It’s said that about 100 people move to Austin every day. Why, exactly? Its reputation as an “it town” endures year after year and shows no sign of slowing down. It may be known for its funky, hipster vibe (“keep Austin weird”), but it’s much more than that. When most people think of the city, they think “live music.” But live music is just the start. It also boasts a solid economy thanks to the State Capitol, the University of Texas at Austin, and a growing tech hub. Quality bbq and Tex Mex food, a casual, laid-back tone and sunny weather more days than not are also significant draws.
Though it’s now around 2,000,000 population, it still feels like a small city at heart, where you’re never too separated by that many people. Those desiring an escape from city life can drive out to the surrounding Hill Country to nearby wineries and spas for a reprieve. When the Texas heat is too much, residents can dive into one of 50 public pool facilities. SXSW and ACL are obvious draws, bringing some of the biggest music acts to town twice a year. Now that your interest is piqued, we’ll break down specific neighborhoods that you may find of interest if you’re relocating to Austin.
Synonymous with “hip,” Austin’s ever-growing Eastside is a mecca for the city’s younger, up and coming crowd. Farmer’s Markets, food trucks, an Alamo Drafthouse, and a strip of eclectic restaurants, bars and live music options are part of its appeal. If you’re into the arts, lean left politically and crave a more “gritty” vibe, you’ll feel right at home here. You’ll find many growing families and young professionals laying down roots. As far as affordability, it was once more of an accessible option, but if you act soon, you may still be able to find something reasonable.
If you’re of the mindset that “more is more,” Westlake may be the neighborhood for you. Sprawling, palatial estates dot the rolling hills of this community. Subtlety is generally not found here and it’s a place where people that like to live large can feel comfortable. Not that there aren’t more modest homes mixed in, but by and large you will find grander displays of wealth. Gated communities, golf courses and the nearby Austin Country Club (host of the annual celebrity-studded Dell Match Play) and Barton Creek Resort offer playgrounds for the affluent. You’ll find Teslas, Bimmers and Range Rovers zooming by. The public Westlake High School enjoys a great reputation and its football games held in its state of the art stadium are packed. Michael Dell of Dell Computers is believed to have a home here, as well.
If “old money” understated elegance is your vibe, you will likely find the leafy neighborhood of Tarrytown a good fit. Centrally located, it’s a gorgeous community that bumps up against Lake Austin. Though it’s close to all the bustle of downtown, the shaded streets highlight a charming mix of house designs, make you feel as if you’re miles away, allowing residents the best of both worlds. You’ll find families and retirees here, along with some UT students renting a few apartments on the neighborhood’s outskirts, though its beauty and serene tone will appeal to basically anyone. By and large, it attracts families with more budget to work with. Nearby Deep Eddy, the state’s oldest swimming pool, is a popular summertime spot as well as the beloved public Lion’s golf course. High profile people who have had residences in Tarrytown include Family Guy creator Mike Judge, Matthew McConoughey, Dennis Quaid and Lance Armstrong.
Similar to the Eastside, South Congress or “SoCo” is now prime real estate in Austin. Centered around South Congress Avenue, it has boomed in popularity in recent years. The main drag features live music, restaurants, shopping, Jo’s coffee and Amy’s Ice Cream. Shoppers will love Maya, Allen’s Boots, and Impeccable Pig. Keep an eye out for Elijah Woods who is rumored to own a home in the nearby Bouldin Creek neighborhood. Similarly, Willie Nelson has been known to make drop-in appearances at the famed Continental Club, an unassuming music venue. If you are young, want to be in the center of things and don’t mind higher noise levels, living South is a good option for you.
Head a little north of downtown and you will come across a more suburban feel in the Domain area. It tends to draw families and single people who don’t want to pay high rent or housing costs but still want the accessibility of downtown nearby. The Domain, a nice outdoor shopping center that boasts options like Neiman Marcus, Tiffany and Co. and Vince, offers outdoor dining and a good place to window shop the day away. Families looking for bigger lots with all the conveniences of typical strip malls will find North Austin a great option.
No matter where you wind up, our parting advice to those moving to Austin is to simply be yourself. Don’t try too hard and you will find the city welcoming you with open arms.
Fluency Corp can help your employees and their families assimilate to their country, city, and neighborhood through private English lessons (or other languages) in home, in office, or online. We transform communication with employees and their families so the success of international relocations are greatly increased. For a free consultation, contact us or call us at (800) 401-3159. Check out our success stories.