Reasons People Love Living in Zilker

Leslie Gossett


The combination of vibrant nightlife, chef-driven restaurants, and live entertainment define Zilker’s lifestyle for residents and visitors. This neighborhood just south of downtown Austin, Texas, is brimming with performance venues, theaters, and artists. In addition to its lively and eclectic range of cultural and culinary offerings, Zilker is home to an expansive (namesake) park and excellent schools, making it a popular corner of Austin for folks of all ages—but especially for young families.

Outdoor Recreation

Zilker Metropolitan Park is considered “Austin’s most-loved park,” offering visitors 351 acres for recreational opportunities, public facilities, and special events. The park’s amenities are vast, including three picnic sites and one shelter, five volleyball courts, Zilker Playscape, Disc Golf Course, and Zilker Clubhouse. Reserve a picnic site for your child’s next birthday bash or company picnic, or play some disc golf on the weekend with friends. Even within a bustling metropolis, Zilker offers an opportunity to get in touch with nature and let life’s troubles melt away. You can rent kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, play sand volleyball, and visit the following facilities:

Zilker Botanical Garden, Photo courtesy of Ryan Jones
    • Wander through a hillside adorned with heritage live oaks and lush, green spaces at the Zilker Botanical Garden. You’ll feel as though you’ve traveled to a different world between the themed Taniguchi Japanese Garden, The Hartman Prehistoric Garden, The Riparian Streambed, and The Mabel Davis Rose Gardens. Soak up some sunshine, take in panoramic views of downtown Austin, and rest by the koi ponds.
  • Barton Springs Pool
    • The expansive three-acre pool is a natural spring-fed pool fit for swimming year-round. This local gem attracts people from all walks of life, including children learning to swim, legislators, families, and teenagers seeking shelter from the sweltering summer sun in Austin.
  • Austin Nature & Science Center
    • Head to the Austin Nature & Science Center to relish educational programs suitable for preschoolers, children, families, and adults. Topics range from butterflies to caving and much more. ANSC offers various science and nature-based exhibits to eager learners, including indoor and outdoor native wildlife displays, the Dino Pit, the self-guided Forest Trail exhibit, and more. A visit to the ANSC makes for a perfect way to
      bond with family and nature.
  • Peter Pan Mini Golf
    • For a fun, family-friendly activity, stop by Peter Pan Mini Golf. This family-owned Austin landmark is an ideal destination for a Sunday afternoon outing, playing the two 18-hole mini-golf courses and viewing the beloved T. rex overlooking Lamar and Barton Springs in downtown Austin. You’re welcome to bring your own coolers filled with drinks and sandwiches to spend the entire day outdoors with your family.

Art & Culture

Zilker is home to an array of art facilities where locals and travelers can delve into the region’s history and local talent. Visit one of these cultural establishments to learn more about the local color and folklore, or take home a painting or two.
    • Get a sneak peek of Austin’s most talented emerging artists at the Austin Art Garage. This combination store and gallery offers residents the opportunity to acquire locally-made art created in the early stages of local artists’ careers. You can find everything here, from a $20 print to a $3,000 acrylic painting, and support low-income community members in the process. The Austin Art Garage is a must-visit to purchase fresh and exciting art to adorn the interior of your home.
    • Experience provocative theater, music, dance performances, and captivating art exhibitions at the Dougherty Arts Center. This invaluable facility is Austin’s oldest community arts venue, creating endless opportunities for established and rising artists to showcase their work since 1978. Within the center lies the 2,000 square foot Julia C. Butridge Gallery with its many exhibits, adult art classes, a summer camp for kids, and plenty of other opportunities for expanding minds.
Photo courtesy of UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum
  • UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum
    • Visit the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum to view the incredible work of Charles Umlauf, along with artwork by visual and performing artists, in a museum and garden setting. The museum provides educational and cultural experiences that foster an understanding and appreciation for the intersection of art, nature, and sculpture. Two upcoming exhibitions include the interactive video projection Courtney Egan: Superflora; and Design Shine 2021, a collaborative display of installations built by local Austin architects, designers, and artists.
    • If you’re a fan of contemporary art, stop by Austin’s largest contemporary art gallery, Ao5 Gallery. Showcasing work from around the world, the gallery rotates its display of featured artists often enough to keep the gallery fresh and attract new visitors. Ao5 is home to one of the world’s largest permanent collections, The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss. This collection comprises hand-selected, estate authorized, limited edition reproductions of Dr. Seuss’s original art, giving visitors a moment of nostalgia. Other fantastic artists showcased here include Cynthia Chartier, Bob Hunt, Jane Johnson, and Salvador Dalí.

Food & Drink

Dining options are plentiful in Zilker, as are opportunities to get out and paint the town red. Zilker inhabitants are never hungry or bored with the array of eateries and bars accessible to them.
  • Snooze A.M. Eatery is the perfect spot for breakfast with family, or brunch with close friends. Help your system detox after a wild night out with a cold-pressed green juice, wake up with a lavender latte, or continue the celebration with a spicy bloody mary, choice mimosa, or morning marg. Fuel up for the day with a three-egg omelet or a hearty breakfast pot pie while the kids enjoy Lil Pardner’s pancakes. Make Snooze your next breakfast destination to enjoy delicious cage-free eggs and eye-opening local nitro cold brew.

  • Terry Black's BBQ
    • If you’re looking for some delectable down-home barbecue, head to Terry Black's BBQ joint. Terry Black passed down generations of barbecue knowledge he gained from his experience in the Lockhart BBQ scene, providing Austin and Dallas locals with exceptional barbecue. Whether you enjoy beef ribs, pork ribs, prime sliced brisket, mac-n-cheese, or baked potato salad, you can find it all here.
  • Odd Duck
    • Delight in a fabulous and laid-back date night dining experience at Odd Duck. This establishment takes a craftsman's approach to cooking its exceptional and innovative menu and is inspired by ingredients grown by outstanding local farmers. Start dinner by sharing a fresh plate of snapper ceviche and a smoked Cajun pork rillette, served with sourdough toast, peaches, and pickles. Follow it up with some seared scallops and Wagyu sirloin cap. Share some corn panna cotta and sip barrel-aged cocktails for dessert.
  • Corner Bar
    • For a relaxed bar where you can bring your own food to nosh and canine companions to snuggle, head to Corner Bar. This spot is perfect for an after-work hangout with friends or colleagues to enjoy ice-cold craft and imported brews.
  • Gibson Street Bar
    • If you prefer a hip canteen with a food truck providing tasty fares out front, Gibson Street Bar is the place to be. The tap list boasts 16 Texan and California ales, ciders, and lagers. Cocktails range from frozen spicy bonitas to Toronto sours, prepared on the rocks with Pendleton whiskey, malbec, lemon, and simple syrup. Don’t miss the Monday through Friday 4-7:00 p.m. happy hour, when drinks are $3, and various drafts are $4.
  • One-2-One Bar
    • Austin is world-renowned for its thriving music scene, and One-2-One Bar is a great place to get a taste. Local musicians share their talents a few times a week at this friendly establishment. Check their Twitter feed to keep updated on the week’s show schedule. Live music, a full bar, and a convivial, relaxed atmosphere make this a favorite watering hole amongst locals.


Beyond all the fun and entertainment, parents love the many outstanding educational institutions within Zilker and its surrounding neighborhoods:

Once you’ve explored the neighborhood for yourself and are ready to see Zilker homes for sale, contact Austin luxury realtor Leslie Gossett. Leslie’s experience, research, and dedication to her clients will ensure you find the Austin luxury real estate that’s perfect for your needs.

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