Image source: Flickr - DJ Spiess
Austin has undergone a massive redevelopment to its central neighborhoods over the last decade. Though it's been the capital of Texas for more than a century, it was just a relatively unknown college town for many years. But with the redevelopment and influx of residents to the central neighborhoods, this city has seen a shift in desirability, widening its cultural scene and playing host to a number of great venues with excellent nightlife options.
Choose Your Theme
Austin has a variety of nightlife hotspots but the first choice you need to make is to determine what type of venue youre looking for. Head to South Lamar if you want to sit on a patio with a cheap pitcher of beer, or perhaps the Rainy Street District where you can play bar games all night with your friends. If you want a more unique and relaxing night, then you may want to head to East Downtown where you'll find plenty of hip venues and hole-in-the-wall bars. If you're in the mood for late night socializing and dancing, then 6th Street just might be the right place to party out the night.
This historic street in Austin is the entertainment center of downtown. Along the seven blocks of this district you'll find an array of restaurants, cafes, art galleries, tattoo parlors, bars, and nightclubs. You can find various types of venues and atmospheres with a wide range of music including live jazz, blues, and country, as well as rock, hip-hop, and even punk. This district draws a diverse crowd at night, though you will find a high percentage of single college students coming from the nearby University of Texas campus.
Rainy Street District
This area just outside of downtown is a historic residential neighborhood that had fallen into disrepair. In recent years there has been a wave of redevelopment and new construction, including the controversial conversion of historic homes into bars and restaurants. Though the area is now incredibly popular thereby driving up land values, many local residents are not fans of the nighttime crowds of rowdy people that head into their neighborhood. These newly renovated houses feature small interiors but large outdoor spaces with plenty of seating. Many of the venues even have games including darts, horseshoes, hook and ring games, or more traditional board and card games to keep you entertained well into the night.
Austin is often regarded as the Live Music Capital of the World and for good reason. In addition to many popular music festivals that call the city home, like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, you can find a huge number and variety of live music shows. You'll find the highest concentration of live music venues in downtown, but there are plenty of other bars and cafes in other nearby neighborhoods like South Congress, South Lamar, Old West Austin, or the University of Texas campus area.
What's your favorite nightlife spot in your hometown?