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Among rocky cliffs, winding roads, and rolling hills you'll discover the majestic beauty of the Texas Hill Country truly comes to life in Northwest Austin. West of the MoPac Expressway (Texas Loop 1) and north of sections of Ranch to Market Road 2222, the North Capital of Texas Highway, and South Highway 183 lies the roughly defined region. Popular neighborhoods and commercial districts include the Arboretum, Anderson Mill, Balcones Woods, Northwest Hills, Spicewood Springs, Great Hills, and Jollyville. Several corporate headquarters, including many of Austin's famous high-tech businesses, can be found dotting the landscape that also includes towering trees and well-established communities filled with both modest and large homes. You'll find a wide variety of apartments in Northwest Austin, primarily in large communities consisting of multiple apartment buildings in a single complex. Photo-worthy views and technicolor sunsets are among the many perks that come with living in Northwest Austin, one of the quickest-growing areas in the city. Despite its growth (or maybe because of it), you can still manage to find many affordable places to live here.

Wide-open spaces are common between clusters of homes and businesses, and the farther west you travel, the sprawling landscape opens up even more. The easternmost sections of Lake Travis are close enough for a quick escape to its shores, whether it's for an hour or two or a full day of recreation on or near the water. Several parks and trail systems can be easily accessed within Northwest Austin, too, for a taste of the great outdoors at a moment's notice. Because of the undeveloped swaths of land throughout this region, things tend to be a little more laidback and relaxed than other sections of Austin, making it a peaceful place to call home.

Getting Around

Traffic has increased in Northwest Austin in recent years because of so much new development, but cars and other motorized vehicles are pretty much a necessity. If you're staying within the Northwest Austin area itself, the traffic isn't all that bad, especially if you're willing to take toll roads and use express lanes to reach your final destination. Most of the neighborhoods in this locality aren't highly walkable, either, though bike lanes are readily available, and cycling is an option for many people, particularly those not afraid of busy streets or crossing freeways when necessary.

Otherwise, Capital Metro offers bus service with multiple routes and stops in Northwest Austin in addition to a select few MetroRapid and MetroRail services that take commuters Downtown and to other parts of Austin. Only two fairly spread-out light rail lines exist in Northwest Austin currently, so buses will still typically be the best public transit option. Nationally recognized rideshare services are also choices for those without cars (or anyone not wishing to drive and deal with parking), but Austin has other rideshare providers, too, including one served by electric-powered vehicles. And a benefit for owners of electric vehicles? Northwest Austin has lots of charging stations available at key destinations.

When vacation beckons (or a business trip requires air travel), you'll find plenty of options for flying from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. An average of 350 nonstop flights to more than 70 destinations, both domestic and international, depart every day. Another option is a luxury bus service called Volane with first-class seating and beverage/food service.

Food & Drink

Though there are excellent food trucks/trailers and restaurants in Northwest Austin all throughout the area, an abundance of dining options is clustered at The Arboretum. The mixed-use development is dominated by retail stores, office buildings, hotels, and apartments with old and new neighborhoods of homes nearby. You'll mostly find big-name, multi-location national chains (from fast-food and fast-casual through full-service) through much of Northwest Austin, but if you know where to look (including our individual neighborhood guides), you can find some smaller, local and regional options. At The Arboretum, make reservations to dine at favorites including Estancia Brazilian Steakhouse, Hanara Sushi and Grill, and Juliet Italian Kitchen, or walk up to the counter at one of many outposts of Austin-based Amy's Ice Cream. Nearby and elsewhere in Northwest Austin, there's Simar Seafood Cocina for Mexican-style fish preparations, Manuel's for traditional Tex-Mex, Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine and Curry in Hurry for Indian, Ebisu Japanese, and Austin favorite Kerbey Lane Café Northwest for all-day breakfast options and other diner favorites.

On the beverage scene, knock back a stiff cocktail at Knotty Deck & Bar, or for large beer selections and cheap mixed drinks check out Pour House, The Hideout Pub, The Water Tank, and The Local Outpost. Austin is a dog-friendly city, and Mutts Canine Cantina is a fun place to take your dog with both on-site dog parks and a menu for your pups, but also good food and cold drinks for you to enjoy while watching Rover run rampant. Get your day started (or prep for a night out on the town) with a carefully crafted cup of java from several national chains, including Teapioca Lounge, but also local spots Neptune Coffee and Steam & Squeeze inside Whole Foods Market. Among the other grocery store options in Northwest Austin, stock your pantry at Trader Joe's, H-E-B, Randalls, H-Mart Austin, and Sprouts Farmers Market.

Shopping

Individual neighborhoods in Northwest Austin offer their residents a handful of shopping options in Northwest Hills Village, Far West Retail Center, Gateway Shopping Centers, Lakeline Mall, and The Arboretum. Big-box retailers and department stores are the norm. In nearby North Austin, however, an abundance of shopping options can be found at the massive, multi-acre Domain.

Things to Do

Northwest Austin isn't lacking in high-concept entertainment options, some of the top draws being the Regal Gateway 4DX & IMAX Theater, Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park, iFly Indoor Skydiving Austin, the Austin Aquarium, and Main Event Austin Texas, a complex featuring bowling, billiards, laser tag and a videogame arcade, as well as food options and a full bar. Outside, surround yourself with nature at the Great Hills Neighborhood Park, or go for more undeveloped terrain at Bull Creek District Park, a peaceful oasis on the river with dog-friendly trails and other activities on 48 acres. Of course, if you have the time (or live in the far western parts of Northwest Option), Lake Travis and its many water sports and leisure options can be accessed with ease.

Colleges & Universities

Concordia University is the largest educational institution in the Northwest Austin area, while smaller-scale campuses include Galen College of Nursing, Strayer University, Austin Community College Northridge Campus, WGU Texas, and LeTourneau University. The University of Texas at Austin can be reached in 20 minutes or less from much of Northwest Austin, too, making it viable for many people to commute in exchange for lower rents farther out.

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