Searching for the right urban Austin Neighborhood that is walking distance to all of the amenities is someone would want, but without the need for a car is a goal for many Americans these days. In the last ten years, Austin has become much more of an urban core and currently ranks as 33rd in the country on the walk score. This is in part due to the actions of the city to bring more businesses into downtown Austin. Austin has also worked to adapt its streets to become more bike-friendly, adding biking lanes on many of the central Austin neighborhoods. The best walkable neighborhoods in Austin are the areas surrounding the University of Texas and Downtown Austin.
Here is our list of the top 10 walkable neighborhoods in Austin, TX:
Within the last 15 years, the downtown skyline of Austin has morphed into a collection of high-rise condos and commercial towers. Residents that occupy these buildings have the benefit of enjoying craft cocktails at the numerous bars and restaurants that are located within walking distance to this area, and with the fairly recent addition of Trader Joe's grocery store, they now have an option other than the Whole Foods market that was the sole source for groceries in Downtown for many years.
Living within the neighborhood makes it accessible for its residents to enjoy nearby activities and commercial establishments. Plus, walking has plenty of benefits such as reducing the risks of heart diseases, obesity, and it helps your mental health by keeping your stress level low. Bike programs are improved and the lanes on the streets are protected which makes it safe for the residents to bike to work, run some errands, or walk to bus stops.
2. West University
Also known as West Campus, this is the heart of off-campus living from UT. Around more than 17,000 are living in the area and most are undergraduate students. It one of the densest neighborhoods in the state. West University is the second most bike-friendly area is Austin. There are ample sidewalks especially at the popular Guadalupe Street which serves as a gateway to UT’s main campus.
This lively neighborhood is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Austin. Faculty, staff, graduate students and ACC students also reside in the area although if they prefer a more quiet neighborhood, they opt to live within the nearby neighborhoods North Campus and Hyde Park.
3. The University of Texas - Austin
The huge student population influences the neighborhood environment and the local businesses around it. Most residents in the area don’t have vehicles instead, walking, public transportation and bikes are the way to go. Shops, restaurants, entertainment options such as live music venues and performance halls are only walking distance. No need to go far to grab lunch or dinner, there are casual, ethnic dining, and even fine dining restaurants that are close to homes. To the south of UT are Downtown Austin and South Austin which gives more choices for entertainment and nightlife! Residents that live in the area, especially students, get to save more when walking compared to owning a medium-sized car that can cost up to $12,000/year from gasoline to maintenance. Living in one of the walkable neighborhoods in Austin can help you become not just healthier, but also saves you some cash.
Located in this is an area that houses many of the university students that attend UT.
4. North University
North University or North Campus, is the second most sought-out neighborhood among UT students. Plenty of students in the area bike or walk to UT since it’s only about a 6-minute bike ride and a 20-minute walk to the campus itself. North University is Austin’s most bike-friendly neighborhood. The bike streets lead to UT are Duval, Speedway, and Red River. Bikes are also great when it comes to the benefit of the environment since it lesses the greenhouse gas emissions that are usually caused by the transportation sector. North University is filled with trees and green spaces which makes it desirable to live in.
The historic area is also known for its walkability with a walk score of 85/100. This is because of the convenient access to shopping, dining districts as well as public transportation and green spaces since the area is filled with trees and it is quieter compared to West University. To the south of the neighborhood is a football field and other athletic venues.
5. Central East Austin
Not that far from the University of Texas - Austin is a neighborhood that has always been known for its walkability. Central East Austin’s walkability has a walk score of 81/100. Residents can easily access restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and shopping areas. The neighborhood itself is abundant with sidewalks, public transportation is available and quick access to major highways making it easier to commute to other parts of the city.
The area is diverse from the young single, couples, longtime residents, and the old. Residents are also friendly. Because of the walkability, you get to know the neighborhood more that also helps strengthen your social ties bringing a sense of belonging between you and your neighbors.
6. Old West Austin
Selected as one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods in America by the American Planning Association, Old West Austin is a beautiful neighborhood that is close to the University of Texas - Austin and Downtown Austin. Single-family homes occupy the area as well as apartments and condos that can be found at Enfield Road. Green spaces are abundant in the area, Pease District Park and scenic vistas in the neighborhood will be highly appreciated by nature-lovers.
Grocery stores and restaurants can be walked within the neighborhood. It is also a haven for bikers because of the bike lanes that are available in the area.
7. Holly District
Located at East Austin is a neighborhood that attracts young professionals and families due to the large and upscale homes in the area, condos, and apartments. Another area that represents Austin walkability because of its proximity to downtown and Lady Bird Lake, a gorgeous attraction in the neighborhood. Public transportation is very accessible to the area as well as options of restaurants, entertainment, nightlife, and outdoor recreation.
Some of the recreation areas near the neighborhood are Pan Am Park, Metz Park and Recreation Center, and Edward Rendon, Sr. Park. Enjoy playing sports, walking your dog, go for a run, swim, and hiking in within the area.
8. East Cesar Chavez
E. Cesar Chavez a diverse and vibrant neighborhood to the east of Downtown and Holly. Homes in the area have diverse styles, local businesses are booming, and dining and nightlife choices are plentiful. E. Cesar Chavez is one of the best walkable neighborhoods in Austin because of its close distance to downtown and public transportation is convenient. Residential areas in the neighborhood are home to modest homes and upscale condos.
9. The Triangle
Also known as the Triangle State, the neighborhood appeals to the singles, couples, the young and professionals. The Triangle is a master-planned community located in the north of Central Austin. Homes, luxury condos, and apartments with close distance to many amenities are loved by the residents. Supermarkets, cafes, bars, businesses are very accessible to the residents that almost everything is just a few steps away from their home!
10. Bouldin Creek
One of the oldest Austin neighborhoods is Bouldin Creek. Today, it is a quiet and safe neighborhood in South Austin. It is conveniently located close to Downtown as well as to many local businesses, and restaurants. Hike and bike trails are found at Barton Creek and Zilker Park which are close to the neighborhood.
Bouldin Creek’s location is just a walking distance to many of the large attractions in Austin. A lot of families, students, and artists enjoy living in the area because of its distinct character and proximity to many commercial and green spaces.