WEST AUSTIN: THE LOCAL EXPERIENCE
For most visitors, Central and East Austin offer enough activities that exploring other regions takes a backseat. However, West Austin is perfect for visitors looking to get a little more of the "local" experience. This Austin area begins west of Lamar Boulevard and extends toward the Hill Country, with distinct neighborhoods providing more nature-oriented and upscale local flair.
The Barton Springs area along Barton Springs Road is one of the most popular in Austin and is home to Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool, both incredibly popular with visitors and locals alike. Alongside the park there is the Umlauf Sculpture Garden as well as a variety of local restaurants, including Austin Java, Shady Grove, and the soon-to-open Picnic Austin food trailer park.
A bit further north along the west side is the historic Enfield area, which is quickly becoming home to some of Austin's premier fine dining locations. For fine award-winning steak dining check out Jeffrey's or their sister establishment Josephine House for lighter fare. Also in this region is a smattering of tasty every-day menus from Nau's Enfield Drug 50's-style pharmacy and diner, Galaxy Café and Zocalo Café. Nearby, West 6th Street is also a little-explored local gem. Clark's Oyster Bar serves fresh oysters daily while Winflo Osteria (pictured above) offers classic Italian fare in a 1922 bungalow in historic West Austin.
The scenic Lake Austin area is a favorite among locals who want to get away without driving too far. Mozart's Coffee Roasters serves locally-roasted gourmet coffees, live music every Thursday through Sunday, and a deck on Lake Austin. Hula Hut is located next door and cooks up Mexican food with a surfer twist. Abel's on the Lake has a two-level deck overlooking the water and promises "American food with a Texas drawl."
Further west, visitors can retreat to nature. In the Mount Bonnell area visitors can climb the highest point in Austin at 780 feet above sea level and see some of the best views of the hills. Nearby in the Lake Travis area, there are a variety of outdoor activities. Pace Bend Park features nine miles of shoreline along Lake Travis and offers campsite locations. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures offers visitors and locals canopy and zipline fun.
For those looking to get a better taste of "local" Austin and explore the city on their own terms, West Austin is the perfect area to head out for an adventure.