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ACL memories

Clouds at sunset at ACL 2016

Now that the dust has settled (literally), let’s take a moment to reflect on ACL 2016. This year, festival managers went for a younger crowd and the music skewed heavy on EDM. I wandered around and saw a number of bands, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Melanie Martinez and Cage the Elephant all played fabulous sets, full of energy and showmanship.

This year, I didn’t have a must-see band, so honestly, I went because I had a Top Trip Rentals VIP pass and I LOVE the VIP area of ACL. If you have the money, (about $450/day vs. $100/day) it is so worth it. Here lies the promised land, just beyond the VIP gatekeepers–air conditioned flush toilets, free drinks from Tito’s Vodka and Troublemaker Wines, free food from local vendors like Ranch 616 and catered meals from Central Market. It’s called the “Grove” and it’s shady, and relatively quiet and has big-screen TVs set up for football and others showing the stages. It’s an oasis for sure in a sea of people and heat.

There are moments of pure transcendence at ACL, and for me, ironically, I end up spending as much time watching the crowds and clouds, as I do the bands. Don’t get me wrong, the music is great. But, Austin has a lot of great music happening at all hours in all places across town.

What makes ACL such a great place to experience music is the setting. ACL is set up in Austin’s Zilker Park, on the edge of Town Lake, with a great view of Austin’s ever changing skyline across the river. It’s really a gorgeous site.

October 13, 2016

The Best of Austin

Javelina Bar on Rainey Street in Austin

There is a lot to love about Austin. The people, the attitude, the winter weather, the music, and more. So, what do locals do when entertaining friends and family from out of town? I posed this question to Top Trip Rentals’ staff members and here’s some of our favorite places. Happy Travels!

Rebecca’s Top 5 favorite Austin spots:

  1. Walking the Greenbelt and stopping for swims in Barton Creek along the way!
  2. Margaritas and “Texas Radio Live” at Guero’s Oak Garden on Wednesday nights.
  3. Shopping the monthly specials at Room Service Vintage.
  4. Brunch at Counter Cafe. I recommend the mango mimosas and counter benedict.
  5. Walking the Butler Trail in the evening with a stop at Alta’s Cafe for a drink.
Sandra’s Top 5:
  1. Exploring the Greenbelt with my dog (with snacks and water).
  2. Drinks at Javelina on Rainey St.
  3. Biking on the Walnut Creek Trail.
  4. Barbacoa tacos from La Esperanza on S. Congress across from St. Edwards.
  5. Dancing the night away at Highland Lounge.
Outdoor patio at Javelina Austin on Rainey Street. Photo from www.Javelinabar.com
Outdoor patio at Javelina Austin on Rainey Street. Photo from www.Javelinabar.com

Brenda’s Top 5:

  1. Hike up Mt. Bonnell
  2. Angie’s Mexican Food on East 7th Street
  3. State Capitol – Both the grounds and the building.
  4. The Grove Wine Bar
  5. Esther’s Follies

Rene’s Top 5:

  1. A trip to Mayfield Park to see the peacocks.
  2. Touring the outdoor exhibit at AMOA’s Laguna Gloria location.
  3. The dining room of Fonda San Miguel Restaurant
  4. ACL!
  5. October weather

Whether you’re here for a few days or for one of Austin’s big music or film festivals like ACL or SXSW, check out some of our staff’s favorite locales in Austin and live like a local.

September 30, 2016

ACL 2016 is almost here

C3 - ACL Weekend 1

ACL is coming up fast. And that means, time to pick your favorite bands. Every year we go, it’s so hard to pick between acts when there are two equally interesting bands playing at the same time in opposite ends of Zilker Park where ACL is held. And it’s impossible to run between stages (well, it can be done but not easily) during performances to try to see two acts at once. The only way to manage your band picks is through a careful review of the ACL website lineup page that includes bios and videos, then download the app and set up your schedule.

