A serene, mostly residential haven worth the short commute.
The dozen of subdivisions tucked into the limestone mesas and glens between Mopac and Lake Austin sprang up between the fifties and the eighties, solidifying this neighborhood as a commuter’s paradise.
Prescient developers, who predicted that fast-growing Austin would soon expand to the northwest, gradually snapped up the more than 2,500 acres in the hilly terrain that would eventually become Northwest Hills. With breathtaking panoramas and easy access to Mopac and 360, two of the city’s main thoroughfares, it has become a densely populated residential refuge.
Long, winding streets and frequent wildlife sightings.
Power joggers and cyclists make use of the many long, steep roads that wind through Northwest Hills. Many of the homes back up to wooded canyons, resulting in frequent appearances of deer, armadillos, and other critters.
Families and commuter students recharge in peaceful environs.
Though you’re away from the action of downtown, there are plenty of neighborhood-sustaining businesses, largely along Far West Boulevard, a main artery. You’ll find plenty of good dining options as well, from elegant multi-course meals at Chez Zee to barbecue at the County Line.
Access to the area’s surprisingly rugged green spaces.
What Northwest Hills lacks in pocket parks and playscapes, it makes up for in verdant protected areas, like Bull Creek, where Austinites like to cool off in the summers, and Bright Leaf Preserve, a little-known gem that offers monthly guided hikes.
Mostly sprawling single-family homes, but also clusters of multi-unit properties.
Students and young professionals populate the condos, townhomes, and apartment complexes right around Far West Boulevard, but as you drive deeper into the neighborhood, it’s all low-slung ranch-style houses and vertical Tuscan villas. A number of properties are dramatically set into the limestone cliffs.
Watching the sunsets at Mount Bonnell.
One of Austin’s must-see natural landmarks is Mount Bonnell, a 775-foot-high outcrop that looms above Lake Austin. Though it requires a little effort to scale (there are both steps and a sloped trail), the jaw-dropping views are worth it, particularly if you time your visit to watch one of the sherbet-hued Texas sunsets.
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