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Austin & San Antonio, TX

September 4, 2015 - September 10, 2015

$1695.00 – $3445

Austin only trip Sept 4-7th- $1995 (-$300 if flying on own, -$250 if sharing a room)

Austin is the nation’s fastest growing city. Conde Nast Traveler labels it the #1 Top Ten Destinations to watch (2014) saying, “It’s one of the most exciting cities in the world to be right now”. Austin is bustling with arts, music and activities. It’s now one of the nation’s largest and most thriving cities. Fodor’s says, “Austin is a boomtown of culture and creativity, the hub for music, comedy, food and filmmaking. Texas’ Silicon Valley. Despite all of its recent changes, Austin is still an extraordinarily open and welcoming place—a city where you’re not only allowed, but expected to be yourself.” They rank Austin a top travel destination based on: Excellent Live Music, Foodie Heaven, The Great Outdoors, and Comedy Venues!

Austin ranks“#1 Aspirational City” in the U.S. based on economy, demographics and quality of life, #1 Fastest-Growing City for the fourth year in a row, #1 “City to Watch” (Forbes), # 1 economy in the U.S.,# 1 Best City To Open a Business, #1 for income vs expenses, #1 for millennials, #1 City for Job Growth (Forbes), #1 Vegan-Friendly City, #1 City in America to be Single, #1 on the list of “Ten Best Cities in the U.S. to Live”,  #1 city for young adults, #1 city for under 30, #1 for BBQ, #1 on the list of Top American Boomtowns (Bloomberg), #1 Top Ten Destinations to Watch (Conde Nast), #2 for raising a family,#2 best beer towns in America #3 among top U.S. cities for graduates, top four in friendliest cities, cleanest cities, greenest cities, fittest cities and safest cities. Austin is ranked one of the top meeting destinations, one of the ‘most thriving’ cities and one of the best burger towns in the U.S and was chosen as one of the ‘tastiest cities in America” for foodies. Austin is #6th highest tech city, is #6 best nightlife city and. Forbes ranks Austin among “America’s Coolest Cities to Live,” Departures.com, Conde Nast and Orbitz name Austin a Top Travel Destination. Lucky Magazine names Austin among the best cities for shopping and Forbes lists Austin a top city for retirement.

Our trip includes airfare, transportation, 4-star accommodations, all meals, sightseeing, live music, wine tastings, river boat rides, museums, road trips and more. Besides the included itinerary, there will be a list of optional events. These are current events, subject to change and availability.

Austin- We are staying at the 4-star Hilton in the center of the thriving downtown entertainment district.  The hotel has a 16,000 sq. ft. spa & health club with a 48-foot saline pool overlooking the Austin skyline. The Hilton has received the 2015 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award.

Friday- Architecture tour- we learn about Texas history, architecture and the neighborhoods. We will visit the National Register District with dozens of famous 19th century buildings, many of which we will explore inside. After dinner, we have a Friday Night Live Music Tour– Austin has 270 live music clubs!!  This tour is led by an award winning Austin singer-songwriter for 17 years.This is Austin’s only music tour that gives an overview of the local music scene and takes us to the best shows of the evening. We learn music history, get the scoop on the current music scene, see the historic venues and new clubs, get an overview of the city and get out of downtown into the “real” Austin where the most authentic live music is! We soak up a variety of different venues from famous clubs and bars to classic honkey-tonks- all while riding in a Mercedes Sprinter Van.

Saturday- The Real Austin Tour– We travel in our air conditioned Mercedes Sprinter and see all the main sites on this “bucket list tour.” Major landmarks, lesser known local gems, secret neighborhoods, and of course, the famous food trucks (there are over 2000 food trucks)! We stop at the 6th Street music scene, The Driskill Hotel, The Capitol,  The Governor’s Mansion, Bob Bullock Museum, Harry Ransom Center, UT, The Blanton Art Museum, Lady Bird Lake, The Bat Bridge, West 5th, Barton Springs Road, South Austin, SOCO- Conde Nast names this in their list of top 50 places to visit in America, East Austin, Rainey Street, The famous murals & street art, statues, live music venues and end with a treat at Austin’s best food truck! Along the way, we will chat about art, music, culture, food, history, parks, secret spots, hear fun stories, learn about local legends.

After lunch we head to Lady Bird Lake for a riverboat lake tour on The Lone Star, Austin’s newest and most luxurious double-decked, electric powered riverboat- the largest in the US.  Enjoy a quiet, scenic and relaxing cruise on Lady Bird Lake while learning more about the history of Austin from our tour guide.

