6.5 out of 10

Dawson

Ranked 33rd best neighborhood in Austin
30.2326794183203 -97.7621793094311
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Eating Out
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Medical Facilities
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Pest Free
  • Childcare
  • Lack of Traffic
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Laid back South Austin living, close to nature/parks, restaurants and shopping"

Dawson is a long, thin slice of South Austin, sandwiched between S1st and South Congress. Affordable, funky, laid back, and close to the action in the center of town without being confronted by it—Dawson is a great neighborhood for anyone who’s into the laid-back, San Francisco vibe of South Austin.

One sweet little park can be found inside the borders of this neighborhood: Gillis Park. There are basketball courts, a multipurpose field, a hiking trail, picnic tables and BBQ pits, a playground—and maybe most importantly—a public swimming pool.

Then again, if you’re living in Dawson it’s just a quick jaunt to Zilker Park and Barton Springs, Blunn Creek Nature Preserve and the Barton Creek Greenbelt, so there are plenty of options when it comes to swimming and experiencing nature. S1st and South Congress are both high traffic roads lined with eclectic eateries and shopping opportunities. It’s slightly nerve-wracking to ride your bike on these roads, but I find it pretty doable, with a little sidewalk riding.
Pros
  • Close to Zilker Park & Barton Springs
  • Close to SoCo and Downtown
  • Decently priced real estate
  • Close to the action but still quiet
  • Next to St. Edwards University
Cons
  • S 1st and S Congress are busy roads
  • A little bit far south
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A Great Tight-Knit Neighborhood Close to Beautiful St. Edwards University"

The Dawson neighbor is located south of Downtown Austin, and is a safe and affordable place for families. There are single family homes here that run from around $175,000 to $350,000 for a 1750 square foot house. There are also a number of affordable condominiums and apartments, and a few townhomes. It's close to St. Edwards University so it's ideal for students from there and the University
of Texas at Austin. It's clean and green for the most part and a safe place to raise a family with low crime rates.

It's served by the Capitol Metro public transportation system so it's fast and easy to get to any part of town. This neighborhood has some of the better performing Austin Independent School District campuses as well. It's close to South Congress Street and it's not far to downtown, but before you go there are more than a few funky eateries and nightlife options in the area to be checked out. This is a tight-knit neighborhood that enjoys all the best Austin has to offer without all of the noise that comes with it.
Pros
  • Close to SoCo and Downtown
  • Decently priced real estate
  • Close to the action but still quiet
  • Next to St. Edwards University
Cons
  • Traffic from Hwy 71
  • A little bit far south
  • Hipster attitude
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"One of Austins last hidden gems!"

Dawson is taking off, but so far, it’s managed to hang onto a a good chunk of its laid-back, tucked-away scene. Peppered with funky local eateries and businesses, and populated by a broad range of ages and types, Dawson is the perfect middle ground between the boisterous nightlife and popularity of SoCo or downtown and the quiet residential areas that make up farther-flung parts of town.

Housing remains pretty consistently affordable, with fairly stable and average rental and home prices. The neighborhood is safe, friendly, and quiet, and welcoming to all the different types of people who pass through. It’s got something of a reputation for being a haven for longtime Austinites who want to hang on to the old-school, funky dynamic of the Austin of decades ago, but in all truth, the neighborhood is an ideal setting for pretty much anyone. Affordability and easy access to St. Edwards, downtown, and UT make it perfect for students looking to get off-campus, artists looking for a free-wheeling, accepting space, and even young professionals or small families.

The neighborhood isn’t going to remain a secret forever, though, and prices will only continue to rise as its popularity continues to grow and more and more people demonstrate a demand for housing in this nearly-ideal location.
Pros
  • Decently priced real estate
  • Close to the action but still quiet
Cons
  • Traffic from Hwy 71
  • A little bit far south
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"Hip...but not too hip"

Relatively undiscovered gems in the neighborhood scene are becoming increasingly scarce as Austin continues to grow in population and popularity. The Dawson neighborhood, located south of the much more visible South Congress (SoCo) neighborhood, remains one of those gems. Populated by those who cherish the old Austin vibe, this quiet neighborhood is home to young families and professionals, as well as long-time residents of the area.

