Staycation Guide

South Congress Hotel is celebrating its second anniversary tonight.

South Congress Hotel is celebrating its second anniversary tonight.

Southwest Austinites not wanting to travel far for vacation can explore surrounding area attractions and restaurants instead of leaving Central Texas. Nearby towns such as Driftwood and Dripping Springs offer winery, dining and swimming destinations. This list is not comprehensive.


Bear Creek Retreat
13813 Carpenter Lane, Manchaca
Cost: main house: prices start at $395 per night for four guests; cottage: $155 per night (two night minimum)
About 20 minutes from downtown Austin, Bear Creek Retreat offers a main house for groups or families looking to get away as well as a cottage for smaller parties looking for a quiet weekend.

Bella Nido LLC Bed and Breakfast
23351 FM 150, Driftwood
Cost: varies by booking date
Bella Nido Bed and Breakfast is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country. It offers six different private suites, and each includes a private bath.

Sage Hill Inn above Onion Creek
4444 W. FM 150, Kyle
Hours: varies by booking date
Cost: rooms start at $320 per night
This boutique Texas inn and spa intended for optimal relaxation offers 10 individual rooms as well as four private cottages and two luxury suites. All rates include a hot breakfast and a three-course dinner.

South Congress Hotel
1603 S. Congress Ave., Austin
Hours: 24-hour concierge
Cost: varies by booking date
Located on Austin’s famous South Congress Avenue, the newly renovated South Congress Hotel offers in-room spa treatments, a rooftop pool and bar, and in-room dining from Cafe No Se.

Eat & drink

The Barber Shop
207 Mercer St., Dripping Springs
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 3-11 p.m., Sat. 2-11 p.m., Sun. 2-8 p.m.
A former garage and barber shop has been transformed into a brewpub serving craft and international beer as well as wine.

Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery[/caption]

Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery
2250 E. Hwy. 290,  Dripping Springs
Hours: Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m.
Cost brewery tours are free
Premium vodka maker Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery makes original and flavored vodka, including sweet tea vodka and peach vodka.

Jester King Brewery
13005 Fitzhugh Road, Bldg. B, Austin
Hours: Fri. 4-10 p.m., Sat. noon-10 p.m., Sun. noon-9 p.m.
Cost: brewery tours are free
Jester King Brewery specializes in farmhouse beers such as wild ales and spontaneously fermented beers. The brewery is in close proximity to pizza restaurant Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza.

Salt Lick BBQ
18300 FM 1826, Driftwood
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
The Driftwood barbecue institution serves guests family-style meals, plates, sandwiches and meat by the pound.

Twisted X Brewing
23455 W. RR 150, Dripping Springs
Hours: Thu.-Sat. noon-9 p.m., Sun. noon-8 p.m.
Cost: brewery tours are free
This brewer of “Tex Mex Beer” offers a tasting room and brewery tours.


Fall Creek Vineyards at Driftwood Fall Creek Vineyards at Driftwood[/caption]

Fall Creek Vineyards at Driftwood
18059A FM 1826, Driftwood
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m.
Cost: $25 (wine and food pairing)
Formed in 1975, Fall Creek Vineyards offers wine tastings, small food pairings, a gift shop, tours and group tastings.

Slowpokes Winery Tours
100 Commons Road, Dripping Springs
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (tour)
Cost: standard tour: $145 per person; premium tour: $295 per person
Located in Dripping Springs, Slowpokes Winery Tours takes groups to three wineries or breweries in five hours. Complimentary lunch and souvenirs are provided.


Blue Hole Regional Park
100 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 8 a.m.-dusk (park); Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (pool)
COST: free (age 3 and younger, pool); $5 (ages 4-12, senior ages 60 and older, veterans and service members, pool); $9 (ages 13-59, pool)
The 126-acre park includes 3.5 miles of trails, picnic areas, a community pavilion, playscape, basketball court, sand volleyball court, amphitheater and the Blue Hole swimming pool. The pool area is open through Labor Day, Sept. 5.