What are Top Trip Rentals’ staff members psyched about? Here’s a few of our recommendations.

Sandra’s Top 5:

  1. Die Antwoord
  2. Bomba Estereo
  3. Kendrick Lamar
  4. The Chainsmokers
  5. Mumford & Sons

Rebecca’s Top 5: 

  1. Radiohead
  2. Kendrick Lamar
  3. Band of Horses
  4. Willie Nelson
  5. Wild Belle

Rene’s Top 5:

  1. Willie Nelson
  2. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats
  3. Quaker City Night Hawks
  4. Luisa Maita
  5. Corrine Bailey Rae

Cara’s Top 5:

  1. Haim
  2. The Chainsmokers
  3. Kendrick Lamar
  4. Tory Lanes
  5. Conor Oberst

As you can see, a real mix of bands and styles from our crew at Top Trip Rentals, but we guarantee, you won’t find a bad band at ACL. And if you’re not much of a planner, wandering the park and staying at a stage that sounds interesting could yield a great new find.

And finally, the kind folks at ACL put together a great “tips” guide that includes an FAQ for getting the most out of the Festival, now in its 15th year. Read this to learn more details like how to get from downtown to Zilker, what items you can and cannot take, and more info on programs happening in addition to music during the event.

See you there!

C3 - ACL Weekend 1
C3 – ACL Weekend 1, 2015

September 16, 2016

The 410–A House Cocktail for the Graeber Home

The 410 drink created by Mixologist JR Mocanu.

When it came time to create a house cocktail for our historic Graeber Home located in the heart of Austin’s famed 6th Street, we chose Barmadillo partner Mixologist JR Mocanu. His mission–to merge both traditional and modern elements to accurately reflect the building’s historic significance and modern updates.

With this in mind, we present–“The 410”–a mix of all locally-sourced spirits that looks sweet but tastes substantial (it’s the bitters). All ingredients used in “The 410” were available to barkeeps in the 19th century in keeping with the historic provenance of the building and yet combine in a modern way to celebrate the home’s remodel and renovations in the mid-20th century.

So, the next time you stay with us at the Graeber, request a batch of “The 410” to greet you for your stay. Cheers.

The 410 drink created by Mixologist JR Macanu.
“The 410” cocktail, created by Mixologist JR Mocanu.

September 2, 2016

At Home with Art: Cornelius Carter at the Graeber Mansion

Artwork by Cornelius Carter of musician Prince at Austin's Grabber Mansion

At our Sixth Street vacation rental, the Graeber House, we are honored to display works from Cornelius Carter’s “Faces Series” including this portrait of the late musical genius Prince on the walls of our 4,800 square-foot 19th century home located in the heart of downtown Austin. Carter’s works are exhibited at the Graeber and on loan by his gallery IEI Austin.

Through the Graeber’s partnership with IEI Austin, our guests have enjoyed a rotating inventory of artwork including the canvases of William Stidham and Larry Graeber. At Top Trip Rentals, we value the contributions of the creative community as a part of what keeps Austin great and are happy to showcase local artists at our properties. Top Trip Rentals’ Graeber house has served as a pop-up gallery during the famous WEST shows and hosted IEI Austin gallery openings.

“Guests to the historic mansion can see Carter’s works of musical icons while staying in the heart of the entertainment district in a section of Austin that glorifies musicians,” says Top Trip Rentals owner and Graeber property manager Chereen Fisher. These rock star paintings grace the walls of the Graeber House, and are available for purchase through IEI Austin, Rhonda Rougeau gallery owner.