Saturday night we enjoy one of Austin’s 4-star restaurants and a night out on the town.

Sunday we head out on 4+ hour Hill Country wine and BBQ road trip. We head in our Mercedes Sprinter Van to Driftwood, a small community that entertains thousands of BBQ devotees daily. The lines start at 6am at some BBQ places and one reason, the famous Salt Lick BBQ, where the meat is seared and slow-cooked over open pit BBQ coal. Salt Lick BBQ is THE MOST FAMOUS BBQ in the world and was voted best BBQ in Texas every year since 1999. Salt Lick BBQ was featured on dozens of TV shows and movies including multiple times on “Man vs Food”, multiple times on The Food Network’s, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, featuring Bobby Flay (“it is so good!”). Media that has written about Salt Lick include, Forbes Magazine, People Magazine (“the best”), GQ (“the finest dining in Texas”), Southern Living (“if you could only visit one place, this is it”), WSJ (“best I ever had”), Washington Post, Cuisine Magazine (“the one place you need to go”), NY Times (“top 31 place to go this summer”) and Texas Monthly. Over 5000 people a weekend eat here. Don’t worry, we will have reservations through our tour guide. We then drive around wine country stopping at three different wineries to appreciate the differing styles, venues, and of course, vino! Hill country has some amazing wineries.

The New York Times listed visiting Hill County and Salt Lick BBQ as NUMBER 1 in their list of top 31 things to do this summer- The NY Times Article States, “The 31 Places to Go This Summer. #1 Texas Hill Country– Who needs Europe? The Texas Hill Country, west of Austin and north of San Antonio, might be the next best thing to crossing the Atlantic. The region is lush, colorful and, unlike much of the pancake-flat state, dotted with beautiful green hills that are evocative of Tuscany or the south of France. Moreover, the region is speckled with 22 wineries that buzz with food and music festivals year round and towns like Fredericksburg (where we will be on Wednesday) offer a taste of the Old World, with German-style biergartens and schnitzelhäuser.”

After the wineries we have some free time before dinner back in Austin for our last night on the town.

San Antonio. Conde Nast says, “San Antonio is a must-do trip!” According to Fodor’s “San Antonio is quite possibly Texas’s most beautiful and atmospheric city, so it’s no wonder it’s the state’s number-one tourist destination. The Alamo is here, but the historic mission is by no means the only reason to visit San Antonio. The heart is the Paseo del Rio—the River Walk—a festive, almost magical place that winds through downtown at 20 feet below street level. Nestled in by tall buildings and cypress trees, and tucked away from the noise of traffic above, the River Walk draws crowds to its high-rise and boutique hotels, specialty shops, and plethora of restaurants with alfresco dining.

Snuggled firmly in south-central Texas, San Antonio acts as the gateway to the Hill Country—a landscape punctuated with majestic live oaks, myriad lakes, and flush-with-wildflowers hills—as well as the beginning of South Texas, the huge triangular tip of the state that is home to the Rio Grande Valley and South Padre Island, favorite destinations for bird watchers and beach-goers. Given the close proximity to Mexico it’s not surprising that the rich tapestry of San Antonio’s heritage has a good deal of Hispanic culture. Visitors can peruse shops selling Mexican crafts and jewelry, dine on Tex-Mex food, and enjoy Spanish music and mariachi bands.”

In San Antonio we check into the Hyatt Regency River Walk. Overlooking the Alamo Mission, the AAA Four Diamond rated Hyatt offers travelers a fantastic spot in the heart of the city surrounded by a large variety of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and attractions.  Relax on the rooftop pool and sun deck to soak up breathtaking panoramic views of San Antonio, or enjoy the fully equipped fitness center, or on-site spa. The Hyatt Regency San Antonio has received the 2015 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. And it’s the only hotel that actually features the San Antonio River running through it.

Monday we start off with a 48-hour hop on hop off bus to experience the best of SanAntonio. Board and de board over a 48-hour period in an open-top, air conditioned bottom, double-decker bus at any of the stops around the city and enjoy commentary about San Antonio’s history, culture, architecture and arts. Visit San Fernando Cathedral, Hemis Fair Park’s Tower of the Americas, the Alamo and spend time shopping and browsing galleries at the Rivercenter Mall.  Hop off and enter San Fernando Cathedral, one of the country’s oldest cathedral sanctuaries, built in 1734 by settlers from the Canary Islands. This site is the final resting place of several heroes lost in the Battle of the Alamo. You can also explore the King William Historic District, wander down St Mary’s Street and much more.

