Thursday 5 May 2022
This month (25 May, 2022) sees the launch of Virgin Atlantic's brand new, four-times-a-week transatlantic service to Austin, Texas: capital of the Lone Star State. The non-stop flights from London Heathrow will put UK travellers within easy reach of the region's Wild West heritage and culture - not to mention the urban appeal of famously counterculture Austin itself.
Located in scenic Texas Hill Country on the banks of the Colorado River, Austin is known for its creative edge and a sense of character that's way outside the mainstream. It's a place where hippies, hipsters and tech entrepreneurs mix with artists, musicians, and outdoor enthusiasts in a progressive, eclectic community that, in turn, makes this metropolis so marvellous to visit.
Days spent in this cosmopolitan city might include paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake; sipping craft beer at a local brewery; or checking out the collections at one of Austin's many museums. A vibrant foodie scene encourages visitors to graze at food trucks, brunch spots, restaurants, or lively and colourful Fareground Food Hall.
Come the evening, attention turns to musical performances (Austin bills itself as the Live Music Capital of the World); or for a remarkable brush with nature, hit the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk to see over a million Mexican free-tailed bats streaming from their daytime roosts to forage in the countryside.
Bon Voyage, the North America travel specialist, recommends combining an Austin city break with a roll call of the state's other highlights on a circular Texas fly-drive. Its 19-night Deep in the Heart of Texas: Go Big Or Go Home itinerary takes in edgy Austin, cowboy country, frontier history and the Space Age via such big-hitters as Space Center Houston (which acted as Mission Control for 1969's moon landings), the Alamo, Amarillo and starkly beautiful Big Bend National Park.
Other memorable discoveries might include Palo Duro Canyon (which was of huge importance to indigenous Comanche tribes), Route 66 and the 62,000-year-old Odessa Meteor Crater, while a stay in Fort Worth provides a chance to burn off all that Texas barbecue with a bit of boot-scooting Texas two-step.
This fully tailor-made holiday costs from £2,995 per person and includes flights, quality accommodation (room-only basis) and car hire. For more information and to book, call 0800 316 0194 or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk