Early spring is one of the best times to visit Austin. Hotel prices are more reasonable, since the SXSW out-of-towners have mostly left, and the bars and restaurants aren’t nearly as crowded. And it’s not blazing hot yet—a plus. Reasonably priced hotels for impromptu trips to Austin are darn near impossible to get in February (Austin Marathon), March (the South by Southwest film, music, and tech fest ), throughout the UT football season, and during the Austin City Limits Music Festival (October), so plan far in advance (at least six months) for visits in these periods. It’s also a good idea to make reservations for cars and popular restaurants such as Uchi or Driskill Grill as soon as you know you’re coming to town. June through August is unbearably hot, which makes for a pretty miserable time unless you just sit in Barton Springs all day.