Clarksville has the best of both worlds: It’s a quaint, quiet Austin neighborhood with unique homes, diverse residents, and plenty of history, but it’s in the center of the city and only a stone’s throw from downtown’s many attractions.
Clarksville was founded in the 1870s by freed African-American slaves, and due to its historic nature, the neighborhood has been preserved from some of the growth happening elsewhere in Austin. While many of the historic homes remain, many new houses are going up as well. The streets are hilly, there is plenty of greenery, and there are many restaurants and shops accessible by foot.
Clarksville extends from MoPac to North Lamar Boulevard (East to West) and extends from West 6th Street to West 15th Street (North to South). Clarksville borders downtown, so all of the clubs and restaurants are just minutes away. It’s also just around the corner from 6th Street and Lamar, which contains the popular shopping area that includes Whole Foods, Book People, Waterloo Records, and Amy’s Ice Cream.
Biking is a very popular way to get around within Clarksville and the nearby areas. There are so many restaurants and attractions nearby, that for some Clarksville residents, walking is an easy way to get the area. However, to get to other parts of the city, this car-predominant town makes driving most convenient. If you prefer to ride the bus, Capital Metro Route 9 passes through Clarksville. If you get stranded downtown or can’t find a designated driver, a quick cab ride to Clarksville is inexpensive.
The People of Clarksville:
Clarksville is far from suburbia; it’s an eclectic urban hub in the heart of the city so it attracts people who love to be in the mix of things. Clarksville has a good blend of apartments, condos, and homes. The cozy homes attract young families, the condos are populated with young professionals, and the funky apartments are popular with students. It’s a hip area and is home base for much of the city’s creative crowd (there are many art galleries in Clarksville), and it’s a very fun place for singles.
If you enjoy walking, you will love strolling through Clarksville’s hilly streets. Clarksville Park and West Austin Park are two small parks in the neighborhood, and each contain wading pools that are open in the summer. If you’re looking for a larger park, Zilker Park is only a few blocks south, and contains hike and bike trails, beach volleyball courts, large open fields, and Barton Springs Pool
. Also, just a few blocks northeast of Clarksville is the Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail, which is very popular with cyclists. If you love to garden, you'll enjoy Clarksville's community garden.
Coffee Shops and Restaurants :
Clarksville is full of cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants, especially along West Lynn. Jeffrey’s, at West Lynn and 12th Street, offers very innovative fine dining. It’s pricey but incredibly delicious. Cipollina, also at West Lynn and 12th, is a beloved Italian bistro where you can dine in or take out. Café Medici, an espresso bar and coffee house, at West Lynn and 11th, is filled with coffee-drinking laptop users. There are many other popular places to dine and drink, such as Cosmic Café (previously the West Lynn Café) and Nau’s Drugstore, a genuine 1950s pharmacy that serves up traditional soda and milkshakes.
Clarksville has been around more than a century, so many of the homes are quite old. Regardless, land value here has been steadily increasing, so you may end up with a fixer-upper if you are on a tight budget for a home.
The average cost of a home in Clarksville in January 2009 was $689,760. In 2006, the average sold price was $520,781, so it is getting pricier to buy here. For those who want to live here but can’t afford a home, consider purchasing a condo or renting an apartment. Renting an apartment will prevent you from having to pay the average $15,451 in taxes hat homeowners in Clarksville pay each year.
The Essentials :
Post office: 2418 Spring Lane
Zip code: 78703
Schools: Matthews Elementary, O. Henry Middle School, Stephen F. Austin High School