Ah, Austin, Texas. It’s lively (loud), happening (crowded), and hot (well, that’s just true — there’s no escaping it). Whether you’re someone who loves city life and is begrudgingly moving to the burbs because of a life event, or you’re someone who loves the tranquility of suburban life but still needs to be close to the city, the best suburbs of Austin will give you access to all the good things the city has to offer and help you escape some of the not-so-good things.
Moving to the suburbs doesn’t have to mean signing up for a life of golf courses and strip malls (unless you’re into that sort of thing). Each of the places listed below has access to the amazing restaurants, nightlife, and events you’d expect from any of the best Austin neighborhoods. Plus, they have low crime rates, low poverty levels, and great schools. Take a look at these 10 places that prove the burbs don’t have to be boring.
The 10 Best Suburbs of Austin
Make your wishlist for the perfect hometown, and get ready to start checking things off. These Austin suburbs have something for everyone.
1. Round Rock
Round Rock is the perfect place for urbanites becoming suburbanites. Located just north of Austin, the city is still considered part of the Austin-Round Rock metro area — one of the largest metro areas in the country. That close proximity ensures you’ll have easy access to highways for your commute. But the true beauty of Round Rock’s sisterhood with Austin is that many of Austin‘s best restaurants choose to open second locations in the suburb.
This town has plenty to offer couples looking to start a family — even beyond fine dining on date nights. The city of Round Rock is ranked the safest city in Texas and one of the safest in the U.S. It has an A-rated school district and lots of family friendly events, including live music on Main, market days, and an annual art walk.
According to Zillow, the median home price is $291,680, making this one Austin suburb where you can still find your perfect family home at an affordable price.
2. Cedar Park
Located just west of Round Rock, Cedar Park is a not-so-small town with just over 70,000 residents. The city of Cedar Park was originally founded by pioneers, and today, its A+ public schools are ready to teach that pioneering spirit to your kids.
The town has more college degrees and a higher per capita income than the national average. It’s also not short on ways for residents to spend their extra income. With restaurants ranging from casual taco spots to boutique coffee shops, the town has taken cues from Austin‘s culinary scene.
Median home prices are higher than in Round Rock, coming in at $325,540.
Leander is another suburb on the north-west side of Austin. With great schools and 10 different city parks, it could be the right choice for people looking to start a family. The city hosts regular events, including an annual kite festival and a Spring Egg-stravaganza for the kiddos.
You’ll be further outside the city in Leander with a 40 minute commute to downtown Austin. But that distance also translates to more peace and quiet. This is a great suburb for the not-city folks looking for an escape.
Leander borders both Cedar Park and Round Rock with median home prices comparable to Round Rock at $293,521.
Just west of Austin, Lakeway is a small but upscale town of around 15,000 people. It’s located in scenic Texas Hill Country along a stretch of the Colorado River. In fact, you can be lounging lakeside at Lake Travis in under 20 minutes. But that’s hardly the only draw for outdoor enthusiasts. In this picturesque town, you can take a stroll along the Hamilton Greenbelt or go for a sail on the Colorado River whenever you need a breath of fresh air.
With an A+ school district, a per capita income of double the national average, and a poverty rate under 4%, Lakeway certainly seems idyllic. But it comes at a price.
Lakeway has some of the more expensive real estate on this list, with median home prices of $501,681. Still, home buyers who have the funds will find that this is easily one of the best suburbs of Austin. So it may be worth the investment.
5. The Hills
The Hills is such an itty-bitty city that it actually can’t be called a city at all. It barely qualifies as a small town. Instead, it’s considered a village with just 2,500 people. This village is completely surrounded by Lakeway, but does not have access to the Colorado River — except through its neighbor.
The highlight of The Hills is its park and nature trail. Even from the comforts of your own home, you can enjoy sightings of Hill Country wildlife like deer and the occasional coyote. If this pastoral hamlet sounds perfect to you, you should know that real estate prices run even higher than in Lakeway, with median home prices of $557,276.
6. West Lake Hills
Another riverfront suburb, West Lake Hills is just across the Colorado River from West Austin. This is another tiny city with just over 3,000 residents. It’s only a 20 minute commute to downtown Austin, which may have you wondering if it’s fair to call it a small city at all. But even at the doorstep of Texas’s fastest-growing city, West Lake manages to feel like a rural escape.
Here, you’ll get scenic Hill Country nature and can spend lazy days along the riverfront. West Lake Hills is perfect for young professionals who need to be close to their Austin-based office, but would rather spend their time hiking Hill Country trails.
However, with the same beauty of Lakeway and the Hills and even better proximity to the Austin metro area, this neighborhood is the second most expensive on the list. Median home prices come in at $1,340,553.
Located to the southwest of Austin, Rollingwood borders Zilker park. Here, you’ll be as close as you can get to Austin without being in the city limits. It’s only a 15 minute commute to the University of Texas and a 20 minute commute to downtown Austin.
This suburb has A+ public schools and easy access to public parks. While the area doesn’t border the Colorado River, it’s only a few blocks away. And it’s close to Eanes Creek, the Austin Nature & Science Center, the Botanical Gardens, Barton Creek, and the Barton Springs Pool.
This is the most expensive suburb on the list with median home prices of $1,387,595. Those prices probably explain why it’s also the least populous city on the list, with only around 1,500 residents.
8. Bee Cave
Time to leave the millionaires in their mansions and get back to some suburbs that most Austinites can afford. Bee Cave is located in Travis County. It borders Lake Austin and offers parks with a network of trails.
The city of Bee Cave has A-rated schools and an active arts foundation. If you have a little artist in your family, they’ll love Bee Cave’s sculpture park. There are also regular community activities, including a farmer’s market, kids’ story time, book club, knitting club, and seasonal events.
The median home price in Bee Cave is $590,830.
Buda is in Hays County — just south of South Austin. The city has a lower-than-average crime rate (about one-quarter of the national average), plus it has a higher-than-average number of residents with college degrees, and higher-than-average per capita income.
The town’s main street features old brick buildings for a truly Texas feel. Downtown Buda has a regular farmer’s market and annual events that include the Weiner Dog Races, a fajita fiesta, and a Boo-da Halloween Bash.
Median home prices come in at $285,389.
This northeast Austin suburb is a great choice for middle-class families. You’ll have Round Rock to the west and Austin to the south, giving you lots of options for nights out.
The city of Pflugerville also offers plenty of events and amenities. It has a farmer’s market, 40 miles of trails, and a lake. There’s also music in the park and a variety of seasonal events and festivals (or Pfestivals, as they like to say).
Pflugerville has good schools and offers a lot of diversity, which is great for teaching kids that Texans come from all walks of life. The median home price is $262,908.
Bringing It Home With the Best Suburbs of Austin
Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in America. As more people crowd in, you don’t have to feel boxed in. These suburbs are among the best places to live in the Austin area. They let you avoid the crowds of downtown Austin, stretch your legs in local parks, and send your kids to great schools.
But the burbs aren’t just for families anymore, these 10 towns offer the great restaurants, quirky cafes, and outdoor recreation that young professionals are looking for — and unlike central Austin, several of the places on this list have affordable home prices and a lower cost of living.
So get out there! Explore the best suburbs of Austin, and find your sanctuary just outside the city.