The Dawson neighborhood is bordered by Oltorf Road to the north, Ben White/Highway 290 to the south, South First Street on the west and South Congress Avenue on the east. Located across South Congress is St. Edwards University, making this the perfect neighborhood for students of this private university. Because it is farther south from the heart of Austin’s hubs, housing prices have not accelerated as much as other similarly attractive neighborhoods. The average home price runs in the mid-$200s. Schools in the area include Dawson Elementary, Fulmore Middle School and Travis High School.
Residents of Dawson are a tight-knit group, and enjoy their proximity to the hip and trendy SoCo neighborhood without having to put up with the noise and energy of that scene. As more and more people become aware of its charms, which include lovely tree-lined streets, local businesses and restaurants, and strong hippie roots, Dawson risks losing its laid-back vibe. This is a neighborhood to move into sooner, rather than later.
Pros
  • Close to the action but still quiet
  • Close to SoCo and Downtown
Cons
  • A little bit far south
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"Hipster central"

This neighborhood is great for strange, kitchy nightlife and restaurants. On South First Street you’ll want to try Torchy’s Tacos. You can’t miss it—it’s a silver trailer with a big red devil on the sign. If you’re feeling a bit fearful of eating a taco from a truck—don’t. These things are awesome. (Or as the sign reads, “D#&M Good Tacos.”) There are often long lines, so come prepared to wait and be annoyed by people milling around spilling queso on your shoes. The Green Muse Café is a coffee shop that also sells wine and has great ambiance. The staff tends to get a little pretentious at times, often treating unfamiliar customers like they’re interrupting some important journaling time. The place attracts an interesting mix of students, writers, philosophers, goofballs, and professionals. Amy’s Ice Creams is a city institution, with staff that will sing and tell jokes while mixing your favorite scoops with your favorite toppings. (I doubt there’s many employee transfers taking place between here and the Green Muse…) I have a friend who used to live here, but swears he moved because of the insufferable hipster vibe. I think he might have been exaggerating, but I can sort of see it. But hey, that’s Austin for you.
Pros
  • Close to SoCo and Downtown
  • Decently priced real estate
  • Next to St. Edwards University
Cons
  • Hipster attitude
  • Traffic from Hwy 71
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Affordable and Pleasant Living Near St. Edwards"

Not all college students in Austin go to the University of Texas, and those that attend the Catholic campus to the south do well living in the Dawson neighborhood just across the street on South Congress Ave. Below the hustle and bustle of the SoCo area, Dawson is a slightly quieter, but still energetic neighborhood with affordable rental rates with the average being around $700. Highway 71 borders the neighborhood to the south and offers easy transit in and out of the city going east or westbound. East Oltorf serves as the northern boundary of Dawson, providing a convenient separation from the overrun hipster and tourist nights and weekend a few blocks north, but does not prohibit easy entry for those who wish to explore in the SoCo streets.

The majority of houses predate the 1950s and are of small size, coming in a variety of unconventional colors. Residents are of mixed ages compared to other Austin neighborhoods that tend to have a defining age trend. Dawson is also home to the city's busiest H-E-B, which is located at he corner of E. Oltorf and S. Congress Ave., so residents should choose their grocery shopping time carefully. Though not as dense as it is several blocks north, S. Congress Ave. has its healthy share of favorite restaurants and bars that offer a hefty dose of local nightlife. Head over to the 04 Lounge or the Crow Bar for some good dive bar drinks and down and dirty live music that can only be found in Austin or spend time at the Garden District Coffeehouse for sipping java outdoors. It is hard for St. Edwards students or any local period to do better than Dawson. Just be cautious about rush hour traffic feeding in from Highway 71.
Pros
  • Next to St. Edwards University
  • Close to SoCo and Downtown
  • Decently priced real estate
Cons
  • Traffic from Hwy 71
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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