When Austin's first mayor, Edwin Waller, designed the city in 1839, he envisioned Congress Avenue as the heart of a vibrant downtown. Today, his vision has become a reality as a bustling downtown area has flourished around this main street. The recent building boom has only added to the residential options available, making downtown Austin an increasingly attractive place to live.
The downtown area is rich in history, with reminders of its frontier town past scattered throughout. The iconic Driskill Hotel, built for a cattle baron, stands as a testament to Austin's enterprising spirit. But downtown is not just about its past; it's also a hub of creativity and innovation. With the influx of start-ups and tech companies, the energy in the area is palpable.
During the week, downtown sidewalks are filled with office workers and visitors zipping around on scooters. But on weekends and during the city's renowned festivals like South by Southwest, the streets become even more crowded. In fact, it's often joked that the official bird of Austin is the construction crane, a nod to the ongoing development in the area.
Food lovers and nightlife enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise in downtown Austin. The streets are lined with a wide range of restaurants, food trucks, and watering holes, particularly around Sixth Street and Rainey Street. As the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World, there is no shortage of venues to catch live performances. And for those looking for some retail therapy, the 2nd Street District is the place to be.
Downtown Austin's southern boundary is marked by the beautiful Colorado River. Urban dwellers and their furry friends can enjoy the well-maintained trails along the river's edge or take to the water on stand-up paddleboards and kayaks.
What sets downtown Austin apart from other urban cores is its laid-back and down-to-earth vibe. The city's friendly gathering spots and beer gardens, such as Easy Tiger and Scholz Garten, embody the welcoming spirit of Austin as a whole. So, whether you're a tourist or a business professional, downtown Austin offers a vibrant and dynamic experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.