Around Town

There are currently 11 blog entries related to this category.

Everyone is always asking me as a Realtor, why are so many people from California moving to Austin?  I always tell them it's quality of life, cost of living, the schools and the people.  Texas is where you want to have a flat tire.  After living in Chicago, Boston, Miami, and London, coming home to Texas really reminded me of the overall good nature of a native Texan, it is remarkably different. 

But to talk about the numbers, a local lender, Steven Johnson sent a fascinating breakdown.  See below, and remember Texas has no state income tax, not to mention other things are significantly less expensive - home insurance, groceries, gas etc... it is all more affordable:

I did a little digging on the California state income tax website and the numbers

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Looking for a good holiday gift idea? There is current a special offer with Austin Eats Food Tours until December 8th, offing buy 2 get 1 free on gift cards. The guided bike tour covers a selection of downtown Austin restaurants and food trucks sampling some of the city's hidden culinary gems. For more information, take a look at these features on Austin Eats in USA Today and Forbes from earlier this summer, or head over to their FAQ page.

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So you missed the lighting of the Zilker Tree last Sunday? Well wipe away those tears because tonight is the lighting ceremony of the Driskill Hotel tree! Lightings will continue thought Dec. 31. Head over tonight between 4 - 6PM!
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Dating back to 1967, the Zilker Tree lighting has been a tradition for families across the city, and it takes place this Sunday (Dec. 1). Of course, if you can't make it, the tree will be less ceremoniously lit every night until December 31. This year the tree is 155 feet tall and will have 39 streamers suspending 3,390 multicolored lights. Quite a sight to behold, indeed! Don't forget The Tail Of Lights is back this year too, running from December 8th - 22nd.
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A few weeks back I made a blog post referencing an article in Condé Nast Traveler which rated the newly opened Hotel Ella as one of the top luxury hotels in Austin (along with the Four Seasons, The Driskill and Hotel Saint Cecilia). I worked for the Four Seasons and in the luxury hotel business for 10 years before real estate and since I’m always recommending hotels to my relocating clients I thought I should give Hotel Ella a try.

From the outside, Hotel Ella is striking. Formerly a mansion from late 19th century, the renovated hotel maintains all of its traditional charm. Check-in was a little bumpy as they couldn’t find my reservation right away - the staff seemed very new and flustered, but eventually they found me in the system and brought me to

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When your kids get bored of dinosaurs (NEVER!) there is a new game coming to town. Starting on November 23rd and running through March of 2014, the Bullock Texas State History Museum will feature an exhibit which covers the A to Z's of mammalian life on the planet since the dawn of history. Showcasing all things big and small, from theIndricotherium, a 15-foot tall rhinocerous, to the Batodonaides, a shrew only one and a half inches long, Extreme Mammals is sure to spark that look of wonderment in your child's eye, right before the mammalian skeleton display scares the bejeezus out of them.
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Lockhart's most famous family, the Schmidts, have arrived in Bee Cave, Texas! The Schmidt Family Barbecue opened its doors in the Hill Country Galleria on October 28th to a line of anxious customers. The Schmidts famously had a family dispute during the 1990's which resulted in two competing barbecues in Lockhart: Smitty's and Kreuz Market, which are consistently ranked among the best barbeque in Texas. The family has since reconciled which has manifested itself in this joint venture. Be sure to check it out, but you might want to try it during off hours for the first few months because lines extending outside have been spotted during lunch and dinner time.

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Take some time this weekend to explore homes designed by Austin's top architects. This Saturday and Sunday  (November 2nd and 3rd) from 10AM - 6PM, marvel at 11 homes offering grandiose views and modern lines dotting the entire city. Self guided tours are $35 in advance or $40 the weekend of. You can purchase tickets online. For more information head over to the AIA Homes Tour website.
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A recent article in Condé Nast Traveler magazine ranked four of Austin's hotels the "Best In Texas" out of a list of 15. Of course, 3 of those on the list are the usual suspects, Hotel Saint Cecilia, The Four Seasons, and The Driskill. But the inclusion of Hotel Ella was quite a surprise as it has only recently reopened after an intensive renovation.

First built in the 1800's by Dr. Wooten and his wife, Ella, the mansion was entered into the National Registry of Historic Places in 1975. In 1983 it became the Chemical Dependency Treatment Center of Austin. Then in 2003, the structure was renovated to become the Mansion at Judge's Hill and finally went through its most recent transformation into Hotel Ella in 2012. The hotel is also home to one of Austin's…
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Most people associate Lake Austin with motorboats, fishing boats, kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats. But a new business has introduced another breed of watercraft to Austin's favorite waterway: Sailboats. Austin Sail Boat Rentals offers both rentals and lessons launching near the shore at the Holiday Inn.

Hours Of Operation:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Location:
20N IH-35 (Southwest Parking lot of Holiday Inn)
Austin, Texas 78701

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