Your Guide to ATX Neighborhoods
Austin prides itself on being diverse, progressive, and, yes, weird while maintaining its historical Texas charm. While most of of our time will be spent inside the Convention Center and conference hotels during the 2020 NASPA Annual Conference, I hope you get a chance to visit some of Austin’s fantastic neighborhoods.
Whether you have a few extra hours or days, there are endless opportunities to experience the rich culture, hospitality, and quirkiness of Austin. Whether you are interested in finding an off-the-beaten-path restaurant, brewhouse or a trendy boutique, Austin has it all. Here are three regions that Austin has to offer with a few recommendations in different neighborhoods throughout that particular region. For more information about Austin neighborhoods, please head over to Visit Austin.
This is where the NASPA Annual Conference will take place and is truly the center of much of the action in Austin. Live music, great food trucks and some of the best LGBTQ bars are located in this area. Rainey Street houses some of the best restaurants in the city and the country. Rainey Street has a lively scene of food trucks, restaurants, and bars that can meet anyone’s needs. Red River Cultural District houses some of Austin’s iconic live music venues. Most of us may already be familiar with Sixth Street with its lively nightlife and bars, but there are some great eats in this area. The Warehouse District houses Fourth Street, home of many of the city’s best LGBTQ bars. The Texas State Capitol is also part of the downtown neighborhood. Take a look at the Texas African American History Memorial on the Capitol grounds.
East Austin, a diverse and growing neighborhood in Austin, is home to many culturally significant locations as well as a range of cuisine that will satiate any palate. Six Square, six square miles of East Austin, is home to Austin’s African American Cultural Heritage District. Here you can visit the oldest home in Austin and the first neighborhood African American Museum in Texas. If you are interested in satisfying that sweet tooth, head to East Sixth Street to try out alfajores at Milonga Room & Buenos Aires Café, which also has great Argentinean steaks and a speakeasy. East Cesar Chavez is home to Resistencia Bookstore, best known for its collection of Chicano, Latino, Indigenous and queer bilingual literature, as well as many small mom and pop restaurants serving authentic cuisine and Austin’s best fruterías, or Mexican snacks. If you are interested in soul food, head over to Cherrywood/ Manor Road to visit Hoover’s Cooking.
A blend of old and new, South Austin is filled with new chic restaurants and long-time Austin favorites. South Congress always has live music, trendy boutiques, and vintage shops, and fantastic restaurants available. If you are interested in fashion, head down to South First Street to check out boutiques. Check out Bloomer and Frocks to get some vintage clothing from the 1920s. South Lamar, home of great fusion restaurants and dancing, is in the heart of Austin’s entertainment scene. Check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center while you are in South Austin, especially during early April when the flowers begin to bloom.