West Austin, which is the area east of the Mopac Expressway, is the most expensive neighborhood in the entire city—and for good reason. It’s a beautiful place to live that provides many nice views of the surrounding area’s rolling hills. If you want a city experience and plenty of access to nature and outdoor recreation, this is a good place to be. West Austin might not be the easiest place to commute from, as there are usually single roads leading out to subdivisions. And although biking does occur on the 360, it can be quite treacherous even for the most seasoned cyclists. However, for those looking for a large home with a big yard (and maybe even a pool or lake access!), West Austin can be a great choice for a more laid-back remote work vacation.
With easy access to hiking trails at the Greenbelt and the nearby Mount Bonnell, you can plan many sunset hiking sessions. The top of the hill is very scenic, so you’re bound to catch a proposal or two if you come often enough. When the urge for swimming overtakes you, you can take the whole family to Volente Beach Water Park, or if you prefer to bare it all, take a trip to the clothing-optional Hippie Hollow Park. The Westlake and Bee Cave areas offer several places to eat, especially at the Hill Country Galleria, but none of the restaurants are quite as hip as in the East Austin neighborhood. Along the water, however, you can explore some old-school Austin institutions, such as Hula Hut, Ski Shores Cafe, Mozart’s, and the Oasis, which are all worth a visit.
This native Austinite has written for local publications like Tribeza and Austin Monthly. When she's not at her computer, you'll find her at a movie theater, practicing her crow pose, or snuggling with her cat.
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