Destination Spotlight: Austin, Texas
If the state capital of Texas is on your wish list of places to hold your next conference, you’re not alone. The city has become an increasingly popular destination for many reasons. Not only is it nestled within the scenic Hill Country region, it has been dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World” and is home to a vibrant live-entertainment and arts scene. With a plethora of cuisine options, exciting outdoor activities, and fabulous venues, Austin, Texas rarely disappoints.
It’s sunny in Austin! Annually, the city sees an average of 300 days of sunshine and averages temperatures in the 50’s in the fall/winter and in the 80’s in the spring/summer. That being said, it is important to note that summers are HOT in Austin. Like many southern cities located in the subtropical, humid climate, August is the hottest month of the year with temperatures sometimes reaching as high as 96 degrees.
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is the second-fasted growing, mid-sized airport in the United States. This environmentally-friendly airport builds with recycled materials and works hard to reduce its impact on the environment by recycling, using alternative fuels, as well as reducing electric and water consumption. It is located merely 7.5 miles from downtown Austin – a short, 15-minute drive. The airport services 70+ nonstop domestic and international destinations, with approximately 350 flights daily. Earlier this year, they completed a terminal expansion which added nine additional gates.
Getting Around Austin
The one-way Capital Metro Airport Flyer Bus runs between the airport and downtown approximately every 40 minutes for only $1.25/trip. The airport also hosts car rental facilities, buses, taxis, and ride-hailing services. Capital Metro, Austin’s public transit system, connects the airport to many downtown destinations. Capital Metro also offers a convenient “Night Owl” service that runs through 3:30 a.m. for those needing a ride after late-night events. Traffic in downtown Austin is hectic. Many people choose to walk or bike; additionally, Ride Austin, Uber, Lyft, and various pedicab services are great options if you don’t want to drive themselves around town. Additionally, MetroRail is available between Leander and Downtown Austin.
Need recommendations on what to do when you’re in Austin? Check out Visit Austin’s travel resources.
Budgeting Items for your Austin Meeting
Now that you have selected Austin as your next meeting destination, it’s time to budget. Here are a few items to consider during your planning phase:
- Refer to Austin Convention Center rate sheets to plan for equipment, services, and labor.
- Check the city’s event calendar to ensure your dates don’t conflict with other big events in Austin; limited space could increase your hotel rates.
- Average hotel room rate: $146
- Average daily meal cost: $59
- Average weekly car rental: $270; ZipCar member’s Austin rates are about $74/day
- Sales tax (includes state, county, and city sales tax combined): 8.25 percent
- Standard tipping practice: 15-20 percent
Unique Venues in Austin
- Austin Convention Center
- Circuit of the Americas
- Palmer Events Center
- Reunion Ranch
- Bullock Texas State History Museum
- Seaholm Power
- Republic Square
- Travis County Exposition Center
- George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center
- Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum
- Blanton Museum of Art