A break from the fog: Explore the best of Austin with cheap flights from San Francisco

Looking for a new city to explore? Consider Austin, Texas, one of the fastest-growing large cities in the country and U.S. News & World Report's #1 place to live in the U.S. for the past two years running.

The self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World" is home to many students, artists and musicians, along with a booming tech industry, and a classic Texas barbecue and Tex-Mex food scene. Despite its growth, Austin seeks to maintain its eccentric local vibe, with plenty of independent businesses and a strong commitment to the local environment.

Austin hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, and boasts more music venues per capita than any other city in the U.S. The list of local attractions also includes theaters, museums, and outdoor spaces like parks, lakes and waterways.

And getting there is more affordable than you'd think. According to travel site Skyscanner, there are plenty of flights from San Francisco to Austin in the next few months, and the prices aren't too shabby.

So if you're looking for a change of scenery, here are some deals to put on your to-do list.

(Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in the articles may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions. Prices and availability are subject to change.)

Cheapest Austin flights




Currently, the cheapest flights between San Francisco and Austin are set to leave on June 5 and return from Texas on June 7. United currently has tickets for $157, roundtrip.

There are also deals to be had in March. If you fly out of San Francisco on March 30 and return from Austin on April 3, American Airlines can get you there and back for $184 roundtrip.

Top Austin hotels




To plan your accommodations, here are some of Austin's top-rated hotels, selected from Skyscanner's listings based on price and customer satisfaction.

AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center (1900 University Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

For an all-around top recommendation, consider the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. The hotel has a 4.8-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $129.

Located on the south side of the University of Texas at Austin campus, the AT&T Education and Conference Center offers luxury hotel amenities and full conference center facilities, including intimate meeting rooms with arena seating smart classroom technology.

Guest benefits include access to the UT pool and gym facilities, in addition to the fitness room and pool on-site. Restaurants include both fine-dining options and casual fare. Rooms look out toward the UT Tower or the Texas State Capitol.

The Hotel Ella (1900 Rio Grande)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Another 4.8-star option is The Hotel Ella. Rooms at this boutique hotel, housed in a historic mansion dating back to 1900, are currently set at $199/night.

The Driskill - Unbound Collection by Hyatt (604 Brazos St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

A third option is The Driskill - Unbound Collection by Hyatt. With a 4.5-star rating on Skyscanner, the hotel is one of the most luxurious in the city. Rooms are currently listed for $129/night.

A landmark in downtown Austin, the hotel was built in 1886 as the showplace for cattle baron Jesse Driskill, and has since become synonymous with traditional Texas hospitality.

The hotel is close to many attractions, from the Texas State Capitol and Austin Convention Center to the city's world-famous Sixth Street nightlife scene.

Featured Austin restaurants




Don't miss Austin's food scene, with plenty of popular spots to get your fill of local cuisine. Here are a few of the top-rated eateries from Skyscanner's listings.

Uchi (801 S. Lamar Blvd.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for a local favorite, head to Uchi, which has an average of 4.9 stars out of 104 reviews on Skyscanner. Combining local, seasonal ingredients with an infinite spectrum of seafood from around the globe, this sushi spot maintains close relationships with local farmers, and sources seafood daily from the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo.

"Amazing sushi," wrote visitor Katie. "It's up there against anything you'll have in San Francisco, NYC or elsewhere. They don't take reservations, and it can get crowded. Valet parking is available. Their sister restaurant Uchi Co on Lamar is much less crowded and has a similar menu."

Hopdoddy Burger Bar (1400 S. Congress Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Another popular dining destination is Hopdoddy Burger Bar, with 4.7 stars from 127 reviews.

"This place is popular so there may be a line, but it moves pretty fast and is totally worth it," wrote reviewer Wendy. "Here's a secret: If you are willing to sit at the bar, go inside and see if there is a seat before waiting in line. You don't have to wait in line for a bar seat."

Franklin Barbecue (900 E. 11th)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Also worth considering is Franklin Barbecue, which serves world-famous ribs, brisket and hot links.

"Barbecue pork ribs: Very good dry rub for seasoning and nice and tender," wrote reviewer Helena. "Doesn't completely fall off when you pick up the ribs. The brisket has a nice smokey flavor, but it falls apart when you pick it up. Kind of like it's melted off your fingertips. The turkey is actually my favorite. Nice peppery rub, tender, and juicy slices."

Home Slice Pizza (1415 S. Congress Ave.)


Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, there's Home Slice Pizza, an independent neighborhood pizza joint serving authentic New York-style pizz, by the pie or by the slice.

"Whether you're into spinach pizza or the traditional cheese, this place is funky and fun," wrote visitor Tiffany.

Featured local attractions




Austin is full of sites to visit and explore. Here are some popular attractions to round out your trip, again from Skyscanner's listings.

Barton Springs Pool (2201 Barton Springs Road)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is Barton Springs Pool. Billed as one of Austin's "finest attractions," this natural swimming hole has no chlorine, and maintains a 68-degree temperature year-round. The pool features diving boards, hillsides and moss-covered rocks for sunbathing. There are concession stands and restroom facilities on site as well.

"A must-visit within Austin, especially in the summer, " wrote visitor Nici. "This natural pool in the center of the city ... is fairly reasonably priced to visit. You can swim laps, jump off a diving board, bring a float and just relax in the always cool water. Then, lay out on the hill in the sun to warm up and repeat. I suggest bringing a good book to make it an enjoyable afternoon visit."

Zilker Metropolitan Park (2100 Barton Springs Road)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Zilker Metropolitan Park is another popular destination, offering hiking and biking trails, picnic facilities, the Zilker Botanical Garden, canoe rentals, soccer fields and sand volleyball courts. There are riverboat rides on Town Lake and a miniature train as well. The site often features concerts and festivals throughout the year.

"Perfect for picnics, pick-up volleyball games, hike and bike trail and paddle boarding and kayaking," wrote visitor Robert. "Check out summer music series (Blues on the Green), the ACL music festival, the kite festival, and many other weekend family festivals. Restaurants with great atmosphere and drinks are within walking distance."

Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail (Lady Bird Lake)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Lastly, lace up your sneakers or hop on your bike to enjoy Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail.

"A wonderful body of water in the center of the city," wrote visitor Nici. "Paddle boarding and kayak/canoeing are the typical activities around Lady Bird Lake, and I do suggest trying them at least once. However, if you don't feel like being in the water, didn't pack a suit, or the weather isn't right, then I highly suggest biking around Lady Bird Lake. It is probably one of my favorite pastimes in Austin."
---

This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.