SXSW is in full swing at this point—we’ve been wowed by the Interactive portion of the event, and Music is just getting heated up. But if you’ve been hopping from hotel lobby to hotel lobby downtown to get a WiFi connection or fighting for space in insanely crowded coffee shops, you might need a break from the hustle so you can update your blog in peace.
If you happened to slip your Karma Go into your carry-on, you’re in luck. Because, as you already know, the best way to find reliable WiFi is to bring your own. Not to mention that bringing your own internet connection means you can step out of the shadows of the Hyatt Hotel Lobby and get some work done in the Austin sunshine.
This indoor/outdoor spot near UT Austin boasts a quintessentially Austin brand of weirdness you won’t find anywhere else. Picnic tables, two-tops, booths, or a seat at the bar—you get to pick where you sit, and it’s just as great for hosting a meetup as it is for a work session for one. Settle in with a cup of joe (or a beer, if you’d prefer) and enjoy a sprawling garden strewn with gargoyles, christmas lights, and, for some reason, a bathtub converted into a fountain. Told you it was weird.
The San Jose Hotel
This modern hotel courtyard isn’t your average stuffy lobby. Located on South Congress street in a completely revamped 1930’s motor lodge, the San Jose offers lighter fare and drinks in a hip, comfortable space to work during the day (plus it hosts low-key ambient DJ sets at night).
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center
This one’s a bit off the beaten path, but it’s a great way to escape the downtown SXSW crowds and take a breather outside. Hop in an Uber with your laptop and your Karma Go and experience the happy feeling of becoming one with nature while you breeze through your unread emails. The Center’s gardens showcase native Texan flora while the organization at large leads conservation efforts throughout Texas, so on top of its restorative properties, your visit also contributes to a good cause.
The Line at Franklin Barbecue
Ok, this one isn’t exactly off the beaten path, but it’s a must. The queue at this famous Austin eatery can get so long that the line itself has its own Twitter account. No joke: people even pay other people to wait in line for them. Folks show up hours before the establishment officially opens for mouth-watering business at 11AM. It’s serious. We say embrace it. Bring a folding chair, fire up the WiFi, and get stuff done while you wait. You’ll be richly rewarded in smoked meats when all’s said and done.
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
Another locale that’s tucked away from the epicenter of SXSW, Mozart’s features an expansive patio that opens up right onto Lake Austin for spectacular views and, of course, that premium lakehouse vibe. Get there early to snag a coveted spot near an outlet, or else make sure your laptop is fully juiced so you can maximize your time at this most relaxing of coffee spots.