Stages and Street Art: a Creative Break in Austin

Austin boasts a vibrant street-art scene and you can admire murals such as Le Bonheur de Vivre by Doug Jacques
Austin boasts a vibrant street-art scene and you can admire murals such as Le Bonheur de Vivre by Doug Jacques | © Witold Skrypczak / Alamy Stock Photo
Emilie Hall

Hit up live-music venues and tour graffiti-studded sites on this insider-led journey through the tuned-in Texas capital, all bookable right here on Culture Trip.

As soon as you visit, you’ll understand why Austin is a haven for artistic souls. As well as world-class museums, galleries and live-music venues, there’s a marked spirit of creativity that simply sings through the air of this free-spirited city, known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”

“Austin’s unique neighborhoods are always providing me with fresh doses of inspiration,” says Mia Carameros, an Austin-based visual artist and designer. “When I need to get ideas, I like to just walk through the trail-laced Barton Creek Greenbelt, discover an installation at Pease Park or stop by the Stephen L Clark Gallery on West 6th. My goal this year is to visit and support more of Austin’s older cultural establishments like the ballet, the symphony and the opera, too.”

To help inspire your own brush with brilliance, we’ve curated three creative tours and combined them with one cultural hub of a hotel to help immerse you in Austin’s artistic energy.

 A guitar sculpture at Town Lake captures the musical spirit of Austin |
 The city is full of unique street art like this piece in South Austin |
 The Continental Club is a legendary venue for rock, blues, jazz and country music |

Where to Stay: the Hotel…

1. Fairmont Austin


Fairmont Austin
Courtesy of Fairmont Austin / Expedia

This glitzy high-rise hotel in the heart of downtown Austin has rock’n’roll swagger in spades – there are gilded accents in every room, epic skyline views from floor-to-ceiling windows and a see-and-be-seen rooftop pool scene. We think any Grammy-winning diva would approve of the sprawling spa, with its soaking pools, saunas and solariums (try the two-hour Texas Hill Country Awakening treatment to banish that honky-tonk hangover). The Fairmont also prides itself on being plugged into the city’s thriving arts scene. It has live music most nights in one of its five restaurants and bars, unique artworks by local artists on the walls and exciting culinary pop-ups in the event spaces.

What to Do: the Experiences…

2. Explore Live Austin Music With Award Winner


Head to the historic Continental Club, boogie to bluegrass at Radio Coffee and Beer, or mosy over to the “Mystery Monday” concert at El Mercado on this foot-stomping tour of Austin’s legendary music venues. Your tour guide, Will, is the ultimate insider – an award-winning local musician who’s recorded with the likes of Willie Nelson and Gary Clark Jr. He might even serenade you with a song or two himself.

3. Downtown Austin Photo Tour


Sharpen your eye and capture Austin’s best angles with help from veteran photographer Mack McPhedrain on this downtown photography tour. Mack will take you to the best locations for snapping vibrant stills of the city’s scenery (he’s also a history buff, so expect a sprinkling of local lore, too). The tour starts and ends at the Texas State Capitol building, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to snap photos of this architectural wonder and its acres of lush grounds.

4. Austin Street-Art Walking Tour


Mosaics, murals, street art, graffiti – the streets of Austin are a living open-air gallery, but not the kind that ever makes it into the guidebooks. On this colorful walking tour through East Austin, you’ll see the city’s weirdest, wackiest and most beloved street art (including works by world-famous artists Blek le Rat, JonOne and Meres One), get plenty of photo ops and uncover the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood that residents themselves often miss.

Searching for more accommodation options in the Texas capital? Check out the best hotels in Austin, and book now with Culture Trip.

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