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5 Austin Neighborhoods: No Car Required

Check out our 5 favorite Austin neighborhoods where cars can be entirely optional. Click through the neighborhood tabs to come with Jill on a video walking tour!

Walk Score 90

Who lives here?
The median rent hovers around $2,000 (per bedroom) and condos in downtown high rises sell for an equally high amount.  Austinites who live downtown enjoy a walking commute to offices, stores and attractions.  

What’s the vibe?
Austin has a hopping nightlife, even on weeknights!  Downtown dwellers enjoy a plethora of options for live music, great drinks and top notch food.  

What resources are in the neighborhood?
Higher end grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Royal Blue Grocery offer boutique culinary options for residents of downtown condos and homes.  There’s plenty of shopping opportunities on 6th Street and beyond.  Downtown residents can also enjoy nature in Waterloo Neighborhood Park, or take a stroll on beautifully maintained lawns at the state capitol.

What CAN’T you find in this neighborhood?
By its very definition as the urban center of Austin, there’s much more concrete and high rises in downtown than there are old oaks – you’re more likely to stand in the shade of a 30 story building.     

What are homes in this neighborhood like?
While there are still a number of lovely historical homes in downtown – most of the dwelling places are going to be condos in one of the many buildings that create Austin’s ever changing downtown skyline.  The higher you go, the more expansive the views!  
While the median price for a home in the downtown area is $605,000 – the sky is, in some cases literally, the limit.

What makes this neighborhood “walkable”?
Not only is downtown compact, it also is well served by public transit with buses for close in access and CapMetro to head out to the suburbs.  Downtown dwelling Austinites can easily walk to their favorite coffee shop, take in the capitol or stroll along Lady Bird Lake.

Use our Google Map below to tour these neighborhoods yourself, and visit our YouTube channel to learn more about living in Austin!

Walk Score 75

Who lives here?
Hancock is smack dab in the middle of “North Central Austin”.  This neighborhood offers shelter to many of Austin’s creative types as well as professionals looking for easy access to downtown, families and University of Texas students.  

What’s the vibe?
Residents of Hancock enjoy a fairly quiet atmosphere and easy access to amenities.  While I-35 and 38th street are busy thoroughfares that run through the area, most of the neighborhood is residential – a place where people bike, walk and play golf on the local 9 hole course (in true Austin style, you can bring your dog along for the game, as long as it is on a leash).  

What resources are in the neighborhood?
Amenities include a large shopping center anchored by a HEB grocery store, as well as a variety of small businesses scattered throughout the area including theaters, parks, museums, a swimming pool and hiking trails along Waller Creek.  

What CAN’T you find in this neighborhood?
Hancock may be close to downtown and the University of Texas, but it is decidedly residential.  You’ll have to venture outside the area if you’re looking for bright city lights or nightlife.

What are homes in this neighborhood like?
Houses in Hancock are typically of the older, bungalow style – almost all the more modern homes are condos or shared lot buildings.  University of Texas students flock to the few apartment buildings in the area.  The neighborhood’s highly desireable location keeps the price per square foot high, with the median home price for this area being $384,000 despite the typical house being both older and smaller than a more suburban dwelling.

What makes this neighborhood “walkable”?
Close to the city’s center, Hancock has great access to public transportation on 38th street.  The University of Texas is easily bike-able and not too far to walk, either.  Mature trees line the residential streets, offering shade and a quiet calm to residents on their way to take an evening stroll across the golf course or catch a show at the McCoullough Theatre.

Use our Google Map below to tour these neighborhoods yourself, and visit our YouTube channel to learn more about living in Austin!

Walk Score 74

Who lives here?
Families find Sherwood Oaks irresistible.  Proximity to St Edwards means it’s especially attractive to tenured professors – however higher prices mean that this area is out of the budget of most students.

What’s the vibe?
Sherwood Oaks is established, quiet and well manicured.  Homes here may be a bit more eclectic – but in a higher end fashion than the more affordable areas.  Mostly you’ll see well manicured lawns and mature trees.  However, its proximity to South Congress does lend a slightly esoteric air to this area.

What resources are in the neighborhood?
Oltorf street is the busy thoroughfare that runs along one edge of Sherwood Oaks, offering easy access to small stores by foot and making bigger box stores a quick drive away.  The Northern edge of the area features Big Stacy Neighborhood Park, which includes a community pool and plentiful opportunities for hiking.   

What CAN’T you find in this neighborhood?
Sherwood Oaks is a small neighborhood – while residents enjoy the quiet vibe, they have to drive for most grocery or home goods needs.  Thankfully, easy access to South Congress and I-35 makes this a quick and relatively painless excursion.

