Welcome, Austin 'Dores
Welcome to the Austin Vanderbilt Chapter! With around 1,300 alumni in the Austin area, we have quite a Commodore community for connecting with former classmates, meeting new friends, and networking with Vanderbilt alumni. We host engaging events: educational, networking, community service, athletic watch parties, and Commodore Classrooms, and our year-long calendar is full of these opportunities, appealing to all ages and interests, including families. If you would like to be updated on what is happening, please update your mailing address and email address in your VUconnect profile. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for real time updates. And if you have any questions, please reach out directly to one of us!
Where to Live
Live closer to downtown—most of the jobs are in North Austin, which is up and coming and beautiful, but there’s a lot of construction and the traffic isn’t nearly as bad as everybody says. ’15
The east side is growing so much I can’t keep up with all of the new places for food and drink. Music venues on Red River are great for smaller concerts. If you need some time to play with dogs, Auditorium Shores is a massive off-leash dog park. ’15
East Austin is the cheapest place to live. You can still be very close to downtown and have a good set of bars near you. Austin is an incredibly vibrant city and there is always something to do. Use meetup.com to find others with your same interests. ’12
- Downtown – New, but expensive, high-rise apartments and condos with plenty of bars, restaurants, shopping, music venues, the hike-and-bike trail along Lady Bird Lake, and even two of the city’s best movie theatres at your doorstep.
- South Congress – A walkable area close to downtown with lots of apartments and houses for rent, as well as bars, restaurants, coffee shops, music venues and funky boutiques.
- East Austin – One of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Austin, with apartments, loft condos, duplexes and older homes. Housing prices have been rising steadily in this area, reflecting its up-and-coming status, as restaurants, bars, shops—and hipsters—have flocked to the Eastside.
- Mueller – An urban village on the site of an old airport with newer apartments and homes, as well as restaurants and shopping located 10–15 minutes from downtown.
- Bouldin Creek – Walkable neighborhood adjacent to South Congress with a mix of older and renovated duplexes and homes and plenty of restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques.
- South Lamar – A mix of apartments and multi-use developments, as well as Austin land-marks such as the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater and the Broken Spoke dance hall.
- Hyde Park – An eclectic mix of families, college students and young professionals populate this area just north of the UT campus with duplexes and houses. Plenty of coffee shops, restaurants and small boutique shops within easy walking distance.
Other areas to consider include the central neighborhoods near MoPac/Loop 1 (Tarrytown, Rosedale, Enfield, Clarksville, and Rollingwood) and other neighborhoods in Central Austin (North Loop, Brentwood, Crestview, Allandale), but these areas tend to be a bit more expensive and more “family-friendly” than those noted above.
Affordable homes and apartments can also be found in lovely communities located north of Austin (Round Rock, Pflugerville, Cedar Park) and south of Austin (Circle C, Oak Hill), which would put you anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to Downtown (depending on traffic, of course).
Austin has everything—you can drive 10 minutes in any direction and be in an outdoorsy hiking area or the heart of downtown. Icenhauers on Rainey St. has the best Sunday Funday during the summers, get the Trailer Park Taco at Torchy’s and make it “extra trashy”, and go to a concert at Mohawk. ’15
Get ready for the best food trucks—Torchy’s, East Side Kings, and Via 313 are all favorites. See the bats, go float the river, and drink margaritas on patios all year on Rainey St. ’14
Austin is a fantastic city to explore! I’m still learning about all there is to do, but live music is amazing here. Coming from Nashville, it felt like a similar vibe. We have two big music festivals: Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. Austin has many beautiful parks and wildlife to escape to, but it also has a vibrant nightlife if you’re looking to go out. The city is full of fantastic food, people, and activities—I can’t recommend it highly enough! ’14
- Live music venues: There’s always live music of almost every genre in Austin.
- Alamo Drafthouse: Shows popular first–run movies and smaller arthouse films, during which you can order a variety of food and drinks The Alamo also hosts sing-alongs, quote-alongs, TV watch parties and other fun events.
- First Thursdays on South Congress: Local vendors set up tents and extended hours for restaurants and shops. And of course … there’s always live music!
- Nightly bat watching on the Ann Richards Bridge: Come see the world’s largest colony of Mexican freetail bats feast of bugs at sunset. An annual Bat Fest is held on the bridge each August, when the colony is at its peak population.
- Festivals: Popular festivals held throughout the year include:
o Sound on Sound Fest (November): music and comedy
- SXSW (March): interactive, educational, film and music
o Urban Music Festival (March): music
- Fusebox Festival (April): art, theatre and music
- Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest (April): comedy
o Austin Wine and Food Festival (April): wine and food
o Fantastic Fest (September): film
- Austin City Limits Music Festival (October): music
o Texas Book Festival (October): books and authors
- SXSW (March): interactive, educational, film and music
- Formula One U.S. Grand Prix (November): The only stop in the U.S. on the global Formula One racing circuit attracts folks from all over the world. Held at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack.
- Armadillo Christmas Bazaar (December): Local artisans of all types set up booths to sell their wares as unique holiday gifts. Beer, wine and mixed drinks and live music also featured.
- Trail of Lights (December): An annual Austin tradition, thousands of holiday lights illuminate Zilker Park
- Zilker Kite Festival (March): Hundreds of kites fill the sky over Zilker Park.
- Eeyore’s Birthday (April): In the true spirit of “Keep Austin Weird” this annual event in Pease Park downtown involves costumes, drum circles, general mayhem, and all sorts of fabulous people watching in honor of Winnie the Pooh’s downtrodden pal.
- Pecan Street Festival (first weekend in May and last weekend in September): Huge arts and crafts festival set up on Sixth Street downtown.
- Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake: More than 10 miles of beautiful trails surround both sides of Lady Bird Lake on the southern edge of downtown.
- Barton Creek Greenbelt: 7.2 miles of trails for hiking, biking and walking, as well as opportunities for rock climbing, just 10 minutes from downtown.
- Mount Bonnell: Climb up 106 steps to the hilltop park with some of the best views in Austin
- Zilker Park: More than 300 acres with dozens of trails, picnic areas, multi-use fields, botanical gardens and much more.
- Barton Springs Pool: Located within Zilker Park, Barton Springs is a manmade pool fed by a natural spring that stays at an average of 68 degrees year-round.
Austin - By the Numbers
- Alumni: 1,354
- Students: 32