The Hilton Austin is in the midst of a $20 million renovation, but have no fear, as this high-rise property is already a nice hotel. Rooms here are of an average comfortable size—standard for a Hilton—and the downtown rates are reasonable.  The main draw is the location, just across the street from the Austin Convention Center. The hotel also sits a block from the most popular part of Sixth Street, and a few short blocks from Congress Avenue and all the Second Street fun. It's also not far from Rainey Street, a neighborhood block whose 1920s bungalow houses have been turned into a strip of eclectic bars and beer gardens. The hotel's ground-floor seafood/steakhouse, Finn & Porter, features fresh sushi, while the Liberty Tavern offers homestyle Texas fare and local beer. Conventioneers naturally fill the lobby much of the time, but it's not a bad hotel for vacationers who want to stay downtown. On the Hilton's eighth floor is a health club with an exercise room and spa, as well as a renovated rooftop pool, and a bar with beautiful skyline views. If you can't get enough of the Austin cityscape, ask about upgrading to one of the rooms with sweeping views. Famed Battle of the Alamo survivor Susanna Dickinson's house once sat on the site of the hotel coffee shop—it was moved across the street and made into a museum when the hotel was built. I always think of her when I have my coffee here. Dickinson's house now sits next to the O. Henry Museum, and both are worth checking out if you're staying here.