The Provident is the perfect spot for exploring Austin
Built in 1887, this spacious historic loft comprising the entire third floor of one of Austin’s few remaining 19th-century buildings is now available as a unique vacation rental in the heart of Austin’s entertainment and business district.
The building on East 5th Street got its start as the “Provident Hotel” operating from 1890 to 1920 as a “first class” hotel. Some 100 years later, the Provident, managed by Top Trip Rentals, is available again for travelers exploring the tourist mecca of Austin. Completely remodeled while retaining the building’s original charm, this home boasts an enviable location at 5th and Brazos Streets.
This home is an ideal location for friends traveling together looking for a stylish launching pad to explore Austin or corporate groups wanting to have a downtown presence while in town on business. The Provident is walking distance to hundreds of bars, restaurants and cultural landmarks including theHandleBar (next door), the Paramount Theater, World-famous 6th Street, the Austin Convention Center, SXSW, the ACL shuttle, the Texas State Capitol and hundreds of bars and restaurants.
This spectacular space features high ceilings, exposed brick, original hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows with treetop views of 5th Street. The Provident home retains the classic loft feel with an open floor plan that features 3 bedrooms, 2 living spaces, a modern kitchen and 2 baths.
The views out of the Provident’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer a similar scene of a bustling downtown that 19th-century guests would have seen—the world-famous clubs and bars of Sixth Street that have been entertaining saloon goers and bar hoppers for more than 100 years of Austin’s history.
To enjoy the historically recognized Provident-Heierman building for your next trip to downtown Austin, visit Top Trip Rentals to reserve your dates.
On a recent hot Texas Saturday, I found myself slathered in sunscreen inside a Sixth Street bar along with my colleague, Top Trip Guest Services Manager, Sandra, at the meeting point for the Austin Tour Company’s Public River Float Experience.
“Welcome to the party!” said our guide, Lauren, ruggedly tan and friendly, as she greeted us at the entrance to a lively bar on Sixth Street. It was easy to identify us as float tourists by our sunscreen smeared faces, neon hats, and torn t-shirts. “We’re going to leave in ten minutes. So, have a drink!” So, instructed by our guide, we did.
We sidled up to the bar and took seats on stools. As a part of our pre-party plan, Sandra and I had decided that Lone Star would be our drink of choice for the day. Lone Star, the national beer of Texas, is a magical summer elixir of sorts—light, portable and consumable in large quantities. We ordered our first of the day while we waited for the other tourists to show up. Lone Star, patron beer saint of river floats, lead the way!
By the time we had all gathered, there was a group of 20 or so of us, hanging out together around the bar, sipping cold beer, excitedly chatting, buzzing for the day ahead. With two Lone Stars gulped down, it was time for us to depart for the tour bus and make our way towards the San Marcos River.
The bus was parked a block away, a handsome pink and purple honking school bus with a driver waiting for us inside. We climbed aboard and situated ourselves on the faded brown leather seats. Lauren, standing at the front, spoke to us for a few minutes about river safety and what to expect. A great time she said, just follow a few guidelines during our adventure downstream. Safety talk finished, Lauren took on the important task of loading all of our drinks into personal ice-filled coolers that would float with us. Our beer inventory now safely chilling and everyone inside the bus with the windows down, we were ready to take-off.
And take-off did we! The bus zoomed towards San Marcos at a brisk pace, moving much faster than school buses of childhood. Breezes swept through the bus creating a cooling continuous stream of air and the sun shone through, creating a warm inviting energy. Everyone was treating themselves to beers on the ride over, enjoying getting to know each other and relaxing as someone else was driving! As it turns out there were people from all over the world a part of our group…Seattle! Reno! North Carolina! England!
We made a quick stop at a convenience store at the halfway point to procure last minute supplies. Extra water, beer, and snacks were all welcomed onboard. About 20 minutes later, we exited I-35 and made a few turns down through fields and farms and reached our destination, the San Marcos River!
With the river awaiting, it was time to strip down to bathing suits, put on that last coat of sunscreen and gather everything into the cooler. Conveniently right outside the bus, sturdy inflated tubes awaited us. One for each person and one for each cooler. With Lauren’s help, we got our gear and ourselves in place and set off down the river. A rush of pure joy followed by relaxation followed, knowing all we needed to do now was lay back and enjoy the ride!
And what a ride it was! For the next 3.5 hours, with ice-cold Lone Stars in hand, we floated down the refreshingly cool waters of the San Marcos River. Sandra and my floats were tied together to our cooler’s float and we were nicely spaced apart from our touring companions while we drifted down the river. Mature trees and shrubs along the river banks cast green and golden light onto the gushing water; birds busily called and snapping turtles popped up and sunned themselves on partially submerged tree branches. Along the river, there were peaceful moments moving through slow-moving wide sections as well as adrenal-fueled moments as we charged through narrow passageways, skimming past rocks and brush.
As our trip came to an end, our guide Lauren, who had been at the front of the float pack, helped us all to shore and took care of handling our tubes and hauling our coolers. With bright smiles on our faces, our group arrived back at the bus, exuberant from the experience. It occurred to me as we headed back to Austin in our stylish school bus that there was never a moment of worry from beginning to end. Austin Tour Company took care of all the logistics for us, allowing us to focus on fun!
If you book a trip with Austin Tour Company, here are our Top Trip Top 5 Tips river float suggestions:
Bring extra of everything- water, sunscreen & beverages!
Don’t take anything with you on the water you aren’t willing to lose!
