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Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, and the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve researched the best neighborhoods for families in Austin for you, so you don’t have to. You’ve no doubt seen our Austin City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Austin’s most popular neighborhoods. We also have a guide on Austin’s best schools, if that’s a particular subject of interest.
This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas (and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop —Austin movers and movers throughout the country).
A Little About Austin and its Neighborhoods
Tucked into the greater Texas Hill Country, Austin was first given the charming title ‘Waterloo.’ Soon after, this Texan capital was renamed to honor the ‘Father of Texas’ and first secretary of state, Stephen F. Austin.
But a lot has happened since 1839. At this point, if you don’t hop on Austin quickly, it’ll ride away without you. Since 2020, Austin is now the fastest-growing large city in the country. People are moving here to get a taste of the year-round warm weather, nature oases, incredible food, live music, and laid-back culture.
The city’s 100+ neighborhoods are divided up into general regions (ex: Southeast Austin, Central Austin, West Austin, etc.). And these regions are separated by boundaries like Hwy. 1, Interstate 35, and Lady Bird Lake. Surrounding Austin’s perimeters are neighborhoods and mini-cities like Kyle, Wimberley, and Round Rock. And many people living in the area lump these neighboring areas in with the city.
So now that you’ve got the lay of the land, look a little further for our list of the 5 best family-friendly neighborhoods in the city.
This family-friendly neighborhood is roughly 20 miles north of downtown Austin, giving it that peaceful neighborhood feels just outside of the city business. It has a very low crime rate and is considered ideal for young families. A drive to downtown Austin will take about half an hour, as long as it is not during rush hour, which peaks between 7-8 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. It has a ‘somwhat’ walkable and bikeable by WalkScore.com. The area is part of a large master-planned community that holds over 4,000 homes and three public elementary schools.
What’s Happening in Avery Ranch
Avery Ranch offers a beautiful portion of the hill country with tennis and pickleball courts, pools, and hiking and bike trails. The 226-acre golf course sits directly on the neighborhood’s lake. Large, nearby community parks, like the Brushy Creek Lake Park, Brushy Creek Sports Park, and Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex provide many more recreational opportunities.
Check out The Rotten Bunch, The League Kitchen & Tavern, and Smokey Mo’s BBQ for some of the area’s local-favorite food stops.
Schools in Avery Ranch
Schools near Avery Ranch include Challenger School and Abacus School of Austin, plus Rutledge and Patsy Sommer Elementary Schools among others.
Homes in Avery Ranch
Avery Ranch holds beautiful single-family homes and contemporary condos amidst other housing options. Houses sell for an average of $608,000 with rent prices around $1733 a month.
Located about 7 miles north of downtown, this neighborhood is known for its local businesses, long-term residents, and close-knit community. Crime rates in Brentwood are lower than the national average. It can take up to 20 minutes to drive to downtown from Brentwood. Considered a Biker’s Paradise by WalkScore, bicyclists can traverse the roads in about 25 minutes to get downtown. Public transit, also rated highly, is available from Brentwood to downtown Austin, with routes every 15 minutes.
With a small-town feel in the midst of the big city, Brentwood is home to many families with children and ranks very high in walkability. Most errands can be accomplished on foot so grab the backpack and stroller! Old trees line the streets; creeks wind between homes.
What’s Happening in Brentwood
The Brentwood Park features a playground, pool, picnic areas, walking paths, and athletic fields. The neighborhood is bordered by a number of dining options, like Stiles Switch BBQ, Michi Ramen, and Torchy’s Tacos, to name a few. And cafes are easy to come by, with Monkey Nest Coffee and Epoch Coffee just a walk away.
Locals also love the excessive amount of nearby places to drink within walking distance. Check out the Christmas-themed Lala’s Little Nugget, Draught House Pub & Brewery, and (our favorite!!) Yard Bar, which sits right in a dog park, offering Pineapple Mighty Swell, and other alcohol-free drinks.
Schools in Brentwood
Schools near Brentwood include Lamar Middle School and Austin Classical School. Many locals also like the option of Brentwood’s close-by quality private schools, like Paragon Prep School. Niche rates Gullett Elementary School highly.
Homes in Brentwood
Rental homes in the Brentwood area ran about the average for Austin with an average cost of $1,696 per month. Home prices are 10 percent higher than the average for Austin in mid-2023 at $670,000. Prices have come down some at the time of this writing.
This rapidly changing neighborhood, only 6 miles northeast of downtown, is home to a diverse blend of families, young professionals, and more established residents. It is a quick 20-minute drive from Windsor Park to downtown Austin. One can avoid the highways by biking downtown in about half an hour.
