Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (tel. 512/530-ABIA ; airport code AUS) opened in 1999 on the site of the former Bergstrom Air Force Base, just off Hwy. 71 (Ben White Blvd.) and only 8 miles southwest of the capitol. For more information about the airport, go to www.ci.austin.tx.us/austinairport.
Getting into Town from the Airport -- Taxis from the major companies in town usually form a line outside the terminal, though occasionally you won't find any waiting. To ensure off-hour pickup in advance, phone American Yellow Checker Cab (tel. 512/452-9999) before you leave home. The ride between the airport and downtown costs around $25.
If you're not in a huge rush to get to your hotel, SuperShuttle (tel. 800/BLUE-VAN [258-3826] or 512/258-3826; www.supershuttle.com) offers minivan service to hotels and residences. Prices range from $14 one-way ($24 round-trip) for trips to a downtown hotel, to $14 ($24 round-trip) for trips to a central hotel, to $18 ($26 round-trip) for trips to a hotel in the northwestern part of town. The drawback is that you often must share your ride with several others, who may be dropped off first. You don't have to book in advance for pickups at the airport, but you do need to phone 24 hours ahead of time to arrange for a pickup when you're leaving town.
For $1, you can go from the airport to downtown or the university area on a city bus called the Airport Flyer (no. 100). It runs until about midnight. The passenger pickup is outside the arrival gates, close to the end of the concourse. Buses depart about every 40 minutes. You can grab a route schedule from the city's visitor information office, by the baggage carousels. Or you can download it from the website Capital Metro Transit (tel. 512/474-1200 or TTY 385-5872; www.capmetro.org). It's also available at ABIA's website (www.ci.austin.tx.us/austinairport); just click on "Ground Transportation."
Most of the major car-rental companies -- Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, and Thrifty -- have outlets at the airport. The trip from the airport to downtown by car or taxi takes about 20 minutes, much more if you're headed to north Austin. During rush hour, there are often backups all along Hwy. 71. Be sure to allow extra time when you need to catch a flight.
You'll also be going through San Antonio if you're traveling east or west to Austin via Greyhound, 916 E. Koenig Lane (tel. 800/231-2222 or 512/458-4463; www.greyhound.com). There are approximately nine buses between the two cities each day, with one-way fares running around $19.
Austin is 941 miles from Atlanta; 1,899 miles from Boston; 1,107 miles from Chicago; 1,377 miles from Los Angeles; 1,326 miles from Miami; 494 miles from New Orleans; 1,701 miles from New York; 1,741 miles from San Francisco; and 2,188 miles from Seattle. The distance to Dallas is 202 miles, to Houston 165 miles, and to San Antonio 80 miles. I-35 is the north-south approach to Austin; it intersects with Hwy. 290, a major east-west thoroughfare, and Hwy. 183, which also runs roughly north-south through town. For those staying on the west side of Austin, Loop 1 is helpful. Locally it's known as Mo-Pac.
To get to Austin from Dallas/Fort Worth, take I-35 south. The trip will take 3 to 4 hours. From Houston you have a choice, and both take about the same time (3 hr.): Take Hwy. 290 west or take I-10 west toward San Antonio, and then north on Hwy. 71, just after you pass the town of Columbus.
Amtrak provides service west to Los Angeles (via San Antonio, El Paso, and Tucson) on the Texas Eagle, which departs at 6:30pm. Amtrak, 250 N. Lamar Blvd. (tel. 800/872-7245 or 512/476-5684; www.amtrak.com) is downtown. In the opposite direction, the Texas Eagle provides daily service to Chicago via Dallas, Forth Worth, Little Rock, and St. Louis. Departures are at 9:30am.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.