If you’re looking for a thriving, hip, urban neighborhood that offers historic charm and cultural diversity, then Travis Heights may just be your new home. Located just south of the river, Travis Heights is nestled between South Congress and I-35, giving residents access to the best that Austin has to offer.
While Travis Heights offers easy access to downtown, Lady Bird Lake, and I-35, you may not want to leave when you see all that’s in store for you in the neighborhood. From hip shops, unique restaurants, and some of Austin’s best entertainment venues to the beautiful community parks, peaceful green spaces, and vibrant arts and culture scene, there’s always something new to try in Travis Heights.
In this neighborhood guide, you’ll discover what makes Travis Heights one of the most sought-after places to live in South Austin.
Eclectic - Mid Century Modern, Victorian, Stoney Romantic Cottages
Travis Heights embodies the city’s motto to “Keep Austin Weird”. This trendy, lively neighborhood has a thriving art and music scene. It’s full of eclectic historic homes that wow and hosts some of the hippest restaurants, shops, and venues in town—all while being close to the best of everything in the capital city.
Here’s what you should know about the neighborhood and real estate before you start looking for your dream home in Travis Heights:
With an artsy and diverse population, Travis Heights is truly the quintessential Austin neighborhood. With a funky vibe and some of the hippest spots in town, Travis Heights is doing its best to keep Austin weird. This lively area offers a little something for everyone, which is why so many different kinds of people love to call Travis Heights home.
With a thriving restaurant, entertainment, and arts scene, there is always something to do in the area. And you’re never too far from outdoor recreation. Between all there is to do within Travis Heights and its proximity to other areas like downtown, this neighborhood really does give its residents the best of Austin.
The neighborhood is well-known for its eclectic mix of architectural styles. You might find a beautiful mid-century modern home right next to a large Victorian house with a stoney romantic cottage on the next street over.
While there are some contemporary homes in the area, the neighborhood predominantly consists of 1920’s and 30’s homes with remodeled interiors. They offer the best of modern comforts and historic charm.
Travis Heights also features many large established trees and rolling hills. The hilly topography means that many of the lots in the area are not level.
Due to everything it has to offer, Travis Heights is one of the most desirable areas to live in South Austin. The average home closing price in Travis Heights is $1.1M or an average of $770 per square foot.
Travis Heights is very walkable with a Walk Score of 78. Stroll down South Congress Avenue for a drink, bite, or shopping day. You can also find three parks in the area with comfortable walking spaces. It also offers a quick commute downtown by car (about 8 minutes), public transit (about 22 minutes), or bike (about 14 minutes).
Families often move to Travis Heights for the highly rated schools. As a part of the Austin Independent School District (AISD), the neighborhood is zoned for Travis Heights Elementary School, which offers a dual language program where students can learn to be bilingual in both English and Spanish.
It’s also zoned for Lively Middle School, home to the Lively Humanities and Law Magnet for International Studies. The neighborhood high school, Travis Early College High School, partners with Austin Community College to provide its students the ability to earn an associate degree while in high school.
Featured Property in the Neighborhood
Travis Heights has no shortage of excellent places to eat. From pizza to oysters, you can find whatever you’re craving at one of Austin’s most popular spots.
Nestled inside Hotel Magdalena, Summer House offers a casual dining experience with a touch of sophistication. The menu is simple and unpretentious, providing a variety of appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts that are sure to satisfy your need for comfort food.
With an ambiance that says lake house weekend, Summer House has an inviting interior that’s cozy and understated. While the charming patio is also a nice space to enjoy a happy hour or brunch with friends.
Looking for a casual spot to enjoy some high-quality sushi? Neighborhood Sushi is one of our favorite spots on South Congress for tasty sushi rolls, nigiri, and sashimi. The space is modern and trendy, offering the ideal atmosphere to enjoy your favorite roll and cocktail for dinner or even stop by for a quick lunch.
Their beverage menu boasts an excellent selection of sakes and unique sake cocktails. Our favorites are The Suki Suki, a simple yet irresistible treat, and the Red Dragon, a spicy cocktail using beet-infused sake, jalapeno, and ginger beer for a little kick.
