2nd Street District
2nd Street District
3.5
About
The 2nd Street District is six city blocks of the best shopping, dining, and entertainment in Austin. Visit our 2nd Street District website for a full list of boutiques, restaurants and more!
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles10 reviews
Excellent
0
Very good
7
Average
0
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Lacey N
Arlington, VA11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Couples
My Husband and I went on a quick trip to Austin and while we were there we decided to stroll down 2nd street one of there shopping districts. there are plenty of shops to pop in and out of and cute little cafes and coffee shops. it is close to everything downtown and we had a lot of fun. A few places we hit personally: Modcloth (the only physical store they have,) I love Austin store, the toy store (we had a little baby at home) and ann taylor loft. only issue: parking. but we found some a few blocks away.
Written January 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary M
Houston, TX427 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Solo
I wanted an easy stroll from my hotel and this fit the bill. I enjoyed going into the local shops (vs a few chains which I can find in Houston). The toy shop was a delight. Loved the Austin General Store which is an upscale gift shop where I purchased some unique items. The area had plenty of restaurants, many with sidewalk tables - but I wasn't there to eat. There are some panhandlers in the area, but that's the same in any large city. Enjoyed my visit.
Written June 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hardydesk
San Clemente, CA90 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Solo
2nd Street District (aka Willie Nelson Blvd) is a very cool area of downtown Austin between San Antonio St. and Congress Ave. Lots of unique restaurants and retail shops. If you're a rocker, you have to stop in at Austin Rocks store for music related tshirts, clothing, etc. One of the more interesting stores was Sikara & Co. Jewelry. Lots of pretty things to look at. Modern jewelry designs from all over the world in sterling silver or gold plated with semi-precious stones. Eliza Page is another jewelry shop with unique designs by Austin designers and others from around the country. An eclectic shop I enjoyed browsing in was Luxe Apothetique. Everything from clothes, jewelry, shoes, perfumes, purses, hair and skin care projects. Very friendly staff too. The W Hotel is right in the middle of this district which also has outdoor patio restaurant. The Willie Nelson statue is right next to the W Hotel.
Written November 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeff T
West Chester, PA336 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2017 • Friends
Looking for local food or fine dining - plus lots of music options Try any of the places down here. The western themed are great - easy cab ride from downtown - long walk.
Written January 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeff K
Austin, TX81 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
I'm a native Austinite, and the 2nd St District would be at the very *bottom* of my list of recommended places to go. The District was completed nearly 15 years ago now, and if there's *any* urban shopping area that's had a higher level of store turnover – pre-Covid, that is – I'd be stunned. (The fact that the District debuted in 2005, and has amassed a grand total of nine TA reviews over 17 years, is very telling.)

I wish I was exaggerating, but while the District's restaurants have done reasonably well, literally EVERY ground-floor retail space has turned over at least once, and most have done so five or six times. Its original "flagship retailers" (the biggest ones with placement on prominent corner) – Design Within Reach and St. Bernard Sports – closed up shop and relocated to the Domain seemingly as soon as their 10-year leases were up. (Speaking of the Domain: now THAT is how you do a mixed-use live / work / play development correctly!)

Why is the Domain thriving – with minimal store turnover (again, pre-Covid) – while the District is failing? A big part of the answer is one they've failed to successfully address for a full 17 years now: where to park. Seemingly simple, I know, and yet impossible to execute in practice.

Originally every retailer could offer free two-hour parking validation with purchase, at least before 6pm. (I can at least understand why free parking isn't feasible at night, given how many tens of thousands of revelers head downtown on an average weekend evening.) Then they cut validated daytime parking on weekends. And THEN they eliminated validated parking entirely in one of the two garages that had it, with the lone exception of the Violet Crown Theater (but only because it's the longest-lasting business in the District's western side). At the Domain, meanwhile, parking is all free unless you valet (though to be fair they have a lot more space up in the suburbs versus downtown).

But wait! It gets worse! The District was originally intended to showcase LOCAL businesses, with only a small number of out-of-town outfits and zero large chains. Today? You can stop for a cold brew at Starbucks before your workout at Barry's or OrangeTheory; pop into Urban Outfitters for some new threads, if you're in the mood to dress like a college kid again; pick up some trousers for the hubby at Bonobos; and end your day downtown with a meal at Sweetgreen. (The District's other new retailers aren't quite as large, but almost none of them are locally owned.)

All that said, the District has at least a few positives. The Violet Crown is Austin's only remaining indie movie theater – yes, the Alamo Drafthouse originated here and is as popular as ever, but considering it's now expanded coast-to-coast and was acquired last year by a private equity company, I don't think it counts these days – and has both excellent cinematic programming and food & drink. While the entire W complex's block – including its hotel & condos, along with ACL Live – is technically outside of the District (though they certainly try to ride ACL's coattails as much as possible), ACL Live is still the city's best mid-sized indoor live-music venue. UAL (United Apparel Liquidators) has stores throughout the South, but they specialize in top-designer clothes (for both women & men) at 90% off (or more!). Finally, Jo's Coffee is an Austin classic, and unlike its better-known S. Congress location, its eatery on 2nd is indoors (with a patio, of course); offers a full food menu; and is as good as it ever was.

In any event, I guess the District's problem can be summed up thusly: it's just not particularly "Austin-y" or reflective of any of its real highlights (ACL Live excepted, but - again - it's not technically in it). Its newest business at this writing is Barry's Bootcamp, the L.A.-based chain of very expensive workout venues where very pretty people with less than 6% body fat flock. Barry's is certainly a good fit in Austin-circa-2022 in general – particularly considering we now have a Soho House and Hermès store five minutes away – but we natives would argue that each of these flashy new out-of-town businesses kills Austin's soul a little bit more each day.
Written August 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JALToronto
Burlington, Canada5,541 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Couples
We enjoyed strolling along 2nd street and did a bit of shopping and stopped for coffee along the way.
Written January 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly C
Roanoke, VA618 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Solo
There are some lovely little shops in this area, a couple of good places to eat. I enjoyed a morning strolling here.
Written May 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Highwayfinds
Daphne, AL364 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Family
Very congested parking, very unclear about parking tickets, business owners and staff seem to not be aware and are of no help. Plus very trashy streets and unkept grass and vagrants on every street corner. Very disturbing.
Written August 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

deannay2017
Euless, TX125 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Family
Different shipping venue in Austin. We have always hit Congress Street for fun shopping and we were looking for something a little different this weekend. We tried 2nd Street District based on Yelps recommendation.... it was fun and we found some nice shops to browse through, later some nice refreshments to enjoy. It was quieter and less crowded than congress and parking was easy. We road through Congress later and there was definitely more activity there. So it depends on what you are looking for.
Written April 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maddy K
6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Solo
Really unprofessional. They've failed to inform their businesses that they can't validate parking after 5 pm. In case that weren't enough, they also don't note this validation policy on any signage inside or outside the garage. So when I turned over my validated parking ticket today, I was told it was essentially bunk and I would still have to pay $8 for the forty minutes I had been parked. When I asked if there was anyone I could reach out to about the issue, they told me to ask the store I shopped at for $8. Really? I've been met with more professionalism at lemonade stands. I don't know if they count on misinforming their customers to line their pockets or if this is just a sign of incompetence or poor communication, but keeping a level of secrecy around this policy can put their customers at a financial risk.
Written January 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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