For a few days in October, Austin seems to shine just a little bit brighter as the film community makes its annual pilgrimage to the Austin Film Festival. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram light up with celebrity sightings, and we have the inside scoop for the top spots for stargazing, October 13-20. Fire up your iPhone and snap away.
The Continental Club
Even though there are a lot of private parties scheduled throughout the festival, the stars almost always visit this iconic club. We've heard it is a Hollywood parlor game to talk about the musician you discovered there while visiting Austin. Late night and happy hour seem to be prime times for stargazing.
The Driskill Hotel
The Driskill's lobby and bar serves as headquarters, and many of the panels and workshops are held in the hotel. Catch the beautiful people as they scramble to their scheduled appearances and interviews. The legendary Mexican martinis at the Driskill are a must for seasoned and aspiring filmmakers, so the bar is always packed.
Four Seasons Hotel
The Four Seasons is a bit away from the madding crowd and is still the choice of studio heads and seasoned pros. Many deals have been sealed over drinks at the Lobby Lounge. While loners can sip at leisure, it is best to order an appetizer and take your computer so that you look like you're working on your script or putting together your next deal.
Guero's Taco Bar
Even the celebrities must get their taco and margarita fix, and Guero’s never disappoints. Everyone from Ethan Hawke to Sam Shepard to Seth Rogan to Jack Black have been spotted enjoying a cold one here.
Hotel San Jose
Close but yet so far away is a small hotel and patio oasis favored by many filmmakers who attend the festival. Step inside, and the hustle bustle of South Congress magically slips away. Perfect for afternoon drinks and appetizers.
Check out the red carpet film premieres at the Paramount. Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled showing to secure a spot and snap away as the stars, producers, and directors arrive.
Strategically located next to the Stateside and Paramount, celebs are often spotted in the restaurant and the bar at Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel. With one of Austin's best happy hour menus, you can position yourself at a table from 4-7 pm daily and let the world come to you. Insider tip: If you have extra seats at your table, you can graciously allow festivalgoers to join you. If luck is on your side, it might be your next producer or director.
South Congress Hotel
Although it is the new kid on the block, rumor has it that the minimalist boutique hotel with its impeccable service, expansive lobby bar, and rooftop pool is proving irresistible to hip festivalgoers. Great for spotting the next generation of filmmakers and stars.
Located just across the street from the Paramount and a stone's throw from the Driskill, The Townsend is making a name for itself courtesy of its bartenders and smooth craft cocktails. Dark, cozy, and luxurious, this might just be the spot where you catch an intimate star-studded rendezvous after a premiere.
Whole Foods Market
Don't ask why, but every year there are tons of photos of celebrities shopping at the flagship store. With Waterloo Records and Amy's Ice Creams in proximity, it seems an irresistible mecca for all things Austin.