Your Expert Guide
South Congress: Artists and entrepreneurs converge near Lady Bird Lake
There are so many great places to live in Austin that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Kuper Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
South Congress — or SoCo, as the locals call it — is "the home and gathering place of artists, entrepreneurs, long-time Austinites, and a diverse mix of newcomers," says real estate agent Carl Shurr.
And Shurr should know. He's lived in Travis Heights, right next to the bustling SoCo scene, for the past decade. The parks, local businesses, and close proximity to Lady Bird Lake, downtown, and the airport drew him to the area.
He's also been working in the SoCo area for about 15 years, calling it "the best place to live and invest in real estate for more than a decade. I love the combination of peaceful outdoors space with a bustling urban corridor along South Congress Avenue. It is the best place in Austin to own a home with a yard and still be walking distance from parks, restaurants, and shops."
Shurr offered up a few more of his personal favorites about life in SoCo. Here's his guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
If you're looking for great food and atmosphere plus the best patio dining on South Congress, check out Perla's and Aba.
"For lunch, my two favorite spots are June's and Cafe No Se," Shurr says. "Want breakfast at lunchtime? June's serves breakfast until 3 pm on weekdays. Try the omelet, it's amazing."
Looking for fresh sushi in an intimate, relaxed environment? "Neighborhood Sushi is my go-to spot for sushi along South Congress," he says. "Note the semi-hidden backdoor entrance — there is no signage for the restaurant or an actual entryway along Congress. If you can't find it, this is probably too cool for you."
Where to play
Stacy Park and Blunn Creek, a terrific place for a run or workout: "I am constantly surprised by the number of people I meet in the area who have never been there," Shurr says. "I take my dogs, Dude and Rocky, on a beautiful 45-minute walk through the park and along the creek almost every day."
Also nearby are Lady Bird Lake and its hike and bike trail, the "perfect place to run, walk, bike, or paddleboard." The easy access point to the hike and bike trail from Travis Heights is at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Alameda Street, Shurr advises.
Where to live
"The SoCo area has a diverse mix of architecture," Shurr says. "It ranges from modern homes built in recent years to ranch-style and midcentury modern homes built in the '50s and '60s, and Craftsman homes built in the 1920s and '30s."
Carl Shurr works and plays in South Congress. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 512-944-5977.