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Austin Profiles : The Travis Heights Neighborhood

Sep 6, 2008
One of the coolest neighborhoods in the Austin real estate market has to be a cute little neighborhood called Travis Heights. Featuring historic houses, charming shopping streets, great restaurants, and an unbeatable central location, this area is one of the most sought-after in Austin. The streets ramble and roll, curving over hills, through ancient trees, lending an air of serenity to a neighborhood in close proximity to Downtown Austin, as well as the bustling Soco shopping area.

The borders of Travis Heights are Riverside Dr. to the north, Interstate 35 to the east, Oltorf to the South, and South Congress to the west, although the area just west of South Congress features many of the same amenities. The older houses date to the late 1880s, when the only way across the Colorado River was by ferry. When the first bridge was completed, development soared, with a huge surge in the 1920s. Most of the area is made up of single-family homes from each stage of development.

The word "development" is a call to arms in Travis Heights. Most agree that the rejuvenation of the previously sketchy SoCo (SOuth COngress) strip has enhanced the area, bringing hip cafes and shops within walking distance, and adding to the popularity, as well as the property value, of the area. Still, residents of this charming older community have banded together to ensure that commercial development is kept at bay, and that the feel of the area is not diluted by the building of brand-new houses.
SoCo is home to the fabulously refurbished Hotel San Jose, whose courtyard is a popular place to stop for a drink. The Continental Club, one of Austin's oldest and coolest music venues, is nestled between tattoo parlors, trattorias, Amy's Ice Cream and more. With clothing shops, gourmet markets, and one of Austin's most iconic restaurants, Guero's, all within a few blocks, this vibrant shopping district is one of Austin's most exciting cultural pulse-points.

The twenty-three acre Blunn Creek Greenbelt bisects Travis Heights from Riverside Drive in the north to Live Oak on the southern end. This thick swath of rolling, wooded landscape features hike and bike trails, lots of fields and open space, and the charming and popular Big Stacy and Little Stacy parks. The major attraction of Big Stacy Park is the free swimming pool, which is open year-round. The pool is flanked by a small field, with a few picnic tables and grills. Little Stacy park holds one of the finest playgrounds in the city, with structures tailored to toddlers as well as older kids, swings, and a wading pool as well. With tennis courts adjacent to it, and lots of shade trees, this is a popular spot for Travis Heights families.

Norwood Estate Park at Riverside Drive and IH35 is Austin's own leash-free dog park. Completely enclosed by fence, dogs can run free, exploring the wooded perimeters, or chasing balls and each other across the wide expanse. With chairs and tables for the humans, and water for the canines, this park is frequented by dog-owners throughout the city.

Travis Heights homes continue to rise in price, marking this neighborhood as one of the best in the city.
About the Author
Ki helps buyers interested in central Austin real estate . His site has information on Travis Heights along with a map search of the Austin MLS.
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