We have May 2-5 off. Please help us escape New York and plan a trip!
April 10, 2014 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Do we go to Austin? Or do you have a better plan for us. Please help me decide on where to go and what to see.

Hi Metafilter.

So after about two hours of staring at expedia/kayak NYT Travel section and a bunch of others I have realized that I am decisive about many things, but planning a trip is not one of them. Please help.

The Details:

Early 30 couple wants to get away from New York for a long weekend of May 2-5
About $2000 max budget for this including flights/hotels/gas/munching
We do not want to go anywhere colder than New York right now.
Enjoy wandering around new places/shops/restaurants, but could also just lie on the beach.
Don't want to be just at an all inclusive resort, would like to experience local things.
Nature is good, but not required.
Any NY airport is fine with us, direct flights would be nice, I don't want to spend the entire weekend in transit.
We used to live in Alexandria VA (which we ADORED), and have therefore already done DC.

We have always wanted to go see Austin, Tx, because we think it might be somewhere we would consider living in the future- is this enough time to get a feel for it, or is it too rushed?

So metafilter, where would you go, where would you stay, and bonus points for great restaurants. Please help me just MAKE UP MY MIND AND GO.

Thank you!
posted by zara to Travel & Transportation around Austin, TX (14 answers total)
Miami. Warm. Check. Local cultural activities aplenty. Delicious food and drinks. It's very easy to find an inexpensive hotel in the area and it's a quick 3-hour flight from LaGuardia.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 9:46 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I say New Orleans in threads like this a lot lately. I am going to say it again: New Orleans.
posted by rtha at 9:47 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I say, go to Austin, even if you only see the fun part, HEY, you saw the fun part!

If you want to rest, relax with dribs and drabs of culture, go to Puerto Rico!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:51 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oops, post instead of preview.

New Orleans over Austin because yes, I think it's too short to really get a feel for "do we want to live here?" New Orleans is warm, totally walkable, and if you can't find good things to eat and drink pretty much every ten feet, you have fallen into an alt universe where the terrible bizarro New Orleans lives.
posted by rtha at 9:52 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

St. Augustine Florida is another option.

(I personally would go to Santa Fe, but that takes more effort to get to.)
posted by gudrun at 9:53 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Word of advice: I was in Miami in late April once and found it to be uncomfortably hot. Thinks mid-80s, and quite humid. I have a pretty low tolerance for heat/humidity, though.

How about Chicago? Temps in early May are about the same as NYC, and it's a quicker flight than Austin or New Orleans. Lots of hotels and a good number of AirBnB apartments. Lots of great shops, restaurants and museums. Lots of local flavor. There are even urban beaches, though you're not going to want to lay on the beach all day in early May, probably.

Another option, which is warmer and has beaches, is San Diego. Great weather all year round, laid-back local culture, some cool restaurants and museums, nature nearby (and a great urban park). Long flight, though.

I personally wouldn't want to go to a tropical/semi-tropical climate in early May, unless you like spending time in the gross humidity that settles over NYC in the summer.
posted by breakin' the law at 10:07 AM on April 10, 2014

Charleston, SC! Loads of great food, culture, beach close by if you feel like it - we had a blast of a long weekend
posted by darsh at 10:09 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

You could do Austin. It won't be an exhaustive visit but I think that's enough time to decide whether you would want to spend more time there, if that makes sense.

I've been itching to go to Key West - it sounds quirky like Austin but from what I understand, the beach is terrific. Alternately, I've been interested in visiting Charleston, SC.
posted by kat518 at 10:12 AM on April 10, 2014

Ha, I basically could have written this, aside from having lived in VA and also I've been to Austin - was not really impressed, but I would maybe give it a second chance in the future.

After much hemming and hawing, New Orleans is my solid front-runner, so adding another +1 to that idea. Obviously, I can't vouch for the place, just the conclusion.
posted by wintrymix at 10:19 AM on April 10, 2014

That's not too rushed to get a sense of Austin... as a general tourist destination, New Orleans might be a safer bet, but if you are curious about Austin:

-JetBlue does direct flights from JFK
-You'll probably want to rent a car. By May, Austin will be hot, and it is not walkable in a tourist sense unless you have a very specific plan and interests.
-That's the weekend of the Austin Psych Fest, if that appeals. It's on a ranch outside of town, and it isn't big enough to affect availability of hotels, etc.
-You can day trip to the Hill Country for a bit of nature... wineries, Jester King Brewery, various swimming holes.
-You like Tex-Mex/Mexican food, right? There's a lot of variety in the food trucks, but that and BBQ are Austin's food strengths. Also a lot of good local breweries these days, many can be visited.
-Austin is far better town to live in than visit, outside of events like SXSW/F1/ACL/etc. The list of must-see attractions is small. It's just a good place to sit around and drink and eat. If your vacation is more about being lazy and low-key as opposed to Experience and Seeing Things, Austin will suit.
-Lots of good swimming and (semi-urban) hiking, but the nearest beaches are 3-to-4 hour drives from Austin.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 10:43 AM on April 10, 2014

New Orleans is always a best bet, but this will be at the tail end of Jazzfest. A great festival, but I bet that means the hotels are already booked or more expensive than normal.
posted by Pacrand at 10:47 AM on April 10, 2014

Nashville! It won't be too hot in the beginning of May. You could stay downtown at the new Hyatt Place hotel or do an AirBnB thing around Belmont/Vandy. We have a great museum, awesome food, music everywhere and some nice places to hike if you want to do that too. (and we don't all wear cowboy boots and drink beer on the tailgate of our pickup trucks)
posted by dawkins_7 at 12:38 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pacrand is right. Normally I would encourage New Orleans as well, but second weekend of Jazzfest is a terrible time to come unless you're coming only for Jazzfest. Everything is packed and superbusy and restaurants are booked solid.
posted by CheeseLouise at 3:25 PM on April 10, 2014

As someone who lives 3 hours from Austin and has been there many times, I was going to say no, not Austin, it's not terribly exciting as a vacation spot. But then I saw you were thinking of moving there. Austin is much better as a place to live than a vacation spot, and if you are thinking of moving there but don't go visit now, you will end up wishing you had. So yes, go to Austin.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:40 AM on April 11, 2014

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