While locals of Windsor Park have easy access to all the action of living so close to downtown, they also enjoy the quieter streets, large trees, wide streets, and homey feel of this neighborhood. The area ranks in the top 40 walkable areas of Austin. The great community feel, friendly neighbors, schools within walking distance, affordable housing, and open parks make Windsor Park a popular spot for families. Residents rate the neighborhood as ‘pretty safe.’
What’s Happening in Windsor Park
Perhaps the local’s favorite restaurant in Windsor Park is Paco’s Tacos. This laid-back shop has an outdoor patio and delicious fresh, made to order Mexican food. The bizarre Carousel Lounge offers drinks plus mixers for BYOL, live music and a circus theme. Corona Coffee is always packed with neighborhood locals. And the Bartholomew District Park features a playground, picnic areas, and a pool.
Schools in Windsor Park
Schools near Windsor Park include Austin Achieve Public School, Blanton Elementary School, Harris Elementary School and the Ascent Academy.
Homes in Windsor Park
The real estate market in Windsor Park is somewhat competitive. The average home price for buyers is $522,000, 5% below the Austin average. Apartments rent for $1,726 a month.
This little area is one of the fastest-growing suburban cities in the country in recent years, (178% since 2000). Located about 18 miles northeast of downtown Austin, residents often travel to and from the city in about half an hour, depending on the time of day. It has a low walkability and bike score, but Pflugerville is home to its own charming attractions and has numerous parks, community events, restaurants, and shops.
What’s Happening in Pflugerville
Pflugerville has over 40 parks and recreation facilities and 21 undeveloped parks and greenbelts. It’s a nature wonderland out here. One of our favorites is Lake Pflugerville Park, which features a gorgeous 180-acre reservoir.
For local events, be sure to check out the October outdoor Deutschen Pfest packed with vendors, entertainment and beer, of course. And for a taste of the area’s local grub, check out the Pflugerville Taco House and the Pecan Street Station.
Schools in Pflugerville
Schools near Pflugerville include Springhill Elementary, Pflugerville High School, Cele Middle School, and Windermere Elementary School among others.
Homes in Pflugerville
Pflugerville has a variety of houses tyles, but the neighborhood is speckled with the notable prairie style homes. Home prices average $411,000, while apartment rentals average $1,685 monthly.
This small, friendly residential area is just 3 miles from downtown, making it an awesome spot for families wanting access to an abundance of things to do – whether going out with the family or going out on a date. It ranks very high for walking and biking, and is one of the most bikeable areas in the Austin area. Cherrywood has all the perks of being downtown, but with quieter streets lined with cute little homes, and parks dotting the neighborhood. Downtown Austin is just 11 minutes away by car or 20 minutes away by bike.
What’s Happening in Cherrywood
Cherrywood is home to the Willowbrook Reach and Patterson Neighborhood Park, and it also neighbors the Mueller Lake Park and Southwest Greenway.
Besides the exceptional options for eating and drinking just a few miles away from Cherrywood, the neighborhood itself has a few local, yummy gems…
Check out the Cherrywood Coffeehouse. This charming hyper-local-feel coffee house hosts live music and free yoga classes on an outdoor patio, makes yummy meat-forward and vegan-and-vegetarian-friendly food, and serves over 17 drafts of beer.
There are over a dozen awesome restaurants and bars along Manor Street which borders the Cherrywood neighborhood. Locals can simply walk off their front porches, down a few blocks and have a pastrami sandwich in their hand in less than 10 minutes.
Schools in Cherrywood
Schools near Cherrywood include Maplewood Elementary School and Clearview Sudbury School among others.
Homes in Cherrywood
This neighborhood offers a number of ranch-style homes, as well as contemporary options. The median price for a home in the Cherrywood zip code (78722) is $619,000, making it an affordable option in the area. Rentals are generally around $1,429 per month.
There you have it: the best neighborhoods for families in Austin
We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. We have local movers in Austin, and also provide long-distance moving services in Austin as well. Need to move quickly? We also provide last minute Austin moves!
Check out some of our awesome reviews in Austin: https://www.google.com/maps?cid=6501118438216742323
Other Austin Guides
Hungry for more? Check out our other guides to life in Austin:
- Guide to Moving to Austin
- The Best Neighborhoods in Austin
- The Best Places to Live in Austin
- The Best Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Austin
- Austin’s Best Suburbs
- What are the best schools in Austin?
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