claireepstein

  • Local Expert 1,368 points
  • Reviews 25
  • Questions 0
  • Answers 0
  • Discussions 0

Reviews

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

"clean & green living in a beautiful historic neighborhood with easy-access to the rest of Austin"

Rosedale is located Northwest of downtown Austin, but it’s still relatively close to the center of town. You’ll find plenty of restaurants within the neighborhood, and there are plenty of shopportunities close by on Burnet Rd and at the Triangle.

In addition to great schools found here, there are several world-class medical facilities located in Rosedale: the Specialty Hospital of Austin, the Heart Hospital of Austin, Seton Hospital and the State Hospital.

Located between Medical Park Tower and Seton Hospital is Seiders Springs Park—a beautiful, historic 4-acre park full of stately live oak trees. This park is also the trailhead of the Shoal Creek Greenbelt—a stretch of parkland centered around a hike/bike trail that runs from 38th street all the way down to Zilker Park in South Austin, connecting Rosedale with the rest of the city along a safe, scenic route.

Ramsey Playground is a 5-acre park in the center of Rosedale, where residents will, of course, find a playground as well as picnic tables, BBQ pits, basketball and tennis courts, and a multipurpose field.
Residents of Rosedale enjoy clean & green living in a beautiful historic neighborhood with easy-access to the rest of Austin.
Pros
  • Shoal Creek Greenbelt
  • Green and clean
  • Old charm
  • Great variety of restaurants
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Just now

"Off-campus student housing, densely populated, loud, and lots of condos & conveniences"

Riverdale is largely residential. Unfortunately, you won’t find beautiful old homes here. It’s a recently developed area full of condos, apartment complexes and cheap student housing for UT undergrads, and St. Edward’s students.

Located along the waterfront is the Lady Bird Lake trail—great for jogging and biking. And just on the other side of I-35 is the beautiful Blunn Creek Greenbelt. But the true reason for this neighborhood’s high density population, is that it’s just a 10 minute drive to the center of downtown, and less than half that distance to cool nightlife on the eastside.

As such, there are all kinds of businesses here, catering to students: the H-E-B grocery store, computer repair services, gym & fitness facilities, pool halls, cheap restaurants, etc. Much like it’s sister neighborhood, Pleasant Valley, there are many conveniences in this neighborhood, but not a lot of soul or history.
Pros
  • close to downtown
  • close to I-35
  • Cheap rent
  • Lots of fellow students
  • Many complexes have gyms, pools, and free internet
  • Close to SoCo
Cons
  • Not a lot of history or character
  • A little shady
  • Apartments only
  • Lots of loud students
Recommended for
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • 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
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 1/5
Just now

"Land of condos and conveniences, UT commuter neighborhood"

Located in South Austin, east of I-35, Pleasant Valley can be roughly divided into two parts. The northern half of Pleasant Valley is entirely parkland and wildlife preserve. The sprawling, 362-acre Roy G. Guerrero Park is still under construction, but parts of the park are currently accessible to the public—including the Montopolis Youth Sports Complex.

The southern half of Pleasant Valley is largely residential. Unfortunately, you won’t find beautiful old homes here. It’s a recently developed area full of condos, apartment complexes and cheap student housing for UT kids, and students at the Austin Community College Riverside Campus located nearby.

As such, there are all kinds of businesses here, catering to students: the Ruiz branch of the Austin public library, computer repair services, gym & fitness facilities, pool halls, cheap restaurants, etc. There are many conveniences in this neighborhood, but not a lot of soul or history.
Pros
  • Easy transportation to campus
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to Lady Bird Lake
  • safe
Cons
  • condos
  • far away from downtown and UT
  • not very walking friendly
  • lots of highways nearby
Recommended for
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Just now

"Eastside neigborhood, removed from the action"

This eastside neighborhood doesn’t have a lot going on. On the plus side, living expenses here are pretty cheap, and you don’t have to go all the way downtown to take care of most of your everyday needs, since the neighborhood is served by business east of I-35—particularly on Manor Rd. It’s a 20-minute drive to the center of downtown, putting it a bit far out there, but this route is also accessible by bus and the bike ride is definitely do-able.

Two places of note in this primarily low-income residential neighborhood are the Region 13 Education Service Center—which is a great educational resource for high and special-needs K-12 students, and Pecan Springs Playground—which is an L-shaped 4-acre park with a basketball court, playground, multipurpose field and picnic area.
Pros
  • Pecan Springs Park
  • Peace and quiet
  • Close to 183
  • Close to Mueller development
  • Friendly neighbors
Cons
  • Far from Downtown
  • No nightlife
  • Some sketchy spots
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Just now

"Cut off from the rest of Austin by I-35, 71/Ben White Blvd and E Oltorf Rd"

Parker Lane is a neighborhood in South Austin, tucked inside the triangle created by I-35, 71/Ben White Blvd and E Oltorf Rd. Because it is inside this tangle of highways, the neighborhood is effectively cut off from the rest of the city, and has none of the colorful, nature-immersed, hippie/alternative character of the rest of South Austin. Housing prices here are low, and families without a lot of income settle here.

Buses are accessible on E Oltorf Rd and Ben White Blvd, allowing residents without cars to access the rest of the city. Parker Lane is primarily a residential neighborhood, and there are very few shopping options, commercial businesses (except for gas stations, auto repair, motels, liquor stores along the highway fringe), and the food is mostly fast food.

The bright spot of Park Lane is Mabel Davis District Park-- a beautifully-renovated 50-acre park featuring an Olympic-sized swimming pool, basketball courts, covered picnic area, playground, and a well-designed skate park with plenty of space for spectators to sit and watch. In the 1940s and 50s, this land was used by the city of Austin as a landfill, and in the 1970s, it was closed, cleaned up and opened to the public. The park as we see it today is the result of a $7.3 million dollar investment from the city of Austin in the early 2000s.
Pros
  • Close to I-35 and 71
  • Low housing costs
  • Skate park at Mabel Davis District Park
Cons
  • Removed from the action of the city
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
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
Just now

"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 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Gorgeous, historic residential neighborhood on the Shoal Creek Greenbelt"

Old Enfield is a gorgeous place. Running along the eastern edge of this historic, residential neighborhood is the beautiful, Shoal Creek Greenbelt—a stretch of parkland centered around a hike/bike trail that runs from 38th street all the way down to Zilker Park in South Austin. As it passes through Old Enfield, the Greenbelt widens into an area known as Pease Park. This is the site of two major annual Austin events: the Jazz Festival, and a quirky day-long, marijuana-fueled springtime celebration called Eeyore’s Birthday.

