Downtown Austin is by far the most popular part of Austin. This popularity was driven by the development of high rises downtown, which built up quickly due to the demand to live close to the downtown entertainment. Art galleries, boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, theaters, bars, hotels, spas, drug stores, and farmer's markets are tucked away in every corner of Downtown Austin. The most striking element of downtown may be its absence of any large retailers. Austin residents believe strongly in the value of local businesses.
Attractions in Austin are numerous. A distinctive part of the Austin skyline, the Capitol Building is visible from all parts of the city. Tourists and residents regularly stream in and out its doors. Nearby is Lady Bird, or Town Lake, always dotted with people on manual watercraft, and surrounded by bikers, joggers and walkers moving along the surrounding ten mile path. Over the lake stretches the Congress Avenue bridge, from under which thousands of bats emerge each night to feed on insects and delight tourists. Stubb's BBQ is just one of Austin's many premier live music venues. Once the home of Sam Houston, the Governor's Mansion is a popular tourist and family attraction, as well as the Austin Children's Museum.
Downtown Austin real estate is made up of largely condos and high-rises. Modern styles are stressed and prices are in the upper levels, though the value of living so close to so much in Downtown Austin is hard to price. It's ideal for young professionals both working in the downtown area and commuting outside of it to places like Round Rock.