Austin Vacation Deals

Vacation Deals in Austin

Looking for Austin vacation deals? They won't be too hard to come by - if you know where to look. Although the Lone Star State capital is firmly planted on the map as a top tourist destination, its hefty population of college students and "starving artist"-types means there's plenty of cheap things to see and do. Before you head to Texas' hippest city, here's a guide to scoring Austin vacation deals, on everything from attractions to restaurants to lodging.

Hop through our Austin vacation deal guide here:

Cheap (and Free) Things to See and Do in Austin

Whether you've got little kids to keep entertained, or energy to unload on a bike ride, Austin's got so much in store for you... and for cheap, too.

austin texas capitol buildingSightseeing

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Visit a Museum or Zoo

  • Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum: Check out the 20th century sculptures of Charles Umlauf, beautifully blended in with nature. Admission is $3.50.
  • Blanton Museum of Art: As far Central Texas goes, you won't see an art collection bigger than this one! Admission is $9.
  • Bullock Texas State History Museum: Discover the "Story of Texas." Exhibits and iMAX theater screenings typically cost under $10.
  • Austin Zoo: Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! (Plus exotic birds, snakes, monkeys, and more.) Admission is $9 for adults. 
  • Austin Nature and Science Center: Take the kiddos to this fun and educational preserve in Zilker Park. You can even dig for fossils in the Dino Pit! Admission is free.  
  • Austin Children's Museum: If you've got a little one, chances are he or she is a curious one. Satisfy all that curiosity at this 12,500-sq-ft museum. Admission is $6.50 for adults and kids 2 years and up.
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Museum: 30,000 plants are on display throughout the year here (what you'll be able to see depends on the season). Admission is $9, except if you vist in January, when it's free. 
  • Zilker Botanical Garden: This 31-acre garden features a recreated dinosoaur habitat! Admission is just $2.

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town lake hikingFree Outdoor Fun

  • Go for a hike or bike ride on a Town Lake trail.
  • Sprawling Zilker Park is free to enjoy, and for just $3, you can take a dip into its resident pool, Barton Springs Pool.
  • Located in Central Austin, Mayfield Park offers up a truly unique (and free) experience, featuring a historic cottage, impeccably manicured gardens, and even peacocks! 
  • Head up the long, winding staircase to the top of Mount Bonnell for a great view of Austin.

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Dining on a Budget in Austin

Tex Mex and barbecue are "Must Eats" in Austin, but there's something for everyone here, whether you're a vegetarian or addicted to sushi. Here are the best Austin vacation deals for dining out (and in).

Burgers

  • Mighty Fine Burgers: Head here for a simple burger, fry, and shake combo.
  • Hut's Hamburgers: Jazz up your hamburger with unique ingredients like pineapple, jalapenos, or guacamole. 
  • P Terry's: Like your food all-natural? Then this is the drive-thru for you. 

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Breakfast

  • Kerbey Lane: This 24-hour-diner is reasonably priced and very Austin. Try the Kerbey Queso, or omelettes and pancakes any time of day. 
  • Magnolia Cafe: Another 24-hour hot spot, this cafe specailizes in Tex Mex and migas. 

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Barbecue

  • Rudy's: $7 is a great deal for a half pound of brisket when that brisket is world-famous!
  • Poke-e-Jo's: The fully-loaded Family Style Platter serves 4 and costs a reasonable $32. 

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Pizza

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austin tex mexTex Mex & Tacos

  • Matt's El Rancho: A legendary but affordable restaurant in Austin, serving up Tex Mex classics. 
  • Chuy's: "Chuychangas" and margaritas. Enough said.
  • Torchy's Taco: Ordering tacos has never been more fun. Try "the Republican," with grilled jalapeno sausage, or the "Trailer Park," with fried chicken and green chilies. 
  • Taco Deli: If you're craving a breakfast taco, this is the place to be.
  • Freebirds: When you need a big burrito to satisfy a big appetite.

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Desert

  • Amy's Ice Cream: Visiting Austin in the summer? The heat is a great excuse for some ice cream!

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Coffee

  • Mozart's: Enjoy a $2.99 bottomless cup of coffee. (View of the lake is free.)
  • Spider House: This cafe-and-bar-in-one is a favorite hangout spot for the local college kids, and a cheap place to grab a bite to eat and people watch.

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Dining In

  • Stock up on groceries at the super affordable grocery store HEB or the gigantic Whole Foods Market, and dine in for a few meals. Your Austin vacation condo will likely have all the comforts of home, including a full kitchen and spacious dining area. Cooking your own meal with friends or family is not only cheap, but fun, too. If you use meal prep to bond with your fellow vactioners, it won't feel like a chore!

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Austin Accommodation Deals

One of the biggest costs when traveling is your accommodation. But it doesn't have to be. Austin vacation rentals range from luxury pool homes to downtown condos to wedding-friendly lake houses. Instead of cramming your loved ones into one small hotel room (or several separate hotel rooms), why not get more space and more amenities for the same price or less? While vacation homes are generally a much better value than hotels, Vacation Rentals.com still offers up extra Austin vacation deals - like cancellation specials and free add-ons.

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More Money Saving Tips

Okay, so you know what to do, what to see, where to eat, and where to stay on a budget. But there are plenty more ways to save a buck when visiting Austin! Here are some great tips for scoring additional Austin vacation deals:

  • Before heading out to an attraction, restaurant, or bar, find out if there are any good coupons or specials available. Sites like Groupon or AustinOnTheCheap.com are especially helpful for this.
  • The Alamo Drafthouse Theater is a super popular movie theater and restaurant/bar in one. But because of this combo, a night out at the Drafthouse can be very damaging to your wallet. However, the venue has lots of dirt cheap events - like "Weird Wednesdays," so check those out instead of the mega blockbusters. 
  • You can save money on cab fare and a rental car by staying in a downtown Austin condo and getting around on foot, bike, or bus.
  • If you happen to visit during a popular event, like SXSW, Austin City Limits, or the F1 race, you'll be forced to spend more money on just about everything. Visit during a quieter time of year and you'll save.

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