Austin, Texas
The Austin skyline


Austin, Texas
Dan Oko

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Your survival plan for South by Southwest, the annual film-and-music bonanza taking place this month:
(1) MAKE A PLAN. With hundreds of bands playing over five nights, picking your spots can be tough. Big names reliably play Stubb’s Bar-B-Que (, and be sure to check out the roots scene at the Continental Club ( Schedules are released in early February; information available at

(2) FIND A HIDEOUT. The three-month-old Hotel Saint Cecilia is the latest from local hotelier Liz Lambert. Handmade Swedish beds and in-room turntables almost justify the rock-star prices (doubles from $315;

(3) GRAB A BITE. Think Texas, think barbecue. Our pick: Ruby’s, for the oak-smoked brisket (

(4) RIDE AWAY. That Austin has some of the best mountain biking in the Southwest is an open secret. One top trail is the Barton Creek Greenbelt, a 7.5-mile limestone-riddled roller coaster. Find rentals and trail info at Bicycle Sport Shop ($30 per day;

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