There are abundant trees and green spaces, beautiful historic homes, and a big price tag for anyone looking to rent or buy here. If you’re a student or an average-income Austinite, you will only be able to visit this lovely place.
Pros
  • Pease Park
  • Shoal Creek Greenbelt
  • Historic
  • Green and clean
  • Great schools
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Bustling student-centric locale with great places to shop and hang out"

This is a cool, densely populated area. Lots of students live here, and there are great places to shop and hang out as a result. And everything is open LATE. Some areas-- along Guadalupe for example-- are loud and high traffic, but there are lots of residential pockets where you can find peace and quiet.

Spiderhouse is one of my favorite places to hang out here, and always makes a striking impression on out-of-town guests. It is a sprawling, colorful bar/restaurant /coffeehouse, with indoor and outdoor patio seating, wifi, and a venue that hosts various events and music performances.

Just around the corner is Toy Joy—a crazy toy store open until midnight, Buffalo Exchange used clothing store, and Wheatsville Co-op—the only co-operatively owned grocery store in the state. You can get all kinds of organic produce and healthfood store items, and they also have an extensive bulk section.

I stayed in this neighborhood for my first week in Austin with a couchsurfing host, and I found it an ideal location. Public transportation is abundant, it’s easy to ride a bike from here to downtown or campus, and you feel like you’re right in the middle of everything, even though your house might be located on a quiet residential street.
Pros
  • Close to UT
  • Close to nightlife and shopping
  • Quirky stores and hangouts
Cons
  • High concentration of students
  • No parking
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"great spot for commuters with families"

Metrorail, buses, roadways, and bike trails make getting around North Shoal Creek easy. A great spot for commuters with families. It’s a nice middle-class suburban neighborhood, with a little more interesting businesses and restaurants than you could expect to find in a generic suburb in middle-America.

Here, you can find Bikram yoga, pilates, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, as well as a standard grocery store and a gluten-free bakery. You can also find a good array of restaurants, including Thai, Persian, Indian cuisines.

As far as nightlife, it’s fairly tame: Slick Willie’s Family Pool Hall, Alamo Drafthouse movie theater, and plenty of bars and great restaurants where you can get burgers and other standard American fare.
Pros
  • Great public transportation
  • Persian, Thai & Indian food
  • Many restaurants and shops
  • Peace and quiet
Cons
  • A few miles from downtown
  • A little less trendy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • 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
Just now

"Hyde Park look-a-like, with plenty of convenient shopping & groovy coffeeshops"

North Loop is a great neighborhood, generally considered a sub-set of Hyde Park. Convenient to UT, and all the businesses and amenities aimed at students (including the 24-hour H-E-B grocery store), the North Loop has plenty of great places within its borders.

My favorite places are the Tamale House (85 cent breakfast tacos!!!) and Flightpath Coffee—a large, well-lit coffeeshop with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and a quiet laptop atmosphere. There’s also the Coldtowne movie theater, Monkey Wrench Books, and Epoch Coffee—one of three 24-hour coffeeshops in Austin.

This neighborhood is bike-friendly, quiet, and quaint with small houses, lots of gardens, and a pleasant atmosphere.

There are a few fine dining options—including Foreign & Domestic which has a very creative and socially-conscious menu. And there’s a great juice bar with a Buddhist meditation room not far from here.

This is an ideal neighborhood for anyone with ties to the University of Texas-- especially grad students and professors. Living in the North Loop will give you a quick commute, and plenty of like-minded neighbors.
Pros
  • Tamale House breakfast tacos
  • 24 hour coffeehouse
  • Great eclectic vibe
Cons
  • Far from Downtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
Just now

"seedy North Austin neighborhood with great Asian food"

North Lamar is a small section of North Austin, just about 7 blocks wide and bordered by North Lamar Blvd to the west and i-35 to the east. It’s known for being a bit seedy, and it’s not known for any natural beauty or cultural landmarks. Pretty cheap to find a place here, but it’s not a nice place to settle down.

What do I mean by seedy? Think lots of auto repair places, truck rentals, pawn shops, extended stay motel, and lots of fast food options.

On the bright side, in a city where it’s really hard to find good Asian cuisine, North Lamar is a bright spot: Vietnamese noodles, Korean food, Chinese BBQ, vegetarian Indian food, and both a Chinese supermarket and Indian supermarket. This is a destination in itself.

One tiny spot of green in this neighborhood is Brownie Pocket Park. It’s less than half an acre, but there is a playground here, and picnic tables. Almost exclusively used by the residents who live nearby.

If you’ve got a car, living in North Lamar doesn’t put you too far from downtown—about a 15 minute drive. You’ll just have to contend with the perennial problems of traffic and parking (when you get downtown).
Pros
  • Indian & Chinese supermarkets
  • Indian, Chinese, Korean & Vietnamese dining options
  • Cheap housing
  • Runs along I-35
  • Quiet neighborhood
Cons
  • Not much greenery
  • Far from Downtown
  • Little nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Just now

"home to Austin Community College campus, malls, condos"

With no traffic, it’s a 15 minute drive from North Burnet to downtown. Not a bad commute, but culturally distant from downtown Austin. The major draws of North Burnet are Austin Community College’s Northridge Campus, Texas Culinary Academy, and extensive shopping mall opportunities.

If you’re into health and fitness, you unfortunately won’t find much green space around here, but you will find Austin Canoe & Kayak, martial arts studios, and a great Austin gym called Pump it up.

Rent here is totally affordable, and as long as you have a car, getting around is easy. The metrorail also runs through this neighborhood, which makes commuting downtown that much easier. It's also close by the hospital.

If you’re a student at the community college, the culinary academy or you work in retail, this could be a great place to settle for a little while.
Pros
  • Austin Community College campus
  • Texas Culinary Institute
  • Access to 183 and Hwy 1
  • Great shopping
  • Nice restaurants
Cons
  • Generic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
Just now

"small residential neighborhood with cheap rent, a suburban feel and not a lot of amenities or nightlife"

North Austin is a small residential neighborhood with cheap rent, a suburban feel and not a lot of amenities or nightlife. It’s not known for being 100% crime free—but Austin has a low crime rate overall to begin with—so it may not be of great concern to the average person. On the plus side, this nabe is just north of Brentwood and Crestview, two Austin neighborhoods with a great family vibe and plenty of wholesome kid-friendly spaces, activities, and restaurants.

North Austin is home to a couple of quirky institutions: Pinballz Arcade—a BYOB arcade where you will find tons of video and arcade games for nerds of all ages, and Painting With a Twist—a BYOB art studio where amateur artists come to take painting classes that allow them to walk away with a finished product the very same day.

Also located here, is Quail Creek Park a 16-acre neighborhood park with a playground, soccer field, volleyball court, and half a mile of hiking and biking trails. There is a beautiful stand of trees here, which give dense shade—a welcome thing in the height of Austin summers.
Pros
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to 183
Cons
  • Far from downtown
  • Run-down homes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Low-income neighborhood offering social services, parks & rec"

Montopolis is known for being a low-income, and (relatively) high crime area. Yet, if you need really cheap housing and government assistance, this could be the right neighborhood for you. Not only in the Austin Community College campus located close by, there are also some great parks and rec facilities that offer social services as well.

