SXSW: Where to Eat, Stay and Play in Austin
The Hollywood Reporter's best bets to getting your basic needs met while at the festival.
This story first appeared in the March 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
WHERE TO STAY
A historic mansion-turned-modern hotel, the 47-room, 10-suite Hotel Ella (1900 Rio Grande St., from $249 a night) opened in the fall after a $5 million renovation and sits in the heart of Austin. The crown jewel is its four mansion lofts on the third floor, each featuring a unique design. Inside the hotel is Goodall's Kitchen & Bar, offering the best from Texas purveyors. -- Brandon Kirby
HOW TO ESCAPE
If you need a break from the SXSW circus, try Pedernales Falls State Park (2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City) and scramble along a 3,000-foot-long incline of layered limestone. Also hit up Austin's Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo (Travis County Exposition Center, 7311 Decker Lane) and take in cow-milking demonstrations or the Swifty Swine Pig Races. -- Jeff Salamon
HOW TO GET AROUND
Austin riders can now use the Uber cab services as of March 6. Uberblack, pedicabs and a number of free promotional uberX cars will be available at SXSW. For a two-wheel option, Rocket Electrics (1608 E. Riverside Drive) rents electric bikes. The social network Tagged is sponsoring invite-only limo and town-car pickups from the airport, and Catch a Chevy will pick up for free those who tweet #ChevySXSW with their location. -- Natalie Jarvey
WHERE TO EAT
Barbecue is everywhere in Austin. Standing in line at Franklin Barbecue (900 E. 11th St.) is a new rite of passage for any aficionado. Micklethwait Craft Meats (1309 Rosewood Ave.) offers award-winning beef ribs, and John Mueller Meat Co. (2500 E. 6th St.) serves up fare that has made it a Central Texas meat mecca. -- Virginia B. Wood