Central Austin, Austin Travel Guide
Central Austin Summary
- Plenty of restaurant options, from standard American rib houses to authentic Mexican cafes
- Close to Downtown, but less busy and more relaxed
- Low-key, but fun nightlife (think open mic nights at coffee shops, lounging at wine bars, taste-testing at breweries)
- Several cultural activities in the area, like museums and art galleries
- Easy access to Downtown via I-35
- Sporting events and activities at University of Texas campus
- Some of the best hospitals in the state within walking distance (hey, you never know!)
- Lack of public transportation
- Bad traffic going into Downtown
- Less of a happening nightlife and restaurant scene than Downtown
- Large student population (a pro for some!)
- Not as pedestrian-friendly or compact as Downtown
What It's Like
Central Austin is a zig-zag-shaped area just north of Downtown, eoncompassing the University of Texas and surrounding areas towards the west. Although it isn’t nearly as residential as North Austin, it still is less compact and urban than Downtown.
Slight remoteness aside, the area still offers visitors a decent number of restaurants and cultural activities, especially around and within the University’s campus. Poor public transit and traffic can make getting into Downtown somewhat nightmare-ish, though.
Where to Stay
Visitors seeking to tap into Austin’s cultural attractions will want to stay near the University, which houses the Texas Memorial Museum and plenty of sports games at Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Many restaurants can be found just west of the University along Guadalupe Street, which runs north in Central Austin, through the North University neighborhood. Travelers hoping to find some true shelter from the busy city life may want to look north of the University, bordering Hyde Park. The large and popular Pease Park can be found west of the University, as well.