If you’ve lived in Austin any amount of time, you’ve surely heard hateful or disgusting comments directed at North Austin.

Some haters say anything north of Hyde Park or north of Allandale or north of Mueller or north of where 183 and Mopac intersect is not “the real Austin.” The phrase, “Don’t Dallas my Austin” is often heard directed at North Austin too, suggesting that part of Austin has become a corporate business park full of chain stores and prefab, single-family houses.

Despite the attitude of many South Austin’ers, there are reasons to defend North Austin from this abuse. Here are 10 reasons why North Austin is actually awesome.

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10.) The art

The fence murals on North Lamar, just south of Rundberg, that the neighborhood painted are incredible. Just look at the Beauty Will Save the World project (above, video by Austin PBS affiliate KLUR-TV) and see for yourself. Notice the different languages, styles, messages and variety of colors? Some of the best art in town can be found on the north side.

9.) The hiking trails

A north Austin hiking trail. Photo: Flickr user Sean Loyless, creative commons licensed.

A north Austin hiking trail. Photo: Flickr user Sean Loyless, creative commons licensed.

They’re everywhere. In fact, there are over 60 hiking trails in North Austin.

8.) The Drafthouse(s)

Just like everyone down south with easy access to downtown, North Austin also has Alamo Drafthouse — two, in fact: Alamo Village and Alamo Lakeline. Alamo Village even premiered a number of SXSW films in 2014.

7.) Sooooo many parks with bike trails

Two bikers at Walnut Creek Park in North Austin. Photo: Flickr user Bruce Turner, creative commons licensed.

Two bikers at Walnut Creek Park in North Austin. Photo: Flickr user Bruce Turner, creative commons licensed.

North Austin hosts 155 parks, a number most other parts of town don’t even come close to. Most of them have bike trails. You know you love bike trails.

6.) The more laid-back Whole Foods Market

Vegetables at a Whole Foods Market. Photo: Flickr user Ines Hegedus-Garcia, creative commons licensed.

Vegetables at a Whole Foods Market. Photo: Flickr user Ines Hegedus-Garcia, creative commons licensed.

One of the most Austin-feeling grocery stores in town is not Whole Foods downtown. Whole Foods Market at Gateway takes the crown instead. Although not the Austin original, it’s still one of the company’s first stores, and the atmosphere is much more laid-back than the downtown location. It definitely captures the friendly vibe that attracted many of us to this city in the first place.

 Hit ‘next’ to see the rest.

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