At Montopolis Recreation Center and park, there is a gymnasium, kitchen, boxing room, meeting rooms, showers and dressing rooms, a playscape, a swimming pool and a softball/football field that is lighted after dark. The rec center also has a free of charge hot meal program for kids in the evening after school.

Citivan Park is a 7-acre park equipped with basketball and tennis courts, a swimming pool, baseball field, playground, and picnic tables and BBQ pits. The park also hosts a low-cost day care and community center called the Montopolis Friendship Center, which is run by volunteers.
Pros
  • Parks & Rec
  • Super cheap housing
  • on the Capitol Metro bus line
Cons
  • High crime
  • Next to airport
  • Run-down homes
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Home of Independence Brewing Co, and close by natural beauty"

Located close by the airport, McKinney sees a lot of noise pollution and real estate prices remain low. There’s an interesting mix of industrial spaces and commercial spaces along Rt 71 to the north, and further south, the neighborhood is mostly residential.

Some of the more interesting enterprises located in north McKinney are Greenling organic grocery delivery, Gemini community theater, and Independence Brewing Company. Independence offers brewery tours, and every first Saturday of the month, the brewery transforms an industrial parking lot on their property into a live music concert venue, and gives out free samples of beer. People bring lawnchairs and dogs and hang out with their neighbors.

Just to the east of the neighborhood is McKinney Falls State Park—a gorgeous 700 acres of preserved land and wildlife. There are waterfalls, gigantic rock formations, and striking views. Not to mention hiking and biking trails, camp sites, picnic areas, spots to fish, and swimming in Onion Creek.

Located nearby the park is Dove Springs Recreation Center. Here, residents have access to a full court gymnasium, weight room, class room, arts and crafts room, computer lab, , dance studio, conference room, lobby and TV room. Outside the rec center are baseball and soccer fields, outdoor tennis and basketball courts, a volleyball pit, a playscape, a swimming pool, and a nature trail for hiking.
Pros
  • Independence Brewing Co
  • Dove Springs Rec Center
  • Affordable housing prices
  • McKinney Falls State Park
  • Natural Beauty
  • Access to both urban and rural areas
Cons
  • constant sounds of air traffic
  • doesn't have cohesive neighborhood feel
  • Somewhat inconvenient
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Great South Austin neighborhood with a lot of local color"

Manchaca is a great South Austin neighborhood with a lot of local color.

The biggest tourist attraction in this neighborhood is definitely the Cathedral of Junk. Essentially, the Cathedral is a giant, 3-story fort constructed entirely out of junk, scraps and salvage, located in a private backyard. It’s located in a normal residential neighborhood. To visit the Cathedral, you simply call ahead to make an appointment or knock on the front door, and the friendly Junk King (he has his name tattooed on his knuckles), will invite you back to play around inside his creation.

Manchaca is also home to Strangebrew Coffee, one of Austin’s only 24 hour coffeeshops, and Live Oak Market—a kind of mom and pop hippie general store where you can find things like paninis, sarsaparilla in glass bottles, and goat milk ice cream.

As far as fitness, you have plenty of options in Manchaca. Here you’ll find everything from pole dancing to martial arts to boxing, to traditional gyms, fitness studios, and personal trainers.

St. David South Austin Hospital is located here, along with many other doctors’ offices and medical facilities.
Pros
  • Cathedral of Junk
  • 24 hour coffeeshop
  • Lots of fitness options
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to SoCo
  • Peace and quiet
Cons
  • Far from downtown
  • Some traffic from 71
  • Some crime
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"Industrial landscape, low-income neighborhood, and one nice park"

This is a pretty utilitarian neighborhood. There is still a fair amount of manufacturing that goes on here, so the industrial look is real. There are plenty of auto repair shops, landscapers, masons and contractors based here. Airport Rd isn’t pretty, but you can find cheap tacquerias, convenient fast food, and a Goodwill along this corridor.

For what it’s worth, this low-income, high-crime rate neighborhood does have a 26-acre green space called Govalle Park. The park is equipped with basketball and volleyball courts, a baseball field and a multipurpose field, a swimming pool, and plenty of picnic facilities and barbecue pits.
Pros
  • Goodwill located here
  • Govalle Park
  • Cheap rent
Cons
  • High crime
  • Run-down homes
Recommended for
  • Singles
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Heaven for grad students and families"

This neighborhood is cool. It’s got a laid-back, kind of funky, yet clean and stable atmosphere. If I was going to stay in Austin long-term and I had ties to the University, there’s no question that I would choose to live in Hyde Park. Rent is on par with houses in other cities—but in Austin $800 seems like a lot, so it’s considered an expensive neighborhood.

There are a lot great restaurants in Hyde Park, particularly on Duval, where there is a little cluster of shops and eateries. Mother’s is a great vegetarian restaurant, and one of the neighborhood mainstays. There’s Quack’s bakery and coffeeshop, Hyde Park Bar and Grill, places to go grocery shopping, and there’s a juice bar not far away. Health and eco-conscious residents shop for organic groceries at Wheatsville Co-op (just to the south of Hyde Park)—the only co-op in Texas, incidentally. It’s seen as an anti-corporate alternative to Whole Foods.

Many of the people who live in Hyde Park are students (lots of grad students in particular) or professors. There are comedy venues here, bike shops, and a good mix of restaurants on the periphery. In Hyde Park you’re close to all the cool student hang outs a bit closer to the university, so you don’t have to go far to find nightlife.

A great place to raise a family, live with a partner, or cozy up with some roommates.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • 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
Just now

"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 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
Just now

"Commuter-friendly suburb not too far from the action"

Located beside Crestview and not far from Brentwood, Highland borders some nice areas of Austin. And it’s a quick jaunt over to all the things that make Brentwood and Crestview great—the farmer’s market, the playgrounds and pools, the kid-friendly locales and activities. Highland itself is less polished than these neighborhoods. Mostly comprised of modest single-family homes, on (skimpy)tree-lined streets, Highland is probably best known for the Highlands Mall. Nearby, is the Galaxy Highland movie theater.

Probably the two coolest institutions of Highland are the Blue Genie Art Bazaar—where you can shop in the open air for locally-made arts and crafts, and Oriental Market—a huge Korean grocery store/video store/housewares shop/restaurant all one roof. The Korean food here is delicious, cheap and authentic. Good Asian food is not easy to find in Austin, so this place is a treasure.
Pros
  • Close to Crestview/Brentwood
  • Oriental Market
  • Blue Genie Art Bazaar
  • Close to I-35 and 290
  • Convenient location
  • Not too expensive
  • Great for shopping
  • a few nice dining options on the borders of the neighborhood
Cons
  • Relatively high crime
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Safe, comfortable and convenient neighborhood, close to UT campus"

Situated in North Central Austin between Hyde Park and Upper Boggy Creek/Cherrywood, Hancock is extremely convenient to the UT campus, and not terribly far from downtown. Mostly single family homes, tucked away on a grid of leafy residential streets, Hancock is a safe and comfortable neighborhood.

