed in period clothing will enact the stories of the demise of some of the cemetery’s more famous residents, and if an extra “guest” suddenly seems to appear, stay calm; they just want to hear the end of their story!
Yummy in All Seasons
We have spent a lot of time talking about all the fun you can have in the City of Weird, (one of our favorite nicknames!) but if you, like us, are starting to find yourselves feeling a little peckish, do not worry! Now is when we get to the good stuff, showing you how to enjoy a taste of the town in the midst of your explorations. Austin is a foodie paradise, and although you may expect to find nothing but steak and Mexican food, you may be surprised at the variety of restaurants we offer!
Enjoy outdoor dining at its finest in Contigo, a farm-to-table restaurant offering the freshest food in the state, served inside and outside on its large all-weather patio. Their expansive menu offers everything from charred avocados served with kale furikake, lime, cilantro crema, and camp bread, to rabbit gnocchi made with sage Parisian gnocchi, farm-fresh carrots, cippolini onions, spiced rabbit jus, parmesan & parsley, to their famous pie in the jar! This finale to an incredible meal under the stars is made with a white chocolate creme patisserie, pie crust, whipped cream, and almonds, and promises to be the highlight of your Texas travels!
Of course, you have come all this way, and chances are you will want to experience the best steak of your lifetime; Bob’s Steak and Chophouse at 301 Lavaca Street never fails to please! Also offering a strong seafood menu, you can’t go wrong ordering any of their delicious dishes, but we have to admit we are partial to their 22-ounce prime “cote de boeuf” bone-in ribeye. Thick, juicy, and prepared exactly to your specifications, hearty eaters may be surprised to find themselves requesting a box—it is THAT big. Besides, you are going to want to save room for their incredible brownie sundae, made with peanut butter and chocolate brownies, peanut butter ice cream, and topped with a pecan chocolate butternut sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry on top!
Finally, although you generally start your day with breakfast, we are ending the story of your wonderful Texas getaway with a few examples of the best breakfast places in town! Everyone knows that eating a hearty breakfast prepared by others is one of life’s greatest luxuries, and these tastefully exciting spots do it the best! Keep it simple with a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee served from a stationary trailer at the Paperboy, located at 1203 E. 11th Street, or fall in love with the farmhouse delights offered at Josephine House, 1601 Waterston Avenue. Serving breakfast scones, fresh-squeezed orange juice, lemon ricotta pancakes, and French press coffee, there is nothing on this menu that does not go down smooth and easy!
A Place for All Seasons
Although we are primarily guiding you through fall and summer for your Austin escape, there are many activities that are guaranteed to be fun, no matter what season the calendar is showing! Shop at indie boutiques, bringing home souvenirs and keepsakes for you, your family, and friends, visit some of our cultural oddities, which include a cathedral of junk and a Museum of Weird, or simply hang out in a variety of record shops, reminiscing about the music of your past being played the way all good music should be—on vinyl! All of the above activities and adventures just won’t have the same panache unless you get to come home at the end of every day to the comforts of our Austin Vacation Rentals seasonal sanctuaries; reserve yours today!