7.2 out of 10

Holly

Ranked 14th best neighborhood in Austin
30.2539907539534 -97.7209385972313
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Nightlife
  • Eating Out
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Cost of Living
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Medical Facilities
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students

Reviews

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

"Authentic neighborhood close to downtown, nightlife, diversity, and parks."

Holly is the most conveniently located neighborhood in Austin. I live right in the middle of the neighborhood, and am very pleased. I am walking distance to all the restaurants and bars along E. 5th, 6th, and 7th streets, as well as Cesar Chavez. Going downtown is also possible to walk, very quick on bike, and about a 5 minute drive. Not to mention less than 15 minutes from the airport (without any airplane noise!).

Most streets are tree-lined, and I have never had any trouble finding parking on the residential streets. As the commercial streets become increasing popular for nightlife and shopping, it can be a bit difficult to park directly on main streets during peak hours.

If you enjoy an active lifestyle, Holly is bordered by the hike & bike trail along the river. Many people actively jog and walk their dogs along the water. Also, in recent years, there have been a few gyms that have opened, such as Fortitude Fitness and Atomic Fitness.

Many old-timers have a misconception that the neighborhood is dangerous. In my experience, this simply isn't the case. I don't doubt that it used to be this way, but not any more. The neighborhood is gentrifying to the extent that it is safe to walk the streets at night. I have never felt threatened, never heard gunshots, and have never seen any criminal activity take place (in the past 6 months since moving to Holly).

Lastly, the affordability of Holly is what brought me here initially. The homes can be a bit small, but this is in line with my lifestyle at the moment. Not accumulating 'stuff' that needs space, I can afford an attractive home with a nice yard that can't be found anywhere else so close to all the areas of Austin I value being close to (downtown, Zilker park, South Austin, University, East Austin, airport). This goes for both renting and owning.
Pros
  • Affordable housing
  • Cheap restaurants and venues
  • Cultural diversity
  • Great nightlife
  • Great potential
Cons
  • Lack of public transit
  • Few grocery store options
  • Small house sizes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Charming, tiny houses not far from convenient shopping, parks & rec or E6th street nightlife"

The northern area of this neighborhood—up around 7th street feels like a highway. It’s a very commercial roadway, and there are lots of strip malls. Here you’ll find the Govalle shopping center, anchored by the E7th street H-E-B grocery store, where you can get super-cheap mainstream groceries.

Just down the road is hip, socially-conscious, volunteer run Treasure City Thrift—a funky (and cheap) thrift store that donates its earnings to groups working for grassroots change.

Just a couple of blocks south, the commercial corridor gives way to a charming residential area, populated by a largely Hispanic population. The houses down here are tiny, and colorfully decorated. Residents here are always super friendly and wave to me when I ride my bike through this neighborhood.

There are a few excellent options for parks and rec in this neighborhood. At Pan American Park, you find tennis and basketball courts, a baseball field, playground, wading pool, and picnic grounds. Furthermore, residents have access to intramural sports leagues in volleyball, fast pitch softball, basketball, and wrestling. Rec center facilities incorporate a dance studio, computer lab, gym, boxing club, and weight room.

At Metz Park & Recreation Center, you’ll find hike and bike trails along the river (otherwise known as Lady Bird Lake). There are athletic fields, a kickball field, and fishing down by the pond (near the river). At the rec center, there are afterschool programs, programs for seniors, a shaded basketball court, a meeting room, kitchen, and dance studio.
Pros
  • Treasure City Thrift
  • Parks & Rec
  • Affordable housing
  • Cheap restaurants and venues
  • Cultural diversity
  • Great nightlife
Cons
  • parking is sometimes a hassle
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"An Up and Coming Neighborhood Just East of Downtown Austin"

Bordered to the south by Town Lake and to the west by the Downtown Austin area, the Holly neighborhood is an area in transition. Single family homes here are small in size and range in price from $125,000 up to $200,000 and more. There is new construction in the form of larger single family homes and multiple story upscale condominiums and apartments that are bringing in a younger crowd to the neighborhood. A power plant that once operated in the area is now being converted into a park, added even more value to the area. Property values have been steadily climbing in this part of Austin for several years now.

It's close to public transportation with Capitol Metro and close to Downtown Austin and the Historic 6th Street Entertainment District. The area is served by the Austin Independent School District and there are several private school options nearby. It's a largely quiet and safe neighborhood for an inner city and it definitely has some of the charm that only Austin can provide in the Lone Star State.
Pros
  • Affordable housing
  • Cheap restaurants and venues
  • Great potential
  • Cultural diversity
Cons
  • Small house sizes
  • Can get a little noise
  • parking is sometimes a hassle
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Convenient to downtown, and promising renovations underway"

Holly has been one of the neighborhoods targeted with the east side renovation. While the efforts here haven't been as far reaching as you can find elsewhere, the presence of the occasional new, high end condos have brought a face lift to a faded neighborhood.

