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Hot Luck Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Hot Luck Festival

Seven ways to spend Memorial Day Weekend if you're staying in Austin


Some people who feel the need to get out of town on Memorial Day Weekend, taking long-awaited vacations on a beach somewhere with all of the margaritas. But if you're hanging around Austin for the three-day weekend, there's plenty to be done here, too. In addition to all the events going on over the next few days, we've come up with a handful of ideas for getting the most out of your staycation:

Get a hotel pool pass
A handful of hotels around Austin allow non-guests to buy a day pass to their swanky pools, including the South Congress Hotel, the Westin, the Four Seasons and, most recently, Lone Star Court, which starts granting access to their pool this Friday. 

Go to a Hot Luck show
Hot Luck Festival takes place this weekend, and while some of the major food events are sold out (or come with a hefty price tag), there are still plenty of single show tickets available starting at $15. Catch Galactic and Twin Peaks on Friday, Okkervil River and Blackillac on Saturday, and DJ Questlove and Peanut Butter Wolf on Sunday, among others. 

Check out a new restaurant
While this week has seen a slew of disappointing closures—RIP Bonhomie, Alcomar and Athenian Grill—there are some brand new openings to put on your radar. Rosewood, which delayed its opening after some initial hiccups, is set to open on May 25. Stop by for seafood entrées like shrimp jambalaya and blue crab, or whey braised lamb and pollo asado. Home Slice's new North Loop location is also in soft-opening, and a welcome addition for those who found it hard to make it to the SoCo spot. And if you haven't visited Sour Duck Market yet, get on it—their pastries are worth standing in line for. 

Brave the water parks
Yeah, yeah, we know: The water parks are going to be insanely busy this weekend. It is also going to be insanely hot this weekend. So if you don't mind the crowds, consider planning an early trip to Schlitterbahn, Rock'N River Water Park, Typhoon Texas or a few others. 

Take a day trip
Ok, so you might not be planning on getting out of town for the entire weekend—but one day can't hurt. Our guide to the best day trips from Austin include the best places to eat, drink and explore in 11 different neighboring cities, all within a two-hour drive. 

Escape to a movie theater
Want to hibernate in an air-conditioned theater for a few hours? We wouldn't blame you. Find sweet, chilly solace in a movie theater, where you can catch up on a few flicks you've been meaning to see—including Solo: A Star Wars Story, which we named one of our best summer movies of 2018.

Treat yourself to a spa day
Use that day off from work to your advantage by making an appointment at one of Austin's most zen spas. The AWAY Spa at W Austin, VIVA Day Spa and milk + honey are the perfect places to unwind for an afternoon. 

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