Worth getting out of bed for
Borrow one of the iPods, pre-loaded with tunes, and read a good book in the courtyard beer garden, take some holiday snaps with the hotel’s Polaroid camera (you’ll have to pay for the film), then tap out a travel journal on the Remington Premier typewriter. Explore downtown’s shops and restaurants, then have a night in (in the courtyard that is) – there’s music- and movie-themed entertainment on offer most nights. Sip a cocktail and snack on pizza, popcorn and ice cream while you watch the latest independent films at Violet Crown Cinema (+1 512 495 9600; www.violetcrowncinema.com).
Stave off hunger pangs with a trip to Home Slice Pizza at 1415 South Congress Avenue (+1 512 444 7437), and be sure to try the Margherita slice, which comes piled with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, garlic and basil. For succulent seafood, do as the local foodies do and head to Perla’s, a recent addition to Austin’s dining scene, at 1400 South Congress Avenue (+1 512 291 7300).
For some of Austin’s finest tart margaritas, head to Guero’s, a Tex Mex restaurant in a converted warehouse at 1412 South Congress Avenue (+1 512 447 7688).
Jo’s (+1 512 444 3800) shares the hotel’s car park, and teams friendly service with freshly made sandwiches, soups and cakes.
Pretty much next-door to Hotel San José is the legendary Continental Club, at 1315 South Congress Avenue (+1 512 441 2444). This dark and bluesy club is packed with a creative crowd, red-neon signage and photos of famous guests, and regularly attracts Austin’s best bands. Performers such as Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton and Dwight Yoakum have hit the stage at Antone's at 213 West Fifth Street. Jazz fans should check out Maceo Parker packed house concerts when he comes to town each year (+1 512 320 8424; www.antones.net).
March Music festival South by South West (http://sxsw.com) attracts big names, yet manages to stay low key thanks to its laid-back Austinite hosts. Over four days, more than 1,800 music acts descend on the city and there are plenty of unofficial gigs around the official nightly line-up. April Feast upon cowboy cuisine at the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival (www.texaswineandfood.org). August Cool down in the hot city with Austin’s Ice-Cream Festival (www.icecreamfestival.org). Celebrate Austin’s winged residents with Bat Fest (www.roadwayevents.com). October Enjoy tunes in the park at the Austin City Limits Music Festival (www.aclfestival.com). Then swap music for movies at the Austin Film Festival (www.austinfilmfestival.com).