Since 1987, Austin has attracted thousands of people to the arts, culture and music festival and conference known as South by Southwest (SXSW). There are many vacation rentals in and around the city that allow you to get the full Austin experience during the 10-day event. Whether you want to be right in the center of the action or are looking for a quiet retreat at the end of the day, Austin’s neighborhoods offer a little something for everyone, along with their vacation rental homes. Check out the five best areas to stay during Austin SXSW.
Where to Stay for South By SouthWest Conferences & Festivals
Filled with historic homes and small mom-and-pop shops, Clarksville offers a small-town vibe right in the big city. Renting a vacation home in Clarksville for SXSW means you’ll be able to get around by walking to some attractions and have easy access to public transportation. You’ll never be too far from the action. However, when you’re ready to retreat from all of the excitement, Clarksville offers an array of small shops, unique restaurants and quiet spots to relax in.
East Downtown is the artsy sibling of Downtown Austin. It has a grittier edge and is a bit less crowded. East Austin has tree-lined streets that make a beautiful backdrop for an evening stroll. If you’re hungry, you can grab a bite to eat at the numerous food trucks situated around the neighborhood. If shopping is your thing, one-of-a-kind boutiques, jewelry stores and galleries abound. This area of Austin offers a mix of studios in historic buildings and new condos, giving you options for your stay during SXSW Austin.
Dawson is situated near South Congress, which is close to nightlife and other fun activities. However, it’s just far enough away for peace, quiet and relaxation. Dawson is a residential neighborhood with lots of friendly and close-knit neighbors. There are plenty of small restaurants, bars and shops to keep you entertained, but it’s also close to Highway 71 so it’s easy to hop in the rental car or catch a bus to head into the city.
South Lamar is the neighborhood for people heading to SXSW on a budget. This area has cheap eateries, thrift stores and dive bars that offer a true Austin experience without the large price tag. While this neighborhood tends to be quieter after the sun goes down, you can still find plenty to do at night if that’s what you’re into. Additionally, South Lamar has an abundance of outdoor areas for enjoying Austin in the spring — free of charge.
Hyde Park is a historic neighborhood in Austin filled with turn-of-the-century homes and tree-lined streets. Renovated homes and new construction maintain the integrity of the neighborhood and pay homage to generations past. There are plenty of places within walking distance, and it’s right on the MetroBus line if you need to go farther into the city. In addition to historic homes, Hyde Park has a mixture of duplexes, cozy bungalows and apartments throughout the neighborhood for those looking for comfortable SXSW vacation rentals.