Austin is obviously growing at a rapid pace, and a big part of what draws people to Austin is the small footprint. After all, even though Austin is around 1 million people now, the Austin City Limits aren’t all that large! We have a fairly small downtown space, and driving from one side of the city to the other doesn’t take very long (depending on traffic, of course.) But if you’re moving to Austin and you’re hoping to have some nearby coffee shops and taco trucks, what are the most walkable neighborhoods in Austin?
We’ll start centrally and then work our way out. After all, Downtown Austin will obviously be one of the most walkable areas of Austin - it was designed in a grid system to be compact, so grocery stores and workout studios, and restaurants are all easily accessible by foot. But then we’ll move to some nearby Austin neighborhoods that are best enjoyed on foot.
We’re NOT including the scores Walk Scores and Bike Scores for each neighborhood. Why? Because, quite frankly, they’re not all that accurate. Instead, we’ll just share a local Austinite’s perspective on the most walkable neighborhoods in Austin, which comes from a decade of experience visiting, buying homes, and living in various neighborhoods in Austin.
(For instance, West Campus gets a really great walk score, and that’s because it’s FLOODED with UT college students who live in high-rise apartments. Unless you’re a UT college student, you most likely won’t want to live in the party neighborhood that’s full of 19-year-olds.)
What Are The Most Walkable Neighborhoods In Austin?
1. Downtown Austin
Downtown Austin is easily the most walkable part of Austin regarding places you can easily visit. If you live in downtown Austin, you can walk to grocery stores, local Austin restaurants, boutique workout studios, fun coffee shops, and other appointments like hair and nail salons, eyebrow threading, and even doctors' offices.
If you truly want to live in Austin and walk EVERYWHERE, downtown Austin is where you need to live.
Clarksville is practically downtown Austin but just a little bit further west. It’s an actual “neighborhood” (yards and mailboxes and cars parked on the street), but when you’re outside, you can see the Austin skyline in the near distance.
Clarksville has some of the original bungalows from the mid-1900s, but a lot of them have been torn down to create new custom homes. So the neighborhood is an eclectic mix and new and old.
Keep in mind that the streets are quite small, and they’re typically packed with parked cars. But if you want to be able to easily walk to downtown Austin yet want to live in a house instead of a highrise condo, Clarksville could be for you.
3. Bouldin Creek
Located on the south side of the river, about 1 mile south of downtown Austin, Bouldin Creek is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Austin for recreation and entertainment. It’s no surprise that there are lots of airbnbs in this neighborhood! After all, you can walk to some of the best restaurants in Austin, you’re a short distance from the South Congress district, and if you’re up for a long 1-mile walk (or a very quick Uber ride), you can easily access downtown Austin.
Just like Clarksville, Bouldin Creek is a mixture of new and old. There are still some older 1950s 1-story homes in the neighborhood, but a big portion of them have been rebuilt as modern homes. A lot of builders will put two houses on one lot, so it’s pretty common to see addresses as “A” and “B” in Bouldin Creek. (Some builders will even put 3 or 4 single-family homes on a lot.)
4. South Congress/Travis Heights
Head a bit east from Bouldin Creek, and you’ll find Travis Heights, a charming, hilly neighborhood that sits next to South Congress. If you live in Travis Heights, you’ll be able to walk to SoCo favorites like Home Slice Pizza, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, and the iconic kidney-shaped pool at the Austin Motel.
Travis Heights is adjacent to SoCo, but it’s a large enough neighborhood that pockets of it are tucked away and actually feel quite calm and quiet. (Certain streets are constantly busy with SoCo traffic, though! If you’re considering buying in this neighborhood, make sure you know that both options are available depending on whether you want a calm/quiet vibe or a fun/busy atmosphere.
5. North Loop
North Loop is a beautiful place to call home! It’s north of Hyde Park, which is north of the UT Campus, and it’s typically considered “north/central Austin.” Not as far north as The Domain, but it’s a bit north of central.