A great convenience of living in this neighborhood is the Hancock Shopping Plaza, which houses a 24-hour fitness center and the city’s only 24-hour H-E-B grocery store. This store is huge! They have a great self-serve bulk foods section, and a good selection of organic food in addition to the cheap, cheap mainstream food they specialize in.

Hancock is also home to St. David’s Medical Center and Hancock golf course, as well as Eastwoods Park-- a lovely 9-acre park complete with basketball and tennis courts, playground and splash pad for kids, picnic tables, BBQ pits, half a mile of hiking trails, and a multipurpose field. There is also a statue of Eeyore located here (the donkey from Winnie the Pooh). The statue commemorates the 1963 founding of an annual Austin festival of springtime and hippie-dom called, Eeyore’s Birthday (originally held in Eastwoods Park every April, but held in Pease Park since the mid-70s).
Pros
  • Eastwoods Park
  • Convenient location
  • Green and clean
  • Close to campus
  • Social scene
  • Hancock Municipal Golf Course
Cons
  • Buying is expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
Just now

"Dismal pocket of suburban sprawl sprouted up in a tangle of highways"

For the most part, Georgian Acres is a dismal pocket of suburban sprawl sprouted up in a tangle of highways. The neighborhood doesn’t have a cohesive sense of community or character, but there are some random, interesting things plopped down here.

In addition to the fast food, body shop, auto repair centers located along the highway, there are a few bright spots.There’s the Austin Humane Society, radio station KGSR FM 107.1 which plays a ton of Texas-themed and local music (not always a good thing), and then there’s the newly rehabilitated Payton Gin Pocket Park, planted with native grasses, native spring blooming flowers and redbud trees. Technically, the pocket park is just over the border of N. Lamar—but I still lump it in with this neighborhood.

Probably the most exciting recent addition Georgian Acres (at least since the Vietnamese Sandwhich shop opened), is the Marchesa Hall & Theater, a new Austin venue and event space located in the SE corner of Georgian Acres, near I-35 that presents film screenings, comedy, and music performances.
Pros
  • Marchesa Hall & Theater
  • Home of Austin Humane Society
  • Cheap real estate
Cons
  • Super suburban
  • Defined by the surrounding highways
  • High crime rate
  • Very far from downtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
Just now

"Pricey shopping trap cradled by the highways"

Gateway is a fairly pricey place to live in Northwest Austin, without a lot of charm or character. Most of the housing can be found in apartment complexes and high rise apartments, along with a smaller number of single-family homes and a few smaller apartment buildings.

Gateway is essentially a shopping trap cradled between highway 183 and the Mopac Expressway. Here you’ll find strip malls, outlet stores (Nordstrom, REI), and the Westgate Mall. There is a movie theater located not too far from the mall (Regal Gateway Stadium 16 Cinema), and there are a fair number of eateries. You can find sushi, a Mexican Margarita bar, and the North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery, which has a full bar, standard American fair, and a gluten free menu.

While most of Gateway caters to mall shoppers and the suburban commuters who live there, Gateway is also the site of the West Pickle Research Building, which is home to UT’s advanced technology department. Here, UT students and professors conduct research and development projects. So, there is also a small student population in Gateway.
Pros
  • Shopping
  • Many restaurants
  • Hotels
Cons
  • Apartment complexes dominate
  • Very far from downtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A beautiful, safe and commuter-convenient neighborhood with character"

Garrison Park is a pleasant, well-established residential neighborhood located in South Austin, just south of 290/71, and equidistant from the nearby Mopac Expressway and I-35. The metrorail runs right through here, so this neighborhood has great access to downtown Austin for commuters.

Garrison Park boasts many small locally-owned restaurants with character, a 24 hour coffee house called Strangebrew, Austin Coffee, plus places right in the center of the neighborhood to pick up fro-yo, sushi, or tacos. The Manchaca Road Branch Library, is a great little city library with superfast wifi.

Garrison Park is home to the colorfully named Armadillo Neighborhood Park, a 2 acre wooded area threaded with hiking trails. It’s quite a simple park—a little taste of nature without any amenities. But the city has announced that they will soon be installing garbage cans here. So, maybe a few amenities after all?

Overall, a beautiful, safe and convenient neighborhood with character and soul.
Pros
  • Armadillo Park
  • 24 hour coffeeshop
  • Cheap real estate
  • Family friendly
Cons
  • Traffic getting out of Garrison Park
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
CindyMoss
CindyMoss Have you actually been here? There's a train that runs through, but it is not Metrorail. You cannot use it to get downtown. I think that may be planned, but it is not reality at this time.
2yrs+
MargaretMyrick
MargaretMyrick Yes, to be clear, the metrorail does NOT run through Garrison Park. It is south of 78704, somewhat cheaper. The city of Austin is upgrading Armadillo Park beyond just adding trash cans. Pictures can be viewed here https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfArmadilloParkAustinTexas
2yrs+
Add a comment...
4/5
Just now

"Great place for people who dont want to grow up (completely) to raise kids"

Located in South Austin, just a short drive or bike ride from downtown, Galindo is situated between S 1st and the railroad tracks that would be S 7th, if the road extended further south. This is a small, sweet, affordable neighborhood with access to all the nature and kid-friendly activities that South Austin provides, as well as the restaurants on S1st, and the nightlife of Downtown.

Galindo is home to the South Austin Park and Recreation Center. The park has a playground, 2 basketball and tennis courts, a multipurpose field, and plenty of barbequing and picnicking facilities. The rec center hosts youth sports, camps for kids, and various after school programs.

Along S1st, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and cheap food trailers, salons and spas. Galindo is also home to the Mercury Hall event space (great for weddings), and most quirky of all, the headquarters of the World Adult Kickball Association.
Pros
  • HQ for the World Adult Kickball Association
  • Close to downtown
  • Great South Austin neighborhood
  • Peace and quiet
  • Cheap real estate
  • Diverse neighborhood
  • South Austin Park and Rec Center
Cons
  • Family-oriented may mean boring to many
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Paved-over suburban feel is dominant, Luckily a few ways to escape"

Franklin Park s a low-income neighborhood located in South East Austin, right along I-35 and fairly close to the airport. The neighborhood has an isolated suburban feel, but it’s not terribly scenic. Parking lots, shopping centers, low-income apartment complexes. Luckily, there are ways to counteract the dominant feel of this fairly drab neighborhood.

Quite close by Franklin Park—just to the east, is McKinney Falls State Park—a gorgeous 700 acres of preserved land and wildlife. There are waterfalls, gigantic rock formations, and striking views. Not to mention hiking and biking trails, camp sites, picnic areas, spots to fish, and swimming in Onion Creek.

