The Red River Cultural District is one of downtown Austin’s most exciting neighborhoods and a fantastic place to stay while you’re exploring the city. The trendy district in the city’s core has beautifully decorated and fully furnished vacation rentals in Austin that are only a short walk from the top festivals and events. When you choose an Austin vacation rental in the Red River Cultural District, you won’t have to travel far for authentic food, awesome music and infinite nightlife.

The heart and soul of Austin may be Red River Street, home to chic nightlife spots and live music venues. All along the street are dance clubs, dive bars, rooftop decks and outdoor stages. From hard-driving industrial rock and punk bands to hip-hop mainstays and up-and-coming DJs, there’s a little something for all music tastes. You can walk freely between venues (they’re that close) and even snag some late-night eats like shawarma and pizza at the local grab-and-go eateries.

About the Red River Cultural District

The Red River Cultural District was created by the Austin City Council in 2013 and has expanded considerably since then. Today, the current designated boundaries are 15th Street to the north, Fourth Street to the south, Interstate 35 to the east, and Trinity Street to the west.

The cultural district prides itself on being Austin’s most creative community, offering diverse regional art, creative cuisine and music for locals and tourists. The neighborhood is managed by the Red River Merchants’ Association, a collection of more than 40 local small businesses in the district ranging from live music venues to leading Austin organizations such as the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo Greenway, German-Texan Heritage Society and the First Baptist Church.

Red River Cultural District Vacation Rentals

There are prime vacation rentals in and around the Red River Cultural District. The neighborhood is downtown and quite compact, so there aren’t many private homes available. Most of the vacation rentals in Red River are single-level condominiums or multi-level townhomes. High-rise structures like the upscale Alexan Waterloo at 700 E. 11th Street feature condos ranging from smaller, 575-square-foot studio apartments to more spacious, three-bedroom units offering more than 4,000 square feet of total living space.

Many buildings have retail businesses or professional offices on the ground floor (or the first few floors), then offer living quarters on the floors above. A good portion of bigger vacation rentals homes are located south of Red River in the Sixth Street Historic District or east of I-35 in East Central Austin and East Cesar Chavez.

Since space around the Red River Cultural District is limited, many of the vacation rentals on the market fall into the luxury category. Luxury-rated vacation rentals in downtown Austin present the best of the best: Exquisite high-end furnishings, top-of-the-line appliances and posh amenities – all in an upmarket location within walking distance to countless shopping, dining and entertainment.

History of the Red River Cultural District

When the Red River Street plan was devised in 1839, the street was on the far east side of town. The thoroughfare was a main hub for traffic traveling north and south through the city because the street was one of the few that didn’t run uphill. The district was often referred to as “Germantown” in the early years for the many German immigrants who lived there.

Ever inclusive, the Red River area was one of the first neighborhoods in Texas to introduce black-owned businesses next door to white-owned enterprises, from Sixth Street to 15th Street. Unfortunately, many businesses from 10th Street to 19th Street were removed in the 1970s as part of a contentious urban renewal project.

During the formative years of the 20th Century – the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s – the neighborhood was home to an eclectic mix of used furniture retailers, antique stores, swap shops and trading posts. Many remaining buildings have been converted to nightclubs today.

Live music hit its stride in Austin in the 1990s, but clubs like the New Orleans Club, Snooper’s Paradise and the 11th Door were welcoming icons like Janis Joplin all the way back in the psychedelic 1960s. The ‘90s saw an explosion of live music at venues like Emo’s (formerly The Back Room), Club Deville (formerly Chances) and Room 710. That decade saw the emergence of several new endeavors in the Red River neighborhood – like a punk bar, lesbian rock bar and a skatepark with a half-pipe.

Red River Cultural District Annual Events and Festivals

Many of Austin’s coolest events and festivals take place in the Red River Cultural District. It is the largest concentration of live music venues in the city. The Red River Merchant’s Association (RRMA) oversees the growth and prosperity of the district, including spearheading numerous festivals and events that showcase Austin’s unique culture and one-of-a-kind vibe. Top annual events and festivals include:

·        South By Southwest (SXSW)

·        Austin City Limits Music Festival After-Shows

·        Hot Luck Festival

·        Hot Summer Nights

·        Levitation

·        University of Texas at Austin’s Longhorn City Limits

·        Safer Venues Fest

·        Free Week

·        Oblivion Access (formerly known as Austin Terror Fest)

·        Oktoberfest

The merchant’s association was formed in 2016 to craft more pedestrian-friendly experiences in the downtown area. The RRMA coordinates community murals, street banners, meticulous landscaping and creative trash receptacles that give Austin its own distinctive mood.

According to the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA), designated cultural districts are special zones that utilize cultural resources to invigorate community revitalization and economic development. Cultural districts in the Lone Star State can help generate business, attract visitors, stimulate cultural development and promote civic pride.

Where to Stay in the Red River Cultural District

When you’re ready to experience Austin, consider a vacation rental that is downtown near the Red River Cultural District. The neighborhood truly embraces the whole “Keep Austin Weird” mindset. Not that it’s an odd location or sub-par by any means. In fact, it’s an ideal glimpse into a community that is rich in history and diversity. For decades, Austin has been a refuge for free thinkers, independent spirits and open, unconditional acceptance and understanding. It is a place where like-minded individuals can gather and share their ideas and passions.

A vacation rental in downtown Austin not only opens the door to exploring the city’s noted history and traditions but also provides ample opportunities to discover new, cutting-edge experiences. From the best luxury shopping, notable restaurants and quaint coffee shops to chart-busting new music and comedy acts, it’s a perfect place to break free of traditional norms and try something completely new.

For an unbridled vacation to Austin, eighty-six the traditional hotel room and opt for one of our upscale vacation rentals instead. Why bump elbows with crowds and tourists when you can have an entire residence to yourself? Don’t stick yourself and your family on “hotel row” or at a budget inn off the highway.

An Austin vacation rental may cost a bit more than a hotel, but you’d be surprised at all the extra bonuses and hidden costs you can alleviate by going with a vacation rental. Fix meals at home, stretch out, soak in a private hot tub or pool, and park your ride in a private garage – just to name a few perks of our vacation rentals.

Browse our inventory or give us a call and we’ll help you pick the best vacation rental for your needs.