Around Southeast Austin
Where to Live
Austin-Bergstrom Airport and a large industrial/commercial zone to its west dominate the center of Southeast Austin. On either side of them are residential subdivisions which are nearly all comprised of single-family homes. The oldest subdivisions are in the northern tip of the area by the airport, while newer developments are found further south and west of it.
Home prices in Southeast Austin run lower than Austin’s city-wide average, however some homes in the communities along I-35, such as Onion Creek, can be the same as or slightly higher than the average.
Where to Eat
Just about every major restaurant chain has a location somewhere in Southeast Austin, usually along or near Ben White Boulevard or I-35. There are, however, some notable stand-out eateries. Catfish Parlour, a family-owned mini-chain, has a place on the boulevard and is one of the best seafood places in all of Austin. Catfish is the obvious menu choice, but the shrimp should not be missed. Close by is Vic’s Bar-B-Que, a classic Texas barbecue place which is a favorite lunch spot among locals.
What You'll See
Most of the activity in Southeast Austin is on the west side of the airport along Ben White Boulevard, where there’s a mix of industrial and commercial establishments. Along I-35, it’s mostly retail shopping plazas. Once one gets away from the major thoroughfares, it’s almost all tidy suburban subdivisions with varying degrees of greenery. One can gauge how old a community is by how tall the trees are within it, with the newest ones having newly planted saplings.
Friday Night Fun
Nightlife in Austin is concentrated in its downtown and near the University of Texas, but Southeast Austin has a few places that can be the start of a great night out. Independence Brewing Company, a Texas brewery stand-out since 2004, hosts a number of fun events monthly and serves up its award-winning brews in its inviting taproom. Patsy’s Cowgirl Cafe can best be described as a fresh take on the honky-tonk. It has a wonderful, eclectic menu that includes Tex-Mex, classic American dishes and an extensive list of sandwiches. Patsy’s daily live music offerings feature country, bluegrass and rock.
The Perfect Sunday
Visiting McKinney Falls State Park on a Sunday is a day well-spent. Visitors can spend hours exploring up and down scenic Onion Creek and the park’s interpretive trails. Fishing and swimming are permitted in the creek and some of the trails are designated for biking. Picnic facilities can be found at several places along the creek.
Getting errands done on a Sunday is pretty easy, especially along I-35. Quite a few retailers of all types are there, including several large grocery stores. For some casual entertainment there are also a couple of movie theaters.
There are several high-frequency and regular bus routes which go through Southeast Austin. The high-frequency routes make commuting to downtown Austin relatively easy and run seven days a week. The regular bus routes are somewhat limited in their scope.
Its individual subdivisions are great for casual walking or bicycling, but Southeast Austin is not really considered walkable. Residents tend to rely on their cars for errands and commuting. Parking is convenient as most homes have attached garages with driveways, though some subdivisions may have restrictions regarding street parking or leaving vehicles in the driveway overnight.
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