Monday night we have an amazing dinner and a great night out on the town, our first in San Antonio.

Tuesday afternoon is guide led Grand Tour of San Antonio inside an air conditioned bus including museum access and the famous riverboat ride. This is the most all-encompassing tour of San Antonio in existence. On this tour we visit- THE ALAMO, San Antonio’s first Spanish mission, founded in 1718 as Mission San Antonio de Valero, famous for the 1836 Battle for Texas Independence, ride a RIVERBOAT CRUISE down the romantic San Antonio River, we discover a world of sidewalk cafes, lush tropical foliage and charming boutiques all on from the riverboat, we then visit MISSION CONCEPCION and learn about the Friars who Christianized the Indians, we view the original frescos still visible within the rooms of the mission. This is the oldest stone church in our nation. We visit the MISSION SAN JOSE-the finest example of a completely restored mission in the U.S. renowned for exquisite stone carvings including the famous Rose Window. We tour the BUCKHORN SALOON AND MUSEUM-for a taste of the Old West and wildlife exhibits from all over the world, San Antonio’s classic 1881 saloon and museum. Stroll through 33,000 square feet of artifacts from Texas history and world record wildlife exhibits. We visit the JAPANESE SUNKEN GARDEN-the beautiful and architecturally unique old stone quarry, renowned for its beautiful foliage. We visit the TEXAS RANGER MUSEUM Explore the dynamic history of the world’s

Austin is the nation’s fastest growing city. Conde Nast Traveler labels it the #1 Top Ten Destinations to watch (2014) saying, “It’s one of the most exciting cities in the world to be right now”. Austin is bustling with arts, music and activities. It’s now one of the nation’s largest and most thriving cities. Fodor’s says, “Austin is a boomtown of culture and creativity, the hub for music, comedy, food and filmmaking. Texas’ Silicon Valley. Despite all of its recent changes, Austin is still an extraordinarily open and welcoming place—a city where you’re not only allowed, but expected to be yourself.” They rank Austin a top travel destination based on: Excellent Live Music, Foodie Heaven, The Great Outdoors, and Comedy Venues!

Austin ranks“#1 Aspirational City” in the U.S. based on economy, demographics and quality of life, #1 Fastest-Growing City for the fourth year in a row, #1 “City to Watch” (Forbes), # 1 economy in the U.S.,# 1 Best City To Open a Business, #1 for income vs expenses, #1 for millennials, #1 City for Job Growth (Forbes), #1 Vegan-Friendly City, #1 City in America to be Single, #1 on the list of “Ten Best Cities in the U.S. to Live”,  #1 city for young adults, #1 city for under 30, #1 for BBQ, #1 on the list of Top American Boomtowns (Bloomberg), #1 Top Ten Destinations to Watch (Conde Nast), #2 for raising a family,#2 best beer towns in America #3 among top U.S. cities for graduates, top four in friendliest cities, cleanest cities, greenest cities, fittest cities and safest cities. Austin is ranked one of the top meeting destinations, one of the ‘most thriving’ cities and one of the best burger towns in the U.S and was chosen as one of the ‘tastiest cities in America” for foodies. Austin is #6th highest tech city, is #6 best nightlife city and. Forbes ranks Austin among “America’s Coolest Cities to Live,” Departures.com, Conde Nast and Orbitz name Austin a Top Travel Destination. Lucky Magazine names Austin among the best cities for shopping and Forbes lists Austin a top city for retirement.

Our trip includes airfare, transportation, 4-star accommodations, all meals, sightseeing, live music, wine tastings, river boat rides, museums, road trips and more. Besides the included itinerary, there will be a list of optional events. These are current events, subject to change and availability.

Austin- We are staying at the 4-star Hilton in the center of the thriving downtown entertainment district.  The hotel has a 16,000 sq. ft. spa & health club with a 48-foot saline pool overlooking the Austin skyline. The Hilton has received the 2015 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award.

Friday- Architecture tour- we learn about Texas history, architecture and the neighborhoods. We will visit the National Register District with dozens of famous 19th century buildings, many of which we will explore inside. After dinner, we have a Friday Night Live Music Tour– Austin has 270 live music clubs!!  This tour is led by an award winning Austin singer-songwriter for 17 years.This is Austin’s only music tour that gives an overview of the local music scene and takes us to the best shows of the evening. We learn music history, get the scoop on the current music scene, see the historic venues and new clubs, get an overview of the city and get out of downtown into the “real” Austin where the most authentic live music is! We soak up a variety of different venues from famous clubs and bars to classic honkey-tonks- all while riding in a Mercedes Sprinter Van.

