Downtown Austin is very walkable, which is unusual for cities in Texas. The city’s Capital Metro—called CapMetro by locals—system provides a network of light rail and buses to take you around the city. Some people in downtown do ride bikes, but more often as a form of exercise than transportation. Austin is definitely a place where you want to avoid driving if you can, because the city’s rapid population growth has put a lot of strain on the roads. When you work and rent an apartment downtown, you can avoid a daily commute on I-35, which will save you countless hours of frustration.
Downtown Austin is a hip, fun place where you can hang out at the bars along the 6th Street corridor. The 6th Street corridor has been the party spot for at least 30 years even though the line-up of bars and clubs is frequently changing. You can’t go wrong at Midnight Cowboy or the Driskill Bar.
There’s so much to do in Austin that you won’t be left out if 6th Street isn’t your scene. Stubbs BBQ isn’t just the source for some amazing food, but also for great live music. The Moody Theater is also the venue for long-running series Austin City Limits, and you can catch some amazing big-name shows here. The original location of the Alamo Drafthouse Theater is also here, which celebrities like Quentin Tarantino call the best theater in the country.
Texas is known as cattle country, and you can find a great steak at places like Roaring Fork or ALC Steaks. But Austin is a rare oasis in Texas where vegetarians and vegans will also feel welcome. In addition to restaurants like Arlo’s and Snap Kitchen, most Austin establishments offer at least a handful of vegetarian or vegan dishes. Thanks to year-round decent weather, Austin also has a thriving food truck scene.
Austin’s unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” which means that everyone is welcome. You’ll still find that funky, artsy vibe at Waterloo Records and at Amy’s Ice Creams, both of which have been neighborhood institutions for decades. The nearby presence of the University of Texas makes the neighborhood feel young. Renting an apartment downtown means that you’ll be a part of the community.
Fitness is an important part of the Austin lifestyle. You’ll notice that a lot of Austinites aren’t deterred by the hot summers here, which lasts from April to October. People jog and bike on the trails around Lady Bird Lake. However, for those who prefer to exercise in air conditioning, there’s no shortage of indoor fitness facilities. Get your yoga on at Core Power Yoga or go for a classic workout in a clean environment like Pure Austin Fitness.
Apartments and condos make up most of the housing units downtown. Houses for rent are rare in this neighborhood. The explosive population growth means units can’t be built fast enough to keep up with demand, so be prepared that finding an apartment for rent downtown might take a while.
Downtown Austin apartments for rent aren’t cheap and you won’t find any discounts. Be ready to put in an application and deposit when you find an apartment you like because it will definitely be gone if you wait. Finding pet-friendly apartments isn’t too hard, but most have limits on number and breed of pets and will charge extra deposits. Rent continues to go up at a pretty rapid pace in downtown Austin. The apartments and condos you’ll find downtown are generally new and beautiful, with luxury amenities like valet trash pickup and rooftop pools.
Life in downtown Austin is fun and always changing. If you have the budget for it, there’s no neighborhood in Austin that is more convenient or exciting.