SXSW: Where to Eat, Stay and Play in Austin

 

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

STORY: SXSW Events Not to Miss

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

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