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I’m not going to talk about barbecue and Tex-Mex here. When I began planning my trip to Austin, I made the mistake of opening that can of worms after I posted a thread on a foodie forum to ask about the best BBQ and Tex-Mex in town. Apparently, those are fighting words for Texans – like bagels and pizza for New Yorkers. There are too many greats to list only three. Instead, I’m going to tell you where to drink. (But, for what it’s worth, I ate my weight-plus in BBQ and Tex-Mex in Austin and recommend you do the same.) When you go to Austin, don’t miss these three favorites. Read more
I’m single this Valentine’s Day. This doesn’t bother me much, as I’ve only had a significant other coincide with the Happy Heart Day twice (in 7th grade, and last year). To me, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to wear a bunch of pink and gorge myself on candy, so it’s a holiday I can get behind regardless of relationship status. Plus, this year I’ve got a date to get tacos with my mom, so things are going pretty well, I would say.
Other singles don’t share my enthusiasm – or, rather, lack thereof. To many, Valentine’s Day is an annual reminder of his or her failure to land a partner, doomed to a lifetime of unanswered OkCupid messages and plucking errant cat hairs off ratty pajama pants. But, much like the 14 pounds of chocolate I will consume Thursday, there is no need to be bitter. There are plenty of events intended for the singles out there that are guaranteed to make your Valentine’s Day memorable.
Austin’s been keeping it weird for years and years now. In fact, many locals say it’s the one place in Texas where you go to actually leave Texas. No offense to the rest of the state, of course. If you’re headed down south to escape Old Man Winter, Austin is an excellent place to end up for business or pleasure, offering some of the best after-hours food and entertainment in the nation. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the heart of The Lone Star State, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.
Beginning June 19, customers who book early can secure dollar seats from Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio to locations like Austin and other states like Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana. While prices go up as the traveling date gets closer, Megabus is giving away 10,000 free seats and capping the price of its tickets at $1 during the first week of sales to promote its new service. Read more
In case you missed it, Austin just wrapped up the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) music, film, and interactive festival. Hundreds of thousands of industry insiders and fans descended upon the city of about 800,000 residents for five nights and four days packed full of music showcases, parties, film screenings, panels, food, and fun. But Austin is more than just this festival. There are always going to be new places to discover great music, food, and enjoyment in this southern city.
Let’s start with the music: Austin became known as the “Live Music Capital of the World” because it has so many musicians and live music venues in the area. Throughout the year, musicians are hustling to get all their gear downtown to play to the thousands of listeners on street corners and in bars. Check out the Parish for up-and-coming bands, or head to Stubb’s for barbeque, beer, and music ranging from Yonder Mountain String Band to Evanescence. During SXSW, Mohawk played host to DJ acts like Skrillex, drawing a massive and young crowd, but during the rest of the year, this open-air venue hosts DJ acts as well as indie bands like The Hold Steady and Real Estate.
Ogling the recent viral video of a flock of starlings swooping and swirling about in a mesmerizing phenomenon known as murmuration (watch the stunning footage, shot by two tourists in Ireland, here) had me in a state of awe. So, I simply had to set out to uncover one of the best places for viewing the startling starling phenomenon firsthand (turns out that Somerset, England, is a hot-spot for just that). What’s more, watching the video brought to mind two recent closer-to-home experiences of a similar ilk that unfold in the most unexpected of places, with two U.S. cities that are quite simply for the birds (well, in one case, for the bats!). For culture vultures that swoop in on these urban locales for the regular city-pleasing sights, bites, and cultural might, there’s one unexpected surprise: The opportunity to engage in entirely unique bird- and bat-watching tours. From a bat bridge in Austin to stellar big bird-viewing in the Big Apple, these wildlife encounters comprise surprising and offbeat ecotourism experiences to spice up the standard city tour. Read more
JetBlue is back with another roundup of sales fares, this week offering tickets from more than 40 domestic and Caribbean airports for November and early December flights for as little as $44 each way. Travel is valid from November 8 to December 15 (with November 18 to 28 blacked out for Thanksgiving, natch).
Sample one-way fares:
- Austin to San Francisco: $104
- Boston to San Diego: $149
- New York to West Palm Beach: $89
- Oakland to New York: $149
THE VALUE: Savings vary by route, but after the holidays the cheapest JetBlue flights we found from Austin to San Francisco were $134 each way; from Boston to San Diego are $235; from New York to West Palm Beach are $99; and from Oakland to New York are $214.
THE CATCH: This is a one-day sale, so snap up these fares before they disappear; taxes, fees, and the rest still apply.
THE DETAILS: Visit the JetBlue deal page to book tickets.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.
Take to the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country this Autumn and Winter with a stay at the Lakeway Resort & Spa located on Lake Travis, just minutes from the bustling music and nightlife of Austin, Texas. Now through December 31, 2011 book a room for two consecutive nights at the best available rate and get a third night free! Rates are currently listed at $179 per night. At the Lakeway, guests enjoy three swimming pools, one of which is a three tier infinity pool, the full-service San Saba Spa, and a marina offering charters for fishing, sailing, water skiing, and more. With four championship golf courses, wineries, shopping, and local attractions like Barton Springs a short drive away, the resort is perfect for families and couples alike.
THE VALUE: Receive your third night free!
THE CATCH: A $15 daily resort fee not included in pricing. Blackout dates apply.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.lakewayresortandspa.com to book your stay.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find low rates on flights to Austin, Texas.
Everyone loves to travel during the summer – including families with cranky babies, manic preschoolers, and brooding teens. And when it’s just the two of you on a relaxing and romantic getaway, the last thing you want is to choose two chaises on the beach or near the pool and have the moment ruined when a family straight out of National Lampoon’s Vacation plops down right next to you.
So, here are some tips for how to out-maneuver those omnipresent family groups – and with multi-generational travel all the rage, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all too often along for the ride, too – and truly enjoy some adult time (such as the daybeds at the adult-only pool area at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on Hawaii’s Big Island, shown at left).
Realistically, Earth Day can be celebrated any day when dining out. It’s easy to find eco-friendly eateries around the country that serve sustainable food and embrace environmental business practices – online directories like the Green Restaurant Association (www.dinegreen.com) even provide state-by-state listings.
But many of these restaurants and cafés step it up a notch on Earth Day itself by offering special menu items and discounts, and producing special events and entertainment. On April 22, dine out and do good at these eight locations nationwide.
Red Stag Supper Club: Start the day with breakfast at Minneapolis’ Red Stag Supperclub (www.redstagsupperclub.com), where all money raised from 8am to 12pm benefits the Land Stewardship Project (www.landstewardshipproject.org). Minnesota’s first LEED-certified restaurant will serve up locally-produced and organic ingredients, while the LSP will give brief presentations.
Eco-Cafe: Write your pledge to go green on the chalkboard in front of New Orleans’ Eco-Café (www.ecocafeno.com) and you’ll get a free cup of organic coffee. That Friday, featured menu items – like the soup and salad combo – will be made exclusively with ingredients from Holly Grove Farm, just three miles away.
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