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Travel watch: Harrisburg to Austin, and back again

Photo: iStock
By Hoodline - Published on March 19, 2019.

Looking for a trending new city to explore? Consider Austin, Texas, one of the fastest growing large cities in the country and U.S. News & World Report's #1 place to live in the U.S. for the past two years running.

The self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World" is home to many students, artists and musicians, along with a booming tech industry, and a classic Texas barbecue and Tex-Mex food scene. Despite its growth, Austin seeks to maintain its eccentric local vibe, with plenty of independent businesses and a strong commitment to the local environment. Austin hosts numerous festivals throughout the year and boasts more music venues per capita than any other city in the U.S. The list of local attractions also includes extensive theaters, museums and outdoor spaces like parks, lakes and waterways.

It’s more doable than you think. According to travel site Skyscanner, there are plenty of flights from Harrisburg to Austin in the next few months, and the prices aren't too shabby.

So if you're looking for a change of scenery, here are some deals to put on your to-do list.

(Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in the articles may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions. Prices and availability are subject to change.)

Cheapest Austin flights

The cheapest flights between Harrisburg and Austin are if you leave on April 30 and return from Texas on May 4. American Airlines currently has roundtrip, nonstop tickets for $257.

There are also deals to be had earlier in April. If you fly out of Harrisburg on April 9 and return from Austin on April 12, United can get you there and back for $261 roundtrip.

Top Austin hotels

To plan your accommodations, here are some of Austin’s top-rated hotels, according to Skyscanner, that we selected based on price, proximity to things to do and customer satisfaction.

The Driskill - in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt (604 Brazos St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

For an all-around top recommendation, consider The Driskill - in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The hotel has a 4.5-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $129.

A landmark in downtown Austin, this legendary hotel was built in 1886 as the showplace for cattle baron Jesse Lincoln Driskill and has since become synonymous with traditional Texas hospitality.  

The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center (1900 University Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

There's also the 4.8-star rated The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. Rooms are currently set at $129/night.

The Hotel Ella (1900 Rio Grande)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to splurge on top quality, there's The Hotel Ella. The 4.8-star hotel has rooms for $199/night.

Featured Austin food and drink

If you're looking for a popular spot to grab a bite, Austin has plenty of excellent eateries to choose from. Here are a few from Skyscanner's listings to help you get started.

Uchi (801 S. Lamar Blvd.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

One of Austin's most popular restaurants is Uchi, which has an average of 4.9 stars out of 104 reviews on Skyscanner.

The restaurant combines local seasonal ingre­di­ents with an infinite spec­trum of seafood from around the globe. Uchi invites diners to explore their gastro­nomic bound­aries by pairing tradi­tional Japanese offer­ings with new and refreshing flavors and textures.

"Amazing sushi," wrote visitor Katie. "It's up there against anything you'll have in San Francisco, New York City or elsewhere."

Franklin Barbecue (900 E. 11th)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Another popular dining destination is Franklin Barbecue, with 4.9 stars from 100 reviews.

"All the hype for this all-American meal," wrote Helena. "It was the No. 1 thing to do while visiting Austin."

Hopdoddy Burger Bar (1400 S. Congress Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Also worth considering is the Hopdoddy Burger Bar, with 4.7 stars from 127 reviews.

"I recommend the ahi tuna burger," wrote Wendy.  

Home Slice Pizza (1415 S. Congress Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, there's Home Slice Pizza, an independent neighborhood pizza joint serving authentic New York-style pizza — by the pie or by the slice. 

"Whether you're into spinach pizza or the traditional cheese, this place is funky and fun," wrote Tiffany. "People watch while you wait for your slice."

Featured Austin attractions

Not sure what to do in Austin, besides eat and drink? Here are a few recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.

Barton Springs Pool (2201 Barton Springs Road)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is Barton Springs Pool, with 4.8 stars from 342 reviews.

The grassy hillsides and moss-covered rocks are perfect for sunbathing. Diving boards, concession stands and restroom facilities are also available.

"A must-visit in Austin, especially in the summer," wrote visitor Nici.  

Zilker Metropolitan Park (2100 Barton Springs Road)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

The Zilker Metropolitan Park is another popular destination, with 4.8 stars from 269 reviews.

Patrons will enjoy a variety of activities at Zilker Park. You can check out the hike and bike trails, picnic facilities along with the Zilker Botanical Garden and more.  

Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail (Lady Bird Lake)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, spend some time at the Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail. It has 4.9 stars from 183 reviews.

"This is a wonderful body of water in the center of the city. Paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing are the most popular activities on Lady Bird Lake. I suggest trying them at least once," wrote visitor Nici. 

This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.

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