Franklin Park also has its own little namesake park, too. At Franklin Neighborhood Park, residents have access to a basketball court, softball field, volleyball court, a playground, BBQ pits, and picnicking areas.
Pros
  • Close to McKinney Falls State Park
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to major highways
Cons
  • Far from downtown
  • Boring
  • Desolate warehouse landscape
  • No nightlife
  • Not much personality
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Vibrant cultural, economic, entertainment district of Austin"

Living downtown is prohibitively expensive for most people, but even if you don’t live here, you’re likely to spend time downtown if you live anywhere in Austin.

Towering on a hill above the rest of downtown is Texas’s distinctive pink marble State Capital. It looks like a miniature replica of the Capital building in D.C. In addition to the state government agencies and Austin Convention Center, there are also quite a number of business, tech and financial institutions in this neighborhood. For the average Austinite, this translates into are plenty of useful services, amenities, and businesses, which are located here to serve the business people. If you need a printer or a fax machine, you’ve got the Fed Ex store. If you’re looking for coffee & wifi, lunch specials, or a nice restaurant (or a really nice restaurant), Downtown has got your back.

There’s lots of touristy/entertainment options downtown as well. The Bob Bullock State History museum (near the Capital), several art & cultural museums, the swank, artsy Violet Crown Cinema, dance clubs, gay dance clubs, and of course the wild college bar scene on 6th street.

UT students and other drunken visitors take over E6th street every Thursday-Saturday. The police literally block off the street to traffic in order to avoid foolish accidents. It’s super loud. There are lots of live bands playing in the bars, the people who come here get really dressed up, everyone is smoking in the street, there’s a barker at the door of every establishment, calling out drink specials and trying to entice passersby. Maybe that’s what gives it its grotesque carnival atmosphere.

There are more serene parts of Downtown. The waterfront is probably one of my favorite spots. 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.

Downtown is the vibrant cultural, economic, entertainment district of Austin.
Pros
  • Lady Bird Lake Trail
  • Tons of nightlife
  • Art venues
  • Coolness factor
  • Restaurants galore
Cons
  • Crazy college bar scene
  • Noisy tourists
  • Too much traffic
  • Cost of parking
  • Expensive shopping and food
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Trendy & Stylish
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
Just now

"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
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Charming family-oriented neighborhood with a social consciousness"

This charming family-oriented neighborhood blends seamlessly with Brentwood, its likeminded neighbor to the south. Most of Crestview’s homes were built during the housing boom the 1940s and 50s (and planted with trees which have since grown to maturity, providing nice, leafy streets.

The neighborhood has seen big changes in recent years, such as the establishment of the Crestview Metro Rail Station (which provides rail transportation into downtown Austin), and well as a bike and pedestrian pathway that runs in roughly the same direction. An old chemical plant in this area has been redeveloped to provide high-density housing around the metro station—and this is generally regarded as a change for the good. New and old co-exist nicely in Crestview.

Nightlife is pretty much limited to the seedy Dallas Nightclub. Not Crestview's strong point.

The area is known for having excellent schools, and strong community spirit. They sponsor events like movies in the park, and residents take pride in supporting local businesses (of which there are many). And priority is given to green, clean living. Austin Community Gardens is a gardening co-op focused on sustainability, and an independent group offers gardening classes for children. The neighborhood has an abundance of yoga studios, fitness centers, and educational opportunities for kids (acting classes, swim lessons, dance classes, etc).

Crestview is an excellent place to raise children within a healthy anti-corporate culture. And the commute to downtown or the UT campus is quite reasonable.
Pros
  • Lots of local businesses
  • Lots for kids to do
  • Excellent public transportation & bike trail
  • Family friendly neighborhood
  • Peace and quiet
  • Near major highways
  • Strong community feel
Cons
  • Lacking nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
Just now

"Quiet, commuter-friendly neighborhood with an isolated, suburban feel"

Coronado Hills is a quiet, commuter-friendly residential neighborhood with an isolated, suburban feel. You definitely need a car to live here. The community is essentially a triangular island bordered by highways 290, 183, and I-35, and traffic is often a problem for people traveling to and from Coronado Hills during rush hour.

The neighborhood is fairly bland, and has no nightlife to speak of, but there are a good number of restaurants. In addition to standard American fastfood chains like McDonalds, Chili’s, and Denny’s, you can find average-quality, average-priced food from all sorts of cuisines: Cajun/Creole, Chinese, Korean BBQ, and Tex Mex.

The Highland Mall and movie theater are located just outside the neighborhood, across I-35, and Coronado Hills is home to Nelson Field, a multi-use stadium, used primarily by the local high school football teams.

What some people call bland and boring, other people call safe and comforting.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Cultural heart of South Austin, Plenty of Austin-Weird"

South Austin is the city’s heart, and home of its hippie roots. Bouldin Creek is the cultural center of South Austin. One of the city’s major festivals, South by Southwest (SXSW) is presented in the Auditorium Shores park, right beside the river. And close by you’ll find Austin’s most popular performing arts center, The Long Center, presenting lectures, orchestral performances, ballet, stand-up comics, etc. Nearby is the Dougherty Center for the Arts. Here, in addition to presenting visual art in a gallery space, as well as works of works of theater and film, they offer adult education classes in all art forms.

Bouldin Creek has great access to green space, providing riverside hiking and biking on the southern half of the Lady Bird Lake Trail—a 7 min loop that runs along either side of the river between S Lamar Blvd and S 1st St.

The area draws people in from all neighborhoods, and there’s sort of a city-wide understanding that this is what we’re talking about when we talk about Austin’s cultural identity—much more so than say, downtown. Yoga studios, taco stands, tattoo parlors, bike shops, bizarre vintage stores, and a crazy-colorful aesthetic fill the streets of this neighborhood.
Pros
  • Access to theater and film
  • Access to nightlife
  • Close to the lake and Downtown
  • Old charming houses
  • Great unique shopping experience
  • great place to hike and bike
Cons
  • Can be noisy
  • Can get overcrowded
  • Lack of places to park
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A thriving, accessible neighborhood filled with beautiful, wild parkland"

Approximately one-third of the land in this neighborhood is parkland. And we’re not talking manicured lawns and ball fields. To the south is the Barton Creek Greenbelt East, the continuation of an even-larger park dedicated to preserving the complexity and harmony of a wilderness setting in the confines of a city park. There are miles of trails for hiking and biking. There are caves and waterfalls, swimming holes and rock climbing walls. And because ecosystems have been preserved, there are all kinds of wildlife thriving here.

To the north is Zilker Park—home to Barton Springs, one of Austin’s most famous attractions. There is a spring-fed swimming pool that charges just a couple of dollars for admission, complete with bathroom facilities and lockers. If you don’t want to pay to swim, you can just walk downstream and swim in the creek! I came here on an afternoon when the pool was closed and the banks of the creek were full of people relaxing, drinking beer and splashing in the water with their dogs. One man stood waistdeep in the water, playing a reed flute, and another man was piling up the white stones found in the creekbed to build strange towers that looked like the skyline of an alien city.