Home Slice offers a little taste of NYC right in the heart of Austin. Known as the “Queen of Pies,” this local pizza place has authentic New York-style pizza by the slice or the pie. The crust is house-made and stone-baked with slices so large, you’ve got to fold them.
What started as a local mom-and-pop pizza joint expanded into three locations and has become an Austin staple. The South Congress location is their dine-in restaurant with plenty of space to eat inside and soak in the diner vibes. They’ve also got some stools outside if you prefer to eat your pizza al fresco.
Guero’s Taco Bar is one of the few Austin tourist destinations that in-the-know locals can’t help but love as well. As one of the oldest establishments on South Congress, Guero’s is a fun Tex-Mex spot with a large patio area where you can enjoy live music while you sip your margarita.
It’s a great place to grab some Migas and a Michelada while you recover from all the fun you had the night before. However, it does get a bit crowded during happy hour and on the weekends. Luckily, you can sip a drink and dip some chips in salsa from the self-serve salsa bar while you wait.
At JoAnn’s Fine Foods, the motto is, “All ways welcome!” This sets the scene for the diverse group of people you’ll find enjoying a meal at JoAnn’s. Sharing a space with Austin Motel, you’ll definitely see some guests taking advantage of their all-day menu, which is inspired by the classic California diners with a Mexican twist.
As soon as you see the bright red pair of rotating lips, you’ll know you’ve found it. When you step inside JoAnn’s, you’re treated to a colorful classic diner setting that’s comfy and inviting. They’ve also got a charming outdoor patio. There is limited parking at the restaurant, so you may have to find street parking in the Bouldin neighborhood.
Whether it’s morning, noon, or night, you can grab a bite at June’s All Day, which offers breakfast, brunch, and an all-day bistro menu late into the evening. The food is inventive new American fare done exceptionally well, paired with a solid wine list and fun cocktails. They’ve also known for their own rosé, which you have to try.
June’s is the perfect place to stop by for a happy hour to grab a bottle of wine and a light bite. The interior has a chic vintage vibe that combines the sophistication of a Paris cafe with the laid-back ambiance of a hip NYC wine bar. The outdoor patio is small but comfortable (and dog-friendly!)
Perla’s is a great spot for all the oysters, fish, and surf ’n’ turf fans. Their fresh fish and oysters are flown in daily from both coasts, with an emphasis on sourcing from the Gulf of Mexico. With perhaps one of Austin’s prettiest patios, Perla’s offers shade beneath large oak trees with misters to keep you cool in the central Texas heat. (But be sure to stop inside and take a peak at the huge saltwater fish tank in the dining room.)
If you want a unique brunch experience, Perla’s combines brunch classics with lobster, crab, oysters, and more to bring a salty twist to everyone’s favorite morning-after activity. And they’ve got mimosa service, so you don’t have to wait to fill up your glass and toast to the weekend!
Don’t forget to bring your dog, have them break out the Polaroid, and put the photo on the wall!
Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening out or just really good Italian fare, Vespaio Ristorante has got you covered. Vespaio, meaning “wasps’ nest” in Italian, got its name when a giant walled-in working beehive was revealed during the early demolition for the new restaurant build in 1998.
Vespaio serves hand-made pasta created from locally-sourced ingredients. Their chefs do all of their own butchering, using every part of the animal, and make all the menu items in-house—including the cheeses. They also hand-pick wines to compliment their meals from boutique, family-owned, and small production winemakers.
Places like Otoko are the reason why Austin has earned the reputation of being a food city. Otoko is more than just a restaurant. It’s a food experience housed within the South Congress Hotel. Attached to the restaurant is an intimate Japanese-style cocktail bar called Watertrade, with an extensive list of sake-based cocktails and specialty Japanese whiskies.
Head Chef Yoshi Okai has created a multi-course omakase experience that brings together Tokyo-style sushi and kyoto-style kaiseki into a seasonal tasting menu. With only 12 seats in the restaurant, you need tickets if you want to eat at Otoko. They release them on the first of the month on a rolling 3-month basis.
What would a list of places to dine in Austin be without a steakhouse? Maie Day is a community chophouse inspired by the ancient tradition of the same name. Located at South Congress Hotel, Maie Day embraces everything that Texans love about steakhouses—a casual yet lively atmosphere with great steaks and delicious cocktails.
