SEL Adult Retreat

Welcome to Austin, the city that US News and World Report ranked #1 as best place to live in 2018

We are so glad to have you in Austin to attend this workshop. If this is your first time in our city, we are sure it will not be your last visit to this vibrant area. Austin has much to offer so while you are here learning important skills, please take the time during breaks to explore all the nearby scenic beauty, amazing food, specialty areas and hear the music. You are staying in one of the best locations to experience the feel of Austin. No need to rent a car, so much is in close proximity to your hotel.
A block of discounted lake view rooms are being held for conference attendees at the beautiful newly renovated Holiday Inn, Town Lake. The hotel is ideally located and has breathtaking views of both the city and the lake. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to/from the airport as well as to major attractions downtown. In the lobby of the hotel you can rent bikes or kayaks to enjoy your activities around the lake. In addition, many people love to rent the Lime motorized scooters to explore Rainey street and downtown. There is an onsite restaurant with meal service for all three meals as well as a 24hour exercise facility.
Nearby Lady Bird lake, previously known as Town Lake is the highlight of outside downtown activity. Walking and biking trails have great views of the lake and the skyline of Austin. The Holiday Inn is literally on the hike and bike trail. A walk around this landmark area of Lady Bird Lake is one of the best places to see the natural beauty of the city. The shaded tree lined wide trail covers more than ten miles on each side of the lake and has a flat terrain that is ideal for walking and biking. No time to do the full trail, a short walk or bike ride in this setting is certain to give you a feel for the area and to provide time for reflection. This trail is highly utilized by both the fitness focused residents of Austin as well as those who just enjoy a brisk scenic occasional walk. Lady Bird Lake is fed by the Colorado River and flows five miles through the heart of downtown. If weather permits, kayaks, standup paddleboards and row boats are available to rent on the lake.
The beauty of outdoor Austin sometimes surprises its visitors and may be not be what many typically think of when you say Texas. Yet the natural beauty setting is next to the bustling city where you are within blocks of entertainment, quirky transformed neighborhoods into nightlife-districts, renowned restaurants, food trucks, and fun eateries as well as a museum mega district.
Also, nearby your hotel and on the National Register of Historic places is the Rainey Street district. Rainey Street was once a sleepy residential area of small bungalows nestled near downtown. This charming district in the last six years has undergone great change and the bungalows have been fixed up and the area has shifted from a quiet neighborhood to a major nightlife spot of Austin. Bungalows are now bars, cocktail lounges and eateries. This area with tree lined lanes and small size bungalows that have changed from residences to popular gathering places is an unexpected contrast to the skyscrapers of downtown Austin.
Austin has the special designation of being the Live Music Capital of the World and has all genres of music from rock, folk, country, reggae, rap and gospel. You are certain to find a live music venue to suit your taste. Your first music experience if you fly into Austin will be the music at the Austin- Bergstrom International Airport where you hear live bands and also can see the colorful artistic guitars on display affirming Austin’s place in the music world. As you arrive to the Holiday Inn Town Lake, you will find nearby that music dots the whole city from small bar venues to fancy restaurants and concert open air parks as well as performance halls. Some of the legendary greats started in Austin and many new talents here are sure to be discovered. You can feel the vibrance of this city and the heart of that is in it’s Bar-B-Q, hill country and live music.
Aside from plentiful music and the gorgeous scenery of the lake, Austin is a culinary delight. In the area where you are staying you can find the best smoked Bar-B-Q, fabulous Mexican food, farm to table specialty eateries, prominent sushi restaurants , as well as prime steak houses. Food trucks are also a prevalent addition to Austin and offer great and often unique food. The food choices are almost limitless.
Austin’s moto is “keep Austin weird” – which is a tribute to the unique local, artists, music, culture and entertainment. Dress clothes here are dress shirts and nice jeans, often with boots of course.
Esther’s Follies is open Friday and Saturday nights and sells out quickly. Esther’s Follies has been entertaining audiences in Austin for more than 40 years, with it political satire, quick witted comedy sketches, magical illusions and musical highlights. It has been characterized as “Austin’s answer to Saturday Night Live’.
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Driskill Hotel: The famous hotel dating back to 1886 is located on Brazos Street. The Driskill is the picture of western opulence and pride. It at one time served as the State’s Capitol Building. Also, it was the site of the first date of Claudia Taylor (Lady Bird) and Lyndon Johnson. The hotel has a gorgeous mezzanine with plenty of seating, an extensive bar and live music. This is a perfect place to sit with a colleague and process the days information.
Before you leave Austin you may want to visit one of the famous Boot Stores and grab your own pair.
Again, welcome to Austin, come early, stay late, come back, there is plenty to see and do. We know this workshop weekend will provide great insight and skills and offer a little time to glimpse at our beautiful city of Austin. We want this to be a wonderful retreat, so as you plan make sure and put a bit of “treat” in your retreat.