top of page

Must-visit areas of Austin

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

If you are looking to explore the different areas of Austin as you chalk out your itinerary, or looking for a home or to invest property, look no further!


These areas below are in and around Austin and are in no particular order:

  • South East Austin

  • West of Austin

  • Downtown Austin

  • Zilker

  • UT Austin

  • South Congress Ave

  • The Domain

  • Rainey Street

Read about all of them below.


Let's start with South East Austin.

This is where Musk has recently started building his huge Tesla factory - just south of Austin airport. This is the current progress - I found a YouTube video. This area is affordable to live and it is close to the airport.


Right next to the airport is a family-friendly brewery 'experience' that you just have to go to! It is called Live Oak Brewing and they still follow old traditional brewing styles. Their Austin-made beers are smoky and quite tasty. The malt that they use in brewing is roasted over open fire which gives the beer the smokiness. Take the time to enjoy their outdoor, child-friendly beer garden.


Few miles south of this facility is a town called Del Valle. Feels like a quiet town but I anticipate that it will grow quite a bit in the next 2-4 years. North of Del Valle, drive around another town called Manor. There is so much land here - most builders are buying the land and building planned communities. Def more houses than apartments. Both these areas are affordable and seem family - friendly, especially Manor.


OK, now let's go to West of Austin.

This is a posh area called West Lake Hills with homes between $650K-$7 million. Barton Springs greenbelt is close to this area so folks who live here can enjoy that offering as well. This video gives some overview of the West Lake Hills area.


Close by is another neighborhood called Tarry Town. This is a quiet and affluent neighborhood. There are golf courses in the area. Lake Austin flows along the west side of Tarrytown, and there are boat clubs and landings here too. Check this video to learn more.


Looking for hikes? There is one in this area called Covert Park at Mount Bonnell. It was a really short hike but it was fun. The view was fantastic!


Now to the Austin downtown area


Most food places near the Capitol building close by 3 PM and the area is generally deserted after that. The capitol building itself majestically sits on 22 acres of park land, complete with monuments and statues. Around downtown, there are a few noteworthy places.


One to explore is the opulent Driskill is a landmark hotel was built in 1886 as a showpiece of a cattle baron! It was build for a whopping $400K at that time and it is worth over $90 million today! It is the oldest operating hotel in Austin and continues to hold election night parties for many Texas politicians.


The Contemporary Austin is an interesting place that reflects the spectrum of contemporary art through exhibitions and education - Eclectic too! There is a music store in the area to explore, if that's your thing.

Of course, there are other areas in downtown Austin that stay lively way past 3 PM! Check out the area near Seaholm, the boardwalk, the Bob Bullock Museum and seven blocks of 6th Street that has live entertainment and great places to eat and drink!


Zilker is a lovely neighborhood with parks and public pool


In nearby Zilker, there is a 300+ acres park area. Here you will find a crown jewel: The Barton Springs municipal pool. The pool itself measures three acres in size, and is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees, ideal for year-round swimming. It is closed every Thursday but it is a site to see! So in the pictures, you will see one side of the dam is used for swimming and the other side is open for recreational activities. Note that without a plan to swim, swimwear and towel, the authorities will not let you anywhere near the pool area (especially around the pandemic time)


THE UT-AUSTIN CAMPUS

Not too far away from these areas is the University of Texas campus which is urban and spread out. Check out the University clock tower and the UT-Austin's Tech center which is where students can buy or borrow technology. Look for the terra-cotta warrior on the premises and also a sculpture of Barbara Jordan, the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, and the first African-American woman from the South elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.


Between the Boudin Creek and South River city neighborhood, runs South Congress Ave. You must definitely walk around there.


On the map above, you will see names such as Perla's, Allen's Boots, Magnolia Cafe - check all of these spots. In addition, check out Gueros, known for their tacos - they have been around since 1986. And they have the best live music - So much energy on this street!


Park in a parking lot right off Congress and walk down the lively street with shops and restaurants. Pick up pizza from the very popular Home Slice Pizza.


Keep Austin Weird is the slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin, Texas, and you definitely see this unofficial motto here on South Congress Avenue - lots of mom and pop stores here and no real recognizable big chains. A visit to Austin is incomplete without a visit to the famous Allen Boots, a company that has been making Texas-style boots since 1979.


Further South on Congress, stop by to check out 24-hour diner called Magnolia Cafe. Their claim to fame is their 'Sorry, We are Open' sign. And of course, President Barack Obama stopped by Magnolia Cafe for a cup of coffee...at some point...so there's that too.


A new upcoming area in Austin is called The Domain.

This completely new built reminds one of Beverly Hills's Rodeo Drive with fancy stores. The Domain had several other, more affordable stores as well as many awesome restaurants. In addition, there is a huge residential complex along with hotels.


End the night with the not-so-family-friendly Rainey Street.

A ton of energy here! Lots of bars in this area with a ton of people, many dancing on the street. There are also two big areas for food trucks - so several options to pick up food. You may have a slight issue with parking!

 

Green Sea Shells is all about healthy vegetarian eating, green living and family travel - in Los Angeles, and to locations within or outside the USA. Subscribe to our updates and follow us on our social media platforms on FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter.

LA-based Green Sea Shells is an online magazine that encapsulates the vibrant essence of Indian-American life, culture, and family travel. Join our community and subscribe to our complimentary monthly newsletter, Roots & Routes.

Thanks for submitting!

Latest in Travel