7.2 out of 10

Old West Austin / Clarksville

Ranked 15th best neighborhood in Austin
30.2777240176671 -97.7605946289218
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
  • Schools
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
  • Pest Free
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

2/5 rating details
  • Public Transport 1/5
Feb 07, 2017

"Full"

I lived in Old West Austin 22 years, and most of it has been torn razed and overbuilt with ugly macmansions and uglier condo complex. There's no neighborhood charm left, neighbors no longer walk in the neighborhood and instead stay in their cars, and the new people are hostile. Traffic is terriible even on such narrow streets, and it's no longer pet friendly as overbuilding has attracted coyotes to the neighborhood. Nearby Pease Park has been paved over with concrete, and the wildness there even 5 yrs. ago has been cleared out and the park, over 100 yrs. old, has been turned into a pedestrian mall. Truly sad, the destruction of this historic neighborhood is virtually a criminal act by real estate developers.
Pros
  • Memories of the historic Clarksville.
  • Green and Clean
Cons
  • Treaty Oak poisoned, little left of it
  • Ugly MacMansion and uglier condo projects
  • 3rd worst traffic in American, comparable only to LA and NYC, cities 9 times larger
  • Expensive real estate
  • Parking
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Clean & green, a natural extension of the downtown with great parks, restaurants and shopping"

Old West Austin/Clarksville is a natural extension of the downtown area, and home to some great restaurants and shopping. This part of downtown is clean and green with several distinctive parks.

West Austin Park is a 3-acre gem in western downtown. Native rock terracing and extensive landscaping make this a beautiful oasis right in the middle of the city. You’ll also find an off-leash dog area well-maintained by the local Canine Social Club, as well as a basketball court, tennis court, multipurpose field, picnic tables, playground and a swimming pool.

At Treaty Oak Park, one imposing and beautiful 500 year-old live oak tree is the only remnant of a former grove of such trees sacred to the Native American tribes who lived in the area. An impressive and historically significant sight.

The most beautiful and most trafficked park in Old West Austin/Clarksville is on the waterfront. There is a hiking/biking trail that runs along the river on the north and south sides of the Colorado River, making a 10 mile loop. It’s called Lady Bird Lake Trail—which was confusing to me at first, because it’s a river—not a lake. But, “Lady Bird Lake” is a actually a reservoir on/section of the Colorado River.
Pros
  • Historic Value
  • Green and Clean
  • Unique Austin feel
  • Great access to parks
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Expensive real estate
  • Parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Possibly Austins top neighborhood"

Old West Austin is in an absolutely perfect location with easy access to downtown, or Loop 1 if you need to head elsewhere in town. Here you find some older homes but all of them have been very well-maintained, preserving their unique historic charm and blending beautifully into the tree growth of the neighborhood. Amidst the grand old residences are a smattering of adorable Mom & Pop stores that are delightful to spend time exploring.

For the outdoorsy, you’re walking distance to Lady Bird Lake with its hike and bike trail, and retail options are practically limitless with all the major shopping centers along Lamar. And don’t forget the convenience to downtown Austin and all it has to offer, either. This isn't just one of the best neighborhoods north of the river--it's one of the best neighborhoods in town, period.

With an excellent location, charming streets, parks and shopping, you have access to it absolutely everything Austin can offer… but you can expect to pay dearly for the privilege. Priced on the much higher side of average, there’s a solid case to be made that it’s well worth the money.

The biggest problematic consideration is traffic, which can get pretty ugly during rush hour. If you have the chance to both live and work locally, then it won't be an issue at all, and you could conceivably enjoy the neighborhood without even resorting to a car.
Pros
  • Historic Value
  • Next to Downtown and Zilker Park
  • Unique Austin feel
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
  • Parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A Historic District Close To Everyone Great About Austin"

Located just west of Downtown Austin, the Old West Austin/Clarksville neighborhood has been designated a historic district due to the large number of well preserved early to mid-20th Century homes it contains. The homes here have a rich history and a great deal of character and prices run from around $350,000 to some homes and condos that go for over a million. There are a mix of homes here from modest single family homes to luxury condominiums, ranchhouses, tidy duplexes and a few stately mansions.

The neighborhood is close to Downtown Austin and all of the great nightlife options it has to offer, and has a number of great dining options within walking or biking distance. It's also close to Zilker Park, which is home to the world famous Austin City Limits Music Festival and a number of playgrounds and fields for soccer and polo. It's a safe and fairly quiet neighborhood with a mix of ethnic groups and ages. There are fine dining options on the edges of the neighborhood including steakhouses, Mexican restaurants, sports bars and grills, and sushi bars.

