“Keep Austin Weird” is not just a mantra, but a movement that manifests in every aspect of this quirky Texas town. And Austin’s best Airbnbs feature some of the quickest ways to discover its eccentricities for yourself. Here, swimming pools and nature hikes are central to the fitness program, brick-and-mortar food trucks (yes, that’s a thing) are considered fine dining, and eating tacos for the breakfast and smoked meat at any time of the day is essentially a rite of passage. It’s no wonder hoteliers, restaurateurs and techies are popping up around every corner with new developments for lifers and hipsters that have long coexisted here, but new franchises are bringing new energy and new crowds.
With many people flocking to Austin for its thriving arts and music scene, there has also been an influx of Airbnb listings to meet the demand for low-cost housing. Locals build small studios or bungalows on their East Austin properties to accommodate strangers, or simply buy new plots of land, allowing travelers a glimpse into their world. Much like the city in general, local spots offer plenty of ways to get noticed as a born-and-bred Southerner. From mid-century modern bungalows to tiny treehouses, here are 10 of the best Airbnbs in Austin to enjoy a few days in this still weird and wonderful city.
The Graber House
Austin-based architect David Graeber bought this historic stone building, once a saloon, in the late ’60s and fitted it out as a mod airstrip for his family. As a nod to the house’s history, its design references elements from its past, such as an 1880s wall kept next to a curved 70s bookcase. The colorful art displayed on the walls make the space feel like your own private gallery, and the indoor pool is a particularly epic amenity. But the location of the house is by far the biggest ace up its sleeve. Located on 6th Street, it is located in the heart of downtown Austin making it easy to get in and out of restaurants and bars throughout your stay.
This stylish 50s bungalow is located in Austin’s trendy Windsor Park neighborhood, where you’ll find an abundance of parks, running tracks, pools, restaurants and bars to pass the time. Sliding glass doors from the living room open to the serene courtyard if you use the fire pit out back. And inside, don’t miss the expansive, wood-panelled bathroom that’s the real gram bait here. It’s the perfect place to draw yourself a trippy chromotherapy bath (yes, there’s a whole setup for that) and relax.
New Home in East Austin
If you’re looking for a long-term family vacation in a quiet, conveniently located location, this three-bedroom open-plan home in East Austin has your name. The large communal dining table in the sunny living room and kitchen is the perfect space to zoom in, send emails or flip through your morning pages. If you need more peace and quiet, head up to the office for a more laser-focused environment that includes a couch for five. After a hard day’s work, explore Austin on foot or retreat to the outdoor patio for a nap in the hammock. (You deserve it, king.)
Modern Studio in the Trees
This small studio overlooking Zilker Park is modest, but still a gem of a place to spend the weekend. Tropical wallpaper and rattan furniture are a gentle reminder that you’re on vacation, and the tree-level terrace offers epic sunset views. This place is probably best suited for people who will be spending most of their days sightseeing, as unfortunately there is no kitchen here (other than a mini fridge, microwave and coffee maker) . But still, the space is clean and well located for a restorative weekend in Austin. Plus, the treehouse vibe is a complete experience for people who have never indulged before.
Alley Apartment in East Austin
Warm comfort meets Nordic-style design in this cozy bedroom in East Austin that’s all white walls, pine wood underfoot, and soothing decor. It’s a great place to spend a few days with a partner (or solo), and there’s plenty of privacy between the full bedroom, kitchen, and den. There’s even a private screened-in porch to sip your morning coffee before you duck out, but you won’t waste much time commuting since your Airbnb is within walking distance of downtown.
Studio in East Austin
For a taste of East Austin life, park in this small studio apartment located steps from all the restaurants and shops in the area. It is flush with soothing interiors for a relaxing stay, including a queen-size bed for two, plus a sofa bed if someone else is accompanied. Other pluses: The bathroom is well stocked with Aesop skincare (a major flex), and there’s a small desk if you need to log in for a few hours remotely. Like any Airbnb worthy of a five star, there is also an extremely charming backyard where you can enjoy downtime in the sun.
Bungalow Near City Center
This Clarksville casita near downtown Austin has plenty of Southwestern charm to spare, starting with the desert garden that surrounds the house. The spacious backyard patio offers great ambience, with plenty of outdoor seating for entertaining friends, as well as heat lamps to keep you warm on cooler nights. Inside, you’ll find wraparound sofas for watching a movie and a full kitchen with white subway tile walls just begging to be used. After dark, guests lucky enough to call dibs in the top-floor room can even gaze up at the stars from their adjoining balcony.
East Austin Casita
After a day of exploring East Austin, return to this charming corrugated metal casita to relax with a beer on the porch. Don’t let the small square footage fool you: the sofa converts to a queen-sized Murphy bed and the dining table expands so you can indulge in your leftover El Chilito tacos for breakfast ( because everyone eats here for breakfast, it’s tacos anyway).
Bouldin Creek Studio
It’s not entirely out of place to find a bohemian setup like this backyard loft in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood near downtown Austin, whose streets are lined with eclectic new modern homes and bungalows cool histories. Although there is no full kitchen in this spacious studio, you will always be well taken care of between the queen-size bed, the comfortable living areas and the spacious bathroom. A few blocks away, you can also enjoy something tasty at the cafes and food trucks of South First Street, or the bustling bars and restaurants of South Congress. And in the afternoon, get rid of a hearty meal with a dip in Barton Springs, which is just a five-minute drive from the house.
The Lodgewell Bloomhouse
It’s no exaggeration to call a stay at the Bloomhouse an otherworldly experience. Hidden in a wooded valley, the house looks more like a Seussian setting, or a meringue dessert, than a habitable structure from the outside. It was a hippie fever dream built by two architecture students in the 70s, and preserved and restored in 2017. Today the house is stacked with a treasure trove of mid-century furniture amid its spacious walls and undulating. Plus, queen beds tucked under the curve of a staircase, tubs made from the same polyurethane foam as the bones of the house, and little nooks and crannies carved into the walls. Suffice it to say, it’s not often you book fancy vacation spots like this, so enjoy all the bragging rights (and grid time) while you can.