With about HALF of our clients traveling in to Austin for their boudoir session, it's important to know where you're going, where you're staying, and...let's be honest...most importantly: Where to EAT! Enjoy this "Welcome to Austin" guide - as according to Kara Marie herself - to make the most of your trip!
If you won't have a car while you're in town, Uber is probably the easiest way to get from place to place. (Use CODE karam3667ue for first ride free!).
WHERE TO STAY:
Our studio is located at 2906 S 1st Street which is just south of downtown Austin. If you log on to Expedia and just search for Austin hotels, looking for a decent hotel at a decent price, you may still end up an hour away from the studio. Austin is VERY spread out and very diverse. If you decide to explore away from our specific recommendations, we recommend looking in Downtown Austin and South Austin. There are about 200 hotel options, so plenty for all budget types! Here are some of our favorites:
Austin Motel- This is Kara Marie's FAVORITE budget hotel option in Austin. Located conveniently ON South Congress (some would argue the coolest part of Austin), it's an old school motel that has been revamped. It's quirky and colorful and VERY *Austin*. The historic Austin Motel sits just south of the Colorado River and Downtown, in view of the State Capitol and walking distance to the famous bat bridge. Part of the beloved South Congress neighborhood, the motel is surrounded by some of the city’s most interesting dining, nightlife and shopping, with easy access to bus lines and Austin’s lovely hike and bike trail that connects to Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool and the Barton Creek greenbelt. [1.7 miles from studio: $150 average per night]
South Congress Hotel- Kara Marie's absolute favorite pick. It's got great food on site at Cafe No Se, the rooms have a really cool vibe, the bar is killer, the pool is divine and low key (most days), and the customer service is impeccable. [1.5 miles from studio: average $319 per night]
Hotel Saint Cecilia- Hotel Saint Cecilia, patron saint of music and poetry, is inspired by the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when a revolution of rock and roll and beat poetry overran the established convention. Each of the five suites, six poolside bungalows, and three studios embodies an equal love for the elegance of old world luxury and the irreverence of musical muses. The secluded property and grounds are open only to hotel guests, thereby offering a unique sense of privacy situated steps away from the heart of South Austin. [1.7 miles from studio: average $500 per night]
Hotel San Jose - This one of a kind metro meets lux, motor court turned hotel has all the fixin's to turn your rough and tumbled traveling band into a shiny gang of whipper snappers. Concrete floors and minimalist interiors to afford impeccable cleanliness and a sense of calm. Handmade furniture. Custom sheets and kimono bathrobes. Malin + Goetz bath amenities. A minibar curated to address a variety of thirst and snack needs. [1.5 miles from studio: average $475 per night]
Park Lane Guesthouse - Boasting both a main house and adjacent private cottages, this Travis Heights B&B is as well-known for its innovative chefs as its eclectic decor; co-owned by a retired carpenter, the Victorian house has been renovated with brightly colored shingles, stained glass detailing, and repurposed materials. While each cottage includes a full kitchen, chances are you'll prefer Park Lane's own creations; their organic, vegetarian breakfasts feature eggs from the property's own chickens, as well as homegrown fruits and herbs, and there are vegan and gluten-free options for health-conscious guests. Park Lane is near bustling South Congress Avenue, but its natural pool shaded by massive oaks is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. [1.8 miles from studio: average $260 per night]
Hyatt Regency Austin - Discover the contagious energy of the city in the quiet comfort of our downtown Austin location. Fresh off a $47-million-renovation, Hyatt Regency Austin is perfectly nestled on the shores of Lady Bird Lake with close access to 6th Street entertainment, the Austin Convention Center and South Congress for dining and shopping. Take a 5-minute walk to South Congress Bridge around sunset in the summer to catch Austin’s famous bat show, featuring over 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats. [2.5 miles from studio: $260 average per night]
JW Marriott Austin - The JW Marriott Austin collection of luxury Austin, TX accommodations is designed for pleasure and productivity and was recently named a 2016 Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Award Winner as a Top 50 Hotel in the World. Our modern downtown destination with a flair for sophistication and authentic experience encompasses 1,012 elegant guest rooms and suites with signature Marriott Revive® bedding and high-speed Wi-Fi, as well as 48″ HD LED Smart TVs. [2. 5 miles from studio: $329 average per night]
Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin Downtown Town Lake - This downtown hotel with a 9-story atrium is near the Texas State Capitol and Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. Modern rooms include free WiFi and flat-screen TVs, plus mini fridges, microwaves and coffeemakers. Suites add living rooms with pull-out sofas. Upgraded suites add Keurig coffeemakers, and some have city views. A made-to-order breakfast and an evening reception are free, and there's a chic Mediterranean bistro. Other amenities include an indoor pool, an exercise room, a business center and meeting rooms. [2 miles from studio: $250 average per night]