This is an ideal neighborhood for singles, professionals and families raising children, or anyone who enjoys the weirdness of Austin and wants to dive right into the middle of it.
Pros
  • Green and Clean
  • Historic Value
  • Next to Downtown and Zilker Park
  • Great access to parks
  • Unique Austin feel
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
  • Parking
  • Small houses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Historic Austin charm"

There are many charming historic neighborhoods to be found in Austin, but Clarksville may take the prize as one of the most sought-after neighborhoods to live in by those who appreciate Austin’s unique qualities. This tiny neighborhood (only 9 square blocks) was originally founded by a freed slave in the late 1800s. Located within the larger Old West Austin neighborhood, Clarksville is a distinct separate area.

The boundaries for Old West Austin are Enfield Road to the north, Lady Bird Lake to the south, MoPac Expressway to the west and N. Lamar Boulevard to the east. The boundaries for Clarksville are Waterson Avenue on the north, W. 10th Street to the south, MoPac on the west and West Lynn to the east. Practically everything that matters in convenient to Old West Austin/Clarksville; it is next to downtown, across from Zilker Park along Lady Bird Lake, and convenient to the University of Texas. Homes are older but very well preserved, and retain their unique and historic charm. Urban living at its finest can be found here. Of course, all these qualities come at a steep price. For example, a small, 800-square foot bungalow (not uncommon in this neighborhood) can still fetch $300,000. The average housing price is over $500,000 (and up to $1 million for a large mansion). But there are also more affordable condominiums to be found, and the neighborhood also provides some affordable housing units for low-income families. Area schools include Matthews Elementary, O. Henry Middle School and Stephen F. Austin High School.

There is a varied mix of residents living in Clarksville/Old West Austin, including young professionals, families and students. Basically, all who are attracted to the eclectic, historic and artistic feel of the neighborhood. There are many local Austin businesses within walking distance in this neighborhood, including Jeffrey’s, one of Austin’s finest dining establishments as well as Nau’s Drugstore, which offers grilled hamburgers and milkshakes in a setting straight out of the 1950s, which is when it first opened. Whole Foods, located on the outskirts of the area, got its start in Clarksville in 1979 as the Clarksville Natural Grocery. There are neighborhood parks, such as West Austin Park, found here for those wanting the intimacy of a small, family-oriented park and pool. With so much to offer, it is no wonder that so many wish to settle in this neighborhood.
Pros
  • Great access to parks
  • Unique Austin feel
Cons
  • Small houses
  • Expensive real estate
  • Parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Great mix of history, wealth, and quirk"

One of the reasons this area is so historic is because it was founded by freed African American slaves. There are a ton of really cool old houses, but yeah—super expensive. It’s fun to wander the hilly streets here though. I used to dog sit for one of my professors who lived here when she went out of town, so it was fun to pretend I lived here. Nau’s Enfield Drug is an adorable 1950s style pharmacy with a soda fountain and food in the back. There used to be one near my neighborhood in West Campus, but it closed, unfortunately. They have amazing chocolate malts and veggie burgers, believe it or not. (Believe it—this is Austin!) You might want to avoid the cluster of highways in the southwest corner. Traffic here can be a headache, and totally ruin your malt buzz. On the east side you have Amy’s Ice Creams, Book People, and Whole Foods, which is great for an afternoon of lazing around and procrastinating from life. There’s plenty of fun and quirk to keep aging hipsters ready to settle down happy, and plenty of good schools, parks, and peace, quiet, and safety for the family.
Pros
  • Green and Clean
  • Historic Value
  • Next to Downtown and Zilker Park
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"The Height of Austin History"

Old West Austin/ Clarksville is the ultimate window into Central Austin history as it has numerous historically registered homes with shop and hot spots that still display the original Austin charm that began the massive migrations to the city that is seen today. With downtown directly to the east and Zilker Park directly south, the location of this old time paradise could not bet better. A resident here would rarely ever need to use a car due to the bus stops and short distance to key spots, and it would be ideal not to have a car has the parking here can be bothersome.

Be warned, though, as a neighborhood with such a prime location and high historic value can become very expensive to live in. The constant attempt at preserving the area has kept apartment complexes and condos from being built within these streets, so residents most often have to purchase older homes that have been well kept, which can add up in costs. Those who can afford it though, could not be happier with their choice. Whole Foods is just down the block and some of the city's signature bars and venues like The Tavern and Donn's Depot. Also, families that live in the area will have their kids go to one of the best elementary schools in the city. For those that have the income to spare, Old West Austin/ Clarksville is hard to top.
Pros
  • Historic Value
  • Green and Clean
  • Next to Downtown and Zilker Park
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
  • Parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish

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