Discovering Your New Running Loop: Austin Neighborhoods

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       Interwoven throughout the city, Austin’s elaborate trail system makes it easy to escape the congestion of the city and get in touch with nature in just minutes. What is not commonly discussed however, are the countless sidewalks and streets all over Austin’s eclectic neighborhoods. 

       Easy to access and usually overlooked, Austin neighborhoods allow you to change up your time outside and see Austin through the eyes of a resident. Explore three of Austin’s exercise-friendly neighborhoods with these three AFM loops. 

 

Tarrytown 

  • Start/end at Mozart’s 
  • AFM’s loop: 3.5 miles
  • Bike-, foot-, pet-friendly

       If you’ve visited Austin, you probably know about Mozart’s—the coffee shop with bottomless coffee, an outdoor patio overlooking the river and a holiday light show that Austinites flock to every winter. Mozart’s is a local gem, but the neighborhood surrounding it is just as dreamy.  

       Sitting directly next to the river, Tarrytown is a quaint neighborhood made of rolling hills and a myriad of houses depicting a range of architecture styles from American colonialism to mid-century modern. Like an outdoor museum exhibit, you can appreciate the complexity of these towering designs one after the other as you make your way through the streets. 

       Large trees, sidewalks and rolling hills help make this area shady, safe and challenging enough for a satisfying workout. Additionally, Scenic Drive offers a view overlooking the river—and it’s not flooded with visitors. 

 

Hyde Park

  • Start/end at Quack’s
  • AFM’s loop: 1.7 miles 
  • Bike-, foot-, pet-friendly 

       Grab yourself a pastry to-go from Quack’s, and enjoy a pleasant stroll through Hyde Park. Located about a mile north of the University of Texas campus, this historic neighborhood has been around since 1891. With wide streets and sidewalks, it is easy and pleasant to navigate by foot or bike. 

       As you meander the streets, look out for the signature signs you are in Hyde Park. Kept flowers along with wood-crafted bird houses and fairy gardens decorate sidewalks and front yards, resembling an arboretum. On 40th Street, stop by to say hello to some peculiar residents such as goats and other farm animals that will remind you of the city’s quirkiness. A little ways down, exchange a book on 42nd and Avenue F at a library box in the front yard of a fenced, quaint house. On Avenue B, stop by the historical Avenue B Grocery & Market, ranked one of the best places in Austin to grab a sandwich. 

       Instead of an evening at the usually crowded Zilker, play tennis or basketball at Shipe Neighborhood Park, or enjoy a nice picnic in the shade to end your time in this charming neighborhood. 

 

Bouldin Creek 

  • Start/end at Seventh Flag Coffee
  • AFM’s loop: 2 miles
  • Bike-, foot-, pet-friendly 

       Located in the middle of downtown, this cozy neighborhood will make you feel right at home as you stroll down its streets. Bouldin Creek is another neighborhood with many historic homes mixed with sleek, modern styles here and there. The diversity of the architecture reflects the diversity of the neighborhood, which is made up of a mix of new residents as well as those who have been around for generations. Take your time walking these streets, or even take advantage of the current Healthy Streets Initiative on Bouldin Creek to South 3rd street, which makes streets more pedestrian-friendly for safe and responsible exercising during COVID-19. 

       Stop in and grab a coffee from Seventh Flag Coffee, nestled right off South 1st street before or after your venture through the line of houses in Bouldin Creek to complete your experience. Or visit another one of the many locally run restaurants, cafes and shops in the area.

 

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