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The Insider’s Guide to Living in SoCo

If it’s quirky Austin charm and city convenience you’re looking for in a neighborhood, SoCo might just be the place for you. After all, where else can you scoot boots at a landmark country and blues club, jog a leisurely nature trail, and sip a frosty beer on a shaded patio with a city skyline view — all within walking distance?

SoCo dwellers are serious about keeping the magical allure of their neighborhood a secret. And we promised not to let anyone in on the fun — except for you. Here’s why you’ll want to make SoCo the place to lay down your roots and hang up your cowboy hat.

An Unrivaled Location

Nestled just south of Lady Bird Lake to Oltorf Street, SoCo is in the heart of the city. Just a short walk from downtown, it’s perfect for an easy work commute or a spontaneous trip to the live music district of Sixth Street. This hip slice of the Live Music Capital of the World is the ideal balance of laid-back neighborhood living and the best “Keep Austin Weird” nightlife, shopping, and fun that the city has to offer. You can relax at the neighborhood pool all year round — it’s naturally heated! — or discover the best local music seven nights a week. Here in SoCo, convenience is the name of the game, and most homeowners can even see the city skyline from their front door!

A Neighborhood That Knows How to Keep It Weird

Forget about Portland, Oregon; we adopted that slogan years earlier. And while that mantra rings true throughout the rest of the city, it’s undeniably evident in the SoCo neighborhood. Here, you won’t be surprised to see a neighbor’s garage fence made entirely from cattle skulls, or a neon pink Elvis Presley bust perched atop your neighbor’s roof — and those are just the homes. From the varied street performers to the novelty shopping like circus-themed Big Top Candy Shop, Austin’s “keep it weird” ethos couldn’t be more true in SoCo.

Distinguished Schools

Families living in the SoCo neighborhood have convenient access to quality schools. Dawson Elementary, Travis Heights Elementary, and Fulmore Middle School all offer dual-language courses and have received Distinction Designations in various subjects. What’s more, Travis Early College High School was awarded six of seven academic distinctions from TEA in 2015, naming it in the top 8% of Texas high schools.

Fun by Day and Night

South Congress Avenue, the main thoroughfare that runs all the way down to the Capitol building, is a bustling playground of fun to explore here in the SoCo neighborhood. With vibrant photo-worthy murals; boutique, novelty, and vintage shopping; and craft vendors on weekends, your piggy bank won’t stand a chance. And then there’s the music! From the loungey soul and R&B at C-Boy’s Heart and Soul to the country and blues twang of the legendary Continental Club, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch local acts before they become famous. Add to your list some of the city’s hippest coffee shops and an iconic hidden karaoke bar, and you’re never at a loss for fun here.  

Foodie Heaven

No matter what kind of grub you’re craving, SoCo has something to satisfy your hunger, from upscale, date-night-worthy Italian to casual enchiladas and margaritas. Early birds and night owls alike flock to Magnolia Cafe, Austin’s long-running 24-hour diner that serves up breakfast as well as burgers, desserts, and Tex-Mex classics around the clock. Home Slice is a local favorite, featuring New York-style pizza and Italian dishes with walk-up window service or a dining room next door in their family-friendly, laid-back restaurant. Guero’s Taco Bar features some of the best tamales and margaritas in town — with a side of live music to go with them. And what better way to end a hot summer day at the pool than with a fried avocado taco from beloved Torchy’s Tacos?

Now that you know all about one of our city’s most vibrant neighborhoods, it’s time to make it your permanent stomping grounds with the help of an Austin home builder. At Paradisa Homes, we build Austin custom homes for SoCo dwellers, as well as the rest of central Austin and even some areas in the outskirts. Contact us and let us help you build the custom home of your dreams — in SoCo or beyond.

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