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Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: Austin, the Lone Star State's Capital of Cool

April 15, 2014 at 10:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

In case you didn’t hear, today’s the day you'll need to finalize your tax return and, if all goes according to plan, your refund should be arriving by check or direct deposit within the next few weeks. At last update, the friendly folks at the IRS report that the average refund this year is just shy of $3,000, so we say it’s time to take that money and head out of town.

Affordability is key during tax season, so today we're featuring a domestic destination, to Texas' capital of cool—Austin. Now’s the time to visit before the sweltering summer weather rolls in, and with an average April temperature of nearly 80 degrees, you can enjoy the sun without the humidity of the tropics.

Flights out of New York average $350 per person, depending on dates. Departures from Chicago or Los Angeles are somewhat similar. As for accommodations, downtown Austin is always a little more money, but spots like the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown can be had for $250 per night. For boutique options, we're head-over-heels for the Hotel Saint Cecilia (from $275), and East Austin's Heywood Hotel (from $175) in East Austin.

Save some pocket change for Austin's calendar of events, including this month's Austin Food and Wine Festival.

We realize you’re probably sick and tired of forms and filings, so just let the experts over at Austin’s Tourism Board recommend some activities. From "Girlfriend Getaway" to "History Buff," they have an itinerary fit for a range of interests, but if you ask us—go with the Flavors of Austin 3-Day Sampler. Before you know it you’ll be tasting the area’s best BBQ, checking out the bats over at the Congress Avenue Bridge, and enjoying the great outdoors on Lady Bird Lake.

Just don’t forget our previous Austin picks and recommendations.

[Photos: eschipul & Dave_B_]

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