Populated with towering oak trees, quaint bungalows, and down-to-earth residents, the historic Hyde Park neighborhood is a true Austin gem. Most Austin residents agree they would love to live here, if only they could afford it; in recent years, home prices have skyrocketed. Just north of the University of Texas campus, Hyde Park is located near the city center, yet it still maintains a small-town vibe.
The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association defines the neighborhood as stretching from 38th Street to 45th (north to south) and Guadalupe to Duval (east to west). It is only about a five-minute drive away from Interstate 35, the city's primary north-south freeway.
While Hyde Park is just minutes from campus, the area is far enough from the madness to have ample parking for vehicles. While it is a long walk, it is possible to get to campus on foot from Hyde Park, though it will usually take at least 20 or 30 minutes. Campus shuttles (the IF line) and city buses regularly stop throughout the neighborhood.
The People of Hyde Park
Hyde Park prides itself on being one of the key neighborhoods that define Austin's culture. Its residents are commonly considered liberal, health-conscious, and eco-friendly. There is a large student population due to the close proximity to campus, though the majority of the students here are upperclassmen. Hyde Park also houses many young families and singles. The area is so dog-friendly that you may be eyed with suspicion if you don't have a canine companion.
There is a strong sense of community in Hyde Park. Every winter, the residents deck out their homes in tasteful yet extensive Christmas light displays. People from all over the city tour the neighborhood’s streets to see the jaw-dropping displays.
Residents commonly walk and run through the neighborhood, often with dogs. Shipe Park, a small green space in the heart of Hyde Park, is a popular hangout for dog-loving locals. It has a small swimming pool, playground, basketball court, and grassy areas. Hancock Golf Course, a public nine-hole golf course, occupies one edge of the neighborhood. It was created in 1899, making it Texas' oldest golf course.
Coffee Shops and Restaurants
Hyde Park loves its independent businesses. Quack's Bakery is a popular spot for coffee, sandwiches, and desserts. The inside tables are usually packed with students, and the outdoor tables are usually occupied by locals with their dogs. Other popular coffee shops in the area include Flightpath and Dolce Vita.
Mother's Cafe is a beloved vegetarian eatery that's been in business since 1980. Hyde Park Bar and Grill is another favorite, serving up thick French fries that are dipped in buttermilk and rolled in flour before being fried. Fresh Plus, a small grocery store and deli specializing in health food, is another popular food destination in the neighborhood.
Hyde Park Theatre
Opened in 1992, Hyde Park Theatre is the home of the long-running Frontera Fest, one of the most eccentric performance showcases in the country. Several of the slots don’t even require auditions. It’s just first-come, first-perform, and the 25-minute shows are as unpredictable as you might expect. The month-long festival is normally held in January and/or February. The rest of the year, Hyde Park presents more traditional plays, often by local writers and performers. Several residents of the Hyde Park neighborhood volunteer and perform at the theater, adding to the friendly, unpretentious vibe at the performance space.
The theater seeks to present plays that reflect the ethnic diversity of Austin and Texas, often providing opportunities to up-and-coming Latino and African-American playwrights, directors and actors.
Hyde Park was built in the 1890s, and some homes are designated as historic landmarks, which limits the amount and types of remodeling that can be done on the homes. Many of the bungalows were built in the 1920s and 1930s yet still retain much of their original character and style.
Hyde Park has enjoyed a boom in the recent years. As of 2017, the median home price was $500,000. Even some of the one-bedroom homes are selling upward of $420,000.
Hyde Park is populated with numerous apartments and homes for rent. One-bedroom apartments start around $1,010, and homes can be rented starting around $2,100. However, some older apartments lack modern amenities such as central air-conditioning.