There are plenty of fun restaurants and shops that you can easily access on foot. N Loop Blvd is a walker’s paradise, home to Foreign and Domestic (the sweetest neighborhood farm-to-table restaurant), Drink.well (a well-known cocktail bar in Austin), and Workhorse Bar (a popular neighborhood watering hole.) Airport Blvd also runs through the North Loop neighborhood, so you can walk or bike to Home Slice Pizza, Kome Sushi Bar, Jewboy Burgers, and lots of other favorite local Austin restaurants.
The original houses in North Loop were built in the 1940s and 50s, just after WWII. They’re small, often around 1,000-sq-ft, with a single bathroom. Since the lots are pretty large, a lot of these houses are being torn down to create larger, more liveable spaces for modern families.
6. Central East Austin
Ok, the lines are always a little bit blurry in east Austin (especially as new neighborhood names pop up, like calling the east side of I-35 “east downtown” as downtown Austin spreads…), but we’re calling Central East Austin one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Austin.
East Austin, in general, is absolutely a party. There are TONS of fun places to visit, like Franklin Barbecue, Suerte restaurant, Austin Bouldering Project, Lazarus brewery, and literally dozens of other fun spots.
Central East Austin (7th street on the south, MLK on the north) is just above the crazy touristy part of east Austin (E 6th St), and if you choose to live here, you might even be able to find a quiet-ish street to call home.
7. East Cesar Chavez/Holly Neighborhood
East Cesar Chavez (extending to Holly) is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Austin. It’s a great place to live…if you can manage to find a place to buy! It’s an incredibly beautiful spot to call home, and it’s still full of a lot of original Austin houses that haven’t been torn down and rebuilt.
East Cesar Chavez is just a few blocks from Lady Bird Lake, so you can walk to the lake and enjoy nature every single day. It’s also close to some great restaurants: Launderette, Las Trancas Taco Stand, Gati Ice Cream, La Barbecue, and so many more than we can list here.
Keep in mind that while it is an incredibly walkable space, it’s also fairly traffic-heavy. East Cesar Chavez, especially the portion that’s close to I-35, is near downtown Austin. That means there will be a steady stream of cars (both locals and tourists in Ubers) year-round.
8. The Triangle
The Triangle is a tiny little spot in central Austin at Guadalupe and 45th, and it’s an incredibly walkable place to live in Austin. There are some apartments available on the upper floors, and the ground floors are full of fun places to shop, eat, and live: Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Merit Coffee, and Mandola’s Italian. There are workout studios, shops, spas, banks, and even a grocery store.
You’re also just down the street from Central Market (grocery shopping), Uchiko (upscale dining), and Tacodeli (breakfast tacos.)
While The Triangle isn’t the type of place you’d probably want to settle down for a long-term or live with a large family, it’s an excellent spot to live as a single person or a couple.
Mueller is quickly becoming one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Austin for families. It’s a very walkable neighborhood in Austin for nature, entertainment, and dining.
Mueller is where the original Austin airport was located. When the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport was closed and moved to Bergstrom (our current airport) in 1999, the Mueller district was left with a lot of big, open spaces.
As a result, you’ll find lots of new builds in Mueller! (And not many trees..) Mueller is home to The Thinkery Children Museum, Mueller Lake Park, a booming Sunday farmers market, and lots of great restaurants (L’Oca d’Oro, Marufuku Ramen, Kerbey Lane, Colleen’s Kitchen, and others.) There’s a great big new HEB grocery store with a food hall that contains multiple restaurant booths, and a giant Dell hospital in Mueller, too.
If you’re looking for one of the most family-friendly, walkable neighborhoods in Austin, check out Mueller.
10. The Domain
Love to shop? The Domain is probably the best neighborhood for you! Similar to The Triangle (listed earlier), The Domain has residences that are built on the floors above the retail spaces.
The Domain NORTHSIDE is the preeminent shopping destination in Austin, with luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, YSL, and Chanel. If you want to live inside this walkable shopping area in Austin, consider living at The domain.
The Domain is also home to movie theaters, restaurants, spas, salons, and outdoor green spaces. If you love to shop and you’re looking for a fun, temporary place to live in Austin as a single person or as a couple, consider The Domain.
(Keep in mind: if you want more of the “Austin-y” vibe, head further south. But if you love more mainstream brands, the Domain might be just right for you!”
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