Moving to South Austin? Here’s what to look forward to!
When Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones said, “I like it here in Austin. Anybody got a room?” it’s safe to say he was spending plenty of time in South Austin. Nestled below Lady Bird Lake, and stretching to Slaughter Lane in the south and Mopac and I-35 on the west and east, this hip slice of the Live Music Capital strikes the perfect balance of peaceful neighborhood living, along with all the fun you could want from downtown—just in a more laid-back way. South of Lady Bird Lake, you can hike a wooded trail, jump off of a rocky waterfall, and discover the best of live music seven nights a week—all in just a few square miles. And the convenience is key—from certain spots in the 78704 zip code, you can even see the city skyline from your porch!
It’s no wonder that South Austin has been home to such famous names as Elijah Wood and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, because down this way, the living is truly easy. After all, you’re closest in town—even within walking distance—to Austin City Limits and SXSW, which draw international crowds each year. But it’s not just large-scale festivals here that you’ve got front row seats to. Try breaking in your boots on the dance floor of the legendary honky tonk Broken Spoke, where a young Willie Nelson got his start. Stroll the south’s main thoroughfares—S Lamar, S 1st, and SOCO—for some of the city’s hippest coffee shops and bars. Splurge on your wallet and appetite at the award-winning Uchi restaurant, or hit Kerbey Lane at 3.am. when you get a hankering for their to-die-for seasonal pancakes. Or catch a sunset and city skyline view from the lawn of the Palmer Center, which holds countless arts and community events throughout the year—roller derbies, craft fairs, city-wide garage sales, and even free and family-friendly summer movie and concert series.
If the great outdoors is more your thing, take comfort knowing that you’re never far from it in south Austin. After all, this side of the city is the home of the beloved Mexican-tailed bats (move over Elijah Wood!), and you can watch them make their haphazard flight every night from May-November. The winding trails and limestone cliffs of the Barton Creek Greenbelt will be your second home—whether to jog, bike, walk the dog, or simply escape to clear your mind. And Zilker Park is the perfect place to meet friends for a pick-up soccer game or picnic. As for swimming, you can try a different spot every day in the week—but the 70-year round temps of Barton Springs Pool is a city favorite—especially for the free night swims. Or stop on the way home from your downtown job to catch a sunset paddleboard on Lady Bird Lake.
Austin’s unofficial “Keep it Weird” slogan couldn’t be more true in general south of the lake, and its colorful neighborhoods are no exception. Here, it’s not surprising to see a hot pink Elvis statue perched atop your neighbor’s roof, or a front fence made from cattle skulls, or a house designed to look like a stone castle standing next to a solar-paneled mod home. Whether your new home is a modern apartment within steps of the beloved Alamo Drafthouse movie theater, a historic Craftsman among the reaching live oaks of Travis Heights, or a sunny 1960s Barton Hills rancher, you’re always within a short walk, bike, bus, or ride from hiking some secluded trails, swimming nearly year-round, and discovering your new favorite band. Because in South Austin, you really do have it all.