As the capital of Texas and the live music capital of the world, Austin is a truly unique city to visit. From the funky flavors of South Congress to the beautiful campus of the University of Texas, there is so much to see and do in this vibrant city. Use this list to navigate through the neighborhoods on your next trip to Austin!
Updated May 2022
As the beating heart of Austin, downtown is full of commerce, cuisine and cocktails. In this bustling district you can expect to find the Texas State Capitol, Zilker Park, Red River Street, the Warehouse District and tons of bars and restaurants to try. Start your full day of downtown fun at Bangers for a boozy brunch on Rainey Street to a night out on Sixth Street.
Photo courtesy of Visit Austin
Also known as SoCo, South Congress is a vibrant street full of trendy shops and eateries. After waiting in line to snap a photo in front of the 'I Love You So Much' mural on the side of Jo's Coffee, grab a bite to eat at local favorite, Joann's Fine Foods. Stroll down SoCo for stellar shopping from big brands like Aviator Nation to thrift stores, and don't forget to pass by the iconic Austin Motel red sign.
Photo courtesy of Jo's Coffee
Central Austin is home to the University of Texas, Hook Em' Horns! West and North Campus are primarily filled with students, who love grabbing a sandwich at Foodheads before a night out at Cain & Abel's. Drive down Guadalupe Street until you reach, The Drag, the western edge of campus lined with shops and restaurants like famous breakfast spot Kerbey Lane Cafe. Head over to North Loop for some cute coffee shops along with funky furniture shopping at Revival Vintage with major mid century modern vibes.
North Austin may be more of a quiet residential area that runs along Burnet Road, but its shopping is unparalleled. With about every store you can think of, The Domain is THE place to shop in Austin. Spend a day shopping at your favorite stores before stopping for lunch at Flowerchild or drive over to the Arboretum for the ultimate Trader Joe's shopping moment.
Photo courtesy of Austin.com
Just south of downtown, this expansive area is known for its quaint houses and vintage vibes that offer a true taste of old Austin. Have a picnic in Zilker Park and stop by the Botanical Gardens before taking a dip in the Barton Springs Pool. Venture over to Riverside for a day of paddle boarding or kayaking on Lady Bird lake the down South Lamar for a divine dinner at Loro.
East Austin is the eclectic area east of downtown that is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. Hit up the farmers market in Mueller after your morning run around luscious Lake Park. Chow down on some finger lickin' good bbq at famous Franklin Barbecue before your night out on East Sixth Street, full of eclectic bars that earned it the name "Dirty Sixth".
Photo courtesy of Franklin BBQ
As the nicest area in town, West Austin houses the main residential neighborhoods of the city. From the Westlake Hills and Tarrytown to Lakeway and Lake Travis, there are some absolutely beautiful homes in these areas. If it's your first trip to Austin, be sure to go to the iconic Oasis Restaurant with incredible views of Lake Travis. For more of a local vibe, check out Littlefield's Tacos + Coffee or Mozart's Coffee overlooking Lake Austin.
Photo courtesy of The Oasis