Downtown Austin

Welcome to Downtown Austin

An area that is both eclectic and inspiring
Downtown Austin is a jewel in Texas's crown, as it brings together the eclectic mix of people, businesses, and entertainment venues that make Austin a highly prized destination. Here, college students and politicians, musicians, and tech giants enjoy some of the best food, outdoor space, and entertainment the Lone Star State has to offer.

Nestled along the Colorado River, the Austin area was inhabited by Tonkawa, Comanche, and Apache tribes until colonists and Catholic missionaries arrived in the 1700s. By 1835, Texas had fought for its independence and had become its own country. Vice-President Mirabeau B. Lamar suggested Austin as the newly formed country's capital, and a city began to rise in the relatively remote and wild destination. Austin would wrestle Houston for control of the capital designation for decades after. By the 1940s, several dams built along the river controlled flooding, created the lovely Highland Lakes, and provided valuable hydraulic power. Research laboratories arrived in Austin in the 1950s, setting the stage for the thriving Silicon Hills technology sector. Once musicians like Willie Nelson sought an alternative to Nashville's traditional country scene, Austin also set a course to become the Live Music Capital of the World.

Bounded by the University of Texas to the north, Lady Bird Lake to the south, Lamar Boulevard to the west, and I-35 to the east, Downtown Austin is a thriving business district with fantastic entertainment and waterfront outdoor space. Downtown Austin features both unparalleled nature views and big-city amenities, including a vibrant live music scene that attracts creative types of all ages. In this central enclave, condominiums and apartments dominate the housing market, including chic industrial lofts and sleek high-rise homes with full-service hotel amenities.

What to Love

  • Chic industrial lofts and condos
  • A wealth of incredible restaurants
  • Waterfront vistas
  • A welcoming, creative vibe
  • Strong technology sector
  • World-renowned shopping and entertainment

Local Lifestyle

Downtown Austin is known primarily as a thriving business district with endless things to see, do, and experience. Tourists flock to Downtown Austin in order to enjoy the live music scene, while residents who live in the perfectly-appointed lofts that line the streets frequently come out to mingle with guests, eager to share their favorite restaurants and attractions. For those who want to enjoy scenic nature views, the beautiful parks and outdoor recreation opportunities are just minutes away from the vibrant stets of Downtown Austin.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Obviously, a night of great bands is required in the Live Music Capital of the World. Start at 6th Street to visit well-known watering holes Blind Pig Pub, Maggie Mae's, and Antone's. Blind Pig Pub is a go-to spot to connect with friends and family, all while indulging in delicious drinks. Maggie Mae's is an Austin institution—a lively bar that features a large rooftop deck. Antone's Nightclub is a historic venue that played host to music legends like Stevie Ray Vaughn in the past. Today, it remains a touchstone for anyone hoping to get a taste of Downtown Austin, with outstanding drink specials and a welcoming atmosphere.

In the nearby Red River Cultural District, Stubb's Bar-B-Q and Mohawk Austin are must-hear destinations. Stubb's Bar-B-Q is a world-renowned BBQ joint that is also well-known for its lively, inspiring Sunday gospel brunch, while Mohawk Austin is a multilevel bar that has several stages for live music performances. You'll hear both local and national acts at this popular bar.

Downtown's best shopping is found along the area's southernmost blocks. Head to the Market District to explore eclectic boutiques and world-famous destinations like Book People and Waterloo Records, as well as grocery outposts Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. The adjacent 2nd Street District invites you to discover homegrown and national favorites, including Hemline, Austin Rocks, Bonobos, and Urban Outfitters.

Things to Do

Hook 'Em, Horns! Your Austin experience is not complete until you've witnessed the spectacle that is Longhorns football. The amazing tailgating scene begins on "Bevo Boulevard," a promenade of food trucks, drink specials, and live entertainment. Two hours before kickoff, welcome the team with the traditional Stadium Stampede. Once the game starts, you and 100,000 fellow fans will enjoy thrilling athleticism and performances by the school's spectacular "Showband of the Southwest."

A visit to the Texas State Capitol is a great way to learn about the history of the state. Constructed from gorgeous red granite in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, the Texas State Capitol is considered one of the loveliest municipal buildings in the country. Since its completion in 1888, the building has been modernized and expanded several times, including the installation of a more resilient Goddess of Liberty in 1986 and a 1993 expansion. The capitol was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Guests who want to see the Texas State Capitol from every angle can enjoy one of the guided or self-guided tours, immersing themselves in the spirit of Texas through one of its most valuable landmarks.
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