Explore Austin with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
A hub of entrepreneurialism and culture, Austin is a city brimming with young energy thanks to its lively and creative student population. Made famous by its two annual music festivals – South by Southwest and the Austin City Limits Festival – there is plenty of live music available to experience throughout the year in venues across the city, from country singers and jazz virtuosos to up-and-coming indie bands.
With the keys to your own hire car, you’ll be able to explore this exciting city to the fullest extent, as well as venture beyond the city limits to other nearby destinations such as San Antonio (made famous by the Alamo building, the site of a pivotal battle in the Texas revolution) or Houston, where you can visit the Space Centre and see where NASA’s astronauts are prepared for their missions.
Fly into the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and from there it’s a half-hour drive to the centre of Austin along the TX-71 and the I-35 highways.
With a hire car you can easily venture beyond Austin to the nearby city of Dallas (three hours’ drive), where you can explore the Dallas World Aquarium – home to a wide range of exotic animals, as well as wander the halls of the Dallas Museum of Art, where you can encounter pieces dating back as far as 3000 BC, as well as work by influential American artists such as Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andrew Wyeth. Round Rock is also just a half-hour drive away, where the Rock’N River Family Aquatic Centre is a guaranteed hit with kids, boasting a sizeable water park along with enough slides and pools to keep them amused for hours.
Choose from a wide selection of hire car providers in Austin to suit every budget and requirement, from Alamo and Hertz to Avis.
No visit to Austin is complete without a trip to the Texas State Capitol, the largest in the US with nearly 400 rooms and more than 900 windows. Tours of the spectacular building are available daily, which is worth finishing with a stroll through the surrounding 22 acres of grounds, scattered with various historical monuments. If, after that, you’re still keen to learn more about the history of this fascinating state, then the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum can tell you all you need to know, from the years when Texas was a Republic, through to the oil drilling that brought the area prosperity and into the present day.
Nature lovers can head out to Congress Avenue Bridge, where up to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats make their home each year, forming the largest urban bat colony in North America. Austin residents often gather at sunset to watch the bats swarm out to feed at night – a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle you’ll never forget. If you want to venture further in your hire car, Lake Travis, a half-hour drive out of the city, is an oasis of calm where you can eat and relax on the shoreline or even, for the best views, speed across it attached to a zip line!
Driving in Austin, like much of America, is largely straightforward, with wide lanes and simple road layouts. Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road and you can overtake on both sides. You can also perform a U-turn at the end of most junctions – it will be marked if you are not allowed to do so. Most American cars are automatic, so remember to request a stick shift if you would prefer one.
Feeling inspired to start exploring Austin and other parts of the US? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
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