Maie Day has a nice selection of local brews and a diverse selection of wines. If a cocktail is more your style, grab a Pitch & Tease—a frozen cocktail made from Austin’s own Deep Eddy lemon vodka. Or, if you want to relax and opt for a no-ABV drink, their CBD-based mocktail, Chill Out, features Cholula hot sauce and Earlybird CBD.
Travis Heights is situated right in the heart of Austin, and there is no shortage of things to do. Here are just a few of our favorite places to hang out in the area.
Located along South Congress is Music Lane, an area that acts as a gateway between downtown and South Austin. Here you’ll find notable shops and restaurants that are frequented by locals and tourists alike.
Well-known, popular favorites like Allbirds, Equinox, Lululemon, Madewell, Nike, and Ray-Ban line the lane with other gems like Neighborhood Goods, Gorjana, and Alice + Abba and sprinkled in. While you’re shopping, grab a bite at places like Prim and Proper, Two Hands, or Aba.
Along Music Lane, you’ll find the Hermès flagship store—one of only 3 stores in Texas. (The others are in Dallas and Houston.) This French luxury heritage retailer offers high-end apparel, handbags, scarves, and other accessories.
Opening its doors in 1955, The Continental Club is one of the longest-running clubs in Austin. It’s had many identities over the years—from a swanky supper club to a burlesque club, a blue-collar bar, and now, a live music venue that’s hosted rock and roll icons throughout the decades.
Today, the club is an intimate live music venue that hosts acts ranging from traditional country and blues to rock and rockabilly. It’s a must-see for music lovers that want to get a little taste of Austin history alongside their mixed drink.
Soho House Austin is a social club and hotel that’s part of the larger Soho House brand. Known for its members-only clubs, restaurants, and hotels, Soho House offers hip, like-minded creatives a beautiful space to work, eat, and lounge in with a cool vibe that’s conducive to work or play. Membership is exclusive, and they only open it up during certain times.
Soho House Austin is nested between downtown and South Austin, featuring 46 bedrooms, a restaurant, a screening room, and a rooftop pool. The Austin location features work from artists that were born, based, or trained in Austin or Texas, like Desireé Vaniecia’s ‘Rooftop Mural,’ which was commissioned for the rooftop pool area by Soho House Austin.
Right near Travis Heights Elementary and LIttle Stacy Playground is Big Stacy Park. Featuring a free-admission swimming pool with swimming lanes and a deep end that’s perfect for diving, Big Stacy Park is a popular spot for local families that want to take a break from the Texas heat.
In addition to swimming, visitors can also hike, picnic, and watch for wildlife under the big beautiful trees that offer natural shade. There are also grills, picnic tables, and restrooms for anyone who plans to spend the day at the park.
South Congress Hotel is a boutique hotel where there’s never a dull moment. Bringing together three restaurants, two bars, a coffee and bake shop, a rooftop pool, two boutiques, and a motorcycle shop, it’s easy to see why this trendy spot prides itself on being a “microcosm of Austin.”
Every month, businesses along South Congress come together for First Thursday at South Congress Hotel. This signature monthly event features a live performance by a local act, DJs throughout the space, drink specials, and more. These are free and open to the public—a great way to get a taste of Austin’s music scene in a quintessentially-Austin space.
Every November, the neighborhood hosts the Travis Heights Art Trail. It’s the only neighborhood art show that’s run by the artists who are participating. While you stroll through historic Travis Heights, you’ll be able to enjoy art from locals and purchase works to show your support.
Each year they publish a map highlighting which homes are showcasing art. Travis Heights local artists can join as artists or choose to sponsor the event.
If you like karaoke, then you’ll love Ego’s. This karaoke bar is open every night of the week from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., offering the perfect spot for high-energy karaoke. Tucked away in the parking garage of an office building, Ego’s is certainly helping keep Austin weird.
Fun and divey, this is a great spot for a lively yet casual night. They’ve got excellent drink specials and signature shots to help you build up the courage to sing your heart out. But if you want to show your karaoke chops, make sure you sign up early, as the slots tend to fill up quickly.
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