Cornelius Carter is an Austin-based, classically-trained artist with a style rooted in the traditional portraiture paintings of European masters while depicting subject matter dealing with societal struggles around race and class. From his eponymous website, Carter describes how he “weaves together imagery from history, mythology, childhood, and life experience to create images that are thought provoking, captivating, and beautiful. People and their relationships are a central theme…”

About the Artist: Carter was born and raised in 1970s Memphis, choosing to leave the South for more opportunities by attending the prestigious Minneapolis College of Art and Design on a partial scholarship. He moved to New York and sold paintings as a street artist in Greenwich Village before moving back to Memphis and finally choosing Austin as a place to raise his son and pursue his art. In 2015, Cornelius unveiled, “The Death of the King,” a large-scale portrait of the shooting of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Austin City Hall in a press event opening the “People’s Art Gallery” where Cornelius was chosen along with two others as a featured artist for 2015 from the approximately 1,250 entries submitted by more than 300 local artists and art organizations. “The Death of a King” was displayed at the Austin City Hall for all of 2015.

Prince photo
“Prince” by Cornelius Carter

August 4, 2016

Live like a local at our SOCO home

Remodeled 1930s bungalow front door view

Where in Texas is the BEST place to visit according to Conde Nast Traveler magazine? Right here, South Congress Avenue shopping. Our updated 1930s era SOCO bungalow is one block off of Austin’s famous South Congress Avenue and right in the heart of all that this incredibly cool, fun and weird. You are moments from Big Top Candy, the Continental Club, Perla Restaurant and so many more than we can list in one blog. Also, some of the best boot shopping in the state as mentioned in the Conde Nast article. It’s old Austin meets new.

Top Trip Rental's Soco Bungalow
Top Trip Rental’s Soco Bungalow

July 23, 2016

Parking options near Littlefield Lofts

Screenshot of map with downtown Austin parking noted

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 3.05.14 PM

Looking for a simpler way to park downtown? Top Trip Rentals has parking available for purchase with our Littlefield Lofts vacation rentals or you can find parking through this handy website–Best Parking. All you do is choose which part of town you’re in, and it gives you rates and locations. (Shown above is the area of Austin near Littlefield Lofts). The site is organized by price range and area of town. Parking in Austin can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be! This is also available as an App (Best Parking) for both Android and iPhone.

March 23, 2016

SXSW Review

Interior of chairs at Graeber House in Austin set for SXSW Interactive
Lounge at Graeber House during Spark Capitol One's Small Business House for SXSW Interactive.
Lounge at our Graeber Home during Capitol One’s Spark Small Business House for SXSW Interactive.
Getting ready to host Anthony Bourdain at the Spark Small Business panel during SXSW Interactive.
Getting ready to host Anthony Bourdain at the Capitol One Spark Small Business House panel during SXSW Interactive.

 

We had a great week with the folks from Capitol One Spark Small Business program who held their VIP reception with author, chef, raconteur, Anthony Bourdain at our historic Graeber Home on Austin’s famed 6th Street. Here are a few pics from the Capitol One Spark Small Business House they set up for SXSW Interactive 2016. Hope to see everyone again next year!

March 18, 2016

Downtown Austin Farmer’s Market Held Every Saturday

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Every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., you can buy yummy, healthy and local food brought to you by local farmers and one of Austin’s best non-profits the Sustainable Food Center. The SFC/Downtown’s Farmer’s Market is at Republic Square at 4th and Guadalupe.

If you’re staying with us at our Downtown Properties like Littlefield Quarters or 410 E. 6th Street, you’re within easy walking distance. Enjoy!

Photo from Sustainable Food Center’s FB page. Thanks SFC!

410 E. 6th Street Now Available for Rentals:

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Former 19th Century Saloon and 20th Century Architect’s Private Home now 21st Century Private Rental Available through Top Trip Rentals

March 5, 2014, Austin, Texas—For the first time in 60 years (perhaps 130 years) the private residence at 410 E. 6th Street, is available for nightly rentals and special events. Top Trip Rentals, an Austin-based vacation rental company, is representing the property. 

The limestone building at 410 E. 6th Street began life in the 19th century as the rough-and-tumble Shamrock Saloon and more recently was the private residence of the late architect and urban planner David Graeber, founder of GSC Architects.  

