Regions of Austin, Texas
Austin is easy to navigate once you know a few landmarks and roadways, such as MoPac Expressway/TX-1 Loop and Interstate 35, running north and south through the city. It has several districts including Congress Avenue, Sixth Street, Second Street, Rainey Street Historic District, Seaholm, Bremond Block Historic District, Judges Hill near the Texas State Capitol, and Red River Cultural District. Second Street District is best known for shopping and dining while Sixth Street, also known as the Entertainment District, gives Austin its reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. Congress Avenue is the most prominent with hotels, restaurants and retail stores lining the boulevard that leads from the Texas Capitol to South Austin. Austin is truly a live, work, play city. The Colorado River, heading south from Lake Travis and the Mansfield Dam, flows south of the downtown area bringing recreation, relaxation, and beauty to this very cosmopolitan city. While there may be a mid-century vibe just across the river in South Austin, the downtown area is one of the fastest-growing modern cities in the nation with an impressive skyline that includes adaptive-reuse historic buildings, corporate highrises, and luxurious condominiums. Central Austin is also known as the location of The University of Texas at Austin. The campus, located just west of Interstate 35, is an educational and cultural resource and home of The Texas Longhorns, the university’s extramural and intramural sports teams.
Nowhere is the Keep It Weird movement stronger than in South Austin. Visitors traveling away from the city along South Congress Street find an area known as SoCo with indie retail stores and boutiques, barbershops, and food trucks. Grab a Korean-fusion taco or some barbecue and visit lovely mid-century communities that have maintained their elegance or had their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s style restored to pristine condition by creative DIYers. Further south, there are charming suburban neighborhoods of 1 and 2-story brick and stone residences sitting along tree-lined streets. Nearby centers like Sunset Valley, Westgate, or those along South Lamar provide local and national retail shopping, dining and entertainment to those living in this area. With Austin’s mild weather, residents can be seen riding bikes, jogging along paths at Zilker Park, or playing sports at one of the many parks in South Austin. Location and lifestyle are in abundance in this area which draws many who want to be a part of Austin’s active and creative community.
East Austin includes several historic neighborhoods as well as promising developments that appeal to many Austinites who fancy themselves as hipsters. Sweet 2-bedroom bungalows with backyard gardens sit next to modern, 2-story structures designed with glass, steel, and concrete. The narrow, tree-lined roadways and well-established neighborhoods blend these styles into attractive streetscapes with the connectivity that many buyers appreciate. The sustainable, transit-oriented community, Mueller Development brings life to the area with new urbanism housing, work spaces, and retail stores. With easy access to Downtown Austin, East Austin is thriving and offers newcomers many opportunities for ownership that are affordable and convenient city amenities.
Austin's Texas Hill Country comes to life as one drives west from Downtown Austin. Fields of bluebonnets, wildflowers, live oak trees and rocky cliffs are common themes found in the West Austin landscape. From Highway 290 on the south to the shores of the Colorado River on the north, West Austin architecture reflects both the history of Texas and its vision for a prosperous and innovative future. With highly-acclaimed schools and lovely neighborhoods like Rollingwood, Lost Creek, Seven Oaks, Rob Roy, Barton Creek and West Lake Hills, the area continues to become one of the most prestigious and coveted in all of Austin. As the roads wander past the 360 Bridge, Barton Creek Greenbelt, and Wild Basin Preserve, it becomes more apparent as to why visitors fall in love with neighborhoods in this area. Beauty, breathtaking views, a balanced lifestyle and impressive homes attract newcomers who can suddenly imagine living a vacation lifestyle within minutes of the city.
Austin’s growth is most recognizable in North Austin. X marks the spot where innovation and business meet. The intersection of Highway 183 and MoPac Expressway/TX-1 Loop marks the center and heartbeat of technology. From small start-ups to large corporations like Dell, 3M, Samsung, Apple, eBay, and Oracle, Austin has become known as Silicon Hills due to the number of large technology companies that have located here. Along with those employers come jobs drawing many to the North Austin area and surrounding small towns. Where there are rooftops; schools, shopping centers, and business services multiply, providing residents with everything they need. Retail centers such as The Domain, one of the newest shopping venues, brings high-end national stores, restaurants, markets, and hotels to this area north of the city.
Towns Surrounding Austin
Austin is the heartbeat of Central Texas, but its reach impacts many small towns that surround the city. Outside its borders, there are adjacent towns that are growing at the same rapid pace as Austin’s downtown area and suburbs. Bee Cave, Driftwood, Cedar Park, Buda, Dripping Springs, Georgetown, Round Rock, Kyle, Lakeway, and Leander are just some of the small towns that attract newcomers to this area. As these areas develop, growth brings new and different housing types. Master-planned communities, multi-family housing, condominiums, townhomes, active adult developments, and suburban neighborhoods fill in along connector roads that lead to the major highways running in all directions around Austin. Many of these small towns have a historic downtown area that adds richness to the lifestyle of their community. Festivals and events draw tourists and business to these thriving centers giving residents a real sense of belonging and identity. Whether famous for their chili cookoff, the annual migration of butterflies, artisans or musical performances, or a championship golf course, these towns provide the spirit and substance captured in the saying, "I may not have been born here, but I got here as soon as I could."
Austin is one of the most populated cities in the United States, the 4th most populated in Texas, and has the fastest growing population in the US. For those who choose to be Austinites, they can be sure of one thing: Austin may be growing rapidly, but the heart and soul of this city still reflect the individuality, innovation, and inspiration that come from the beauty that surrounds it. Austin truly is a jewel that shines brightly in the Texas sun.