An Austin DMC Guide to Austin’s Best Districts and Neighborhoods

There’s so much to love about Austin. This capital city has been growing rapidly in recent years, and the rich history and laid-back Texan vibe is what draws visitors in from around the globe. Well-known as a live music, foodie, and entertainment destination, there is so much to experience in Austin. It’s easy to get swept away and even overwhelmed with planning your time here, which is where an Austin DMC can help. Goen South Events is an Austin DMC and we know Austin inside and out; we’re locals, and we want to show you a local experience in this one-of-a-kind city.

Because there is so much to do and see in Austin, choosing an area in which to spend your time can be a daunting task. These are the most popular districts in Austin, each with its own unique attractions, restaurants, hotels, entertainment and nightlife, and personality. The Goen South DMC team will help you discover an area in town that is the best fit for you and your group. For your next Austin visit, here are the top neighborhoods we recommend:

Rainey Street District
Considered the hottest entertainment district by our visitors, Rainey Street is the most-visited neighborhood in downtown Austin. Located just north of Lady Bird Lake, just a few blocks west of I-35, the Rainey Street District is made up of 1920’s and 1930’s era bungalows which have been repurposed into bars, restaurants, and live music venues. The area is a great representation of what Austin is today; this historic yet modern neighborhood has a fun laid-back vibe, great bars, and delicious food trucks. Top attractions in the Rainey Street District include:

  • Banger’s Sausage House – Gourmet sausages made in-house, live music, and over 200 beers on tap… what more could you want? With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating for a crowd, Banger’s has a fun, casual vibe that you won’t want to miss!
  • Lustre Pearl – This is the original bar of Rainey Street, so it’s more than worth a visit. Lustre Pearl serves up delicious cocktails and has an awesome outdoor space with fun activities such as ping pong tables and hula hoops. If you’re looking for an authentic Austin experience, come to Lustre Pearl!
  • Container Bar – This funky bar is constructed entirely from storage containers, making it one of the most eye-catching and unique spots on the street. Stop by for their selection of beers on tap, tasty cocktails, and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

Historic 6th Street District
If you’re familiar with Austin, you’ve probably heard of 6th Street. One of the original main thoroughfares of Austin, this historic street boasts the most concentrated number of liquor licenses in the United States. In other words, get ready for a party! 6th Street is perfect for late-night roaming and bar-hopping, because the streets are closed to car traffic on the weekends. Live music can be found at just about every bar on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Top attractions in the Historic 6th Street District include:

  • Maggie Mae’s – Hands down the most popular music venue on 6th Street, Maggie Mae’s boasts four separate stages on two levels, plus a new rooftop bar. Established in 1978, Maggie Mae’s still showcases live music every night of the week. You’ll love the lively atmosphere and old Austin vibes at Maggie Mae’s, whether you’re ending your night on 6th Street or just getting started.
  • Voodoo Donuts – Crazy creative and colorful donuts that are definitely worth a bite (or a dozen!). They have yummy vegan donuts, too. After a wild night on 6th Street, nothing beats a donut!
  • Driskill Hotel – Austin’s oldest hotel features beautiful architecture and interesting tales of its haunted rooms. If you want to be right by the lively nightlife of 6th Street, the Driskill is the place to stay.

South Congress (SOCO) District
When you visit the trendy SOCO District, you’ll understand the slogan Keep Austin Weird. With plenty of local shopping, gorgeous boutique hotels, and endless food and drink options, South Congress Avenue is the place to be! The ever-growing SOCO area is a great place to take a stroll, grab a coffee, shop for vintage treasures, and discover the one-of-a-kind culture of Austin. Top attractions in the SOCO District include:

  • Continental Club – One of the oldest, most popular live music venues in Austin. With its iconic neon sign and live music every night of the week, the Continental Club is a must-see. Come in for rock n roll, jazz, blues, and country, and see why they call Austin the Live Music Capital of the World.
  • Kendra Scott – Headquartered here in Austin, Kendra Scott jewelry is the epitome of Austin style. She recently opened a large store on SOCO, so if jewelry is your thing, definitely check out her color bar!
  • Allens Boots – You can’t visit Austin without stopping by Allens Boots! With walls full of more Western wear than you can imagine, Allens is the most popular place to get boots and hats in Austin. You might just find a pair of cowboy boots you can’t resist!
  • Guero’s Taco Bar – In a city full of Tex-Mex, Guero’s stands out. With incredible food and live music, Guero’s is a fun and delicious stop after a day of exploring South Congress. Grab a hand-shaken margarita, park yourself outdoors on their patio, and enjoy all the people watching and tasty Tex Mex that SOCO has to offer.

East Austin District
Just east of downtown Austin, this up-and-coming part of town is a vibrant, funky neighborhood that is proud of its roots. East Austin is known for its street art, which can be found on every corner on every block. This neighborhood is full of the city’s best bars, restaurants, and nightlife; once you experience East Austin, you’ll want to come back again and again. Here are some of the spots you won’t want to miss:

  • Whisler’s – This cocktail bar has an undeniably old Austin vibe. Located in a historic building, you’ll be awed by their intricate ceilings and flickering candles. Visit on Friday and Saturday nights, when their mezcal bar is open upstairs. And if you get hungry, go out back and grab a bite at Thai-Kun, one of Top Chef-winner Paul Qui’s food trucks.
  • Cisco’s – One of the oldest (if not the oldest) Mexican food joints in Austin. It’s an Austin classic, and yet it is still somewhat of a hidden gem. Their claim to fame is their delicious huevos rancheros; many credit Cisco’s as the place that made huevos rancheros popular in the first place!
  • Zilker Brewery / Independence Brewing – East Austin is chock full of incredible breweries, and Zilker Brewery is one of the best. With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, a full menu of interesting, local brews, and a food truck right outside, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a weekend afternoon. Independence Brewing is another great option; they have tasting rooms, often have live music, and they offer brewery tours, too!
  • Via 313 – Arguably the best pizza in Austin. Via 313 serves up thick-crust, Detroit-style pizza that’s impossible to resist. Try their extremely popular Cadillac pie (prosciutto, gorgonzola, balsamic glaze, and fig jam) or a Detroiter, with two kinds of pepperoni.
  • White Horse – Put on your cowboy boots and get ready to two-step, y’all! White Horse is an authentic honky-tonk bar with live country music and dancing. They even offer dance lessons!
  • Flyrite – Fast food, Austin-style. Flyrite’s perfectly crispy fried chicken sandwiches are an Austin staple. Try it once, and you’ll be back for sure!

No matter which Austin neighborhood you focus on, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time. The Goen South DMC team knows Austin inside-out, and loves each district’s unique character and personality. We want to help you experience Austin like a local. When looking for a local Austin Destination Management Company, look no further than Goen South DMC. Contact us today and let’s explore Austin, y’all!