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Austin: If You're Going …

Updated: February 11, 2011, 4:07 PM ET
By Doug Ward | Special to ESPN SportsTravel


ico_orbitzAustin, Texas, travel: Plan Trip | Hotels | Flights | City Guide: Austin | Buy Texas tix

Planning on making a future pilgrimage to Austin and the campus of the University of Texas for a Longhorns football game at Darrell K Royal-Memorial Stadium?

Here are some suggestions on lodging and dining for your stay:

Where to stay

San Jose Hotel
1316 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78704
(512) 444-7322 | Web site

Some of the quarters at this hipster hangout are no bigger than a dorm room. But dorm life was never like this, not with the sleek, minimalist accommodations that are straight out of Dwell magazine, and the lively courtyard bar scene. As an added bonus, the place is home to Jo's Coffee Shop, which features some of the best latte drinks southeast of Seattle.

Driskill Hotel
604 Brazos St.
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 474-5911 | Web site

Lyndon Baines Johnson's first date with Lady Bird was at the restaurant of this grand, downtown hotel. The place remained a sentimental favorite to Johnson, who made regular visits during his presidency. Johnson spent election night of 1964 at the hotel, and addressed his supporters in a hotel ballroom after his win.

The hotel bar does a brisk postgame business, and the ambience will make you feel like a cattle rancher or oil baron. For breakfast we recommend the 1886 Cafe & Bakery, named for the year the hotel opened.

Where to eat

El Arroyo
1624 W. Fifth St.
Austin, Texas 78703
512-474-1222 | Web site

One taste of the incomparable queso here and your appetite for stadium nachos will be ruined forever. After Longhorn games, the place fills up with fans celebrating a UT victory by crushing platefuls of Austin's celebrated Tex-Mex, washed down with margaritas, all while watching a West Coast game on TV. Kirk Herbstreit says he stops by every time he's in town; for that, we think he deserves a show on the Food Channel to go along with his ESPN gig.

Stubb's Barbecue
801 Red River St.
Austin, Texas 78701
512-480-8341 | Web site

Music and barbecue make this the quintessential Austin hangout. The stage has played host to everyone from Willie Nelson to Bob Dylan, but it's tough to know if the music or the food is the real headliner here. The spicy, pit-smoked ribs come with more of a kick than Earl Campbell in the open field. (You've probably seen, or bought, Stubb's Bar-B-Q sauce in your local stores.) Sunday features a sensational gospel brunch.

The Continental Club
1315 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78704
(512) 441-2444 | Web site

The small venue is known as ground zero for rockabilly but hosts a wide variety of bands, including rock and new wave. Originally a supper club that booked acts such as Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, the Continental Club has long since morphed into an edgier venue that hosted Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Nightlife

Sixth Street
The highest concentration of Austin's bars and clubs are on this stretch downtown. The street is lined with venues like Antone's (213 W. Fifth St., Web site) that helped launched the likes of Janis Joplin and Vaughn.

Other attraction

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
2313 Red River St.
Austin, Texas 78705
512-721-0200 | Web site

Located on the University of Texas campus, the LBJ library transports you back to a time when a president from Texas led a nation that was mired in an unpopular war, with no easy way out. And as with a Texas home football game, time stands still and history seems to repeat itself here.

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