NileGuide Expert Says:
The Second Street District is a great area for people watching. Weekend mornings draw the downtown dwellers out for coffee, dogs in tow. The area also holds a number of special events, like the annual Barkitecture doghouse-building competition, throughout the year.
200 W. Second Street
Austin, TX 78701
Austin's city center holds more than commercial high-rises and government offices -- urban lofts, sidewalk eateries and local boutiques abound, particularly in the Second Street District. Running from the Austin Children's Museum west to the Ballet Austin headquarters, the three-block area provides an alternative shopping experience to the standard indoor mall. Trendy clothing, home decor and one-of-a-kind jewelry stores are interspersed among health food cafes, coffee shops, wine bars such as Cru and Malaga, and gourmet restaurants like Cantina Laredo and Three Forks. Many of the shops and some of the restaurants are locally owned and operated. City officials and local businesspeople invested heavily in Second Street as a way of encouraging people to live, play and work downtown. Austin's City Hall complex adds a funky element to the Second Street District (the building has an armadillo tail), while another popular shopping area, South Congress Avenue, is just a few blocks south.