Moving to Austin, Texas means moving to a city of almost one million individuals, a college town known for its alternative culture, and the live music capital of the world — all at once! With so many different communities, sights, events, and activities, it’s easy to fall into a comfortable monotony that ignores the beauty within your own backyard.
The easiest way to learn more about your neighborhood vibe is to step outside and see what’s right outside in plain view. When you look outside your window, here are some extraordinary Austin views you might see.
Although it’s best known for its upscale retail and namesake bi-level open-air shopping center, Arboretum is far from a franchise-town. Not only does it have a number of local shops full of character, with its dozens of parks (including a beloved local duck pond), recreation centers and trails, you’re never more than a short jog away from Arboretum’s natural beauty.
A lush outdoors refuge in a city with a growing million population, the Barton Hills neighborhood may not a popping nightlife or quirky scene, but what it lacks in roaring crowds, it makes up for in deep beauty, like Barton Hill Farms, and acoustic rhythms, like those of the Barton Hills Choir. The easiest way to witness both at once is to head to Greenbelt springs.
Quick access to Highway 183 and the Mopac Expressway hasn’t drawn any character away from Allandale as much as it has helped sharpen it. With strong ratings for its schools and recreation, it’s a family-friendly neighborhood that takes care to keep its tree-lined streets clear and its public parks clean. Being conscious of its residents, a trip to the playground is never more than a ten-minute drive and the jogging trails. Parents looking for nightlife have a few pub and lounge options, as well as close proximity to Austin’s downtown.
One of Austin’s southern neighborhoods with an eye toward modernization, Dawson is a tight-knit residential area. Not as expensive as Allandale, it’s home to a swath of people, including families, students and artists. A quick glance around the area will point out its older homes and family-owned restaurants like Habanero Café.
Nationally renown for its small retailers, local restaurants, desirable food trucks and music venues, South Congress’s life has had an interesting trajectory since its beginnings as a rural town. Living in South Congress means waking up to the sight of the Texas State Capitol. While there’s an endless line of indoor and outdoor dining options, be sure to mark your calendars for South Congress’s First Thursdays; regular and popup shops will stay open late throughout the community for special events and activities, including musical acts and restaurants promoting their menu items.
Upper Boggy Creek
Despite a slightly clunky and straightforward name, Upper Boggy Creek is a real delight for visitors and residents alike. From the Instagram-famous “You’re My Butter Half” mural to highly rated cocktails of Salty Sow, this is one neighborhood not to be overlooked. With its obvious love of art, the neighborhood also hosts the annual Cherrywood Art Fair.
Not too dissimilar to its Chicago counterpart, Austin’s Hyde Park is a homely, intimate neighborhood that’s perfect for new families and suburbanites. Hyde’s meandering atmosphere makes it easy for businesses like the Hyde Park Yoga Company, the Flag Store, and their Hyde Park Theatre to thrive. In addition to being home to some unique stores, you’ll see some fairly distinct sights from the comfort of your own front porch.
Growing into the moniker “NoLo,” North Loop offers its youthful residents a vivid sight of colorful buildings, frequented vintage shops and a few late-night bars with menus that’ll keep you occupied until morning. With stores that sell vintage party dresses and housewares to a full-service skate shop and 24-hour coffee shop, it’s guaranteed that if you haven’t seen much of Austin’s weirdness, you haven’t been to North Loop.
Old West Austin
A historic residential district separating Tarrytown and the University of Texas at Austin, walking through Old West, you’ll be impressed be the well-maintained, charming homes, but you’ll stay for the record stores and blues bars. Don’t let the air of history fool you — there’s a sophisticated nightlife here for those who fit in.
A less sexy version of its neighbor South Congress, South Lamar prides itself on being down-to-earth, both in terms of lifestyle and prices. Not only will you find a quality crossfit gym, but you’ll be able to match it with quality groceries. With ample greenery beyond backyards, you’re well in walking distance of everything from great donuts and taco trucks to craft stores and art galleries.
Looking beyond your window
Now that you’ve seen some of the best of city’s neighborhoods, take advantage of this list of things to do in Austin. With adventures fit for couples and families alike, there’s no shortage of ways for you to embrace Austin’s attitude and “Keep Austin Weird.”