After the past two years, we all deserve a vacation. The weather is warming up and with a record-breaking 20 million passengers expected to pass through Austin-Bergstrom, it’s certain to be a bustling year for travel.
Expect more flights as ABIA grows into 2022’s changes but for now, take advantage of these great destinations you can reach via direct flight.
Amsterdam, Netherlands | KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
This brand-new flight, which started on March 28, will take you to the historical city of Amsterdam. Famous for its canals, high art museums and that famously laid-back Dutch lifestyle, the flight from Austin to Amsterdam runs on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has flights starting just above $500 if you book far enough in advance.
Aspen, Colorado | American Airlines
Whether you’re trying to book your next ski vacation in advance or want to spend the summer where it’s cooler, American Airlines will fly you directly to Aspen for right around $800 round-trip. Visit in late September for the Aspen Film Festival or hike the massive mountains in the summer if skiing isn’t your vibe.
Frankfurt, Germany | Lufthansa
Starting up again after a pandemic hiatus on April 8, Austinites can indulge in all the beer, sausage and German scenery they can handle after just one flight. Running on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Lufthansa will shuttle you from the Lone Star State to the largest city in Germany. Catch a round-trip flight for as low as $800.
Honolulu, Hawaii | Hawaiian Airlines
Say aloha to paradise, which is just a few hours away with Hawaiian Airlines’ direct flight. For just a bit more than $1,000 round trip, Honolulu’s surf destinations, volcanos, sun-kissed beaches and tourism of the largest city in Hawaii can be all yours for just a little while.
London, England | British Airways or Virgin Atlantic
Hop across the pond in one go by flying British Airways or Virgin Atlantic to London Town’s Heathrow airport. You can catch a flight with Virgin Atlantic beginning May 25, with starting prices hovering around $1,200 for a round-trip ticket, or through British Airways, starting around $500 each way.
Mexico City, Mexico | Aeromexico
The colors, history and mind-blowing food in Mexico is only $150 per ticket, when you fly with Aeromexico, each way—how could you afford not to go? Whether you’ve been dying to visit for Día de los Muertos or the Frida Kahlo museum, the capital city of Mexico is less than three hours away from Austin.
Miami, Florida | Southwest of American Airlines
Perfect for a weekend getaway, the sandy, white beaches of Miami await. For around $300 each way on Southwest and American Airlines, Miami’s Cuban food, Art Deco district and beachy vibes make it feel like summer all year long.
Monterrey, Mexico | Spirit Airlines
Like its fellow city to the south, it is nearly impossible not to have fun when you’re visiting. Don’t miss the crowded downtown Macroplaza, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Paseo de Santa Lucia and mountainous views as far as the eye can see. Fly direct from Spirit Airlines starting on June 22, with one-way tickets starting at $150.
Montego Bay, Jamaica | American Airlines
The beautiful clear blue beaches of Jamaica are just a single flight away when you fly with American Airlines, which can get you on the sand after about four hours in the air. A $700 round trip ticket is the only thing standing between you and island vibes.
San Juan, Puerto Rico | American Airlines
Known for its colorful architecture and lively nightlife scene, fly to San Juan in less than five hours through American Airlines. The cobblestone paths of Old San Juan will bring you back to the 16th century but the Paseo de la Princesa bayside promenade will show you a good time. Round trip tickets start around $400.
Vancouver, Canada | Air Canada
Can’t stand the Texas heat in the summertime? Spend the season up north! Located in the lush Canadian province of British Columbia, Vancouver will treat visitors to incredible views via the Capilano Suspension Bridge, whale watching tours and the city’s artistically-diverse scene. Flights begin on June 1, so grab tickets from Air Canada for about $200 each way.
Read a complete list of nonstop flights here.
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🗓 All weekend
Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities
All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park
This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.
6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.
10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park
Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.
Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.
11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway
Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”