Most of the value that can be found here is with its proximity to downtown. Being able to walk into the nightlife of 6th Street, as well as all the business and dining and shopping opportunities that can only be found in downtown Austin, can't be understated as a selling point. The neighborhood's appeal tends to be rather hit or miss from street to street, though. Unless you are very serious about living as close to the downtown area as possible without having to spend what you would expect to do so, you might do better to look someplace else.

Traffic can be a real problem during peak hours, and as far as shopping or finding a bite to eat without leaving the neighborhood, you are in for a bit of a challenge. It might be just what you are looking for, if you are searching for nothing but location and price.
Pros
  • Affordable housing
  • Great potential
Cons
  • Small house sizes
  • Can get a little noise
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"Rocky history, but up and coming"

With roots stretching back to the early 1900s, the Holly neighborhood on Austin’s east side has a long history. This predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood has suffered from neglect in the past, and now is becoming more of a victim of its own success. Gentrification is coming to this neighborhood, but opinions vary on whether or not this is a good thing.

Located in central east Austin, the Holly neighborhood is bordered by Lady Bird Lake on the south, East 7th Street on the north, Pleasant Valley to the east and Chicon to the west. Its proximity to the open space of Lady Bird Lake and quick access to downtown give the Holly neighborhood an ideal location. So why is it a neighborhood in transition? Largely because of the presence of the Holly Street Power Plant, which originally began operating in 1960 until its closure in 2007. Residents of this area suffered from noise and pollution for years during the plant’s life. When they were finally able to get the city to close it down, the attractiveness of the neighborhood increased dramatically. The result has been new development and remodeling of existing homes, but often at the expense of longtime residents, who find it increasingly difficult to afford to live here.

Homes are typically smaller in size, and some can be found in the range of $150-$200. But the market is driving prices up, and homes are also reaching the low to mid $300s. Area schools include Metz Elementary, Martin Middle School and Eastside Memorial High School. The city has plans to convert the 22 acres that held the Holly Street power plant into parkland, further increasing the future attractiveness of this neighborhood.
Pros
  • Cultural diversity
  • Great potential
Cons
  • Small house sizes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+

"Stay weird, Austin!"

Holly is one of those wonderfully bizarre neighborhoods that it may take a while for newcomers to stumble across. But once you do, you’ll be excited to share your discovery with everyone else you know. One of my favorite restaurants, Mr. Natural is here. It’s a mom and pop vegan and vegetarian TexMex place. Yep, pretty much only in Austin. It also has one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard of, being from the Midwest—a drive-thru beer store. And this isn’t just to pick up kegs for the frat party, either. I’m talking hundreds of specialty and craft brew beers as well. And you just drive up and order it, and the clerk just goes and gets it for you. So weird. I’ve only heard stories about people going there, because I can’t bring myself to try it. The great alternative theater, Rude Mechanicals is also in Holly. I discovered this pretty much by accident when I bumped into a friend on her way there, and she invited me along. The show was pretty much just a guy wearing a robot suit and talking gibberish, like, so sincerely, with such feeling, and about three feet away from us making eye contact with individual members of the audience. Not for everyone, but definitely a new experience. There’s always some new weird experimental show going on here.
Pros
  • Cheap restaurants and venues
  • Great nightlife
Cons
  • parking is sometimes a hassle
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Healthy Balance of Nightlife and Leisure"

Directly east of the E Cesar Chavez neighborhood, Holly offers its own abundance of restaurants and dive bars, but is more suitable for family dynamics. With rental and selling property prices dropping after passing Chicon, the many small wooden family houses and shacks placed behind warehouses are within the price range of almost any budget. The local hot spots are along E. 7th, E. 6th and E. Cesar Chavez, all lined with casual music venues equipped with outdoor stages and dives that have regular bottom shelf beer specials. E. 6th houses several non- profit organizations including the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Interdependence Project while E. 7th has more Mexican eateries than you will ever need. This community even has its own Mexican grocery store, La Michoacana with H-E-B just down the block.

While after crowds from the bars can brew a little trouble every now and then, this is a relatively safe neighborhood that is just a walk, bike ride or bus ride to Downtown. E. Cesar Chavez is home to many studio spaces including Starving Art Studios and Eastside Arthouse, and many of the buildings are canvassed with commissioned graffiti art. The aesthetic appeal with the public schools, parks near the river and the small shops make this an ideal neighborhood for those who want some east side culture in their daily lives. The nightlife suits the energetic young folk while the educational centers and parks suit the family unit.
Pros
  • Great nightlife
  • Affordable housing
  • Cheap restaurants and venues
Cons
  • Small house sizes
  • Can get a little noise
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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