Whether you\u2019re coming for the live music, seriously good food, or your tech job, Austin is sure to win your heart. The city is home to many things, including UT Austin, South by Southwest Music Festival, Lake Austin, and REX\u2019s headquarters. But it hasn\u2019t always been booming. \n\n\n\nAustin started as a settlement named Waterloo that was renamed and became the state capital in 1839. Up until a couple decades ago, modern Austin remained a sleepy town of slackers. Now, it's a bustling city with home sales off the charts and tech plants moving in record numbers. The Austin metro is the fifth in the nation for a population increase in the past decade, adding more than 510,000 people between 2010 to 2019, according to the Austin Business Journal.\n\n\n\nCheck out our top dining, shopping, and insta-worthy recs to understand the hype around this Texas city.\n\n\n\nDowntown\n\n\n\nHome to the Capitol building, never-ending construction of skyscrapers, and Lady Bird Lake, downtown always has something interesting going on. According to Austin Relocation Guide, downtown promotes an upscale urban lifestyle with a sophisticated, yet laid back, feel. Residents can choose from luxury towers to garden-style or loft condos.\n\n\n\nHead to the historic Rainey Street for a lively scene of restaurants and bars set in 1930\u2019s Craftsman-style homes. Try out Banger\u2019s Sausage House & Beer Garden for brunch and Emmer & Rye for dinner, dubbed by Bon Appetit as one of the best restaurants in the country.\n\n\n\nThe Red River Cultural District is the place to go for live music, whether that\u2019s at Mohawk Rock and Roll Playhouse or Empire Control Room.\n\n\n\nIf you\u2019re looking for nightlife fun, check out Esther Follies comedy club and Midnight Cowboy, a speakeasy with creative cocktails, on Sixth Street.\n\n\n\nCentral\n\n\n\nThe central part of the city is home to UT Austin, one of the largest universities in the nation. Although the area is overwhelmingly made up of students and faculty, Do512 assures us there are plenty of cool spots that aren\u2019t too stereotypically college. \n\n\n\nMake sure to stop by the LBJ Presidential Library on campus to learn about the president who hailed from the Lone Star State. On the Drag, UT Austin\u2019s west bordering street, hit Spider House Cafe & Ballroom for a variety of food trailers, a unique outdoor patio, and even a tattoo and piercing parlor.\n\n\n\nIf you desire an escape from the bustling city streets, Hyde Park provides you just that. With strict rules to protect the community from any drastic changes, it has a small town feel with turn of the century homes and tree-lined streets. The Elisabet Ney Museum is housed in what was once the German-born sculptress' studio and displays the largest collection of her work in the world.\n\n\n\nNorth Loop is Hyde Park\u2019s cool, up and coming neighbor. Spend an afternoon browsing the abundance of vintage shops, like Room Service Vintage, for retro clothing, home decor, and mid-century modern furniture. \n\n\n\nEast\n\n\n\nAccording to Visit Austin, east of I-35 was a historically segregated part of town. While waves of gentrification have transformed the area into a hipster hotbed, there are still mom and pop shops and long-standing establishments. \n\n\n\nEast Ceasar Chavez, a historically Latino neighborhood, is home to the must-eat Juan in a Million. If you\u2019re daring, attempt the Don Juan Taco Challenge, featuring what Business Insider included in the Top 50 Breakfast Tacos in the U.S. \n\n\n\nLooking to change it up? Check out Ramen Tatsu-Ya on East 6th St. for an unexpectedly good bowl of ramen in the middle of Texas. For an after-dinner treat, go to Lick Honest Ice Creams, located in Mueller\u2019s Town Center District. \n\n\n\nSouth\n\n\n\nOften thought of as the embodiment of the \u201cKeep Austin Weird\u201d slogan, South Austin is definitely an area you won\u2019t want to miss. It is laid back and a great mix of old and new. If you\u2019re looking to settle down here, Habitat Hunters says you can expect small ranch homes and uniquely modern ones.\n\n\n\nStart at Jo\u2019s Coffee on South Congress Ave for a dose of caffeine and a photoshoot at their \u201cI love you so much\u201d mural. It wouldn\u2019t be a true Texas experience if you didn\u2019t stop to pick up a pair of cowboy boots at Allens Boots.\n\n\n\nThe next street over, South First St, contains the iconic \u201cGreetings from Austin\u201d mural. It also has Fresca\u2019s, a unique take on fast food, known for its tacos and sides \u2013 think: crispy brussels sprouts and Mexican street corn.\n\n\n\nA little further south, you\u2019ll find the South Lamar neighborhood. Entertainment Magazine named Broken Spoke the best country dance hall in the nation. You\u2019ll want to arrive early for free dance lessons and stay late for live local performances.\n\n\n\nWest\n\n\n\nFor a completely different view of Austin, head west. Full of lakes, hills, and elegant resorts, you\u2019re in for an adventurous day. According to Visit Austin, it is perfect for visitors looking for a true \u201clocal\u201d experience.\n\n\n\nOld West Austin is a historical neighborhood with a collection of architecture that ranges from the 1800s to the 1950s. It is a sought after neighborhood to live in because of its cycling paths, hiking trails, and parks. Here, you get the best of both worlds being in close proximity to both downtown and Lake Austin.\n\n\n\nVenture to the other side of the expressway to the Tarrytown neighborhood. Eat and drink at The Beer Plant, Austin\u2019s first vegan gastropub. Then, shop at the curated Estilo Boutique for high-end clothing. \n\n\n\nWhether you spent your day swimming at Deep Eddy Pool or boating on Lake Austin, you\u2019ll appreciate ending it with a sit-down meal at The Oasis. Grab a margarita and a Tex-Mex meal to enjoy panoramic views of the sunset and Lake Travis.\n\n\n\nArticle by Megan Kong, REX Homes\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nREX Neighborhood Guide: JacksonvilleREX Neighborhood Guide: DenverWhat Home Can You Buy for $300K Across the U.S.?