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      08-22-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
sTo0p_Ed
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Hotel Recommendation In Austin for F1 USGP

This will be my first trip to Austin. I will be attending the F1 in November. Can anyone give any recommendation or advice for places to go and stay out there?
Thanks in advance

Last edited by sTo0p_Ed; 08-22-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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      08-22-2012, 11:15 AM   #2
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Depends on what types of hotels you like. There are some nice hotels here, but evidently the markup for the F1 period is anywhere from 3-12x the normal rate!

The Downtown part of Austin is pretty small, so if you stay anywhere in Downtown you won't have trouble getting to a shuttle that will take you to the track. The Driskill is a really nice historic hotel and it's right on 6th St, which you'll definitely want to check out after 10PM to go bar-hopping and enjoy the copious amount of live music here covering all sorts of genres. The Omni is a block from there and also very nice, and there's a W and Four Seasons a little farther away. Honestly though unless you're a hotel connoisseur I'd recommend staying at a more basic place near the track and renting a car to get around, or even checking out Craigslist because I know people are renting spare rooms in their houses for that time, or even their entire place if they'll be out of town then. It's a pretty common thing to do out here because of all of the music festivals and such we have (Austin City Limits, South by Southwest, etc) -- but of course use your head if you go that route.

As for what to do, it really depends on what you like. I moved here 3 years ago from SF and love it. Austin is known for its live music (primarily 6th St at night) and restaurants; we eat more meals in restaurants per capita than any other city in the country, apparently. If you want great BBQ, drive out to The Salt Lick in Driftwood and get the brisket and pork ribs. Their vinegar-based potato salad (rather than mayo) and blackberry cobbler are also excellent.

As for general stuff, the UT campus is pretty cool, make sure you're on one of the Downtown bridges around sunset to see the 6 million bats fly out from under it, check out the shops and eat at a food truck in the South Congress area, and see a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse (www.drafthouse.com) -- they have no ads before films, a full restaurant-grade menu you can order from inside the theater, and even some fun unconventional programming in addition to current releases, definitely a fun and special way to watch a movie.

Austin also has a lot of outdoorsy type activities. There are lots of wineries you can check out in Hill Country, lots of hiking trails and picnic locations (Hamilton Pool), and there's even a whole outdoor adventure park (http://www.hiddenfallsadventurepark.com/atv.html). Oh, and North Austin has a K1 Speed course (indoor electric go-karts that can reach 45 MPH, pretty sweet) if you get the itch from watching F1 -- or better yet, get a "premium" rental car like a Mustang or Camaro and go enjoy the ENDLESS -- and cop-free! -- twisty back country roads out here.

EDIT: Or if you want to rent an M3 (or at least a BMW), check out this place: http://www.luxurycarrentalaustin.net/. They're actually a sponsor of the local BMW CCA chapter.
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      08-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
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jphughan, thank you very much for taking your time for that write up. That reallyvhelped me out a lot. I'm actually flying in with a couple buddies for the weekend. And we weren't looking for any of those fancy hotel. Not planning to be spending a lot of time in the hotel so just a decent place would do. The Craiglist option does sounds like a good idea. I have to look into it. What cities or towns are nearby that we can also look Into ? We''ll probably end up renting a car to get around.
Thanks
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      08-22-2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sTo0p_Ed View Post
jphughan, thank you very much for taking your time for that write up. That reallyvhelped me out a lot. I'm actually flying in with a couple buddies for the weekend. And we weren't looking for any of those fancy hotel. Not planning to be spending a lot of time in the hotel so just a decent place would do. The Craiglist option does sounds like a good idea. I have to look into it. What cities or towns are nearby that we can also look Into ? We''ll probably end up renting a car to get around.
Thanks
Austin doesn't really have any cities nearby because it's pretty large itself -- the Downtown area is small, but the city overall is pretty big. Plenty of surrounding towns, but not really much that'd be worth going out of your way for. If you're looking at hotels that list a city other than Austin as their location, it's almost certainly farther away than you'd want to be staying.