Austin Nature and Science Center is located inside Zilker Park hosting programming that raises awareness of the natural world, through programming and kid-friendly hands-on activities.

And in addition to the hiking and biking at Zilker Park, you can rent canoes and kayaks by the hour and take them out onto the Colorado River. I recently went kayaking here, and I got completely soaked, but it was really fun—and amazing that the weather in January can be so beautiful you can go kayaking and be completely soaked and not be cold!

This is the neighborhood for anyone who loves being outdoors. You don’t even have to sacrifice great shops and restaurants or proximity to downtown.
Pros
  • It's a tourist destination
  • Beautiful
  • Short ride to Downtown
  • Close to Barton Springs and Hike and Bike Trails
Cons
  • It's a tourist destination
  • Expensive place to live
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Scenic Opulence, superior comfort"

The Austin Surgical Hospital is located here—offering 24/7 emergency care in addition to general and plastic surgeries and specialized treatments. I’ve heard it referred to as “the Four Seasons of Hospitals.” They bill themselves as the Austin hospital “dedicated to providing superior patient comfort and care.” Swap the word “patient” for “resident” and that might as well be the slogan for Barton Creek Square as a neighborhood.

Outsiders are drawn to Barton Creek Square by the Barton Creek Square Mall, a super-plush mall with an apple store and a movie theater. Residents are drawn by the schools, beautiful homes, convenient shopping, natural beauty, and proximity to the lush and wild thousand-acre Barton Creek Wilderness Preserve.

In the woods of the Barton Creek Wilderness Preserve, there are extensive hiking and biking trails. People come here to walk their dogs and exercise, and the swimming here is great too—you just have to keep your eye out for a good swimming hole as you explore the area.
Pros
  • Apple store
  • Movie theater
  • Wilderness preserve
  • Natural beauty
  • Upscale housing
  • Isolation
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
  • Lack of nightlife
  • Lack of public transportation
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Home to one of the most beautiful parks in Austin"

This former site of the Austin Municipal Airport is now known as the Mueller Development—an ambitious, intentionally-designed neighborhood that will accommodate 10,000 residents when reaches capacity

The centerpiece of this development is new, beautifully designed Mueller Lake Park—built near the site of the old airport hangers. It has ample parking, plenty of jogging/biking trails, an impressive 50-ft fountain, an amphitheater, a man-made lake, resident ducks, a dynamic playscape for kids (which looks really fun to play on), and an amazing view of downtown Austin. Lots of people come here to walk their dogs or to get some peace and quiet. It never seems too crowded here—especially if you compare it to the craziness of Zilker Park. On the other hand, it does see enough traffic to support a few food trailers. You don’t even have to pack your own picnic! The only downside of this young park is that the newly-planted trees are skimpy and there isn’t as much shade as you’d hope.

Mueller Lake Park is the largest of eight little parks which are strung around the neighborhood in an S-shape and connected by a bike trail. The smaller parks tend to serve the residents who live in the nearest housing development, while Lake Park draws Eastside residents from farther afield.
Pros
  • Beautiful park
  • great hilltop view of downtown
  • Cheap real estate
  • Childrens hospital
Cons
  • No public schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"An opulent oasis nestled below Barton Creek Wilderness Park"

Wealthy residents in this hilly South Austin neighborhood live in opulent houses on winding tree-lined streets. And they are surrounded by green spaces. East Oak Hill’s beautiful, 37-acre Gaines Creek Park is located in the southern part of the neighborhood. Meanwhile, the entire neighborhood is nestled in the hills just below Austin’s own thousand-acre wood: Barton Creek Wilderness Park. It’s a massive piece of land that anyone can explore on foot.

East Oak residents are well-equipped with private schools, private health clubs, extensive shopping, businesses that cater to children and families, a shooting range, and beautiful cemeteries. East Oak is a great place to live or die!

This neighborhood is situated in an ideal location. Close to swimming and hiking at Barton Springs, and a quick drive away from all the great restaurants and shopping on South Congress. And it’s close to the highway that will bring you right into the heart of downtown.
Pros
  • Easy access to South Congress
  • Extreme peace and quiet
  • Green and clean
  • Beautiful new homes
  • Mansions
  • Close to mall shopping
Cons
  • Expensive to rent and buy a home
  • Lacks much of Austin's personality
  • No nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
Just now

"Affordable slice of suburbia sandwiched between Rt 71 and I-35"

Ranch-style houses, tree-lined streets, and easy access to I-35 and Rt. 71 are the best this neighborhood has to offer. Another bright spot is the 4-acre green space cared for by local residents called Battle Bend Park, where visitors will find a playground, picnic tables, barbecue pits, and basketball courts.

East Congress is very car-centric. Bike lanes in this neighborhood take riders across several major roads and highways (steep uphill on the ride toward downtown), making a bicycle commute slightly dangerous and stressful.

Essentially, this neighborhood is a little slice of suburbia sandwiched between the Rt. 71 corridor to the airport (lots of hotels & motels for travelers), and major interstate, I-35. Not much going on here, and not too picturesque, but it’s a quick drive from here to other parts of the city!
Pros
  • Community-maintained park
  • Trees
  • Cheap housing
  • Convenient access to thoroughfares
  • Close to Hwy 71
Cons
  • Almost no nightlife
  • Few restaurants and shops
  • Industrial area
  • Not much personality
Recommended for
  • Professionals
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
Just now

"Quiet residential annex of Upper Boggy Creek/Cherrywood"

The other reviews of this neighborhood paint a stark picture, but I personally love this neighborhood. A friend of mine lives here in a small, beautifully renovated house, and she loves living there. It may be a low income neighborhood, but it’s not blighted by charmless housing developments. Instead, Chestnut is a small grid of residential streets with small houses surrounded by little yards. People park along the streets. People walk their dogs. It’s a modest and charming little area, just south of Cherrywood, and there is a definite continuity between the two neighborhoods.

Chestnut is a small residential section of the city, just 7 blocks high and approximately 11 blocks wide. For that reason the neighborhood can’t claim many amenities, but Chestnut residents have such easy access to the attractions of Cherrywood, that this apparent lack is an illusion based on a technicality.
Pros
  • Cute houses
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to campus and downtown
  • 24 hour coffeehouse
  • Diverse neighborhood
Cons
  • Residents below the poverty line
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Low-income neighborhood latticed with thru-roads"

Rosewood is a low-income neighborhood latticed with thru-roads. Railroad tracks run down the middle of this neighborhood, and N. Pleasant Valley Rd is a high-traffic road that crosses through Rosewood on a diagonal. MLK and E 12th are both high-traffic roads that run east-west.

