A Strong Sense of Community and Well-Regarded Schools
More than just a collection of houses, living in Old Enfield conjures a feeling of community pride, along with the welcoming, friendly vibe of residents who lead by example as part of the Austin community. There are always neighbors outside, watering their lawns, enjoying a leisurely stroll or just relaxing on a porch. It’s common for folks walking by to be greeted with a wave or a warm “hello.”
“Everyone knows each other here,” says Ryan Beadle, a local musician and part-time waiter at Cipollina, a popular Mediterranean bistro. “The community here is very close. I think we capture the spirit of Texas better than anywhere else.” Beadle motions to the restaurant’s patrons, including university students, artists and professionals, both young and old. “No matter who you are, you will feel welcome here.”
Homeowners are also attracted to the neighborhood’s well-regarded schools. Students living in Old Enfield enjoy the Austin Independent School District schools including Casis Elementary, O. Henry Middle School and Austin High School. Casis Elementary, located northwest of the neighborhood, was rated “Exemplary” in 2011, while O. Henry and Austin High School were rated “Academically Acceptable.”
Austin’s Best in the Heart of the Neighborhood
Memories are made in Pease District Park. Residents of the Old Enfield neighborhood often gather in the park for family events, BBQs, picnics and occasional live shows. To round out the family fun, kids of all ages enjoy the playground, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, and children’s “splash pad” wading pool.
Near the park, Shoal Creek Trail holds an allure all its own. Outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes, including hikers, bikers and joggers, regularly make their way down the well-traveled path as it stretches along the banks of the small creek connecting from central north suburbs all the way to downtown. Even four-legged companions are welcome to tag along and enjoy the fresh air, natural scenery and cool shade of tall oak trees sheltering the trail.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the Texas heat,” says Dylan Castillo, a Java software developer who moved to Austin from California in 2009, “but I’m glad I can jog here even during the summer.” More than just a shady spot to exercise, Dylan and other dog lovers appreciate the trail for its pet-friendly policy. In fact, some sections of the trail display “no-leash” signs, welcoming joggers to bring their pets and run along with them.
When asked to describe life in Old Enfield, Dylan responds with one carefully chosen word: “Cool!” And he’s not merely referring to the shade. Austin has plenty of attractions, but residents of Old Enfield enjoy the best Austin has to offer right in the heart of their own neighborhood. “I can definitely see myself living here the rest of my life!” he adds with a smile.
Balancing Natural Serenity with Big City Sizzle
Life in Old Enfield offers a rare happy medium between the serenity of nature, downtown’s sizzling nightlife and the youthful exuberance of the nearby University of Texas campus. “We love the convenience of it all,” says Carol Ackroyd, a contractor and long-time resident whose teenage son, Nate, is planning to attend UT in a few years. “Everything is so close. I can walk or bike and get all my grocery shopping done. My friends love to meet me nearby for lunch and shopping, and Nate plays soccer and volleyball at Pease Park.”
Old Enfield is ideal for people seeking a balance of work and play. “The neighborhood has a small-town feel,” Carol says. But she is quick to point out Old Enfield’s versatility — this is an area that never truly slows down. “It’s all a matter of perspective. When you want hustle and bustle, this area will match your speed. But if you want to slow down, the neighborhood has everything you could possibly ask for to kick back, relax and take life easy.”