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Pennybacker loop 360 Bridge at night
Pennybacker loop 360 Bridge at night

“Westlake” is the common name for the 31-square-mile area that feeds into the Eanes Independent School District. This includes the cities of West Lake Hills and Rollingwood, plus a small area of Austin encompassed by the Eanes district. Westlake is one of the most prized residential living regions in central Texas due to its excellent schools, beautiful natural surroundings, and high-end homes. Many Westlake homes are within 10 minutes of downtown Austin, affording the region the benefits of a larger city, along with the relative seclusion found in smaller communities.

West Lake Hills is its own city within the broader area of central and west Austin. Originally incorporated in 1953, it is home to over 3,000 people in its four square miles and is a desirable, preferred neighborhood for many, especially those seeking to utilize the acclaimed Eanes Independent School District. In part because West Lake Hills is a city within the larger metropolitan area of Austin and also because its neighborhoods are well established, West Lake Hills enjoys a sense of community and a certain status as a sought-after locale. Part of its appeal is due to its proximity to the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, which shelters hundreds of untouched acres of Texas natural beauty.

“It’s like living in a cabin in the mountains, but with the option of a mansion,” said Paul Rowden, who raised two daughters in West Lake Hills, moving there for the schools in the 1980s. “Our girls thrived. They graduated with honors from UT and now have families of their own.”

Ranging into the multi-millions, residential property prices average higher in Westlake than the median-priced areas of Austin. Westlake’s neighborhoods generally are well kept, and many offer lake, hill country, or downtown views. Westlake neighborhoods are reputable, offering upscale luxury homes on expansive lots with an abundance of mature trees. While some homes date back as far as the late 70s, others are brand new, and most older homes in Westlake have been remodeled.

The Westlake area is zoned for the coveted Eanes Independent School District. Eanes ISD is one of Texas’ top-rated school districts, with high test scores and teacher-to-student ratios, active parental involvement, and a superior extracurricular record.


The larger Westlake area spans about 31 square miles, beginning near central Austin and spreading westward. Westlake is bordered by Lake Austin to the north and is home to west Austin’s Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. Both of these natural settings provide stunning views for many properties. In addition, some homes have views of downtown Austin, Mount Bonnell, the Texas State Capitol, and the University of Texas tower.

About three miles from downtown Austin and stretching westward, the city of West Lake Hills is in MLS area 8E and zip code 78746. Generally speaking, it comprises the 2,560 acres north of Westbank Road, east of Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360), south of Wild Basin, and west of Lake Austin. One of the city’s most well-known streets, Westlake Drive, courses through West Lake Hills and leaves it only after it crosses Bee Creek and intersects High Road.
“Our current property off Red Bud Trail overlooks Wild Basin,” shared Rowden. “It feels so tucked away, though it’s minutes from everything we need.”

Westlake is a close commute for West Austin businesses like nFusion, Kenectiv, Bridgepoint Consulting, 3M, Bazaarvoice, Trilogy, and LCRA.

Neighborhood Associations

Most Westlake neighborhoods have active neighborhood associations for residents. The city of West Lake Hills also has its own website for residents at


Water-sport lovers will appreciate the Loop 360 three-lane boat ramp just a half-mile north of Westlake Drive under the Pennybacker Bridge. Shaded by cypresses and sycamores, it includes a grassy area for fishing and picnics.

Residents enjoy hiking Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. Bordering the northwest side of West Lake Hills, it holds 227 acres of pristine hill country that are home to endangered and threatened species and abundant natural plant and animal life. It is home to the St. Edward’s University Wild Basin Creative Research Center.

On the northeast side of Westlake is 13-acre Red Bud Isle: a beautiful, leash-free dog park that juts out into Lady Bird Lake just south of the dam. Popular with canoers and kayakers, it offers a fishing pier, picnic tables, and cypress-shaded walking trails.

West Lake BeachA mile northeast of West Lake Hills is 60-year-old Westlake Beach, a weekends-only park popular for neighborhood birthday parties and holiday fun. Guests can spend the day relaxing on this privately owned beach, watching ski boats zoom by on Lake Austin while they fish, play horseshoes, and barbeque. Have a boat? Westlake Beach also has in-water boat slips for rent.

For a park-like experience, The Hills Health and Wellness Center offers indoor and outdoor pools, trails, racquetball, and more for its members.


For a day of golf or an extravagant evening at the club, Westlake area residents can drive up Westlake Drive to the members-only Austin Country Club. Founded in 1899, it is one of the oldest country clubs in Texas. The 180-acre club offers 10 lighted tennis courts, a heated pool, 57 boat slips, a fitness facility, and men’s and ladies’ locker rooms. For golfers, the club has the Harvey Penick learning center and an 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye (Golfweek Magazine named Pete Dye one of the top architects in the world).


Originally started by volunteers, Westbank Library is right down the road from Westlake High School and thrives with over 250,000 visitors each year. Across from Cuernavaca Drive, Laura Bush Community Library (commonly called Laura’s Library) is named in honor of former Austinite First Lady Laura Bush and serves as West Lake Hills’ first branch library. It includes a library circulation nearing 750,000 annually.

Cultural Offerings

One World Theatre is a beautiful concert and event venue just west of Highway 360 off Bee Caves Road. Showcasing an eclectic mix of world-renowned performers, the green-built Tuscan style villa was voted Austin’s Best Wedding Venue by Austin 360 readers.

For more culture, Westlake residents can drive just 15 minutes east to visit museums like the Bullock Texas History Museum, the Blanton Museum, the Texas Military Forces Museum, the Texas Memorial Museum, and The Contemporary Austin. Sports fans might head to UT Stadium for a University of Texas Longhorn football game.

Also in downtown Austin is the Frank Erwin Center, hundreds of live music venues, and large festivals like the annual Austin City Limits. The Long Center for the Performing Arts on nearby Lady Bird Lake offers ballet, opera, and theatrical performances.

Shopping and Restaurants

For shopping and dining, Westlake residents just drive down Bee Caves Road. Named after a number of natural caves in the area known to harbor bee colonies, Bee Caves hosts many health and wellness establishments, as well as stores and restaurants.

“Barton Creek Mall is close, and there’s a new Trader Joe’s on Bee Caves Road,” said Rowden. “We shop at the Village at Westlake for most things. There’s a Starbucks for my wife, good places to eat, and a new Gold’s Gym.”

Barton Creek Square Mall is minutes from Westlake and boasts large department stores such as Nordstrom’s, Dillard’s, and Macy’s, plus over 170 specialty stores. It also has a nice movie and IMAX theatre for cinematic entertainment.

The Village at Westlake offers a specialized HEB grocery store (Westlake Market) and various dining options from La Madeline and IZUMI sushi to P. Terry’s Burgers. Residents also enjoy its specialty retailers: Tyler’s Sports, Provencal Home & Garden, Bright Beginnings & Beyond, and more.

Just north of West Lake Hills, where Westlake Drive intersects with Capitol of Texas Highway, is Davenport Village. Home to iconic Maudie’s Tex-Mex, this two-story outdoor shopping center offers residents a variety of dining and retail options, as well as a gym (Body Business) and pharmacy (Northwest Hills).


Welcome to Westlake in Austin, TX

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