Saturday- The Real Austin Tour– We travel in our air conditioned Mercedes Sprinter and see all the main sites on this “bucket list tour.” Major landmarks, lesser known local gems, secret neighborhoods, and of course, the famous food trucks (there are over 2000 food trucks)! We stop at the 6th Street music scene, The Driskill Hotel, The Capitol,  The Governor’s Mansion, Bob Bullock Museum, Harry Ransom Center, UT, The Blanton Art Museum, Lady Bird Lake, The Bat Bridge, West 5th, Barton Springs Road, South Austin, SOCO- Conde Nast names this in their list of top 50 places to visit in America, East Austin, Rainey Street, The famous murals & street art, statues, live music venues and end with a treat at Austin’s best food truck! Along the way, we will chat about art, music, culture, food, history, parks, secret spots, hear fun stories, learn about local legends.

After lunch we head to Lady Bird Lake for a riverboat lake tour on The Lone Star, Austin’s newest and most luxurious double-decked, electric powered riverboat- the largest in the US.  Enjoy a quiet, scenic and relaxing cruise on Lady Bird Lake while learning more about the history of Austin from our tour guide.

Saturday night we enjoy one of Austin’s 4-star restaurants and a night out on the town.

Sunday we head out on 4+ hour Hill Country wine and BBQ road trip. We head in our Mercedes Sprinter Van to Driftwood, a small community that entertains thousands of BBQ devotees daily. The lines start at 6am at some BBQ places and one reason, the famous Salt Lick BBQ, where the meat is seared and slow-cooked over open pit BBQ coal. Salt Lick BBQ is THE MOST FAMOUS BBQ in the world and was voted best BBQ in Texas every year since 1999. Salt Lick BBQ was featured on dozens of TV shows and movies including multiple times on “Man vs Food”, multiple times on The Food Network’s, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, featuring Bobby Flay (“it is so good!”). Media that has written about Salt Lick include, Forbes Magazine, People Magazine (“the best”), GQ (“the finest dining in Texas”), Southern Living (“if you could only visit one place, this is it”), WSJ (“best I ever had”), Washington Post, Cuisine Magazine (“the one place you need to go”), NY Times (“top 31 place to go this summer”) and Texas Monthly. Over 5000 people a weekend eat here. Don’t worry, we will have reservations through our tour guide. We then drive around wine country stopping at three different wineries to appreciate the differing styles, venues, and of course, vino! Hill country has some amazing wineries.

The New York Times listed visiting Hill County and Salt Lick BBQ as NUMBER 1 in their list of top 31 things to do this summer- The NY Times Article States, “The 31 Places to Go This Summer. #1 Texas Hill Country– Who needs Europe? The Texas Hill Country, west of Austin and north of San Antonio, might be the next best thing to crossing the Atlantic. The region is lush, colorful and, unlike much of the pancake-flat state, dotted with beautiful green hills that are evocative of Tuscany or the south of France. Moreover, the region is speckled with 22 wineries that buzz with food and music festivals year round and towns like Fredericksburg (where we will be on Wednesday) offer a taste of the Old World, with German-style biergartens and schnitzelhäuser.”

After the wineries we have some free time before dinner back in Austin for our last night on the town.

San Antonio. Conde Nast says, “San Antonio is a must-do trip!” According to Fodor’s “San Antonio is quite possibly Texas’s most beautiful and atmospheric city, so it’s no wonder it’s the state’s number-one tourist destination. The Alamo is here, but the historic mission is by no means the only reason to visit San Antonio. The heart is the Paseo del Rio—the River Walk—a festive, almost magical place that winds through downtown at 20 feet below street level. Nestled in by tall buildings and cypress trees, and tucked away from the noise of traffic above, the River Walk draws crowds to its high-rise and boutique hotels, specialty shops, and plethora of restaurants with alfresco dining.

Snuggled firmly in south-central Texas, San Antonio acts as the gateway to the Hill Country—a landscape punctuated with majestic live oaks, myriad lakes, and flush-with-wildflowers hills—as well as the beginning of South Texas, the huge triangular tip of the state that is home to the Rio Grande Valley and South Padre Island, favorite destinations for bird watchers and beach-goers. Given the close proximity to Mexico it’s not surprising that the rich tapestry of San Antonio’s heritage has a good deal of Hispanic culture. Visitors can peruse shops selling Mexican crafts and jewelry, dine on Tex-Mex food, and enjoy Spanish music and mariachi bands.”

