Austin’s top travel stories of 2022 soar with new nonstop flights to hot destinations

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Editor’s Note: As 2022 draws to a close, we look back at the stories that have defined Austin this year. This includes travel both inside and outside the capital. Austinites were most interested in getting out and seeing the world, whether it was expanding air routes or a reason to visit other parts of Texas. Here are the top 10 travel headlines for 2022.

1. Texas’ largest Crystal Lagoon dives in the summer with floating cabanas and more. Lagoonfest Texas is back for the first time in three years. Crystal blue waters, white beaches and floating his cabana, the popular aquabana, have emerged. The festival ran from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day in the Texas City suburb of Houston. Visitors saw cabanas on the beach and over water, and the country’s largest inflatable obstacle course in Crystal Lagoon.

2. A Texas airport is the first in North America to earn the coveted five-star rating. William P. Hobby Airport has achieved prestigious five-star airport status in the 2022 Skytrax World Airport Star Rating. This makes Hobby Airport the first airport in Texas, the United States, and North America, and one of only 16 airports worldwide. Earn ratings. Hobbies soared in all 29 rating categories in the new survey.

William P. Hobby Airport has risen above the basics.

Photo by Nash Baker

3. Austin will land the first direct flight to the hot Caribbean destination this summer. American Airlines has added two international beach destinations in the Caribbean to its Austin route map. Starting in June, American Airlines launched weekly non-stop flights from Austin to Montego His Bay, Jamaica, and from Austin to Cozumel, Mexico, seven days a week. American Airlines became the first airline to connect Austin and Jamaica.

4. Austin Airport is launching new direct flights to two popular events this spring. American Airlines added temporary non-stop flights to Louisville, Kentucky for the Kentucky Derby and Augusta, Georgia for the Masters golf tournament this year.

Five. A $36 million waterfront hotel has been built in charming Hill Country town. The $36 million project will feature the exclusive 123-room Tapestry Collection by Hilton Hotel and over 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the Main and Junior Ballrooms. The nearly 4,000-square-foot rooftop venue is sure to be a big highlight. The approximately 3-acre site is scheduled to open in early 2024 near the shores of Marble Falls Lake.

6. A Buc-ee art installation mysteriously appears in the West Texas desert. In April, a tiny Buc-ee’s with no gas pumps, no shiny bathrooms, no beaver nuggets popped up in a secluded spot along US Highway 90 about 20 miles east of Marathon. It’s reminiscent of a permanent Prada store replica dating back to 2005, about 25 miles northwest of Marfa. Visit Marathon, Texas announced via social media that the little Buc-ee has been removed.

7. The authoritative US News rankings give six Austin hotels the highest ratings in the country. Ranked the best according to several Austin properties — including the historic Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection. US News & World ReportA new list of the best hotels in the country. Commodore Perry Estate has been voted #2 property in Texas, #1 resort in Texas, and his 40th best hotel in the United States.

Exterior of the Commodore Perry EstateThe Commodore Perry Estate is one of the world’s finest hotels.

Commodore Perry Estate, Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

8. Austin will land the first nonstop flights to Colorado’s top destinations this winter. In December, American Airlines began non-stop flights between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Vail’s Eagle County Regional Airport. No other airline operates direct flights between his two cities.

9. Austin Airport is taking off with two new direct flights to the popular summer playground. Seasonal flights were flights from Austin to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California and Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Bozeman, Montana. Additionally, American Airlines has resumed non-stop flights from Austin to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport along the Florida Panhandle.

Ten. Big Bend, Texas has been named one of the world’s must-see destinations in 2023. National Geographic Travel included the vast natural wonder in its recent Best of the World 2023 list. The annual list compiles 25 global destinations that are “under the radar, ahead of their time, and ready to start exploring,” according to the article.National Geographic Editing The researchers organized the list into five categories: community, nature, culture, family, and adventure.

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