|Median Rent||Median Sqft|
|1 Bed||$1,646||791 sqft|
|2 Beds||$1,968||1,095 sqft|
|3+ Beds||$2,695||1,931 sqft|
As a region of Austin developed more recently than the areas in the north, Southwest Austin features mostly new construction in both homes and apartments, though well-established areas exist, as well. The boundaries of Southwest Austin are roughly Texas State Highway 71/US Route 290 to the north, MoPac Expressway to the east, Ranch Road 12 to the west, and south to about FM 967. At the point where US 290 transitions from a highway to a smaller route through the Texas Hill Country when it becomes Highway 71, the West Oak Hill neighborhood appears. This area has long been one of the most sought-after places to live in Southwest Austin, rivaling the region’s equally desirable Circle C. The neighborhoods toward the northeast are more densely populated with both residential structures and businesses, and the further south you go, the more rural the landscape between clusters of development, many of which are master-planned. Other popular neighborhoods and towns that are part of Southwest Austin include Dripping Springs, Driftwood, and Western Oaks. Several luxury Southwest Austin apartment communities and townhomes have sprung up throughout, though you can still occasionally find units in older, much smaller apartment buildings. Newly constructed complexes typically have the most desirable amenities, with resort-style pools, yoga studios, state-of-the-art fitness centers, and community workspaces for remote officing among the biggest draws. The setting throughout much of Southwest Austin is lush, green, and picturesque, with winding roads, rolling hills, steep cliffs, and mature trees rising toward the blue Texas skies. Numerous parks, greenbelts, trails, creeks, golf courses, and tennis centers offer locals plenty of different ways to enjoy the fresh air away from the hustle of the city center.
The farther away from the central parts of Austin you venture in any direction, the fewer the public transportation options, so it's essential for most locals to own a car or other vehicle for getting from Point A to Point B. That said, you will find Capital Metro bus routes in Southwest Austin that connect to newer MetroRapid and limited MetroRail services in Downtown and Central Austin. Cycling is hugely popular in this part of Texas, and much of Southwest Austin is easy to explore by bike. If you don't have your own bike, you can rent one by the hour from a bikeshare station (though service is more limited the farther away you get from the main business districts). As for getting around on four wheels if you don't own a car, in addition to the usual rideshare services, Austin has other rideshare alternatives, including one served by electric cars. On a related note, Austin has a high concentration of charging stations all over town due to a large concentration of BEVs and EVs.
For longer-distance transportation options, the city is served by the beautiful, easy-to-navigate Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. With an average of 350 daily nonstop flights to more than 70 domestic and international destinations, getting to an exotic, far-off locale is easy. For traveling within Texas to its other major cities, Vonlane is a luxury bus service with first-class seating and on-board bus attendant offering food and beverage service. The company has a pickup/drop-off point in Downtown Austin where you can then travel to San Antonio, Houston, or Dallas without driving yourself or booking a flight.
Southwest Austin boasts a large number of dining options, many of which are so popular that they're destinations for tourists and Austinites from all parts of town. It's also worth noting that nearly every restaurant in town offers substantial vegetarian and vegan options on their menus. The must-visit list of restaurants in Southwest Austin includes steakhouse Carve American Grille, Jack Allen's Kitchen Oak Hill for southwestern fare, Kerbey Lane Café Southwest for all-day breakfast, District Kitchen + Cocktails for New American, Hecho en Mexico for Yucatan-style Mexican, Mangierri's Pizza Café and Pieous for Italian, Torchy's Tacos and Tacodeli for Tex-Mex and non-traditional taco options, Keepers Coastal Kitchen for seafood, and Lil'Doddy Burger Lab for big beefy sandwiches. One of the biggest draws in Southwest Austin is The Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, a top contender on many Best Barbecue lists over the past decades. It is BYOB and often has live music, both of which make waiting in long lines more enjoyable.
On the refreshing (boozy) beverage front, Waterloo Ice House, 400 Rabbits, Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar, Backspin Texas Sports Bar & Grill, Satellite...Eat. Drink. Orbit., and Square Rut Cava Bar are all fun places to grab a drink or hang out with friends for a few hours. Southwest Austin is one of the closest parts of town to Fredericksburg and the heart of Texas Wine Country, so it has actual wineries worth a visit, including Duchman Family Winery and Driftwood Estate Winer. And for the morning java fix, Summer Moon Coffee and The Acoffeecary Shop both excel at caffeinated creations.
Well-appointed shopping centers in Southwest Austin include Barton Creek Mall, Sunset Valley Marketfair, Southpark Meadows, Shops at Arbor Hills, and Oak Hill Centre. The bulk of offerings at each is national brands, but you'll also find local retailers. Breed & Company is a hardware store with so much more to offer, including unique home goods, making it a fun shopping experience, as well as an essential for home improvement projects. Grocery stores in Southwest Austin can be found in nearly every major development and include H-E-B, Southwest Farmers Market, Marigold Market + Café, Whole Foods Market, and Costco for bulk-shopping needs.
Dine-in movie theaters are a popular diversion (and fantastic for one-stop date-night destinations), and Southwest Austin has two prime examples, Alamo Drafthouse and Moviehouse & Eatery by Cinépolis SW Austin. Much of the other things to do here involve the great outdoors, starting with The Austin Zoo, a non-profit rescue zoological center that's home to primates, big cats, exotic birds, and several examples of native Texas wildlife. Hiking trails are a big draw in the area, too, and Slaughter Creek Trail and Hielscher Tract Greenbelt are great ones. Barton Creek Wilderness Park features both Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls—both worth the hike and photo-worthy much of the year, especially after a good rain. Nearby Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is worth exploring for a few hours, and across the street, Veloway Park is a destination reserved exclusively for skateboarders and cyclists. Golfers have options aplenty, too, with top courses including Circle C Golf Club, Driftwood Golf Course, and the Grey Rock Golf and Tennis Club.
Located directly in Southwest Austin, the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences brings several new residents to the area. In neighboring South Austin, there's St. Edwards University, the US American College of Business and Healthcare, the Ann Richards School for Young Business Leaders, and Austin Community College: South Austin Campus. The northern neighborhoods of Southwest Austin are also about 15-20 minutes from the main University of Texas at Austin campus, making the region a desirable place to set up residence for students seeking more affordable rental options.
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