There are several low-income apartment complexes located on roads branching off of Rosewood Avenue. Whenever I bike through this neighborhood, I always notice the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex. They have a big electronic signboard advertising discount movie screenings and upcoming events for teens.

Rosewood Park is located at the southern tip of the neighborhood. Here, you’ll find a lot of open space—some of which looks like an undeveloped flood-zone. But there are also walking trails and picnic areas, as well as the Rosewood Park Recreation Center, complete with swimming pool, and tennis courts.

Along the eastern border of the neighborhood, Airport Rd, are fast food joints and seedy, run-down shops. Overall, this is a neighborhood lacking scenic charm. On the plus side, there are things for kids and teens to do here.
Pros
  • Cheap rental prices
  • Good public transportation
  • Short commute to downtown
Cons
  • Lack of scenic charm
  • Latticed with high traffic thru-roads
  • Higher crime rate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Businesses along the highways, converted industrial art spaces, quiet residential pockets"

There is a great art scene in Govalle, although this isn’t apparent unless you know where to look. 910 Springdale for example is an art venue/event space that looks like a big blue industrial warehouse from the highway. I discovered this spot during the kick-off celebration of the East Austin Studio Tour when I was riding by on my bike and heard Feist blaring from inside. In a warehouse space behind the 7th street H.E.B. grocery store is a great little space that is home to the Rude Mechanicals theater company. There are tons of converted industrial studio spaces in this area, so if you’re an artist and you want to live near your studio, this might be a good fit for you.

In addition to the more industrial or commercial spaces in this neighborhood, there are pockets of quiet residential areas as well. And this is a neighborhood where people come to stay and build community.

My favorite street in Govalle is Calle Limon. Every year, as early as Thanksgiving, the families that live on this block put up an incredible display of lights and Christmas decorations. The tradition dates back about 25 years, and every year the display gets more elaborate. I stopped to gawk at the lights this year, and a man came out of his house to me about the tradition. He told me his last name was Limon, and that the street was named after his grandfather. He added, “I’m related to about half the people who live on this block.”

Another great part of this neighborhood is Govalle Park. It’s 26-acre green space with a baseball field, basketball and volleyball courts, a playground, swimming pool, picnic tables and barbeque pits.
Pros
  • Govalle Park
  • Cheap rental prices
  • Great Mexican food
  • Studio spaces
  • Diverse neighborhood
Cons
  • Far from campus
  • Some sketchy feeling areas
  • Warehouse/ indutrial landscape
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Friendly, colorful neighborhood close to the center of town"

This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Austin. It’s extremely close to the center of Austin, but since it’s east of I-35, it remains set apart from the commercial feel and overwhelming college bar scene of downtown.

E 6th street is the main drag of this neighborhood. My favorite places are the food trailer park just east of San Marcos (picnic tables surrounded by colorful food trucks that serve cheap & delicious food), shabby chic Rio Rita’s for their ice coffee and their back patio, and WriteByNight (a non-profit creative writing center & library). There are lots of great bars, shops, and hair salons on this street. I also really like Progress Coffee down on 5th and San Marcos.

Even better, are the southernmost parts of this neighborhood. There are quiet residential streets lined with colorful, tiny houses that have a lot of character (crazy gardens & decorations). It seems like everyone in the neighborhood says hello to me as I ride by on my bike. It’s a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere in that regard. There are a lot of Mexican families that live here, and there are lots of houses that look like they’re occupied by artists, judging by the intentional design of the houses’ exterior.

There is a huge community garden in this neighborhood down near Festival Beach. And down by the Festival Beach waterfront, there are lots of shady picnic areas and a hiking/biking trail that runs along the river. A couple times a month, the Austin Social Ride convenes down here, which means that hundreds of cyclists meet up and ride in a huge pack across the city—ringing their bells and waving to pedestrians.

If you want to live in a friendly, colorful neighborhood close to the center of town—live here!
Pros
  • Good coffeeshops
  • Secret literary enclave
  • Great food and music.
  • Great nightlife.
  • Diverse neighborhood
  • Few obnoxious tourists.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Charming, kid-friendly and convenient"

Brentwood is a middle to upper-middle class neighborhood situated between Burnet Rd and North Lamar. Both of these roads see heavy traffic and are lined with strip malls—but in addition to the usual bland middle-America big box stores, you can find plenty of eclectic shopping and quality restaurants. Of course the real neighborhood is the residential interior. Out of sight of the major roadways, Brentwood is a really charming place.

There is plenty to do in Brentwood. Up on West Anderson Lane is a great Austin movie theater called the Alamo Drafthouse (you can order food and drink beer in the theater), and Brentwood Park is a great green space for recreation of all kinds. There’s a softball field, a soccer field, a jogging trail, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, a work-out area for adults, a shady playscape for kids, as well as a kite-flying field, and a free pool.

The other notable social/green space in Brentwood is Triangle Park. The centerpiece of an upscale apartment complex with street-level dining and retail spaces (referred to as “The Triangle”), the park and its manicured lawns are free and open to the public. The most popular elements of The Triangle are the informal dog park, the fountain waterpark for children, and the bocce ball courts.

Brentwood is also home to an amazing volunteer-run used bookstore called Recycled Reads where you can get great books SUPER cheap.
Pros
  • Great used bookstore
  • Nice green spaces
  • Away from downtown noise
  • Good neighborhood for graduates
  • Community garden
  • Friendly neighbors
Cons
  • Not as trendy as some other areas
  • Not much nightlife nearby
  • Far from dowtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Just now
Editors Choice

"Quiet, homey low-income neighborhood-- untouched by gentrification"

I have lived here for about 6 months (near Springdale Park), and I really like MLK 183—although to be honest, I didn’t know the official name of the neighborhood until I looked it up on streetadvisor. When I first arrived here from Brooklyn, I came in the summer at the height of the drought and everything was parched and dusty, all the gardens were desiccated, and the place looked absolutely desolate. I thought the houses looked like shacks, and as if to underscore this observation, the only nearby store was called The Shack Corner Store.

But now that the weather has cooled down and things are green again, it’s like the neighborhood has come back to life. People hang around outside and socialize in their yards, and you always see people walking in the streets. I see lots of people walking their dogs, or taking their children to the playground at Springdale Park.

The neighborhood has its fair share of overgrown empty lots and ramshackle and boarded up houses, but overall the small, single family homes in this neighborhood are full of life. I feel safe here. Our neighbors have had break-ins, but only when they were away from home for a prolonged period of time. My housemates maintain a friendly presence at our place. I lock the door when I leave the house and keep my bike chained up—but I would do that no matter where I lived.

Traditionally, MLK is an African American neighborhood, but in the last few years, the affordable rent has drawn young professionals, artists and students from all different backgrounds. You would expect there to be a trend toward gentrification here, but there isn't. I like that.

