11 secret Austin venues to turn your next party into an unforgettable affair
Weddings, special affairs, corporate parties, whatever the reason, sometimes a chic venue is in order. Austin has thousands of places to do this (literally), but there are some under-the-radar spots that are particularly fabulous.
These spaces are built and designed with an eye for the unusual, and are worlds away from the stodgy hotel ballroom you’ve been considering. Ditch the bad carpets, bland food, and boring decor for someplace truly memorable.
At Articulture, plants are the star of the show. And the team has brought all their talents for design, nature, and art to bear at this lovely venue in South Austin. Their outdoor space is stunningly designed for any event, complete with orbs dangling above long cedar-and-steel tables, furniture artfully arranged around the grounds, and an outdoor firepit and patio for guests to gather. If your event includes live music, there’s a stage, deck, and dance floor. And most importantly, it's a zero-waste facility, composting all organics, utilizing rainwater, and offering the living centerpieces as guest gifts.
Go east, young man. No like, way way east. Practically at the edge of town, this surprise spot feels a little more like a resort than an AirBNB. The on-site cottage is available for rent, but this spot is too good to pass up for your next party. The property features a large pool, jacuzzi, and stone-stacked waterfall. It’s oasis-like, with huge palm trees, a massive patio, and beautifully landscaped lawn. During SXSW last year, Rayland Baxter did a show from a small stage while attendees floated around the sparkling pool. Bring a food truck (or three) and treat your guests to something special.
Eberly’s Cannon Room
There’s no denying that Eberly is one of the most beautifully designed spaces in Austin. Named after local legend Angelina Eberly, who staved off a rebellion, and new home to the 150-year-old bar from Greenwich Village's famed Cedar Tavern, it’s a place designed to showcase and stun. Personalize the event by hosting a private event in The Study (Eberly's glass-ceilinged central room) or in the exclusive Cannon Room, a speakeasy-style space that can host up to 60 guests. Victorian meets midcentury modern in this venue — and any cocktail or dinner party you throw here will feel posh AF.
Getaway Motor Club
This retro garage/coworking space is located in a warehouse off Airport Boulevard. From the street, it’s hard to tell what exactly you’ll encounter but once you step in the doors, but inside feels like part airplane hangar, part hot rod fever dream. The space can accommodate up to 550 people, has a fully functional stage, a giant projection screen, and a built-in bar. There’s also a game room with a pool table, pinball machine, and other vintage games. Throw a throwback soiree or host your company at an unforgettable end-of-year sales conference.
Hacienda Estates Glamping
Though closer to Lake Travis than Austin, this is a venue for outdoorsy friends, a high-adventure startup, or those who just feel like getting away for a while. There’s an on-site clubhouse with a large living room, bedrooms, and two large decks, but the main attraction is the sprawling glamp-ground. Five luxury tents with air conditioning, heat, electricity, and queen beds are set up on the property with room for extra tents if you’re especially popular. Everything needed to host a glamping event is provided including grills, firepits, pingpong, archery, darts, washers, sand volleyball, hammocks, and picnic tables. And if the weather is right, rent a boat at nearby Ernie’s on the Lake.
The Inn at Jennifer’s Gardens
You won’t feel like you’re in Austin at this one-acre property hidden away in the Shoal Creek neighborhood. In fact, you might feel like you’ve been transported to the real inspiration behind The Secret Garden. This space is enchanting, with meticulously styled grounds, a gazebo, bubbling fountains, guest cottages, and a 1,300-square-foot house. Among the gardens are lush native plants, children’s treehouse, stone amphitheater, vine-covered brick arches, and wandering pathways.
Justine’s Secret House
“Secret” may be part of the name, but Justine’s Secret House has become one of Austin's most sought-after venues for private events. This restored Victorian manor, hidden away off of East 7th Street, is set back from the street with a romantically lit courtyard. Luxurious settees, a marble bar, and chandeliers in every room make the space feel charming and classy. The venue accommodates up to 150 guests for a cocktail party and 65 for a seated dinner. And because it’s owned by Justine’s, you can opt for classic French food and crafty cocktails, much to the delight of your guests.
La Condesa Flour House
Go underground downtown at La Condesa’s Flour House, a subterranean private room just steps away from where you were spooning up chips and guac. Originally built in the 1860s by the Schneider Family, it was allegedly originally part of a brewery. However, rumors abound as to this official Texas Historic Landmark’s intended purpose. It’s like an underground lair that is also a lovely dining room (plus flat screen.) Depending on the size of the party, the separate cocktail room is available. If you have 11-plus guests, choose from a chef-created, family-style dinner.
Stepping into Palazzo Lavaca is like walking into a vintage Venetian flat that somehow exists just off Guadalupe Street. Behind the facade of the original Capital Saddlery lies a gorgeous venue where old world opulence meets Austin cool. A chandelier dangles above velvet couches, threadbare rugs are scattered around restored pine floors, and the Grande Ballroom is a study in gold leaf and frescos. In addition to the great room, there’s a chapel, courtyard, state-of-the-art kitchen, and a Violet Flame bar. An ever-evolving blend of shabby and chic decor plus Capitol views make it one of the most unique venues in the city.
The Pershing House
Private clubs are all the rage in Austin, but Pershing House was ahead of the trend. Since quietly opening its doors in 2014, it’s evolved into a multi-building complex, a contemporary gathering spot (with a price tag to match). This one-of-a-kind venue incorporates existing buildings and materials into the design, and includes an event space for 400, an outdoor bar, lounge, and courtyard, a small patio overlook, and a renovated bungalow. Inside, you’ll find an enormous bar, kitchen, and beautiful interior design that feels secret and sexy. The event space is available for rent by non-members.
The Spy House (House Wine)
House Wine has long been a beloved spot for a bite and a glass of wine. With the addition of Spy House, it has expanded both its footprint and capacity for private events. The new space echoes the ambiance of the main bar and is decorated with vintage rugs, tufted benches, and warm colors. It’s comfortable, lovely, and a touch bohemian. You can become a member of the Spy House with perks like monthly wine events and discounts or rent the space as a non-member. The house holds 10 to 50 people for a wine tasting or a party with full menu. And pro-tip: If you're headed to the Zach or Long Center, bring your ticket stub for a complimentary appetizer.