Located in Travis County on the periphery of the Edwards Plateau, the affluent community of West Lake Hills
consists of 2,560 acres of rural woodlands dotted with sprawling luxury homes.
With a mere 40 miles of public streets, the area reflects the community’s dedication to preserving the natural beauty of the region and the scenic character of the Texas Hill Country.
Just six miles from downtown Austin,
West Lake Hills sits on the edge of Lake Austin, a reservoir on the Colorado River formed by the Tom Miller Dam. One of seven Highland Lakes created by the Lower Colorado River Authority, the reservoir provides flood control and hydroelectric power for the region and also serves as one of the major fishing and boating areas in the state.
Schools in West Lake Hills
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Restaurants & Nightlife
Primarily a bedroom community for people who work downtown, West Lake Hills tends to be quiet after dark. Locals usually head to downtown Austin for a night on the town; nonetheless, Bee Caves Road boasts a number of eateries that consistently get rave reviews.
With its catchy motto, “Feed the People,” Texas Honey Ham Company has been a favorite destination of West Lake Hills residents since 2004. Try the rich ham-bone soup for a lunch, or stop by in the morning for a scrumptious breakfast taco with baked-potato hash. You can even grab a spiral-cut ham or turkey breast with a variety of sides to take home for the whole family to enjoy.
Another West Lake Hills favorite, Blue Dahlia Bistro, features a delightful European menu based on simple, locally sourced food. Enjoy a quiet dinner at a table-for-two with your sweetheart, or a casual lunch at a communal table with a few new friends. Favorites here include the tuna tartine, made with onion, basil, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and white beans, and a goat cheese salad with pine nuts and Parmesan. Open for brunch on the weekends and lunch and dinner all week long, Blue Dahlia offers one of the few Happy Hours in West Lake Hills, with inexpensive snacks, a nice selection of imported and domestic wines and craft beer on tap.
Italian food and pizza are another Austin staple, and in West Lake Hills, Marye's Gourmet Pizza and Pub offers some of the best. Fresh ingredients, hand-tossed dough and great wine and craft beers have made Marye's a favorite of West Lake Hills patrons for over 20 years.
History & Culture
Just six miles west of the city of Austin, West Lake Hills grew from a tiny city of 716 in 1960 to a thriving bedroom community of over 3,000 residents in a little over 50 years. Determined to maintain the rural character and natural beauty of the scenic community, the city has adopted a master plan dividing it into five regions based on the unique geographic features of each locale. City ordinances designed to limit development and preserve the natural landscape and wildlife were enacted at the same time.
West Lake Hills celebrates the city's history at the Eanes History Center. Housed in the Old Rock Schoolhouse on the modern Eanes Elementary school campus, the center was founded in 1986 as a learning center, museum and research library. Volunteers host a "Walking Through History" program and other fun, educational events for local families throughout the year.
West Lake Hills connects to I-35, the main artery through Greater Austin, via Texas Loop S, which winds through the scenic West Austin Hills. Most residents in this affluent community own a car; however, those who choose not to drive can call Uber or one of Austin’s many taxi companies for a ride downtown. In nearby Rollingwood, Austin's public transportation agency, Capitol Metro, picks up passengers at Walsh Tarlton and Bee Caves Road for a bus ride downtown. Limousine services, such as Austin Luxury Limousine, offer trips to Austin Bergstrom International Airport, downtown Austin, scenic drives through the Hill Country and wine tours.
West Lake Hills offers few safe options for cyclists or those who like to run errands on foot. Although Bee Caves Road has a bike lane and connects to several nearby trails, the road can be treacherous due to its many steep drop-offs and blind curves.
Life in exclusive West Lake Hills is quiet, scenic and pricey. Rents in West Lake Hills are slightly higher than the Austin average at an average $1202 per month.
