The laid back nature of the people, the food, the music scene, and the general functionality of a big tech City (SXSW festival, anyone?) with a small town feel (in all the right ways). If you have not been, get here – plenty of flights from around the US, and just a hop away from New Orleans if you wish to visit back-to-back. I will return, Austin!
Kayak or paddle board on the river, Shop South Congress (especially UAL & Feathers), happy hour drinks on Rainey Street, watch some live music.
Food trucks! Tex Mex & BBQ! The trucks are everywhere, Nomad Dosa, Gourdoughs donuts, and Torchy’s Tacos (on S. 1st) is a good one. Uchi for sushi, Sway for Thai, Pearla’s for seafood, and if you can handle a 4+ hour wait, Franklin BBQ.
Downtown in general, though I see some cute hotels on South Congress too. Four Seasons Austin in particular – I may be biased but it’s right on the river, and walking distance to everything, and of course has impeccable service, and has recently updated their rooms.