Most people here drive cars. And without one it’s really inconvenient to get around—unless you have a bike. It’s about a 4 mile ride downtown, which isn’t bad as far as I’m concerned. The bike lanes on 12th street and Springdale make biking really easy. A great institution in this neighborhood is The Yellow Bike Project. It’s a non-profit, volunteer-run warehouse space where you can learn about bicycle maintenance and repair, and even earn a free bike.

I would recommend this neighborhood to anyone who doesn’t mind the 20 minute bike ride to the nearest coffeeshop.
Pros
  • Friendly Neighborhood
  • Good Bike Lanes
  • Cheap Housing
  • Diverse neighborhood
Cons
  • Little nightlife
  • Nowhere to hang out
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Pleasant low-income neighborhoods carved up by high-traffic thru roads"

As a cyclist living just over MLK’s western border (Springdale Rd), I ride through this neighborhood all the time, and I think of it as the Land of Really Steep Hills. “Hill Country” is what Texans call the rural land surrounding the city of Austin, but you could really apply that designation to much of the city itself.

In a certain way, the triangular border formed by Airport Blvd., Springdale Rd. and Manor Rd is an arbitrary one. Defined this way, MLK doesn’t really feel like one cohesive neighborhood, since the MLK triangle is carved up by high-traffic thru roads (E12th and Oak Springs Rd). On the plus side, lots of buses run through here.

And certain areas of the neighborhood don’t feel… “of” the neighborhood. For example, the stretch of newly-built, brightly-colored yuppie townhouses planted along the steep hillside of E 12th, and the Morris Williams municipal golf course north of MLK (an apparent favorite of the Austin golf-playing set, if the yelp reviews are any indication). They're here, but they don't exactly fit the character of the rest of the place.

The best parts of this neighborhood are the residential areas sandwiched between MLK and 12th, and between 12th and Oak Springs. Here, you’ll find leafy streets with tiny houses. These are pleasant low-income neighborhoods, where you can find great rental prices.

Perhaps the defining feature of this neighborhood is the sprawling open land around the Givens District Recreation Center. It’s great to have so much open green space (well sometimes it’s green, but I guess more often it’s dry, straw-colored space). In addition to the rolling fields, the rec center has a gymnasium (not a gym with exercises machines—it’s like, a school gymnasium) and a weight room, as well as a community swimming pool that’s open in the summertime.
Pros
  • Open space
  • Lots of buses
  • Cheap housing
  • Easy access to other east side neighborhoods
Cons
  • Little nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Wholesome, quirky and comfortable"

Situated northeast of the UT campus inside the triangle formed by I-35, Airport Rd, and Manor Rd, Cherrywood is a quirky residential neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets, modest bungalow homes, and community-oriented vibe.

Along the highway, you’ll find all the usual seamy fringe establishments: adult entertainment, fast food, auto parts, etc—but for the most part Cherrywood is pretty wholesome. It’s home to families with children, dog-walking couples, UT grad students, and the like. Here, you can find private acupuncture, massage, and natural healing practices, as well as a birth center staffed by midwives and doulas. A community garden and a zero-waste, packaging-free grocery store (in.gredients) are apparently on their way to Cherrywood, too. In the meantime, Fiesta Mart is the cheap, mainstream, go-to grocery store.

Because the neighborhood’s radio station, performance spaces, music studios and art galleries are tucked away in unlikely storefront spaces or converted homes, the art scene here feels makeshift and decentralized, yet oddly pervasive.

There’s not much of a bar scene; the Butterfly Bar seems to be the only place that self-identifies as a drinking establishment. But luckily the best coffeeshops also sell wine and beer on tap: Thunderbird has sort of a stark Brooklyn/hipster feel, while Cherrywood Coffeehouse is more of an earthy-crunchy Zilker Park/hippie scene.

Great neighborhood if you’re looking for something with a cozy feel and a short commute to the UT campus.
Pros
  • Good coffeeshops
  • Close to campus
  • Clean and green
  • Close to restaurants and theaters
  • Great local flavor
Cons
  • Manor Rd. can be noisy at night
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • 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
Just now

"Beginning Stages of Gentrification"

I ride my bike through this neighborhood every day. The houses are mostly small single family homes set on a neat grid of streets between MLK and E 7th street—bordered by the railroad tracks to the east, and I-35 to the west. Some of the houses are painted crazy bright colors and have repurposed art objects decorating their front yards. Other houses look pretty run-down and weather-beaten, and a couple of the houses along Chestnut Ave are boarded up. But for the most part, houses in this neighborhood are modest, tidy and inconspicuous.

As far as green spaces go, East Central Austin is home to the compact half-acre Chestnut Pocket Park—complete with picnic shelter, barbeque pit, playground equipment and summertime splash pad for neighborhood children, as well as Oakwood cemetery—a historic graveyard dating back to the mid-19th century where several governors of Texas are buried alongside Austin’s founding families and the sole survivor of the Alamo. Despite attention from the parks department, this cemetery has deteriorated somewhat over the years and has been affected by vandalism. On the plus side, it’s a beautiful old cemetery that looks genuinely spooky.

Traditionally, this has been a low income neighborhood, but lately long-time residents are being driven out by rising value of real estate values and consequential increase in property taxes. Subdivisions and condos have also been springing up in recent years.

One of the biggest reasons people from other neighborhoods flock to East Central is Bennu Coffee. Located on MLK—the northern edge of East Central—it’s one of Austin’s only 24 hour coffeehouses, and it’s a very popular spot for UT students and post grads to work on their laptops late into the night.
Pros
  • 24 hour coffeeshop
  • Close to campus
  • Great culture and history
  • Affordable homes
  • Lots of housing
Cons
  • boarded up houses
  • Still in transition
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"An idyllic, if prohibitively expensive suburban haven"

Allandale is a quiet upper-middle class neighborhood located about a 15 minute drive northwest of downtown Austin. As long as you've got a car, this neighborhood is supremely convenient for doing all your errands. The eastern border of this neighborhood is Burnet Rd, more or less a highway corridor of strip malls. Although it’s not much to look at, it's not quite as soulless as it sounds. In addition to the big box stores, you can find sushi, cupcakes, consignment shops, roadside diners and eclectic restaurants. Among the many businesses located along Burnet Rd, there is an unusually high concentration of chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy practices.

For the most part, Allandale is a residential neighborhood with tree-lined streets, single-family homes with high property values, condos, and a few apartment buildings.

Located right in the heart of the neighborhood is Sheffield Northwest Park, an incredibly well-appointed green space complete with duck pond, fishing pier, hiking trail, well-designed playground, baseball field, barbecue pits and picnic tables, as well as basketball and tennis courts that remain lit after dark for evening play. Allandale is also home to the Burnet Rd Farmers market and Northwest Municipal Pool, making the neighborhood an idyllic, if prohibitively expensive place to raise children.
Pros
  • Educational facilities
  • Family firendly
  • Low crime rate
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
  • Lack of nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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