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19 Best Neighborhoods in Austin, TX

By: Susan Finch
October 14, 2020

As one of the most livable cities in Texas, Austin features temperate weather and year-round music just about every day of the week. Once a sleepy college town, Austin has morphed into a trendy city celebrated for its quirky, relaxed vibe and plentiful greenspace.

Thinking about a moving to Austin? Find the best neighborhoods in Austin, from bustling urban centers to quirky areas with a low-key vibe.

1. Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin is a renter's dream, with a bustling downtown core and job opportunities. Walk from your high-rise apartment complex with a pool and loaded amenities to restaurants, art galleries, and museums.

Locals love to take in the live music at venues like Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater or some ribs at Stubbs BBQ.

Renting in Downtown Austin is more expensive in other areas. However, you can find a deal on the edges of the neighborhood. Or, look for older buildings with fewer amenities at less expensive price points.

2. Hyde Park

Hyde Park attracts a young crowd flocking from the nearby University Campus. A mix of students, professors, and young professionals call Hyde Park home. They love the historic buildings, stunning streets, and vibrant atmosphere.

Rents aren't cheap in this trendy neighborhood. However, you'll enjoy a healthy array of cafes, restaurants, and pubs to spend the weekend at. The good news is, it's quieter than Downtown Austin and comes with more of a small-town feel.

3. Barton Hills

Outdoor enthusiasts are enchanted by Barton Hills that borders Lady Bird Lake. The nearby 350-acre Zilker Park features botanical gardens and sculpture gardens. It also hosts the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Apartments are also less expensive than nearby neighborhoods. Studio apartments hover below the $1,000 range.

4. East Austin

As one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in Austin, East Austin is known for its mix of bungalows, modern condos, and hip cocktail bars. Sink your teeth into the brisket at the celebrated Franklin Barbecue, a well as ethnic eateries from every corner of the world.

There are plenty of great places to live around East Austin, from waterside views with running trails to quieter, family-friendly areas with green spaces and parks.

5. South Congress

There's always something going on around South Congress, which is affectionately known as SoCo. Locals come for the award-winning restaurants, quirky boutiques, and live music.

SoCo is also home to historic venues and attractions. Two examples are The Continental Club and the iconic Congress Avenue Bridge. There, you’ll find one of the world's largest urban bat colonies.

The easy access to Downtown is a huge draw for SoCo residents. So are the nightlife and offbeat flavor.

Rents are pricey. So, budget accordingly if you want to live in this trendy Austin neighborhood.

6. Mueller

Young professionals and families that are looking for more space and a quieter way of life head to nearby Mueller. The planned community features a mix of apartments and single-family homes along with big-box retailers and restaurants.

Locals beat the summer heat at the 30-acre Lake Park. It’s outfitted with jogging trails and an open-air amphitheater. You can also take the family to the Thinkery Children's Museum to expand their imaginations.

7. The Domain

The Domain is situated in the high-tech corridor of Austin and features mixed-use space. You can work, live, and shop in the same place for optimum convenience.

Prices for that much convenience and luxury come at a premium. However, everything you need is practically at your doorstep. It's no wonder they call this neighborhood Austin's Second Downtown.

8. Clarksville

The historic district of Clarksville is situated west of Downtown Austin. It's a more laid-back option than its bustling neighbors. However, it still offers trendy shops, cafes, and bars. Your backdrop includes an outdoor HOPE Outdoor Gallery graffiti park nestled along a hillside.

Live near the action on the commercial strip of Lamar Boulevard. Or, move closer to Zilker Park for green space and a quieter reprieve.

9. South Austin

Outdoor enthusiasts fall in love with South Austin’s leafy South Austin neighborhood. The area is home to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and hiking. It’s also home to the Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park.

Beyond the lush green space, you'll also find big box stores and eateries. Locals who love the old Austin feel celebrate the blend of old and new.

Rents tend to be cheaper in South Austin. There are more options for new condos or older units that drive down the price tag.

10. Wells Branch

Despite being in the suburbs, Wells Branch is still one of the most popular neighborhoods for its urban living with a small-town feel. Parks are plentiful, including options for dogs, a skate park, and swimming pools.

Wells Branch is also a steal compared to other popular Austin neighborhoods. It features low-rise complexes and lovely views.

11. Travis Heights

Travis Heights is more presidential than its SoCo neighbor. However, it’s still in close proximity to Austin's urban fun.

Oak trees line the streets along with single-family homes and apartments in smaller complexes. Look for options near SoCo for the most action without the expensive price tag.

On weekends, stroll the wooded trails of Blunn Creek Greenbelt. You could also explore the spring-fed pool called Big Stacy.

12. Balcones Woods

Settle into the tight-knit community of Balcones Woods. It’s situated in the heart of northwest Austin.

The area attracts tech professionals looking for urban living without the bustle. Shopping and dining are widely available. You're still just a quick jaunt to nearby neighborhoods.

You’ll find comfortable apartments at various price points, including loaded amenities attractive to young professionals.

13. North Lamar

North Lamar is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Austin. It’s growing in popularity among renters. You'll still get to Downtown in about 15 minutes. Or, you can stick around for the Asian shops and mom-and-pop businesses.

Safety can be a concern around North Lamar. It also comes with fewer options for weekend walks in the park. Make sure to rent an apartment in a well-lit area that has security features.

14. South Lamar

South Lamar draws crowds to its trendy restaurants, galleries, and bars against a residential backdrop. It's a safe urban neighborhood. Everything you need is within walking distance, including grocery stores.

It's not as much of a hotspot. However, it’s a comfortable place to live with a reputation for having it all.

15. The Arboretum

The Arboretum is a relatively new neighborhood that cropped up around its namesake open-air shopping mall. The Arboretum area is the place to live if you want everything at your doorstep, from pharmacies to gyms and grocery stores. The convenience comes at a premium, so expect to spend on the luxury amenities you want.

16. North Loop

North Loop features an eclectic vibe with young professionals and students looking for nightlife and trend-setting restaurants. Biking to cafes, bookstores, and vintage boutiques is a popular pastime. So is having an after-work drink at Workhorse Bar.

Rents are less expensive in the North Loop than many surrounding neighborhoods. However, they still come at a premium for the nightlife and convenience.

17. Old West Austin

The quaint neighborhood of Old West Austin earned its right on the National Register of Historic Places for its mix of styles. The area was established in the mid-1800s. It’s also among the oldest in Austin and one of the best places to live.

Locals hike and bike along Lake Austin. They also enjoy living close to Downtown, near shopping and entertainment.

Public parking is difficult. So, ride, bike, or rely on the Capital Metro and Uber to hit the town.

18. Cherrywood

Old and new collides in Cherrywood, Austin with students and hipsters moving into modern apartment complexes and developments. There's also a mix of classic bungalows with single-family residences.

You'll get a sense of suburbia, but without leaving Austin’s confines for nearby Round Rock. Best of all, you're still a short walk to cafes and pubs if you want to stay in your own Austin neighborhood for the weekend. You’re also just a short drive from Downtown.

19. North Austin

North Austin's oak-shaded neighborhood is both picturesque while offering bustling nightlife and dining options. Look for apartments on Rock Rose Avenue if you want to live near the action and walk to bars and brew pubs with live music.

For a day outdoors, go hiking along the 15 miles of trails at Walnut Creek Park. You can also hit the nearby Domain area for shopping.

Ready to move to Austin? Browse Apartment List to find your dream Austin apartment. Get started with the quiz above!

AUTHOR
Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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