What are homes in this neighborhood like?
Homes in Sherwood Oaks are typically single family residences, built starting in the 1940s.  They range wildly in size from under 500 square feet to over 3,000.  One thing that’s consistent – the price you’ll have to pay for this idyllic location.  Median home price in the Sherwood Oaks area is $574,500.

What makes this neighborhood “walkable”?
Quiet residential streets make Sherwood Oaks a very safe place to take a stroll.  The neighborhood’s southern edge has several restaurants and smaller stores along Oltorf and in the North, Big Stacy Neighborhood Park offers residents lots of great walking – and a friendly community pool.

Use our Google Map below to tour these neighborhoods yourself, and visit our YouTube channel to learn more about living in Austin!

Walk Score 69

Who lives here?
Cherrywood attracts a fantastic variety of artists, young families and students.  Older homes and its location on the East side of I-35 make this neighborhood slightly more affordable than Hancock or Hyde Park, across the highway.

What’s the vibe?
Lively and colorful, Cherrywood gives off a very friendly vibe.  Expect to get to know your neighbors a little more than you might in other neighborhoods.  The annual art fair attracts visitors from across the city!  

What resources are in the neighborhood?
Cherrywood is home to several Austin favorite eateries, including Cherrywood Coffeehouse, Eastside Cafe and Mi Madre’s.  Residents make great use of the pool, playground, tennis courts and fields at Patterson Park.  Salvage Vanguard and Vortex theatres offer great performances year round.  Just across I-35 from the UT campus, it’s an easy drive for students and UT employees.

What CAN’T you find in this neighborhood?
While there IS a great artistic community – the club scene tends to stay away from Cherrywood.  The sets at Cherryood Coffeehouses’ outdoor stage are primarily acoustic.  This is the casual Austin scene, with a quite laid back approach.  You also will have to go elsewhere for big box or newer stores.  But, given that Cherrywood’s backyard is the Meuller neighborhood – that elsewhere isn’t very far!

What are homes in this neighborhood like?
Craftsman style homes make up the majority of this older neighborhood.  There’s a decent smattering of Mid-Century Modern and newer builds/remodels – just enough to keep the neighborhood from feeling stuck in the past.  With a median sales price of $353,759 – homes in Cherrywood are a bit more affordable than their counterparts across the highway.  

What makes this neighborhood “walkable”?
Quiet, shady streets, local stores, cafes and Patterson park offer one of the most pleasant walkable neighborhoods in Austin.  It is common to see local residents walking their dogs or sitting out on their front porch.

Use our Google Map below to tour these neighborhoods yourself, and visit our YouTube channel to learn more about living in Austin!

Walk Score 68

Who lives here?
While a few decades ago, Brentwood was considered “out there” – Austin’s rapid growth means that its smack dab in the middle of everything.  Families with kids, who don’t want to live in the suburbs and can appreciate smaller, older homes find a great deal to love in Brentwood.  There are some rental units – but mostly older apartment buildings.

What’s the vibe?
A vibrant, evolving neighborhood – residents are a mixture of retirees, young families and professionals.  Check out the “wall of welcome” a 120 foot mural along Woodrow Avenue!

What resources are in the neighborhood?
Caffeine addicts find a pleasant respite at Genuine Joe’s Coffeehouse, and Brentwood offers a fine collection of small cafes, and lunch spots such as Little Deli & Pizzeria or Hill-Bert’s Burgers. The lovely This neighborhood also offers easy access to downtown and the 183 loop – it’s almost literally in the middle of the city.

What CAN’T you find in this neighborhood?
While residents can easily venture out to Black Star Co-op or Vigilante in nearby Crestview for brews and nightlife – the shady streets of Brentwood are more likely to host neighborhood potlucks.  You’ll also be hard pressed to find spacious homes in Brentwood – the normal being smaller, older floor plans.

What are homes in this neighborhood like?
Well cared for Craftsman or Mid-Century Modern ranches are the standard in Brentwood.  But you’ll also find a mixture of homes from other eras, built as the neighborhood slowly increased in popularity.  Median home prices are currently around $400,000.

What makes this neighborhood “walkable”?
Streets lined with mature trees, well established homes and a feeling of community make Brentwood feel like a safe haven in the middle of the city.  Residents also get to take advantage of many bus routes and the Cap Metro Rail’s Crestview station is a quick walk or bike ride away.  

Use our Google Map below to tour these neighborhoods yourself, and visit our YouTube channel to learn more about living in Austin!