BY SHANNON BARRIENTES / PHOTO BY DANIEL RIGDON, UNSPLASH

One of the hottest places to live, work, and play in downtown Austin, 2nd Street District centers on an exciting mix of local retail, restaurants, living and entertainment in a vibrant area of walkable, pedestrian-friendly streets. Take a stroll and find Austin-owned restaurants and world-renowned live music opportunity in this downtown gem. Explore an enclave full of boutiques and Austin-based shops. Stroll the romantic roomy sidewalks glittered with light-filled trees that line the roadways and enjoy locally-designed art (one not to miss—the gorgeous Austin City Hall boasts one of the Gibson Guitars at its entrance).

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Don’t miss out on local favorite Toy Joy.

They carry one of the most distinctive,

bizarre and mind-boggling

collections of products

that you may ever see.

The downtown area known by trendsetting locals as 2ND Street District is also known as Willie Nelson Boulevard, in honor of the local musician. Before you visit the shops, visit the eight-foot-tall Willie Nelson statue on the corner of Lavaca Street and West 2nd Street for a unique photo opportunity. His giant bronze guitar is eye candy for the most ingenious selfies. Just down the street, admire the beautiful Moody Theater, famous for the Austin City Limits (ACL) Live stage. If you can manage tickets, stop in for a show at one of the most epic stages known to grace the capital city. Be sure to visit 2ndstreetdistrict.com and check out their event calendar, as most of the shops offer specials, events, happy hours and exciting opportunities available many nights of the week.

If you’re in the area, don’t miss out on local favorite Toy Joy. This place is not just a store, but an experience, for persons of any age. They carry one of the most distinctive, bizarre and mind-boggling collection of products that you may ever see. And now they’re more accessible than ever before in their hotspot location on 2nd Street. Named by USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Toy Stores in the World” and the “World’s Best Toy Store” by Travel & Leisure Magazine, it’s a stop that can’t be missed. Be sure to visit Yummi Joy, the whimsical candy and vegan ice cream shop, right next door—it’s a cartoonish delight that you won’t soon forget.

On Second Street, you’re within a few minutes’ walk from the Margaret Hoffman Oak Park, the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, and (if you cross the bridge on South First) you’re just minutes from another local iconic statue—the larger-than-life rendition of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Enjoy the district that supports and nourishes the spirit of Austin, right in the heart of downtown! You will be surprised at how much there is to see and explore in the convenient downtown 2nd Street District.