If you’re thinking of relocating to Austin or simply curious about what makes the city tick, you can find much of what makes Austin special in its neighborhoods. Almost all neighborhoods in Austin have an abundant supply of green space, and many of them have a wealth of other entertainment options. Take a walking tour of any or all of these neighborhoods to get a better feel for the city.
Located just north of the University of Texas, Hyde Park is home to students, professors, retirees and young professionals. Unlike many neighborhoods in Austin, Hyde Park has preserved many of its original Craftsman-style homes in immaculate condition. 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 historic character and style. At all hours, you’ll find residents walking and running through the neighborhood, often with their dogs. Shipe Park, a small green space in the center of Hyde Park, is a popular hangout for dog lovers. It has a small swimming pool, playground, basketball court, and a small open green space. Hancock Golf Course, a public nine-hole golf course, sits on one edge of the neighborhood. It was created in 1899, making it Texas' oldest golf course. Hyde Park enthusiastically supports 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. Flightpath is another popular coffee shop in the neighborhood.
Located along the border of the South Congress Avenue entertainment district, Travis Heights is a highly walkable neighborhood with a mix of quaint cottages and large contemporary houses. Little and Big Stacy Park lie along the eastern edge of the neighborhood. A jogging path winds along a creek, passing a swimming pool, volleyball courts, tennis courts, picnic areas and a few mini-mansions. Travis Heights’ western border is South Congress Avenue, which is packed with trendy restaurants, such as Vespaio, South Congress Café, Magnolia Café and Gueros. It also features coffee shops, such as Jo’s, and food trucks and trailers, where you can buy everything from cupcakes to pizza to chicken in a cone. Travis Heights is also just south of downtown, where you can find dozens upon dozens of restaurants and coffee shops.
One of Austin’s newest near-town developments, Mueller occupies the land where Austin’s old airport used to be. This “blank slate” allowed developers and city planners to come up with a neighborhood that truly fits with modern-day Austin. A huge park sits in the middle of the neighborhood, and it's surrounded by a mix of mid-rise apartments, single-family homes, big-box retail stores, restaurants and bars. A popular destination for kids is The Thinkery, an activity focused children’s museum. Adults will enjoy the weekend farmers market by the lake, as well as Alamo Drafthouse and BD Riley’s Pub. The Mueller neighborhood is bounded by East 51st Street to the north, Manor Road to the west, Airport Boulevard to the south and Interstate 35 to the east.
Originally a neighborhood built by and for freed slaves, Clarksville has managed to retain at least some of its historic charm. Discriminatory policies early in the 20th century forced many of the original African-American families to move out of the neighborhood, but in recent years, the area has seen the return of a more diverse population. The area around the neighborhood's Whole Foods (one of the largest in the nation) is chock full of other attractions, including bars, restaurants, bookstores and even a couple of record stores. Clarksville extends from MoPac to North Lamar Boulevard (east to west) and extends from West 6th Street to West 15th Street (north to south). Clarksville borders downtown, so all of the hottest clubs and restaurants are just minutes away.
One of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city, Tarrytown is home to sprawling historic mansions as well as contemporary homes. From east to west, Tarrytown extends from MoPac to Lake Austin. From north to south, Tarrytown extends from 35th Street down to Enfield. Lake Austin Boulevard is not technically within the Tarrytown borders, but it is very close to the neighborhood and features many restaurants and businesses that are frequented by Tarrytown residents, such as Mozart’s Coffee Roasters on Lake Austin. Reed Park is a frequent weekend destination for nature lovers in the neighborhood. The 6-acre park includes a playground, a swimming pool, a soccer field, picnic tables and a nature trail along a small creek. Tarrytown’s Lions Municipal Golf Course has been around since 1924 and has hosted many famous golfers, such as Austin native Ben Crenshaw. The Mayfield Preserve is a 21-acre park on the edge of Tarrytown dotted with beautiful gardens, peacocks and ponds with water lilies.
Located just south of the super-hip 78704 neighborhood, Southwood is an up-and-comer. The dividing line between Southwood and the trendier neighborhoods is Highway 71. Not too long ago, identical homes just north of 71 would sell for about $100,000 more than those in Southwood. However, that has started to change with a wave of demolitions and new construction. A walk around the neighborhood reveals the topsy-turvy nature of Austin’s development codes. Developers are taking advantage of the relatively large lot sizes in Southwood to build duplexes or four-plexes on lots that once held only a single small home. The borders of the Southwood neighborhood are Ben White Boulevard/Highway 71 (north), West Stassney (south), Manchaca Boulevard (west) and South 1st Street (east). Less than a mile from Southwood's eastern border, a massive new public market, St. Elmo Market, is currently under construction and schedule to open in early 2020. The developer was inspired by Pike Place Market in Seattle. The centerpiece will be a huge old warehouse that was once home to a school bus factory though most of the other buildings will be new.
Once the site of a large dairy farm, Crestview doesn’t have many cows now, but it retains a bucolic vibe. The quiet neighborhood is filled with charming bungalows and mid-century ranch homes boasting beautiful gardens and shaded by towering trees. The neighborhood stretches from Anderson Lane to the north and Justin Lane to the south and between Lamar Boulevard and Burnet Road (east to west). It is very close to U.S. Highway 183, which provides quick access to Interstate 35, about a mile to the east, as well as MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1), about a mile to the west. Crestview prides itself on its mellow, low-key vibe, and residents frequently walk or jog through the neighborhood, pushing strollers and leading dogs. The neighborhood is known for its friendly vibe, epitomized by the Wall of Welcome, a mural along Woodrow Avenue. Some residents remain true to the area's farming history by supporting gardening efforts by the nonprofit Urban Patchwork, which plants crops in area yards and shares the fruits of volunteers’ labors with homeowners. In addition, Brentwood Elementary is known for its organic gardening program.