But if you don't mind driving, Lockhart is a bit down south and has lots of great "traditional" BBQ places -- as in, you walk right up to the smoke pit, tell them how much of each meat you want in weight, they cut it and toss it straight onto a tray for you, then you can get bread, pickles, and onions at the front if you want to bother with those things, silverware is optional and plates are non-existent.

San Marcos is also farther down south and is known for outlets if you want to shop for stuff, and it's also home to Gruene Hall if you want to go Texas two-steppin'. Also down near there is Schlitterbahn, one of the country's premier water parks -- but I'm not sure they'll be open that time of year.
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      08-22-2012, 04:40 PM   #5
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If I was you, I would do a search of the sorrounding area's hotel cause I am sure even the inexpensive ones are going to be booked as well.

I am going to the event as well for the three day one. Its going to be bad ass!.
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      08-22-2012, 05:12 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, I think you will be paying through the nose for any lodging in Austin that week - if you can find anything. You might also consider looking for motels up north like Roundrock, Georgetown and Leander but those are all in the metro area and likely to end up in your initial search.

In case you're not aware, the only two shuttle drops are downtown and the Travis County Exposition Center (east side of Austin, north of the track). Be prepared for long bus lines at the end of each day and things to not run smoothly. This is the first event and there's bound to be hiccups. It will all be worthwhile though. Can't wait!

But maybe you have a premium ticket with a parking pass.
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      08-23-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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I always stay at the aloft in the domain at around $110 a night. You should check that out and when you call to book a reservation just say you want the dell rate. I've done this every time and they never ever check.
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      08-23-2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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Also, if you have a friend that stays at the domain, they have corparate rooms to rent for their friends. I rented a apartment for SXSW for a total of $150 for 3 nights!!
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      08-29-2012, 01:25 PM   #9
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This is like two weeks after I get back from deployment. Would love to see an F1 race. Sorry for the noob question but does it really cost over a grand to go see this?? Is this typical for F1??
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      08-29-2012, 07:57 PM   #10
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Hotel rooms are booked solid at most hotels and the ones that are left are going for near $1k a night. There are people staying in San Antonio then driving to the shuttle stations to get to the race.

When they announced $15k for an RV spot, I decided that we are just going to stay out at my Lake Travis place. Unfortunately the infrustructure surrounding the track is piss pour and I think next year will be much better. They are more focussed on getting the track and fascilities done. The two lane road getting to the track means the shuttles are a must.
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      08-30-2012, 01:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Hotel rooms are booked solid at most hotels and the ones that are left are going for near $1k a night. There are people staying in San Antonio then driving to the shuttle stations to get to the race.

When they announced $15k for an RV spot, I decided that we are just going to stay out at my Lake Travis place. Unfortunately the infrustructure surrounding the track is piss pour and I think next year will be much better. They are more focussed on getting the track and fascilities done. The two lane road getting to the track means the shuttles are a must.
15K$ to park your RV for the weekend??!!!!! 2,000$ a ticket for grandstand seating? No wonder this sport doesn't have broader appeal in the US.
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      08-30-2012, 08:40 AM   #12
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15K$ to park your RV for the weekend??!!!!! 2,000$ a ticket for grandstand seating? No wonder this sport doesn't have broader appeal in the US.
Hello. I'm not trying to pick a fight with you on this, but do they need broader appeal? If they have seating for, roughly, 200,000 people, and it is almost "sold out" except for three areas of Premium Seating, then there's not really a need for them to get much more appeal, right?

I've never been to one of these, and I'm going for all three days in November. I didn't buy the $2,000 seats, though, but then again, you have people that pay tens of thousands of dollars to see a Super Bowl NFL game. I think it's a ridiculous amount of money to spend watching a football game. Regarding the Formula 1 race, as a first-in-the-USA-at-permanent-track event, and a (near) sell-out, they appear to be successful already.


