South Congress

Revel in this truly trendy mecca just across the lake from Austin’s Downtown.

Couture food trailers, funky shops, and a spirited atmosphere typify this trendy neighborhood dedicated to keeping Austin weird. Directly across the lake from Downtown, SoCo (how the hip kids say South Congress these days) brims with things to see, places to shop, and bars and restaurants to drink and dine. This neon colored neighborhood tends to make a lasting impression, and SoCo’s cool attitude guarantees the crowds never thin regardless of the time.

See 120 places to stay Save this neighborhood

On the Map

South Congress is bordered by South First, Dawson, Travis Heights, St. Edwards, Bouldin Creek, East Congress, and West Congress

  • Public transit is Possible
  • Having a car is Possible

Bergstrom International Airport: 17 minutes by cab or 1 hour by bus
Zilker Park: 12 minutes by car
Downtown: 10 minutes by car

Alternative Austin In the Heart of an Already Hip City

USA Austin SoCo NM

Vegans, freegans, thrift stores, and food trailers spell South Congress.

USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM

South Congress, or SoCo to an ever-growing contingent of fans, takes Austin's already-present alternative ideals to new heights.

USA Austin SoCo NM

A go-getting trendsetter, SoCo's main strip brims with organic markets, taco stands, and craft coffee-and-brew bars.

USA Austin SoCo NM

Every first Thursday, SoCo's favorite length of concrete stays open late. Its shops flaunt sales, its eateries flaunt specials, and its drinkeries float conceptually-sound cocktails to live music.

USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM

Behind the brightly colored facades of SoCo's sidewalk food stalls, the neighborhood's homes are as eclectic as its main street.

SOCO Koett

McMansions sidle up to redesigned cottages and endearingly shabby bungalows with backyard chicken coops. Sometimes in SoCo, it's what you don't see that adds to its mystique.

USA Austin SoCo NM

In SoCo, no matter how close you get you'll always feel far out.

USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM

That's exactly what people love about SoCo.

USA Austin SoCo NM

And that's exactly what SoCo loves about you.

Pixel
You'll be within 2 miles of Downtown with nothing on your path but SoC0 shops and restaurants... I recommend walking."

The Look of South Congress: Uncommon Threads

USA Austin SoCo NM

SoCo's alternative atmosphere wouldn't be complete without its singular style.

USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM

Despite the tendency to believe the contrary, western-wear shops aren't ironic in SoCo.

USA Austin SoCo NM

Here, cowboy hats are traditional toppers and cowboy boots are casual footwear.

USA Austin SoCo NM

Suit up and boot up, home slice.

The Taste of South Congress: Trailers, Trucks, and Take Out

USA Austin SoCo NM

Austin is revered as a food truck city.

USA Austin SoCo NM

The largest congregation of Austin's mobile eateries rev their menus in South Congress.

USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM

If four-wheeled food wagons don't suit your tastes, grab a booth at one of SoCo's surrounding pizza parlors or burger joints.

USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM

For dessert, choose your own adventure at Amy's Ice Creams, an Austin staple known for its curiously exceptional flavors.

USA Austin SoCo NM

Or make your way to another kind of old-fashioned delight, SoCo's quintessential candy store.

USA Austin SoCo NM
SOCO Koett

Sweets on the walls and sweets by the bucket full. In SoCo, it's hip to be sweet.

USA Austin SoCo NM

We can see why you're sweet on her too, sir.

The Night Scene In SoCo

USA Austin SoCo NM

Austin's reputation centers on its musical prowess, and SoCo showcases some of the city's biggest acts.

SOCO Koett

American legends like Muddy Waters and Janis Joplin have graced the stage at The Continental Club. Go on a Sunday night and sway, strut, and two-step to its weekly country music show.

USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM
USA Austin SoCo NM

SoCo's colorful restaurants, bars, and clubs serve late.

USA Austin SoCo NM

Indoor seating is stellar.

USA Austin SoCo NM

Sometimes patio seating is sweller.

USA Austin SoCo NM
SOCO Koett

If in crust you trust, we trust in you.

USA Austin SoCo NM

All you have to do is arrive.

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Suzanne Koett is a photographer and art educator living in Austin, TX. She first started in photography at age 14 in the SF Bay Area and hasn't put down the camera since. Her work has evolved, but you can still find her photographing in an occasional mosh pit. Suzanne's work oscillates between conceptual bodies of work shown in galleries and editorial essays that are published in magazines.

Suzanne Koett

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I'm a photographer & designer living in Chicago, IL. I'm passionate about cultivating a culture of well-lived life through authentic community. When I'm not creating, you can find me: exploring new cities, drinking massive amounts of coffee, digging through vintage shops, enjoying the latest restaurants, and spending time with loved ones.

Nathan Michael

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