Make sure everything you are bringing with you is waterproof!
Take a waterproof speaker and bring some tunes for the trip.
Bring a hat.
Written for Top Trip Rentals by Rebecca, General Manager
In honor of two anniversaries–30 years of South by Southwest, Austin’s premier festival (1987–2017), and Top Trip Rentals’ 10th anniversary–we gave SXSW 2017 musicians a special promotional rate during their stay. Yes, while ATX room rates hit high notes, we lowered rates to $30 a night so musicians could conveniently rock a 6th Street launch pad during their SXSW’s performances.
Austin, Live Music Capital of the World
Are we crazy?
Well, Top Trip Rentals believes Austin’s soul is its artists.
We wanted to tip an appreciative hat to artists of all stripes (musical, visual, theatrical) who’ve made success possible.
Top Trip Rentals couldn’t have asked for better guests, and so we created a tradition. During big festivals and events, we’ve reserved a portion of our vacation rentals at affordable prices for performers, those souls who get on stage and give their energy, genius, and artistry every night.
Stay with Top Trip Rentals During Your Gig!
Are you a performer (musical, visual, theatrical) who needs an affordable place to unwind during Austin’s legendary festivals and creative events?
Updated Oct. 2017: Top Trip Rentals recently added a new amenity to the downtown Littlefield Lofts location, the Lounge at Littlefield. This complimentary gathering place is perfect for guests to meet and mingle. We also have featured products available, and we welcome our guest musicians to stop in, use the meeting space, visit with fans, and share merchandize through Top Trip Rentals market place in the Lounge.
Answer: Austin. South Congress Avenue (“SoCo”), to be exact.
#GOPLAYSTAY on Austin’s South Congress
Top Trip Rentals’ updated 1930s era SoCo bungalow is a mere one block off of Austin’s famous South Congress Avenue. Some of the coolest (and weirdest) shops are a short walk away in the heart of this incredibly fun neighborhood.
Stroll over to Big Top Candy, Austin’s famous Continental Club, Amy’s Ice Creams, Kendra Scott Jewelry, Perla Restaurant ,and 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.
Twenty years ago, Austin’s shopping options were pretty basic.
Now, if you needed camping or backpacking equipment, plenty of choices for water purifiers and tents existed. But Austin was not exactly known as a destination for high fashion and design.
That, my friends, has changed.
New Shopping Options in Austin
In the last few years, Austin has seen amazing retail growth. The newly developed (and constantly expanding) Domain Shopping area north of town, Hill Country Galleria (near Hwy. 620 and 71), and an amazing and unique number of small boutiques around downtown offer something for just about everyone.
Some of the most interesting and unexpected shopping can be found near Top Trip Rentals’ Littlefield Lofts, located at 6th and Brazos. One option for shopping is known as the West End (or West Sixth Street.).
Wandering Austin’s West End Shopping
Where is the West End? Start from the Littlefield Lofts building on 6th Street. Take a long walk (or catch a pedicab) heading west; your destination is the intersection of 6th Street and Lamar and Blvd.
Taking in a few boutiques and shops along this expanding downtown shopping corridor is a wonderful way to pass a few hours. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Walton’s Fancy and Staple (owned by Austin’s sweetheart Sandra Bullock) before stopping in at stores.
Housed in a historic building, Walton’s has a little of everything: food, pastries, coffee, antiques, garden supplies and other curios. Get some Southern comfort food, like the shrimp and grits (their specialty, it seems), or go for the breakfast tacos.
After filling up on breakfast and cappuccino (the coffee is good!), I was ready to walk toward my ultimate destination– the Jonathan Adler Boutique on West 5th Street. My companion was destined for BookPeople, a well-known locally owned book store, so we strolled by not-yet-open bars and not-yet-finished condo construction one our way to 6th and Lamar.
This busy pedestrian- and traffic-filled intersection is surrounded by a few women’s clothing stores (chains like Anthropologie, Free People, and Title Nine, and local shops, such as By George). But nothing caught my eye.
At 5th and Lamar, I made a quick dash into West Elm before entering the shiny explosion of cool next door that is Jonathan Adler’s Austin store. Oh, I want to buy everything in there! From subversively messaged cross-stitch pillows to candles vodka-scented candles, this shop has everything a downtown Austin loft needs to shine–sparkly, modern, and cleverly crafted furniture and accessories.
And if you are still in the market for camping supplies, never fear. Austin hasn’t quite let go of its roots. REI is housed between BookPeople and Anthropologie.
From the outdoors to the outré and outlandish, Austin’s got you covered.
My personal favorite account? Pinterest. Why? Choose any Austin experience you want, scroll through those images, and see what catches your eye.
Also, the Top Trip Rentals website blog has a ton of information. You can wander through the posts to discover whether anything we’ve written about strikes your fancy. The blog is where you’ll also find good-to-know updates on everyday (but important) items, like where to park in downtown Austin, festival tips, and all kinds of local “insider” information.
Top Trip Recommends
We regularly compile lists of our favorite things: these are written on our “Top 5″ cards.
You’ll definitely want to try, visit, or experience these while you’re in ATX.
And you know what? We’d love for you to share YOUR “Top 5” with us once your visit is complete. Tag your post with #goplaystay on any of our Top Trip Rentals social media sites.
Need More Info?
So, once you’ve taken a look at these resources, do you still want more ideas or need to know something about Austin? Post your questions to our Facebook page. We’re happy to investigate and find an answer for you.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org | 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 blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest 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.