- April 11, 2023

These Are the Top 5 Reasons To Love The South Congress Neighborhood of Austin, Texas


In the heart of 78704 just south of Lady Bird Lake sits one of the most coveted neighborhoods in Austin. Packed with restaurants, shops, street art, and all kinds of culture, there’s something for everyone on South Congress.

Looking to move into the neighborhood? Work smarter not harder with Smart City, it is a totally free, hyper-personalized apartment locating service. You tell them what you want in an apartment, and they’ll give you a custom list of places that tick your boxes. Once you land on that perfect spot, they’ll help you navigate the leasing process and connect you with utility, internet, renter’s insurance, and other services once you move in.

Here are five of the reasons to love the South Congress neighborhood!


If you’re looking to live or stay in an area where it’s easy to walk to things then this is the hood for you! Located just south of downtown and smack dab between I-35 and Mopac, it’s easy to get anywhere in town. But most of the time, you won’t even need to leave this area. The South Congress strip offers tons of dining and shopping within walking distance. If you’re looking more to enjoy the great outdoors, make the short trek to the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail. You can even make a day of wandering around the area snapping pics of the many murals and outdoor art.


Whether you’re in the mood for new and/ or vintage clothing, coffee, food, or live tunes, you can easily get it in SoCo. Grab a cup of coffee at Jo’s, Toms, or Manana. Dine at Guero’s or Torchy’s, just like your favorite celeb. Catch a live show at the legendary Continental Club. Burn off some calories with a shopping spree down South Congress. Or put some on with a stop at Big Top Candy Shop! Other local favorite shops include Parts & Labour, Maya Star, Feather’s Boutique, Tesoro’s, and Allen’s Boots. You can also pop in for some sparkle and sips at the Kendra Scott flagship store. Need a getaway from home? There are plenty of options if you’re just visiting Austin – or if you’re simply looking for a staycation. The new Music Row complex will have a little bit of all of the above!


Image via @_sharpweek

Trails, parks, huge oak trees, and greenbelt – oh my! Though the SoCo strip is trendy and totally packed during big Austin events like ACL, SXSW, and um, Saturday, you can still miraculously find peaceful luscious green outdoor spaces just steps away. Yes, one minute you can be standing in line at Hey Cupcake and the next you can be walking your rescue dog along a shaded path to Big Stacy or Little Stacy Park. Big Stacy houses a pool for all ages, while Little Stacy has tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts and a shallow pool and playscape for kids. Or, you can head south past Oltorf and venture over to St. Edward’s to explore the university’s grounds.


South Congress is one of Austin’s most iconic strips. At its heart are several blocks of the best restaurants, retail, and oddities the city has to offer. When looking for an apartment in or near this bustling area of town, location and budget are your biggest determinants. To live directly on South Congress means you’ll pay a pretty significant premium; with rent prices similar to those downtown central (think $2000 for an average 1 bed/1 bath). That being said, there are tons of apartment complexes within a 5-10 minute drive to the heart of SoCo, and renting those will save you hundreds of dollars.

Just outside of SoCo, there are a range of apartment complexes that can fit a variety of budgets. If price is your priority ($900-$1300 for a 1 bed/1 bath), anticipate dated appliances, W/D hookups or shared laundry facilities, and carpeted floors. With a higher budget ($1400-$1700 for a 1 bed/1 bath), you’ll have plenty apartment options that were built in the last three to five years, and have higher-end details like plank flooring, W/D included, stainless steel appliances, and modern aesthetics. 

Amenities at all SoCo-area apartments will look quite standard with pools, gyms, and clubhouses. However, one should expect that the more recent the apartment complex was built, the more “wow” factor these amenity spaces will have (think resort-style pools, gyms with modern equipment, and tech-filled coworking spaces).

If you’re looking for an apartment on or near South Congress, Smart City can provide you a custom list of apartment options based on your unique criteria for FREE. Once you tour and narrow down that perfect place, they’ll guide you through the leasing process and connect you with movers and services like internet, utilities, and renter’s insurance. Don’t navigate the apartment market alone — Connect with Smart City today to get started on your search! 


The people in the SoCo area are as eclectic as the homes they live in. Musicians, artists, lawyers, doctors —you name it—a variety of people choose to lovingly and proudly call the area neighborhood’s home. Sometimes you can even go inside some of the weirdest home on the annual Weird Homes Tour. Speaking of weird, have you heard of Chicken Shit Bingo? That’s where people sit around listening to live honky-tonk music, drinking $1.50 beers, and betting on which square a chicken will poop on next. You can occasionally play at C-Boys Heart & Soul. Keep Austin weird, y’all!

Learn more about South Austin by checking out these posts: