Whether you’re a lifelong Texan looking for a new place to call home or someone who is exploring a move to Austin, Texas, finding the right neighborhood is all about identifying what type of atmosphere you want to live in. Fortunately, Austin has it all. From lively neighborhoods lined with restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques to quiet, tree-lined avenues and lakefront living, Austin has real estate opportunities for everyone. Best of all, this city is consistently ranked among the top places to live in America. Discover the live music scene, culinary innovation, and natural beauty of this metropolis with this list of the best areas to live in Austin.
The Best Neighborhoods and Areas to Live In Austin
East Austin is a rapidly developing up-and-coming neighborhood in the city of Austin. Once home to mainly bohemian artists, this area has undergone many changes in recent years. While it had a reputation for higher crime and unsavory dealings, this reputation has been replaced by a trendy, hipster vibe that is more welcoming to young professionals and families.
It’s increasingly in demand thanks to its close proximity to downtown Austin and a high concentration of the best tacos and Mexican food in the city. The area has a large variety of single-family homes and new condominiums are rapidly rising for those who prefer apartment living to homeownership.
Downtown Austin is the obvious choice for people who want to be smack in the heart of this thriving metropolis. Real estate in this densely populated area consists mainly of condominiums ranging from loft-style apartments to luxury penthouses.
While not as affordable as other Austin neighborhoods, living in downtown Austin is far more affordable than other cities. The average apartment here offers 1,500 square feet of living space, significantly more space than other city apartments at comparative price points. The best part of living downtown is you have easy access to all the natural highlights including Lady Bird Lake and Zilker Park as well as nightlife and music festivals.
Allandale is the perfect blend of business and fun. It’s located just a few minutes from the heart of downtown and next to Crestview but is still a quiet residential area that’s perfect for raising a family. The area is ideal for young professionals who want to get serious about business, but want to be able to blow off some steam without having to travel from the suburbs to the city. This neighborhood consists mainly of one and two-bedroom houses, making it perfect for small families or for professional couples who want a little extra space.
Old West Austin
If architecture and history are your thing, Old West Austin is the best neighborhood for you. This small neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic places thanks to its preservation of architecture and building styles dating from the mid-1800s to the early 1950s. Not only is this neighborhood beautiful architecturally, but it’s also in the heart of green space with easy access to Lake Austin. Here, you’ll find hiking and biking trails as well as parks to satisfy your craving for the great outdoors.
Tarrytown is a stunning neighborhood featuring award-winning schools, quiet streets, and beautifully designed historic homes. The neighborhood is three miles from downtown Austin and consists mainly of single-family homes although there are a few condominiums in the area as well. The neighborhood offers plenty of green space with parks and trees as well as access to the lake.
Barton Hills is a nature-lovers dream. The neighborhood offers easy access to Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool, and downtown Austin. The neighborhood maintains an old-world charm with homes dating back to the early 1930s. This neighborhood prides itself on a friendly and supportive atmosphere that welcomes new residents into the fold, offering a touch of small-town living within the confines of the bigger city. It’s like living in the Texas Hill Country without having to be so far away from the city.
Mueller is a dynamic Austin neighborhood built on the footprint of the old city airport. The Mueller Community that took control of the development kept the old control tower and hangars, giving the neighborhood a unique vibe. The airport hangars were repurposed as studios and sound stages — a tribute to Austin’s place in the music scene.
The area has also established itself as an eco-conscious community. The layout of the neighborhood is walkable and includes a blend of single-family homes and apartments in addition to small business offices and restaurants. The development features green spaces including Lake Park, which offers 30 acres of nature replete with jogging trails and picnic opportunities.
The Domain is the ideal neighborhood for people who want to feel like they are in the heart of it all. This neighborhood is home to a blend of corporate offices, dining opportunities, and shopping experiences. All of the area’s attractions are within easy walking distance and since The Domain is home to Facebook’s Texas headquarters, you’ll find a thriving professional scene here as well.
Hyde Park is a dream neighborhood for people who enjoy the history of Texas. The area maintains strict planning rules that aim to highlight the historical architecture of the city. Here, architecture is king and you’ll find homes built with Queen Anne, Craftsman, and Victorian style. The lawns are all impeccably maintain and gorgeous trees line the boulevards, making this neighborhood feel like it’s own small town. Best of all, a quick bike ride or bus trip will have you in the heart of downtown Austin in about 20 minutes.
North Loop is a vibrant neighborhood that is increasingly at the top of lists of the best areas to live in Austin. Sandwiched between Mopac and I-35, it’s located close to the University of Texas, making it a popular neighborhood for students and young professionals. Here, you’ll find streets lined with vintage shops, innovative coffee houses, and nightlife that is Austin-personified.
South Austin is a tribute to the bohemian roots of this eclectic city. In this neighborhood, you’ll find everything that embodies the “keep Austin weird” moniker. A blend of ranch-style homes and modern builds keeps this area interesting while the hip trends of SoCo (South Congress) and South Lamar make this a truly lively place to live. Located along the Colorado River and close to Lady Bird Lake, the opportunities to kayak and paddleboard here are endless. You’re also within easy walking distance to live music venues and some of the best food in the city.
Avery Ranch is a community development located 20 miles north of downtown Austin and just west of Cedar Park. The family-friendly neighborhood is located close to award-winning schools in Round Rock and consists of 4,000 homes. On-site, you can enjoy the 18-hole Avery Ranch Golf Course and a 60-acre lake that’s perfect for a sunset paddle.
Westlake Hills is an affluent Austin suburb — located northeast of Rollingwood — known for its easy access to the city and exceptional schooling opportunities. This neighborhood is home to the cities best school districts with many of the public schools achieving national acclaim for their curriculum.
The area is not known for its affordability and home prices here are often higher than the national average. While living here can be pricey, you’ll get your money’s worth in terms of quality of life and longevity of home value. It’s the perfect place for successful individuals who are looking for a great public school system and suburb living with easy access to the hustle and bustle of the city. This luxury neighborhood is also close to natural attractions including Zilker Park, the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and Red Bud Isle.
Cherrywood is located along the eastern edge of Central Austin. It is a lively little neighborhood that blends old Austin influences with new trends and developments. Here, you’ll find real estate opportunities from adorable bungalows to money-making duplexes if you’re looking for a little rental income. The area is largely residential, but still close enough to downtown to not feel entirely suburban. The vibe is a unique blend of hipster, trendy, and old school and you’re never far away from eateries and boutique shopping.
Discover the Best Areas to Live in Austin
Austin is one of the best cities in the United States. The cost of living here is significantly more affordable compared to similar metro areas on both coasts including San Francisco and New York. Known for its love of live music and a vibrant culinary scene, a move to the Austin area offers opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors and to socialize with other Austinites.
Wherever you decide to live in Austin, you’re never far away from exciting nightlife, laid-back vibes, and natural treats like Lady Bird Lake and biking trails. Whether you’re new to the area or planning a move, there a ton of activities in Austin for the whole family. Enjoy your new home and hit Lake Travis with a paddleboard or get to work at one of the coworking spaces and coffee shops across the city. Keep things weird and dive into everything the city has to offer with a move to one of the best areas to live in Austin.