Austin

Forget what you think you know about Texas. Austin is the Portland of the Lone Star State. Located in Texas hill country astride the Colorado River, Austin is home to tech companies, great live music, top universities and quirky charming people. After you’ve attended a huge concert in the Live Music Capital of The World, swam in Lady Bird Lake, and taken in the view on the Violet Crown, you’ll understand why Austinites want to “Keep Austin Weird ”.

City Overview

Austin, the capital of the Lone Star State and its fourth most populous city, Austin is a city of business and the arts. Take a deep breath - Austin’s strict smoking ordinances provide some of the cleanest air in any major U.S. city. Not only is the air different here, city law places restrictions on buildings over a certain height, which preserves the spectacular views of the Texas foothills, so if you want to rent a high-rise apartment, you’ll have to look in specific areas. At night, Austin is lit by the mysterious 19th-century Moonlight Towers – these were featured in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused. Like watersports? Austin is a great place to rent an apartment or vacation home. In addition to the Colorado River, there are three man-made lakes in the metro area. Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin, and Lake Travis – all popular spots for boating, tubing, waterskiing and swimming. For drier sports, hike or bike on the trails near the lakes, or check out one of Austin’s several rock climbing locations. The overhangs at Barton Creek Greenbelt will challenge beginning and veteran climbers. On top of all this, Austin is significantly cheaper than other U.S. metropolitan areas of a similar size - the apartments for rent here are more affordable than places like Chicago or Boston.

Arts

Music fans are in luck. Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World. Musicians and fans flock here everywhere for the huge festivals. Austin City Limits or ACL - the long-running PBS music program, is recorded in Austin’s Moody Theatre – and South by Southwest (SXSW) one of the world’s largest music festivals, is held in Austin every March. Many aspiring musicians rent apartments in Austin to get in on the action.

Business

The Austin Metropolitan area has a GDP of $86 billion, and the city is a major tech giant. In 2015, Forbes ranked Austin #11 on its “Best Places for Business and Careers” list. Big names like Bioware, Blizzard, EA, Oracle, Dropbox, Hewlett-Packard, Nvidia, AMD, and Intel all have operations in Austin. Texas State University and The University of Texas at Austin have superb tech programs, and with all the great opportunities here - their graduates often decide to stay in Austin long-term. Other top Austin employers include Seton Healthcare Family, Dell, and the Austin Independent School District.

Climate

The summers are hot, with temperatures frequently reaching 100+ degrees. The winters are very mild, almost always without snow. Spring and Fall are quite pleasant. Due to the hot weather, one should keep air conditioning in mind when finding apartments for rent.

Cuisine

Tex-Mex greatness at your fingertips. Taco trucks and authentic Mexican holes in the wall are major staples. Grab a burrito with the guys after work, and wash it down a cold Dos Equis. Hot chili cook-offs are regular occurrences and you can even find ghost pepper if you dare. Great burgers can be had at Trace – an elegant Downtown Austin joints with a locally sourced menu. And don’t forget to try the famous BBQ. Austin is a great town for foodies to rent an apartment.

Landmarks

Stevie Ray Vaughn Memorial, Willie Nelson Statue, Zilker Park, Lake Austin, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (awesome hiking and biking), the Texas State Capitol, Austin Zoo, Moonlight towers, the Colorado River, The Austonian (Austin’s tallest building).

Nightlife

There are many ways to paint the town red in Austin. For classy cocktails and a speakeasy feel, head over to The Townsend - the cozy throwback decor and live music make any evening great. The Vulcan Gas Company is a super hip dance club in the Financial District - the 2 floor, 9500 square feet facility has a state of the art sound system and psychedelic atmosphere. There's also a slew of microbreweries in town - Craft Pride on Rainey St. has 50 taps dedicated to Texas beer alone! Party animals should look for apartments for rent close to Downtown, but cool bars can be found all over Austin.

Transportation

Most Austin neighborhoods are walkable - but in 100-degree heat, you’ll want a car. There is public transportation available in Austin via Capital Metro, but they’re rather limited. Biking is possible, but make sure you’re prepared for Austin’s hilly terrain.

Finding an Apartment for rent in Austin

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Austin Neighborhoods

Downtown Austin

Densely urban and deeply cool, Downtown is Austin’s central business district. Home to the Austonian – the tallest building in Austin and the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi. Duplexes can also be found here - for those who prefer something more down to earth. Apartments for rent downtown provide easy access to upscale boutiques shopping, and dining. Mosey on down to the Roaring Fork for authentic Texas fare prepared cowboy style – over a simple wood fire. Downtown is where you will come to watch a live Austin City Limits recording or attend SXSW. It’s also an ideal apartment rental location for athletes, with close proximity to Lady Bird’s hiking and running trails.

Riverside

A sprawling district just south of Downtown. Spend a perfect Austin day outdoors in Zilker Park – great hiking, biking and kayaking here. Bring a date and picnic while you listen to Blues on the Green, an annual summer concert series. Tons of apartments for rent nearby with great views of the park and the river. Students can find affordable houses and apartments for rent here.

Hyde Park

Quieter in the best way, Hyde Park is widely considered to be Austin’s first suburb. Single family houses and duplexes comprise most of Hyde Park’s built environment, though near the University of Texas you can find student apartments for rent. Dive bars can be found (and enjoyed) on Guadalupe street at the end of the district.

Hancock

A quiet suburb north of Downtown, Hancock is great for professionals who want a little retreat from the city. Not far from UT, it’s a good place to find student apartments for rent too. Austin’s oldest golf course is located here. Red River Cafe - a homey local eatery - is popular with families and students, and has superb key lime pie.

West University

Just minutes from UT, West University is Austin’s student metropolis. Studying is hungry work, so it's no surprise that there are plenty of eateries here - the choice of tacos is almost infinite, but for something a little different check out Fricano’s – artisan sandwiches and salads, to be washed down with ice cold beer. West University is the best place to find student apartments for rent in Austin.

North Burnet

If you’re in love with Austin’s weirdness, North Burnet may seem a bit sterile. This swanky area offers an array of upscale amenities and luxury apartments for rent. The Domain, a large outdoor shopping complex, is the most notable landmark here. Many cafes and wine bars.

North Loop

The opposite of Burnet, North Loop is weird Austin at its best – hipsters should definitely check out the apartments for rent here. Vintage stores, plentiful ink and ear gauges, small coffee joints and lots of music. A great place to live and hang out.

Brentwood

An up and coming neighborhood for up-and-comers. Austin’s young professionals are finding apartments for rent in Brentwood. This neighborhood is known for its nightlife and awesome restaurants.