Here they are:
Top 10 Budget Travel Destinations for 2009
BudgetTravel.com reveals the best value hotspots for the New Year. http://www.budgettravel.com/bt-dyn/content/article/2008/12/30/AR2008123001982.html
Why in 2009: For years, the capital of down-home cool (and Texas) has been working to become the nation's capital of pop culture—at least among cities of a similar size. This city of 1.6 million residents has succeeded in its mission, especially as a venue for indie rock, bluegrass, and country music. Its largest music festival is South by Southwest, a multi-day, 1,700-band extravaganza that draws serious music fans nationwide (sxsw.com, Mar. 18–22, 2009). Austin's economy, meanwhile, is well diversified between public and private sectors, which means that Austin is poised to weather the economic downturn reasonably well, says University of Texas at Austin economy professor Daniel S. Hamermesh. So it should be full speed ahead on spending for free and affordable cultural events. A bonus: In the past year, discounter JetBlue has added flights to Austin. Rival airlines are feeling the pressure to keep airfares low.
Main events: Thousands of music fans converge on the city each year for two festivals: South by Southwest (mentioned above) and the Austin City Limits Music Festival (aclfestival.com, Oct. 2–4). Art lovers come for the Texas Biennial (texasbiennial.com, Mar. 6–Apr. 11) and the open-air Art City Austin (artallianceaustin.org, Apr. 25-26). Even if you're not in town for a big event, keep in mind that Austin has pretty weather for eight months of the year (summer's the sweltering exception). With its extensive Greenbelt park as well as 10 miles of waterfront paths, it's easy to get outside and enjoy a little nature.
Memorable moment: Chill out on the terrace bar of the Inter-Continental Stephen F. Austin hotel, overlooking downtown. Order a Stephen F. Top Shelf, the house margarita, tip your hat to the mounted longhorn on the wall, and watch the Texas Capitol turn pink as the last rays of the sun hit it. 701 Congress Ave., 888/424-6835, austin.intercontinental.com, margaritas from $10.
Price check: Round-trip tickets between Austin and Chicago recently started at $210, a 9 percent drop from a year earlier, says Farecast. Affordable lodging isn't hard to come by. Hotel rates should average a modest $104 a night, says a forecast by PKF Hospitality Research. We like the stylish Austin Motel, starting at $70. 1220 S. Congress Ave., 512/441-1157, austinmotel.com.
29 Places to Go in 2009
Austin’s superlative live music scene may have made the city famous, but this hip Texas capital city’s quirky charm extends far beyond its melodic beats. Largely enriched by the dynamic energy of the homegrown University of Texas, Austin boasts the Lone Star State’s best cultural offerings, with numerous galleries, museums, and music venues (more than 100 in all!) alongside some more unexpected attractions – like the summer congregation of some million bats by the Congress Avenue Bridge – without sacrificing its appealing small-town feel. Combine that with more than 300 sunshine-filled days a year, and it’s little wonder that Austin’s consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the U.S.
Why Go In 2009: Sure, traveling abroad can be a pricey venture in these trying economic times, but who says you need to leave America to escape it? Austin, whose unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” offers the American traveler a rare U.S. city vacation destination that’s devoid of the cookie-cutter commercial strips found nearly everywhere else – in fact, all chain and big-box stores (think McDonald's and Walmart) are pleasantly absent from the downtown area, giving way to hundreds of sensational local businesses that can only be experienced in Austin. What's more, some exciting new music festivals are slated for autumn 2009: Look for the Texas Wine & Song Festival (www.texaswineandsong.com) in October and the punk and indie rock Fun Fun Fun Fest (www.funfunfunfest.com) in November.
15 Coolest North American Cities
25 Reasons Why We Love Austin.
1. Breakfast at Taco Xpress
2. Swim at Barton Springs
3. Live Music
4. People don't honk their horns
6. Weirdness is a way of life
7. The battle of the cupcakes
8. Hotel San José
9. The Salt Lick Barbecue
10. The Austin Chronicle
11. A street party on South Congress Avenue on the First Thursday
12. Uncommon Objects in SOCO
13. Red Bud Isle Dogs Park
14. Cowboy Dance at The Broken Spoke
15. Stay at Mansion at Judges' Hill
16. Shop at Local Store (not chain)
17. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
18. Wink Restaurant & Wine Bar
19. Yard Dog
20. The TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls
21. South by Southwest and Austin City Limits
22. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
23. Town Lake Trail
24. Margaritas at the terrace bar of the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin hotel
25. Mellow Johnny's, Lance Armstrong's bike ship
In the real estate investment perspective, it is very promising that Austin is gaining popularity as the place to visit. This is the proof that Austin has become culturally very attractive place and lead to raising profile of Austin among global cities.
One of the key reason why I continue to invest in Austin Tx is that I believe Austin can become "Bubble Proof Real Estate Superstar Cities" like San Francisco, Manhattan, Seattle and Coastal Sountern California (see below link).
Austin Tx (only in Central Austin) fullfills 3 key characteristics of Superstar Cities as follows:
- Very popular town where more and more people are willing to relocate.
- Real Estate supply is limited and very severe restriction on new development.
- Educated/High Income residents in Creative Class are replacing low-income/low-skill residents.
I expect very promising future for Austin real estate.