Jacob’s Well Natural Area
1699 Mount Sharp Road, Wimberley
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
COST: free (age 3 and younger); $5 (ages 4-12, seniors age 60 and older, veterans and service members); $9 (ages 13-59)
Water from Jacob’s Well comes from the Trinity Aquifer below ground. The area is surrounded by limestone cliffs, a vegetated bank and a riparian area along the creek.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center[/caption]

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin
Hours: Tue.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
COST: free (members and age 4 and younger), $4 (ages 5-17), $8 (age 65 and older, students with college ID),  $10 (adults)
The Wildflower Center is home to about 650 native Texas plant species planted in gardens, meadows and nature trails. The center also regularly hosts special events and classes.

Roy Kizer Golf Course Roy Kizer Golf Course[/caption]

Roy Kizer Golf Course
5400 Jimmy Clay Drive, Austin
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
COST: $28 (regular round, Mon.-Thu.); $34 (regular round, Fri.); $37 (regular round, Sat.-Sun. and holidays); $22 (evening round, Mon.-Thu.); $24 (evening round, Fri.); $26 (evening round, Sat.-Sun. and holidays); check website for more pricing information
Roy Kizer Golf Course offers a links-style layout for all skill levels. The course is named after Roy Kizer, a golf superintendent at Lions Municipal Golf Course from 1937 to 1973.


Austin ISD staff at Pleasant Hill Elementary School distribute meals over the summer in 2020. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD to again offer free lunch to students during 2021-22 school year

Austin ISD has distributed more than 3 million free campus meals and 4.2 million free curbside meals since March 2020.

Q2 Stadium in North Austin
Q2 Stadium to host 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup games this summer

Q2 Stadium has been selected as one of the venues for the upcoming 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.

The Barks for Beers fundraiser will return to Central Texas in May. (Courtesy Divine Canines)
To-do list: Barks for beers returns to Austin and more local events happening through the end of May

Here are nine events taking place between April 24 and May 31 in Austin.

Construction of the new Tom Fazio-designed golf course in Driftwood will be completed by the end of the spring. (Courtesy Discovery Builders)
Driftwood Golf and Ranch Club could open Southwest Austin course this fall

Driftwood Golf and Ranch Club broke ground in 2019 and at build-out will include a golf course, single-family homes and community amenities.

Austin City Council members met for a work session April 20 ahead of the body's regular April 22 session. (Screenshot via city of Austin)
Austin City Hall notebook: Police services decoupling, rental assistance, downtown density bonus fees under consideration

Council will also consider a resolution that would ask state agencies to begin the distribution of about $18 billion in federal aid money aimed at supporting K-12 education.

The DSISD board of trustees heard a presentation on teacher pay at a recent meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Dripping Springs ISD considers teacher compensation ahead of budget-planning process

The DSISD board of trustees heard a presentation on teacher pay at a recent meeting.

Online retailer Wayfair will open a new engineering office in Austin later this year or in early 2022. (Courtesy Wayfair)
Wayfair bringing new engineering office to Austin; beauty studio celebrates opening and more South Austin business news

Wayfair has not yet finalized a space for its new office, but job postings list Southeast Austin as a location.

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

Austin government, nonprofit and business leaders recently participated in a weeks-long summit centered on unsheltered homelessness in the city. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house 3,000 homeless individuals in Austin in the next three years would cost $515 million

The plan Austin City Council members discussed April 20 emerged from a weekslong community-wide summit on homelessness.

Photo of Zilker Park
Travis County establishes Civilian Climate Corps to tackle environmental projects

The program will create opportunities for residents to work on projects including wildfire prevention, solar energy promotion and park cleanups.

Residents march to the Texas Capitol in protests after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Austin leaders react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.

At an in-person information session at the Austin Community College Pinnacle campus April 17, Colorado River Constructors spokesperson Laurie Simmons said the campus is the company’s preferred choice for a batch concrete plant. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
'No toxic batch plant': Southwest Austin residents protest proposed Pinnacle site for Oak Hill Parkway concrete production

Colorado River Constructors officials said the ACC Pinnacle site would be the safest and least impactful to local residents.