Friday, January 4, 2013

The Arboretum

The Arboretum is an area in Northwest Austin that sits at the intersection of U.S. 183 and Capital of Texas Highway/Loop 360, and Mopac/Loop One.  Its namesake is the open-air shopping mall The Arboretum, but this area has a lot more than shopping to offer.

This part of Austin has a lot of hills, and consequently the apartments in the area can have breathtaking views.  Rents range from $750 for a small one bedroom to $1200 for a large 2 bedroom, 2 bath.  Most complexes have amenities such as a pool, fitness center, and party room for residents.  

The Arboretum area is also popular with employers.  Dell, 3M, EDS, Motorola and Texas Instruments all have offices in the area, and with the upcoming Apple expansion, which will ultimately create as many as 3,600 local positions, this area is poised to become even more popular.  

If you like to shop, The Arboretum Mall is conveniently nestled in the middle of this area.  

Barnes and Noble, the national bookseller, has a very large location in the Arboretum.  There's also a Starbucks in the store, so you can sip while you peruse the vast selection of books and magazines.

If you're looking for unique clothing and accessories, Francesca's Collection, has you covered.  From one-of-a-kind dresses and blouses, to jewelry you won't find anywhere else, Francesca's Collection is a boutique-shopping experience without the boutique price tag.

If all this shopping has got you in need of some relaxation, Aziz Salon and Day Spa can give you a complete makeover, from a massage, to a haircut, to a facial.  Walk out feeling like a brand new person!

Hungry after your rejuvenating afternoon of beauty?  You're in luck, because the Arboretum is home to a ton of restaurants.  

The Cheesecake Factory serves delicious home-cooked style favorites in large enough portions to share or take home for tomorrow's lunch and also recently added a lower-calorie portion of their menu if you want to keep your New Year's Resolution or at least save room for their famous Cheesecake.

If a more casual dining experience is your goal, Five Guys Burgers and Fries serves scrumptious, fresh burgers and fries that smoke the fast food competition.  

Why not cap off your tasty meal with a trip to Amy's Ice Creams, the Austin stalwart that lets you pick your favorite candies or fruits and have them mixed into one of their house made ice cream varieties by exuberant youths in funny hats.  With 350 different flavors rotated through their stores, every visit is a chance to give your tastebuds a vacation to an exotic locale.

If you're too tired to walk another step and haven't found your perfect Arboretum apartment yet, the Renaissance Austin Hotel is a beautiful, luxurious place to lay your head.  Its location directly next to the Arboretum means you can hit more stores tomorrow or even venture across the street to the Arboretum Market, home to Saks Fifth Avenue, Williams-Sonoma, Ann Taylor and other luxury stores.