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      08-30-2012, 10:07 AM   #13
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and the tickets did sell quickly too. Found a few available $400 tickets last nite. (rest were $500 & $800)
Now i have to convince my friends to buy these last tickets and then start worrying about where to stay. Would be my first f1 race.
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      08-30-2012, 10:35 AM   #14
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and the tickets did sell quickly too. Found a few available $400 tickets last nite. (rest were $500 & $800)
Now i have to convince my friends to buy these last tickets and then start worrying about where to stay. Would be my first f1 race.
I am seated in Turn 11 E.

Maybe we can see if a number of ///M'ers are interested in meeting at one point during the three-day event.

Or try to politely section-off a part of the shuttle-lot for ///M cars.... hmmmm.


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      08-30-2012, 10:44 AM   #15
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anyone know if BMWCCA will have a BMW Corral? iirc they did have one at Indy.
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      08-30-2012, 11:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
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anyone know if BMWCCA will have a BMW Corral? iirc they did have one at Indy.
If they have one it would be for those that have a seat license. No on site parking.

I suggest everyone carpool to the 2 shuttle stops too - they will be very crowded. In fact I don't know how they are going to handle the cars and people. If you've been following the track progress, everytime they almost sell out they add more grandstands (they're all temporary except for the finish straight). I'm planning on using my son's Jeep Wrangler to transport us; I don't want to worry about people dinging my doors.

Offsite BMWCCA gathering would be cool though.
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      08-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGroup View Post
This is like two weeks after I get back from deployment. Would love to see an F1 race. Sorry for the noob question but does it really cost over a grand to go see this?? Is this typical for F1??
It doesnt cost that much, it just depends where you want to seat at. Now, thats the only seats that might be available when you get back from deployment. I purchased my tickets as soon as they went into sell and I paid about 160 for the general admission.
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      08-30-2012, 02:39 PM   #18
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It's 1.5 hrs from San Antonio to ATX. Might want to start looking there.
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      09-13-2012, 12:54 PM   #19
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When i went to the Montreal F1 GP I used VRBO.com or Vacation Rentals by Owner. We lucked out and managed to score a 5 Story $1.5 Million Condo in the center of Montreal for $1350 for four nights/five days. We stayed an extra day to party!

I have generally had good luck with these types of sites.

Cheers.
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      09-13-2012, 01:13 PM   #20
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Yup, if you can find a hotel (majority are sold out) you'll be paying through the nose unfortunately.

My advice would be to check out Air BnB or something like that...people rent out their houses/apts/rooms for a comparable price to hotels (especially if you have multiple people coming). Several of those still available.

Advise AGAINST staying in San Antonio and driving up. You'll be hating life. Traffic on 35 is already pretty terrible on a good day. On race weekend I predict it will be a nightmare and much longer than a 1.5 hr drive.

Going to be a fantastic weekend. SO pumped.
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      09-13-2012, 02:13 PM   #21
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Advise AGAINST staying in San Antonio and driving up. You'll be hating life. Traffic on 35 is already pretty terrible on a good day. On race weekend I predict it will be a nightmare and much longer than a 1.5 hr drive.
Yeah, if you take 35. 281 intersects 290 and runs parallel to 35. A little longer, but not as much traffic, and much more scenic.

Traffic out of SA (and on 35) is only bad coming/in out of SA @ N 1604. Outside of that, it's quite tolerable. As with any major event, plan to leave a little early so that you don't miss much. Getting gouged on a hotel room or leaving a little earlier? Hmmmmmmmmmm....

Last edited by whats77inaname; 09-15-2012 at 09:25 PM.
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      09-13-2012, 09:21 PM   #22
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Good points.

Personally, I wouldn't mind paying a little extra to not have to drive an extra 3 hours-plus each day and to enjoy a good time in Austin during the evenings...but hey, to each their own! And as mentioned, if you do Air BnB or similar and have a small group to split the rate...it's probably cheaper than a hotel would be on a normal day. My $0.02.
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