When the first Austin City Limits Festival was held in 2002, organizers expected only 25,000 people would come. What started as a festival to showcase the local bands and national headliners tied to the “Austin City Limits” television show has grown into one of the most exciting music festivals in the world. This two-weekend festival brings downtown Austin, Texas’s Zilker Park to life with mouthwatering food, music and activities. If you’re planning on attending, why not skip booking a cramped hotel room in favor of an Austin vacation rental in one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods?

1. Zilker

When it comes to finding the best places to stay during the Austin City Limits Music Festival, it’s hard to beat the convenience of a vacation rental located in the Zilker neighborhood just across the lake from downtown. It’s one of the more popular neighborhoods among real estate buffs, and it’s home to a mix of small single-family homes and ultra-modern new construction. Best of all, a vacation rental here puts you within walking distance of Zilker Park, where the festival is held, and the Barton Creek Greenbelt, where you can hike, bike and get in touch with nature during your down time.

2. Downtown

CC BY-SA 3.0/Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia Commons

The Zilker neighborhood offers quiet surroundings and easy access to the festival, but staying downtown puts you within steps of all the action. Grab a bite to eat at restaurants like Koriente or Moonshine, sip cocktails at bars like Peche or Midnight Cowboy, and see shows at theatres like the Ritz or Violet Crown. From eateries to comedy clubs to shops and boutiques, you’ll find it all downtown. And you’ll be just a short ride away from Zilker Park.

3. South Congress (SoCo)

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The SoCo neighborhood is popular among visitors and locals looking for a laid-back atmosphere and a variety of things to do, see and eat. SoCo is known for its artsy vibe and great eateries like Bouldin Creek Cafe. To experience the ‘hood’s artistic side, head to First Street, where there are plenty of galleries, studios and public art, including the “Greetings from Austin” mural.

4. Clarksville

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This neighborhood is part of what many locals call “Old West Austin.” It’s known for its gorgeous homes, lush greenery and throwbacks like Nau’s Enfield Drug, a classic soda fountain, diner and drugstore hybrid. The luscious lemon ricotta pancakes at the Josephine House are also popular, as is the speakeasy vibe at Winflo Osteria. Looking for galleries? Check out Artworks and Wally Workman.

5. Hyde Park

CC0/Matthew Rutledge/Wikimedia Commons

Located just north of the University of Texas campus, this idyllic neighborhood boasts charming bungalows, manicured landscapes and restaurants like Wheatsville Co-Op and Hyde Park Bar & Grill. This historic neighborhood also offers a few gems, like Workhorse Bar, which is a perfect spot for gathering with friends and grabbing a few drinks before or after the festival.