SXSW: Hotel San Jose
The root of the SXSW madness is Sixth Street—it’s shut to traffic and is taken over by street performers and food stands, and flooded with people. Some choose to retreat down Congress, across the river. Now that’s a destination, too, and the main attraction is the Hotel San Jose.
Liz Lambert’s hotel is a longtime favorite for its smartly updated ranch-style buildings, and laid-back sensibility. Their own music festival, South by San Jose, which began in their parking lot as a local alternative to SXSW (more Austin acts, free to all), has become a destination in itself. And why not? With performances from bands as diverse as The Iguanas and Built to Spill, it’s a wonderfully eclectic mix.
The rooms are adorned with vintage concert posters and cowhide rugs. They give out onto a series of gardens, or the lap pool (where nobody swims many laps). You’re more likely to find industry insiders checking their Macs over a drink from the Jo’s, the hotel’s nearby coffee stand with a cult-like following.
Enjoying a Michelada (a variation on a Bloody Mary with beer that’s infinitely better than it sounds) and watching favorite Austin musicians like Amy Cook, you’re feeling very clever indeed.