House Sitting & Pet Sitting in Austin
Did You Know? Austin was ranked the #1 city in the U.S. for pets by the Pets at Home website, thanks in part to the city’s 12 off-leash dog parks, lots of swimming holes, and restaurants and cafes that welcome furry customers with water bowls and gourmet treats.
House Sitting and Pet Sitting in Austin
Named the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is a thriving hub of live shows, hipster culture and edgy tech. It’s also a blue dot in the middle of a very red state. And the barbecue? Mouth-watering perfection. So it’s no surprise that Austin is also one of the fastest-growing metro areas on the country. The downside? This once-small-town has grown up, which means a lot of traffic. With few public transportation options, you’ll want to have your own car or be ready to explore all that is happening locally wherever you are house or pet sitting. Given that Austin is also one of the fittest cities in America according to Shape magazine, you’ll have plenty of company on your walks, jogs and mountain bike rides. Just make sure you wear cowboy boots once in a while to show a little Texan pride.
About 12,000 Austin residents call downtown home, while nearly 90,000 work here. From ultramodern high rises and art deco lofts to leasable luxury, living here means easy access to a walkable arts district, live music, festivals, farmers’ markets and more. There is a dog at every street corner café, plenty of indoor and outdoor dog parks, grooming services, doggie daycares and more.
Just north of downtown, the north side is full of single family homes built in the 60s, 70s and 80s nestled amid giant oak trees. It is also home to many big retail chains. The hipsters living in south Austin swear they will never go “above the river” to this part of town, and the opposite is true as well. Cool neighborhood parks include Quail Creek and Walnut Creek.
This is considered to be the most affluent part of town. Though the west side is situated just five minutes outside of downtown, a lot of it looks more like hill country. Mercedes and BMWs fill the driveways, police are ready to hand over speeding tickets, and golf clubs and neighborhood parks are everywhere. This is also home to Lake Travis, which offers water fun like boating, waterskiing, swimming, waterparks, dockside restaurants, beaches and more.
Southwest Austin is home to Oak Hill which, as its name implies, is full of hills and oaks. This is an older part of town, a little quieter with a demographic that skews to original homeowners. Some new neighborhoods offer all the usual amenities of master planned communities, like swimming pools, tennis courts, club houses and more. For a funkier vibe, head straight south to South Congress, or SoCo. This is where the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan took root, and you’ll find funky restaurants and shops that live up to the name. Nearby is the Bouldin Creek neighborhood, which has a strong hippie vibe, and Barton Hills, where large ranch homes are attracting young families who frequent the uber-popular Zilker Park and a scenic greenbelt that leads to Barton Creek, one of Austin’s prized recreational destinations.
Once upon a time, the east side of town wasn’t considered the best side of town. But with the popularity of Austin rising, so are the number of people relocating to this cool live music hub (just never admit it if you’re from California). Now it’s considered one of the top hipster places to live, though there is a bit of tension between long-time residents and newcomers buying up new condos or raising the rents on formerly dilapidated/now newly restored Victorian homes.
The thing about Texas is that everything is bigger here. As more people flock to Austin, the area continues to grow. Which means suburbs with new master planned communities are popping up like crazy, making for relaxing house or pet sitting experiences with only a 30- or 40-minute drive to the heart of the action downtown. Wimberley, Georgetown, The Hills and Lakeway all top the list for suburban living at its finest.
Of course, one of Austin’s claims to fame is the SXSW Music Festival, the iconic, global music festival that takes place each March. If you are lucky enough to score a house or pet sitting gig as this event is going off, ENJOY! It will be impossible to escape the music. (And you wouldn’t want to, anyway.)