SoCo Treehouse - Two-story modern treehouse in quiet garden oasis in heart of SOCO! Private entrance and balcony, full kitchen, garden w/ fire pit and terrace for eating al fresco, super high ceilings, wash/dryer, free parking, happy vibes! Pet friendly. [~2 miles from studio: $125 average per night]
South Congress Bamboo Garden House - The Bamboo Garden House features a mix of modern and reclaimed styles. The house is full of rich history from the over 100 year old long leaf pine reclaimed floors to the barn wood siding on the outside. There is even a barn door separating the bathroom from the main living areas. All of these beautiful reclaimed elements are offset by clean modern design elements as well. The sleek kitchen and recessed multicolor LED lighting help to warm up the interior and a huge slate walk in shower with skylight above allows you to shower under beautiful natural light. Wifi and cable with HBO. [~2 miles from studio: $130 average per night]
SoCo Guest House - This secluded guest house is one block from shopping and dining on South Congress Ave. Bike or walk around funky South Austin or head downtown, less than a mile away. Private entrance to a garden setting. Sleeps 1-2 adults. Pets allowed and on your visit you may meet a friendly gray cat and two sassy hens who roam the yard. [~2 miles from studio: $165 average per night]
WHERE TO EAT
**If you aren't interested in leaving your room, the FAVOR app is a great tool to get a ton of food delivery options (Use CODE N24U1R for $5 off your order)** as well as UberEATS and Postmates
Hopdoddy - For gourmet burgers and fries and milkshakes that are worth standing in line for! Kara Marie's Order: Prime Time Burger with Truffle Fries and the "adult" milkshake of the day. (Note: Maybe AFTER your session... ;) )
Torchy's - TACOS! Torchy's is where most of Austin goes for their tacos and they will not disappoint. THere's one located right across the street from the studio! Kara Marie's order: Brushfire Taco (chicken, mango, cream cheese, something spicy, yummm), add fried avocado!
Elizabeth Street Cafe - French Vietnamese (we know it sounds weird. If you like Pho, Spring Rolls, and Macarons-- GO HERE. Super adorable. Kara Marie's Favorite: Kaffir Lime Fried Chicken Bun, the jasmine buleberry iced tea, and a macaron for dessert.
June's All Day - Kara Marie's favorite little cafe (that can be casual or fine dining-- Austin's cool like that.). Located on South Congress. Kara Marie's Favorite: Fried Chicken Sandwich (best. ever), or the chicken paillard if I'm feeling something light and fresh. If you go for breakfast, whatever you do, order an english muffin on the side. They make them fresh from scratch you and you never knew an english muffin could be so good.
HILLSIDE FARMACY - Hillside Farmacy resides in a building owned by one of the oldest standing African American East Austin residents. In the 50;s, pharmacist Doc Young and his family operated Hillside Drugstore. The store closed in the 70's and the deteriorating building was lovingly restored by the Hillside Farmacy team and were honored with a Preservation Austin award for their efforts.
Lenoir - The owners opened Lenoir with two big ideas: to help build a strong culinary community in Austin and to create a new style of dining in Austin. Lenoir sources almost exclusively from Texas’ community of farmers and food artisans who provide incredible produce, meat and cheese. The menu changes with the Texas season with a great wine selection to complement the food. They have a great happy hour and cute wine garden. Note: Lenoir is closed on Mondays.
TRIO - Steps from the bustle of downtown Austin, TRIO at Four Seasons Hotel Austin offers fine dining in a contemporary atmosphere both relaxing and sophisticated. The menu is centered around steak, seafood and carefully chosen wines and the setting is both metropolitan and scenic, with an outdoor dining area overlooking the natural beauty of Austin’s Lady Bird Lake.
Uchi - Translated from the Japanese word “house,” the original Uchi is located in a refurbished South Austin bungalow. Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole’s signature non-traditional take on Japanese food has delighted Austin’s diverse dining crowd as well as visitors from across the country and around the world since 2003.
Vince Young Steakhouse - The Vince Young Steakhouse is a locally owned and operated fine dining restaurant in the heart of Austin. Serving USDA prime steaks, elegantly composed entrees and house made deserts, not matter what the occasion, the Vince Young Steakhouse is sure to impress. Surround yourself in our elegant dining room, maybe by the fireplace with your guest or in an intimate booth for a romantic evening. Whatever the occasion, at the Vince Young Steakhouse we look forward to providing you with an exceptional dining experience that you are sure to remember.
LICK Ice cream- Honest Ice cream with honest ingredients. Dairy free and gluten free options available.
Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop- Right down the street from the studio and plenty of take out options available. The red velvet though!