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A Guide To Downtown Austin Urban Living

Aug 27, 2008
One of the more recent developments in the Austin real estate market are the multitude of loft condominiums springing up smack-right in the middle of downtown. This new push towards urban living reflects an interest in a pedestrian-oriented community, optimal for those who work in Austin's business center, but also attractive to others who appreciate an abundance of amenities offered within walking distance. Downtown Austin has much to offer Austin residents, whether they work, live, or visit this area which truly represents the cultural heartbeat of the city.

Austin's downtown is bursting with shops, cafes, galleries and nightlife. Whether looking for antiques at the beloved Whit Hanks, seeking esoteric ethnic treasures at Tesoros, or shopping for home furnishings at Bella Home or Zanzibar, the shops are local, and the wares are unique. In addition to Starbucks, there are plenty of cafes around, including Little City, and Drogo's Cafe do Brazil. Art galleries, including Art on Fifth and Artworks, are scattered throughout the area, and the nightlife well, it can't be beat.

Most of the new lofts are far enough away from the entertainment districts to provide relative quiet, but are close enough to make a night out on the town just a short walk or cab ride away. The bars, music venues and restaurants of the famed Sixth Street district now have competition from the bustling young crowds of the Red River scene. The Warehouse District continues to be one of the most vibrant entertainment areas in the city, although the new 2nd Street shopping and dining area is thriving as well.

Downtown Austin is home to some of the finest restaurants in the city. Louie's 106 has enticed downtowners with its Mediterranean tapas and steaks for years, and the Driskill Grill offers another close fine dining experience. Eddie V's and McCormick & Schmick offer seafood, and Sullivans, Ruth's Chris Steak House and Fleming's are steak houses. The varieties of food run the gamut as well from Spanish food at Malaga, to Italian at La Traviata, from sushi at Kenichi or Kyoto to Southwestern cuisine at Z-Tejas.

One the most attractive parts about Austin's downtown is its proximity to the nature and beauty found at Lady Bird Lake, as well as the Town Lake parks and trails. The plentiful outdoor activities provide the urban dweller with opportunities to walk, run, bike, and boat - all within walking distance of the sleek and sophisticated apartment buildings springing up. Waterloo Park, Republic Square, and other smaller patches of green add to the options for outdoor activity.

Downtowners will find their grocery needs admirably met by the flagship store of the Whole Foods Market chain. This Austin-based business launched their enormous new store in 2005, making fresh and organic produce, dairy, meats and seafood available. In addition to staples, an on-site bakery and international groceries, Whole Foods offers an abundance of prepared foods, from soups, salads and sandwiches, to pizza, seafood and a raw foods stand.

With all of life's necessities within walking distance, it is no wonder that Downtown Austin real estate is thriving as a residential community.
About the Author
Ki is an Austin real estate agent. He runs a site with information about Austin real estate and a search of the Austin MLS. He also talks about current events on Austin real estate blog.
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