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Which Cool Small Towns are Found Near Austin?

Even though you plan to move to Austin, it doesn’t mean you have to choose a home right in the center of the city. There are many great small towns just outside of Austin that gives you access to this great city.

These small towns make it easy to have the best of both worlds; a quiet and spacious piece of Texas and city life just a short drive away. While the city has a small town feel despite its growth, the population of the metro area is close to one million people. If you prefer a slower lifestyle when you’re not at work or exploring the city, check out these cool small towns close by.


The first neighborhood on this list to take note of near Austin is Driftwood; a neighborhood just 30 minutes away from downtown Austin. There is a huge variety of price points here starting at $200k for homes and going up to $2.4 million but on average homes will cost you around $600k.

It’s an interesting neighbor to the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin because this area is full of open spaces and livestock. There are only about 2,500 people here and you’ll notice the homes offer plenty of Hill Country views. Enjoy a new construction home built on an acre or more of land in this little town.

Neighborhoods within Driftwood include La Ventana, Howard Ranch, and Rim Rock. La Ventana will offer a master-planned community within a ranch community lifestyle featuring luxury homes that are often zoned for horses. Howard Ranch is known for its unique architecture in the homes using many features of the Victorian era. Rim Rock has many homes built by production builders allowing for more flexibility for a buyer.


Next up is Spicewood, a neighborhood found about 40 minutes away from Downtown Austin. It’s actually located on Lake Travis giving you the perfect option if you love to live by the water and enjoy outdoor activity. There is a mixture of waterfront neighborhoods and master planned communities.

You can live in the Reserve at Lake Travis neighborhood if you love the idea of living in a neighborhood that combines luxury, a gated community, and an equestrian and waterfront property all in one. West Cypress Hills gives you an excellent neighborhood that contains an on-site elementary school for growing families, while Barton Creek Lakeside will give you that private country club neighborhood you may be dreaming of if you have a golfer in the family.


A super close neighborhood to look at is Buda, a small town just 20 minutes from Downtown Austin. This area feels like the old-time Texas Hill Country but offers close proximity to the city. Check out Shadow Creek for an affordable neighborhood option surrounded by ranches, Elliott Ranch if you want something that will give you a few acres to yourself or Garlic Creek for access to top-rated schools.


Next up is Wimberley, a small town known for luxurious homes and Hill Country views. Check out this small town if you don’t mind a 45-minute distance to downtown Austin but close proximity to Lake Travis. Homes here average in the $300k-$400k price range and you’ll have both the small town feel and a friendly downtown that sees some tourists. 

Dripping Springs

Lastly, don’t miss out on a visit to Dripping Springs for your home search. It’s only a half hour from Austin to the west and features huge lots, local restaurants in Downtown Dripping Springs, and a consistent country vibe.

Check out Headwaters, the most popular neighborhood here, for modern farmhouse style homes and high-end production builds. Sunset Canyon is known for its low property tax rates and minimal community restrictions. Caliterra goes the other way by offering a nice, master-planned community and outdoor green space for bird watching and hiking. Choose Sawyer Ranch if you are looking for luxury finishes, a community pool, and the closest proximity to Austin.

Check out these small towns near Austin if you want a low-key lifestyle near the excitement of Downtown Austin.

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