Expect to pay less at the pump in West Lake Hills and Austin, where gas prices run about 8 percent less than the national average. Grocery prices are on par with the rest of the country, and going out for a drink or a bite to eat won't break the bank. A meal for two in a moderately-priced restaurant will set you back about $50, while a glass of domestic beer runs $4 to $5. Wine drinkers can expect to pay about $8 to $12 for a glass of Cabernet or Chardonnay.
Traveling around Greater Austin by public transit carries a very reasonable price tag. Capital Metro buses charge just $1 each way for a ride anywhere in Greater Austin and $2 for an all-day pass. Ride the light rail around the city or out to Austin-Bergstrom International
Airport for just $1.50, or take the commuter train to many suburbs for $2.75. Park and Ride locations are available in some locations, but the closest to West Lake Hills is a few miles away in Rollingwood.
Find great shopping in West Lake Hills at the Barton Creek Square Mall, an indoor, air-conditioned shopping center where high-end stores, such as Coach and Michael Kors, rub elbows with old standards, such as Macy's and Nordstrom. Pick up electronics at Best Buy and Brookstone, or shop your favorite brands at the Apple Store and AT&T. Other stores include Aeropostale, Lululemon, Athletica and Lucky Brand Jeans, as well as J.Crew and Ann Taylor Loft. On the way out, stop at the outdoor Barton Creek Farmer's Market for a wonderful selection of organic produce, cheeses, fresh meats and speciality foods such as kombucha and kimchi.
A long time staple in West Lake Hills, Stein Mart boasts a large selection of fashions for the whole family and home decor at prices that rival chains such as Marshall's and T.J. Maxx. The Village at Westlake on Capital of Texas Highway features specialty stores such as Brilliant Sky Toys and Books and GNC Live Well, plus a movie theater and several restaurants, including Izumi Sushi, Lupe Tortilla and Starbucks.
At the center of West Lake Hills on Bee Caves Road, find the Westbank Flower Market, a unique European-style flower shop that offers custom designed fresh flowers, dried floral arrangements and an assortment of live plants, including orchids, bromeliads and wreaths. If you prefer to grow your own plants, stop in at the Barton Springs Nursery for an unbelievable selection and lots of helpful, friendly advice. Head over to Randall's grocery store for your traditional and less pricey staples.
Furniture Brokers on Westlake Drive is like a flea market for those who love interior design. You can find some truly high-end pieces at this consignment shop, where serendipity may lead you to an antique silver set or a fine mid-century modern sofa. Stop by when you're looking for the right accent piece or artwork for your new apartment.
Mild winters and warm summers make Austin an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Many parks dot the area, including several close to West Lake Hills.
For a quiet picnic with the family, visit Mayfield Park and Preserve, an historic refuge located on an estate donated by Mary Mayfield Gutsch, wife of former Texas Secretary of State Milton Mayfield. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the park features the original cottage home of Mr. and Mrs. Mayfield surrounded by 21 acres of nature preserve. Enjoy the beautiful peacocks that roam freely throughout the space, and bring a blanket to sit on while you eat. Because it is supported completely by donations, visiting the park is free.
Close to West Lake Hills on Barton Springs Road, you will find the 358 acre Zilker
Metropolitan Park. Known as the best-loved park in Austin, Zilker Park hosts many enjoyable activities throughout the year. Take a dip in the wildly popular Barton Springs Pool, a three-acre natural pond fed by warm, underground springs. With an average temperature of 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the pool draws crowds of swimmers all year round from all over the United States. You can also take the little ones on a trip on the Zephyr miniature railroad, or play sand volleyball with friends.
If you are in the mood for a relaxing afternoon and evening, visit Zilker Botanical Gardens or the Austin Nature and Science Center, which hosts a number of events for both children and adults throughout the year. During the summer months, see a music concert or watch Shakespeare in the Park while picnicking on the lawn at the Zilker Hillside Theatre. Most events are free other than a $5 parking fee.
For your canine companion, Austin offers twelve off-leash dog areas to enjoy. Try Red Bud Isle Park, where you and your dog can hike, swim in the lake or just chase a ball. Auditorium Park also offers an off-leash area, but you will need to drive there with your pup.