If you’re wondering why you should go to the capital of Texas, it’s probably just because you haven’t been there yet. Here’s another reason to go: $220 round trip in May.
That’s about what we paid five years ago, when the fam flew to Austin in a fruitless attempt to get the kid to apply to the University of Texas. The shortie wasn’t buying, but the husband and I were hooked. We wanted to enroll ourselves.
The kid later went to college in Montreal, and every time she complained about the cold we looked up the temperature in Austin and reported it to her. (Of course, Montreal is also lovely … in August.)
So what’s so great about Austin?
- Hip music scene. We were traveling with an underaged whelp back when we visited, so we didn’t do any club-hopping. But every March our evil rock critic goes to the SXSW music festival and comes back with extra waves of cool just rolling off him. (Also, he likes to tell me every year how he got to see the Drive-By Truckers, a band of which I may be the most rabid middle-aged female fan in New England.)
- College town scene. Well, maybe college city. With 37,000 undergrads, UTexas has a huge influence. Coffeehouses, tie-dye, bike paths, avant garde artsy stuff. (As one friendly campus guide explained when I asked him whether the university had a downside, "there are a lot of liberals" in Austin.)
- Barton Springs. Yes, it can get a bit steamy in Austin, even in May. Just get on over to Barton Springs and jump into the city’s lovely and refreshing spring-fed swimming hole. It’s just one of many recreation spots in a city that knows how to live with the outdoors.
- Really good food, all over the place. Myself, I’d recommend the stuffed sopapillas at Chuy’s.
- A very cool airport. Really. After the nearby Air Force base closed, the city made lemonade and converted it into a spacious, airy modern airport covered in glass and bathed in light. It opened in 1999.
So if you want a fare for around $220, go to your favorite booking website and look for a trip between May 1 and May 30 on Continental. If you want to go sooner, there are fares on other carriers in the $250 range for March and April.
Here are the airport codes for this one: