Austin Texas will host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix auto race and festival this October 20-22. Last year’s event brought more than 440,000 attendees to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) over the three-day series of races, concerts, activities, and parties. This year’s event is expected to be even bigger.
While Austin’s Formula 1 event is soon approaching, visitors and travel advisors can still set up a visit to enjoy this major happening.
Things to Do
Spectators can watch a variety of car races all day, every day, for the three-day event at the Circuit of the Americas race track. The headliner Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place Sunday afternoon the 22nd with cars zooming 56 laps around the 3.4-mile-long track. On Saturday afternoon, the new format Sprint Race drives into action. In addition, the track will host Porche car races, classic car races, and qualifier races, so expect nearly non-stop activity. COTA is located about 15 miles southeast of Austin, a short drive from the airport.
Some grandstand reserved spectator seats are still available for the weekend, while plenty of general admission infield tickets can still be purchased—given that the venue has a massive capacity of 150,000.
Two headliner concerts will take place over the weekend, featuring A-list bands of the Killers on Friday night, and Queen with Adam Lambert on Saturday night at the track’s 14,000-seat amphitheater. Tickets can be purchased separately for each of these events. In addition, more than 30 other musical acts will be performing across the destination grounds over the weekend. Local food trucks will be serving Texas cuisine around the venue, while the concourse centers will be providing regular stadium food and beverages.
To check for activities in Austin for race weekend, see Visit Austin’s guide to the event.
Places to Stay
Hospitality packages for hotels and race tickets are available through the race website, which sells combined products including transport, VIP track access, and other hospitality events.
While lodging may already be tight for Austin over that weekend, clients can consider a few favorites to enjoy a thoroughly Texan-style stay.
The Driskill: This classic 1880s-era old-school hotel in downtown Austin, steps from the 6th Street entertainment district, has old-West ambiance, comfy rooms, and spacious suites (the LBJ Suite where the former president stayed is particularly noteworthy), plus live music and great cocktails in the bar. Some F1 drivers are rumored to stay here.
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort: For visitors looking to get out of town for a classic Texan experience, head out to stay at the Lost Pines on this sprawling 405-acre property. Guests can ride horses, do some shotgun skeet shooting, play golf on their 18-hole course, hit the spa, have some barbeque, and relax in a thousand-foot-long lazy river.
Hilton Austin: Given that Hilton is a sponsor of the Formula 1 McLaren team, expect all of greater Austin’s Hilton-branded hotels to be decked out for the weekend, with special events and showcases. The downtown high-rise flagship Hilton Austin has great city skyline views, a nice rooftop pool, and multiple restaurants and bars that will be playing host to both race fans and race teams throughout the weekend.