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Downtown Austin

The nationally-revered epicenter of good eats, live entertainment, and a spirit of creativity.

Welcome to Downtown Austin

The nationally-revered epicenter of good eats, live entertainment, and a spirit of creativity

Known as the undeniable pulse of Austin, the city’s downtown district is bursting with historical beauty and a lively population that melds southern hospitality with an effortlessly cool urban mindset. The highly walkable streets are lined with niche shops, energetic music venues, and some of the top dining institutions in the nation. 
 
Downtown Austin’s bustling activity and dynamic personality have been ever-present since the early 1830s when the downtown area started to be seen as the heart of the city. Here, the vibrant red granite of the Texas State Capitol Building contrasts with the effervescent glitter of the city’s high-rises and radiant modern designs. 
 
Replete with luxury and new-builds, Downtown Austin is packed with magnificent high-rise condos, swanky studios, multimillion-dollar penthouse apartments, and soaring units overlooking the waters of the Colorado River and Lady Bird Lake.

What to Love

• More than 80 restaurants featuring global and locally-inspired cuisines
• Offbeat, eclectic personality mixed with nonstop entertainment and events
A 24/7 lifestyle of exploration, creativity, and good times

Local Lifestyle

Living in Downtown Austin means being within easy walking distance from some of the nation’s top music venues, restaurants, retailers, nightlife, and entertainment districts. Different from other urban cities, Austin is equally known for its warmth of character and friendly, inclusive personality, which makes falling in love with the city a breeze.

Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping

Austin is a veritable foodie paradise and a haven for retail enthusiasts, with a well-earned reputation for producing extraordinary local offerings. Shop along the busy 2nd Street District, and you’ll be treated to a vast range of goods that run the gamut from international home décor to apothecaries, fair trade global jewelry, and vintage apparel. 
 
Exploring the cuisine of Austin is a must for visitors and residents alike, and much of the culinary excellence is right at your fingertips in the central downtown neighborhood. Lonesome Dove makes its mark as an eclectic western bistro specializing in unique games such as rabbit-rattlesnake sausage and elk. 
 
Arlo Grey, the lakeside jewel pioneered by Chef Kristen Kish, serves Italian- and French-inspired dishes. The Austin Proper Hotel is a mecca of fine dining, featuring La Piscina — a Tex-Mex-serving, poolside heaven situated on the 5th floor — and The Peacock, a ground floor restaurant dishing up exceptional Mediterranean flavors.
 
With a world of flavors to choose from, other noteworthy restaurants include:

Red Ash 
Emmer & Rye
Simi Estiatorio
Comedor
TenTen
Wu Chow
Hestia
Kalimotxo
QI
Sammie’s
Swift’s Attic
Walton’s Fancy & Staple
Taquero Mucho
Irene’s
Devil May Care
Ranch 616
Lamberts BBQ
Parkside

Things to Do

Downtown Austin is a wellspring of epic festivals, performance venues, must-see architecture, and culture — so much so that it’s nearly impossible to name every exciting activity there is to do here. Several of the city’s most beloved facets for entertainment include:
 
Music & Media Events

SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive Conferences and Festivals
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Old Settler’s Music Festival
ATX Television Festival
Austin Film Festival
Austin Reggae Fest
Capital City Black Film Festival
Hot Summer Night

Events in Arts, Culture, and Cuisine

Carnaval Brasileiro
Austin Food + Wine Festival
Austin Oyster Festival
Pecan Street Spring Arts Festival
Austin Pride Parade
Texas Book Festival
4th of July Fireworks and Symphony
Austin’s New Year
Austin Marathon
Texas Tribune Festival
Trail of Light

Places to Visit

West Austin Studio Tour
Bat Fest
Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake Trail
The Bullock Texas State Museum
Blanton Museum of Art
The University of Texas at Austin
Texas State Capitol Building
Esther’s Follies

Schools

Downtown Austin is home to a number of excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include institutions within the Austin Independent School District, which serves grades PK & K-12 and is among the top-ranked in the county. A few notable schools within the AISD include:

Davis Elementary School, PK & K-5, highly rated public elementary school
Kealing Middle School, 6-8, highly rated public middle school
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