In San Antonio we check into the Hyatt Regency River Walk. Overlooking the Alamo Mission, the AAA Four Diamond rated Hyatt offers travelers a fantastic spot in the heart of the city surrounded by a large variety of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and attractions.  Relax on the rooftop pool and sun deck to soak up breathtaking panoramic views of San Antonio, or enjoy the fully equipped fitness center, or on-site spa. The Hyatt Regency San Antonio has received the 2015 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. And it’s the only hotel that actually features the San Antonio River running through it.

Monday we start off with a 48-hour hop on hop off bus to experience the best of SanAntonio. Board and de board over a 48-hour period in an open-top, air conditioned bottom, double-decker bus at any of the stops around the city and enjoy commentary about San Antonio’s history, culture, architecture and arts. Visit San Fernando Cathedral, Hemis Fair Park’s Tower of the Americas, the Alamo and spend time shopping and browsing galleries at the Rivercenter Mall.  Hop off and enter San Fernando Cathedral, one of the country’s oldest cathedral sanctuaries, built in 1734 by settlers from the Canary Islands. This site is the final resting place of several heroes lost in the Battle of the Alamo. You can also explore the King William Historic District, wander down St Mary’s Street and much more.

Monday night we have an amazing dinner and a great night out on the town, our first in San Antonio.

Tuesday afternoon is guide led Grand Tour of San Antonio inside an air conditioned bus including museum access and the famous riverboat ride. This is the most all-encompassing tour of San Antonio in existence. On this tour we visit- THE ALAMO, San Antonio’s first Spanish mission, founded in 1718 as Mission San Antonio de Valero, famous for the 1836 Battle for Texas Independence, ride a RIVERBOAT CRUISE down the romantic San Antonio River, we discover a world of sidewalk cafes, lush tropical foliage and charming boutiques all on from the riverboat, we then visit MISSION CONCEPCION and learn about the Friars who Christianized the Indians, we view the original frescos still visible within the rooms of the mission. This is the oldest stone church in our nation. We visit the MISSION SAN JOSE-the finest example of a completely restored mission in the U.S. renowned for exquisite stone carvings including the famous Rose Window. We tour the BUCKHORN SALOON AND MUSEUM-for a taste of the Old West and wildlife exhibits from all over the world, San Antonio’s classic 1881 saloon and museum. Stroll through 33,000 square feet of artifacts from Texas history and world record wildlife exhibits. We visit the JAPANESE SUNKEN GARDEN-the beautiful and architecturally unique old stone quarry, renowned for its beautiful foliage. We visit the TEXAS RANGER MUSEUM Explore the dynamic history of the world’s most famous law enforcement agency. View Ranger artifacts & explore Ranger Town, a recreation of old San Antonio. Finally we visit the Mexican EL MERCADO, the most beautiful marketplace around.

Tuesday after the tour we can head to The San Antonio Museum of Art which is housed in a historic brewery along the banks of the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk. The Museum offers collections of Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities, Asian art, Latin American art, contemporary art and American paintings.

Wednesday, sit back and relax as we take a road trip back to the scenic Hill Country but this time to the charming German community of Fredericksburg, once the edge of the frontier and home to brave German pioneers, today Fredericksburg is the unofficial capital of the Texas Hill Country, attracting visitors from around the world. We will enjoy shopping and browsing in the quaint antique shops and gift boutiques along Main Street. There will be time to explore the Admiral Nimitz Museum and Historic Center as well as the History Walk of the Pacific War and the Japanese Garden of Peace. After lunch the tour will continue to Stonewall, Texas, where we will visit the LBJ Ranch located on the Pedernales River. Here, we’ll see the Texas “White House” and hear tall tales of one of Texas’ favorite sons, Lyndon Baines Johnson and former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson.

The dinner our last night will be a visit to the converted Pearl Brewery complex, considered a culinary destination and home to the 3rd Culinary Institute of America with many of San Antonio’s best restaurants.

Optional events on the itinerary- Culinary Tour of Austin, picnic at night on the Capital grounds, sunset boat bat watching cruise, live music at Austin City Limits, Food Truck Tour, San Antonio Sea World, Austin & San Antonio Zoo, two steps dancing and beer crawl, 358 acres Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool and much more.

Austin is the most popular place to visit right now and tours and restaurant are filling up. PLEASE RSVP to this as soon as possible so we can book events appropriately.

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Details

Start:
September 4, 2015
End:
September 10, 2015
Cost:
$1695.00 – $3445
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Texas
Austin, TX United States + Google Map
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