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our 1st trip to austin

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colorado
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our 1st trip to austin

Hi all,

My husband and i are coming to Austin this month for music and bbq. Can't decide on a hotel yet (it's between courtyard by marriot, radisson, crowne plaza, and hampton inn (all downtown). Any suggestions? We want a nice room, good bed, and great pool area outside. We'd also like to spend a night on the coast. Can't decide between Galveston (not too far), Port Aransas (recommended by friends), and Corpus christi (my favorite singer--robert earl keen--sings about it). What do you think? Worth the drive? we'd like to be on the beach, and also have good music at night.

We'll be back in austin Sunday night. staying at the austin motel (looked cool).

Any pointers for where the good music is (club names?), or BBQ (did hear Smitty's in Lockhart--that's a start!).

Sorry to be so long-winded, just don't have a clue!

Thanks

Roswell, New Mexico
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1. Re: our 1st trip to austin

Lockhart BBQ is like nothing else!. Black's. SMitty's, Kreuz Market (my fave) are all stellar. Just be sure to pass on the over-rated Guero's on S. Congress. You can get the same tacos for 3-5 bucks in Laredo (or in the neighborhood by Mile High in Denver), but Guero's will soak you for 12-15$. Try El Azteca instead. If you have time, the beach is doable, but not really worth the effort. Check out Barton Springs in Austin instead. If you do the beach, I prefer Port A. Corpus has a beach in the city, but it is quite small. Mustang Island is OK, but generally full of trash.

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2. Re: our 1st trip to austin

My husband and i just returned from a trip to Texas last night. We love Texas. We went to Corpus Christi and found it dull, but then it was so windy you could not enjoy the coast. We drove up to Galveston and loved the history, be sure to eat at Gaido's seafood even if you don't like seafood (I don't) they have a wonderful chicken dish with sundried tomatoes and goat cheese.

We loved San Antonio and Austin. Austin has a wonderful South American Restaurant Dona Emilias, never tasted food like that before it was outstanding.

Be sure to be on Congress bridge for the bats at sunset.

colorado
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3. Re: our 1st trip to austin

Just wanted to thank you for your replies. I've never done this before, and it was so helpful to receive your advice. I did decide to book the Radisson (sounded like it was in the center of it all), and the Austin Motel for Sunday. Still trying to decide on the beach. Looking at Galveston over Port Aransas (but only because I think it's closer--is it do you know?).

Anyway, thanks for the tips. I'll definitely be dining in Lockhart!! I'm sure the BBQ alone will make my husband think the trip was worth it. But just wait until he sees all the music and beer...he'll want to move there!

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4. Re: our 1st trip to austin

I'd vote for Port A, also. The beach in Galveston isn't as nice. Galveston is a bit closer, but if you're going to drive that far, you might as well get a better beach. Of course, if you go to Galveston, you could make a side stop in Houston. If you decide not to go to the beach, you can do Barton Springs for a couple hours. It's easy to get to from where you're staying.

Lockhart has great BBQ. It's been a while since I've eaten (or worked) at the Salt Lick, but I love their sauce. If you go to the Driftwood location (the only real Salt Lick location, IMO), then you'll need to bring your own beer.

My husband's favorite ribs are at Texas Rib King, off 183 North by Burnet Rd.

I haven't stayed at many of the hotels in town, seein' as I live here and all, but I think you made a good choice.

Have a blast!

Texas Hill Country
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5. Re: our 1st trip to austin

Galveston may be closer by 30 miles or so to Austin but it will take you longer to get there because you will spend at least 1 hour or 2 going through Houston traffic. I recommend Port Aransas. It

Texas
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6. Re: our 1st trip to austin

You can go to Lockhart on the way to Port A. Also you can stop at Luling City Market in Luling if you go to Port A that route. Try a ring of sausage at Luling City Market. Perfection!

Try the breakfast at Las Manitas on S. Congress in Austin. It's just a block or so from the Radisson.

Also, the Elephant Room is on Congress just a few blocks from the Hotel and it's a great little jazz bar. Below street level. Cool.

Jovita's on S. First. Live music and good food and cold beer. Early shows and no cover.

If you like BBQ then don't miss the Salt Lick. Make the drive out to the original and take beer with you. Don't settle for the uptown location. The drive is worth it - some of the best hill country scenery.

7. Re: our 1st trip to austin

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Austin, TX.
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8. Re: our 1st trip to austin

Sounds like you have a fun trip planned! Radisson is a good hotel, especially location wise, but I'd rec. the Hyatt (just across the river) if the rates are close. Hyatt is much newer and more "Texas" theme to it. If its much nmore expensive, Rad. will be fine. Las Manitas for breakfast would be a greeat choice only a couple blocks walk.

Trip to Port Aransas via Lockhart and Luling is a GREAT idea. About a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive. Blacks BBQ has the best beef brisket anywhere as well as great sausage. SKIP the sides except pinto beans. Smittys sells great sausage and prime rib. As "Hal" wrote, Smittys sells out of prinme rib early, like 1pm). Skip Kreuz Market (big red barn), it has same meats as Smittys, but MUCH more salty tasting. Luling City Market is a close 2nd to Blacks as far as brisket. They also have very good ribs.

Port Aransas is a small town that you reach via car ferry (free) from Aransas Pass. You can go deep sea or bay fishing or just hang at the beach. I have stayed at the Captain Quarters motel and its a good deal and good location, about three minutes to the beach. Not many places (old condos mostly) right on the beach and they are very overpriced. There aren't any hotel/motels with direct beach access.

Please get back with a trip report!

Texas
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9. Re: our 1st trip to austin

Check out the Port Royal as a place to stay in Port A. They are a little way out of town but everything is really close there anyway.

Thet have a great pool and swim up bar. Walk across the dunes to the beach. Not cheap. Large, condo style rooms.

Wash your car well before you leave.

Waldport, Oregon
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10. Re: our 1st trip to austin

I couldn't agree more with the recommendations to go to Port Aransas versus Galveston. Having previously lived in Galveston and visited Port A., the latter truly excels over the former in terms of scenery and comfort, in my opinion. The scene in a lot of areas of Galveston is quite haggard looking (I mean, like dilapidated houses and loose dogs running around...that kind of stuff). Many of the motels there are pretty sorry looking, too. And the seawater is mostly brown looking on often muddy, disheveled beaches whereas the Gulf waters around Port A. seems to be more of what you would think the Gulf of Mexico looks like. Galveston does have a lot of historical homes and museums, and you would be close to attractions in Houston like another said if you did go to Galveston, but I definitely think Port A. is better. (And if you get the chance, you might want to check out Aransas National Wildlife Refuge nearby, as I believe it has alligators and whooping cranes).