Wells Branch – Austin, TX

With many extensive subdivisions, Wells Branch offers residents the kind of anonymity that only comes from living in a massive residential neighborhood. Wells Branch dwellers enjoy quick access to commercial amenities north and south because the neighborhood is bordered to the east and west by Mopac Expressway and Interstate 35. The neighborhood is located about 15 miles north of downtown, and has a higher median household income than the city as a whole.

Schools in Wells Branch

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Restaurants and bars are located on only a few select streets in the neighborhood, so staying in the neighborhood isn't always the best choice for eating out. However, with options on south-bordering Wells Branch Parkway and the many local eateries lining Interstate 35 to the east, a bite to eat is never hard to come by. Inka Chicken, a charcoal rotisserie dedicated to all things that cluck, caters events and has a mean list of menu items, including family dinners with whole chickens and large sides such as rice, beans and as much hot and mild sauce as you could want. Bombshells Restaurant & Bar takes the style of Hooters and combines it with a military, dog-tag-laden theme. Attractive servers carry out originals like the Bettie Boop wrap, with grilled chicken, pepper jack and avocado. Come expecting live music. Evening activities are readily available with bars along I-35 and neighborhood pubs such as Texas Bar & Grill, open from noon to 2 am, so the party can start as soon as you're ready. With pub-food classics and cheap beer, you can relax in a local environment while enjoying the local fare.

History & Culture

Originally resting on the border of the Comanche tribe's region, one branch of the local Walnut Creek attracted the first settlers, the Wells family, after which the area was named. Aside from the major tenant change of the area during that settlement, no substantial cultural changes have taken place, although the area grew over time as the web of Austin's neighboring communities began to intersect. No museums reside in Wells Branch, you need to take a trip of several miles in any direction to reach substantial cultural and historical centers. However, many conservatories, galleries, music shops and educators exist in the area, so the art scene remains solid. Most events tie in some way to training programs such as the strict program held at the Austin Conservatory of the Arts, where various shows, showcases and performances are held relatively year round.


Wells Branch residents have their pick of transportation, though some remain a bit more preferable than others due to the neighborhood's distance from downtown Austin. The Capital Metro bus system hosts the entirety of the area's public transportation, with many bus stops keeping citizens on the go. The Metro Rail service unfortunately misses the southeast corner of the neighborhood, crossing Mopac and heading northwest just before crossing into Wells Branch, but if one possesses a car or means to get to the nearest stop, the train will do the work taking that rider to its final stop downtown. Cabs are not common in the Wells Branch area due to distance from the much busier city center, but the occasional scheduled trip can be arranged. Similarly, while most Uber drivers remain much closer to the city center, it's possible that specific trips can be made, though riders should count on other transportation options to get from place to place. Direct access to Mopac Expressway and I-35 means more traffic for pedestrians and bikers, but within individual subdivisions there are bike lanes and well maintained sidewalks. Bikers still should maintain caution on major roads such as Bratton and Wells Branch.


Wells Branch preserves a slightly lower cost of living than the main chunk of Austin to the south, and at a $790 median rent for a one-bedroom residence, the only way you may find yourself spending a lot of money is if your daily commute takes you far away from the area. Transportation to the city center is relatively cheap, with many more direct routes designed to take travelers from place to place with ease. Cheap fares include $2 day passes and relatively cheap monthly plans, but riders would benefit from keeping their Capital Metro services local when frequent. Cheap gas prices mean drivers can pay around 10 percent lower than the national average. The price of a good beer rounds out the rosy cost equation for residents, with many local bars serving up domestics for anywhere from $1 to 4 dollars, depending on the night.


Many local shops speckle the Wells Branch area, but the neighborhood lacks an abundance of high-end stores, and residents must look along I-35 for best choices. If you want to bring the party home with you, Margarita Man has you covered with anything your homemade good times might need, even if you're just looking to save some money at the bars for your next get-together. A number of stores focus on home improvement products for your house and garden. Legend Lighting on I-35 will brighten your day and lift your mood; its huge showroom keeps local residents in the luxury subdivisions energy efficient and cost-effective with beautiful fixtures and innovative lighting solutions in a warm, modern environment. The Austin branch of local mini-chain Texas Leather Interiors offers residents high-end furnishings for the entire home with that unique Texan flair. Residents looking for a reliable grocer have nearby chain options at the ready, but they need not travel more than a few blocks to reach local stores. The local H-E-B is a popular stop for general needs, and a Walmart Supercenter stands just north of the 45. For specialty ingredients, head for upscale, artisanal shops such as Gourmet Texas Pasta.


Wells Branch contains a handful of beautiful parks and recreational areas tucked away between and within various subdivisions. Patrons enjoy walking the many trails of Mills Pond Recreation Area, which connect the spot to the northern North Creek Park or the southern Katherine Fleischer Park. Area parks welcome the entire family, including your furrier members, and have no fee for visitors. Nearby recreational spots, such as the Wells Branch Disc Golf Course, keep visitors entertained outdoors for a reasonable charge. Occasional events take place within the spaces, but certain spots, such as the Mills Pond Recreational Area reside within luxury subdivisions, and events are not always available to the public. Exercisers love running the trails, which span several miles after winding out of the main courses and throughout the neighborhood, and with many nicely maintained playgrounds in Wells Branch, staying in shape remains a neighborhood mainstay.
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