Downtown Austin has changed dramatically since we profiled it over three years ago. This is a great time to revisit what makes the area between Lamar Boulevard to the West, I-35 to the East, 11th Street to the North and Lady Bird Lake to the South so popular.
Downtown is home to several distinct districts, each with their own scene. Congress Avenue is one of the widest streets in town and offers a dramatic and breathtaking view of the Capitol.
Sixth Street is Austin’s (in)famous entertainment district full of historic buildings converted to restaurants, bars, shops and even offices. Every weekend, Sixth Street closes to all vehicular traffic between Congress Avenue and I-35 so the tourists and locals can enjoy cheap drinks and colorful nightlife.
The Second Street District, which is just north of Lady Bird Lake and is bordered by Colorado and San Antonio streets, is Austin’s high end shopping and dining district. Anchored by the W Hotel and Residences and the Moody Theater, home to Austin City Limits, this area really brings a big city feel to our little town. It’s a must-stroll around Christmas time, when several of the store windows are transformed into Holiday Displays.
Rainey Street, just south of downtown and north of Lady Bird Lake, has come into its own in the last ten years. Many of the bungalows were derelict until they were redeveloped into restaurants and bars with beautiful, large patios and outdoor seating areas.
The only school physically located downtown is Pease Elementary, the oldest continually operating school in Texas. This all-transfer school is popular with many people who work downtown. Downtown residents in grades Kindergarten through sixth attend nearby Matthews Elementary.
Middle School students who reside downtown attend O. Henry Middle School, whose mascot is the Mustang and who is named for the famous writer and Austin resident O. Henry.
Downtown students who are in grades nine through twelve attend Austin High School, located right on the edge of downtown. Austin High is over 130 years old and its mascot is Mr. Maroon.
There are tons of employers downtown, including Main Street Hub, which offers an automated marketing platform that integrates social media, Web, mobile and e-mail marketing to extend local businesses' customer service, manage their online reputation and leverage Main Street Hub's merchant network. Their offices are on Congress Avenue.
Umbel has a Customer Data Platform that empowers marketers to unify and access their own customer data to improve customer experiences. They are located in the old Seaholm Power Plant on Cesar Chavez.
There is no shortage of things to do in downtown Austin. For entertainment, check out what’s playing at ACL Live at Moody Theater. One of the most intimate concert-going experiences in town, with practically perfect sound design, Moody Theater will spoil you for all other live music in town.
Or go next door and take in an art house flick in style at the Violet Crown Cinema. They’ve got food and booze to boot!
If you love beer, Craft Pride on Rainey Street features 54 taps all with Texas craft brews. For extra fun, visit for Trivia night on Tuesdays or life music on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
G’Raj Mahal, also on Rainey, has delicious Indian food in an amazing setting with both indoor and outdoor, (great for people watching), options.
Koriente is located on East 7th Street, just one block west of I-35. They specialize in healthy Asian fare, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Lamberts Barbecue is located in the 2nd street district and serves upscale barbecue in a swanky environment. They often have live music upstairs.
There are a lot of apartment options downtown and more are being added all the time. AMLI Downtown is popular with those looking for a mid-rise apartment building (as opposed to a highrise), in the heart of the city. They welcome large pets, have a fitness center, and some units have downtown views. The apartments have gorgeous concrete floors and black appliances.
The Beverly is located in the heart of Austin’s music district and has a free parking garage underneath. Units include washers and dryers, granite countertops and the community is very pet friendly, with a large pet park on premises.
AMLI on 2nd is a downtown highrise with skyline and Lady Bird lake views. Units feature stained concrete floors, walls of windows, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
Ready to make downtown Austin your home? GIve Austin Apartment Specialists South a call today at 512-200-7535 to take advantage of our up-to-the-minute knowledge of vacancies, rent, move-in specials, and amenities at all the best apartments in downtown and beyond!