Today, this rare residential townhome on East 6th street, is available for guests and special events. The home’s first major booking is by an LA-based digital media company reserving for this week’s SXSW Interactive Conference. 

 “Space plays an important role in the creative process,” says Chereen Fisher, owner of Top Trip Rentals. “Our SXSW guests were interested in the house’s unique character, history and location to give them a chance to connect with business partners and to entertain clients in a memorable space right on Sixth.” 

This residential home, with the feel of a small boutique hotel, is located in the heart of the Famed Sixth Street Entertainment District and is protected as an Austin Historic Landmark. It features 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 separate wings, an indoor pool facing the 19th century structure, 2 kitchens, 4,623 square feet on two floors of living space and is decorated with original art provided by IEI Austin.

“The building at 410 E. 6th Street is a time capsule with references to times and lives lived over 130 years in this one location,” Fisher added, “When guests stay with us, they too add to the story of this home, so we hope they have a great time and make it a good story.”

Dear First Time Austin Guests

first-time-austin-guests

Welcome to our weird and wonderful town! We’re excited that the first time you’re coming to Austin, you’re staying with us. To get you started on enjoying your time here, we have oodles of ideas for all kinds of interests.

The best way to get a quick idea on what kinds of fun you can get into in Austin is posted on our social media sites like our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (with tons of ideas tagged) andInstagram accounts. My favorites are in the Pinterest account. You can choose any Austin type experience you want and look through the images to see if anything catches your eye.

Also, check out our blog that’s on our website. You can just wander through the archive of our blogs and see if anything else we’ve written about that strikes your fancy.

We also regularly compile a list of our favorite things that we call our “Top 5″ and we have them archived on our Pinterest board, Austin’s Top 5. These lists give a one-word description of our recommendations on the best beer, BBQ, breakfast spots, coffee houses, local pools, etc. to try or visit while you’re in ATX.

So, once you’ve taken a look, if you still have questions or want more ideas, post your questions to ourFacebook page, and we will be happy to investigate and find you an answer. Other ideas obviously include music, culture, visiting the Capitol, UT sports, loud events, quiet off the beaten trail, weird, ..There really is something for almost everyone here.

Make it a Top Trip Day!

Photo taken at the Eastside Showroom bar.

Top Trip Rentals announces partnership with KEY Concierge

119 E 6th St-small-014-14-Street Signs and ExteriorsBW-666x424-72dpi

At Top Trip Rentals, we strive to provide our guests with the most amazing stay possible. We know that time away from life is limited and that vacations are precious opportunities to reconnect with friends and loved ones or simply to unwind from the stress of life. 

To enhance your stay, we have partnered with KEY Concierge.  They not only handle the essentials…pre-arrival grocery + stocked bar, transportation, food delivered in, etc…they also deliver five-star experiences curated by local concierge.  Whether it’s a customized taste of Austin, guided hill country hike + picnic, live music crawl, breakfast taco + bloody marys delivered to your door or waiting in a five-hour line for the infamous Franklin BBQ, the sky’s the limit. To make your trip seamless and experience the best of Austin, let their local concierge team handle the details so you can arrive + relax.   austin@key.co | 512.640.4888.

“We are excited to provide concierge services for guests staying at Top Trip Rental vacation homes,” says Erin Kotzur, KEY Concierge Director of Business Development. “We make stays memorable by crafting the perfect itinerary and handling the details so guests don’t have to,” she added.

Top Trip Rentals will continue to provide guests with Austintacious ways of enjoying their stay through information found on our blogFacebookTwitterPinterest boards and Instagram. “At Top Trip Rentals, we continue our commitment to giving each guest personal assistance, so we’re always just a phone call away to help you, but for more elaborate requests, we wanted to be able to give guests additional services, like access to KEY Concierge, that will improve their stay,” says Chereen Fisher, Founder of Top Trip Rentals.