Central Austin encapsulates everything it means to be a spirited urban center: access to Austin’s bustling downtown, home to the Texas Capitol, lined with historic Victorian houses, and home to museums, fine dining, dive bars, and music venues. North of the Colorado River and bounded by State Route 30 to the east, this area is made up of several diverse and distinctive neighborhoods, each with its own history. Among these are historic Clarksville, idyllic Judge Hill, stunning Pemberton, laid-back Clarksville, charming Old Enfield, community-centric Deep Eddy, and classic Brykerwoods.
Among these thriving neighborhoods are places like The Warehouse District, which makes up around half of the downtown area and is brimming with vitality. Renovated historic warehouses now house upscale dining and impressive shops, and every night the streets come alive with music and activity. You can head to historic Sixth Street for more entertainment and shopping or marvel at the Victorian architecture along Congress Avenue—no matter your aesthetic needs, Central Austin has something for everyone.
This diversity is reflected in the housing options as well, which range from lavish sky-rise condos overlooking the twinkling expanse of the city, to updated craftsman homes set in art districts, to traditional single-family houses that are within walking distance of downtown.
What to Love
The magnificent skyline, including the historic Texas Capitol
Ample activity, nightlife, and culinary excellence
Central Austin is perfect for anyone looking to be in the middle of it all—nightlife, culture, activity, music, art, business, shopping, and dining. Everything you need to have the ideal urban lifestyle is right at your fingertips here, yet with a manicured, historic charm that makes the area feel like home. Central Austin boasts an excellent school system, and with the many employment opportunities, it’s a great place for families and individuals alike looking for a lively place to call home.
Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment
One of the most popular locations to shop at in Central Texas is 2nd Street, a retail and dining district right across from the Colorado River downtown. Here, you can browse clothing boutiques like Hemline and the edgy, AustinRocks, and fall in love with specialty stores like Luxe Apothetique—which is a unique blend of fashion, bath, and body care, candles, and home décor.
For neighborhood fine dining with a history of excellence, look no further than Jeffrey’s. This delightful establishment features French-American classics and upscale items such as caviar, aged prime beef, and decadent seafood. Dine in at the chic and trendy Clark's Oyster Bar and indulge your cravings for freshness at their impressive raw bar, or enjoy their shaded outdoor awning while you devour the catch of the day.
Sister restaurant to Jeffrey’s, Josephine House is set in a cheerful cottage and replete with a charming, eclectic atmosphere. They serve breakfast, brunch, happy hour, and dinner, and for those out and about looking to share a drink and conversation with friends, Josephine House also has a snack menu that includes cheese and charcuterie boards to pair with your drinks. An out-of-this-world eatery, Galaxy Cafe lives up to its name with gourmet sandwiches, unbeatable weekend brunches, and a full gluten-free menu.
Things to Do
Central Austin has more than just the exciting busyness you’d expect from a colorful urban district. Full of museums and greenspace, Central Austin is also great for those who favor learning experiences, art, and the great outdoors.
Exhibits are always changing at The Contemporary Austin, and the museum’s dedication to education and learning makes it a popular spot for families. One of the most renowned facets of The Contemporary is the sculpture park at Laguna Gloria, which is over 14-acres. The art-in-nature site includes permanent sculpture exhibitions, gardens, and even a cafe at the Moody Pavilions.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love the abundance of parks and open spaces in Central Austin. At Covert Park at Mt. Bonnell, visitors can climb user-friendly stairs to Austin’s highest point and view the cityscape from above. Looking to cool off on those sweltering Texas summer days? Visit Eilers Park, also known as Deep Eddy, and take a swim in their unique spring-fed rectangular pool among the beautiful trees.
Central Austin is home to a number of excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
Casis Elementary School, PK & K-5, well-rated public elementary school
Highland Park Elementary, K-5, highly rated public elementary school
O’Henry Middle School, 6-8, highly rated public middle school
Austin High School, 9-12, highly rated public high school
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