Even though Austin is becoming a big city more and more each day, it’s still holding on to the countryside charm that makes Texas unique. After all, who doesn’t love some peace and quiet outside of the fast-paced city?
Those sprawling ranches you see on the outskirts of town are hard to come by, but they do exist. These three ranches are on the market right now and all within the metro area.
Heading west on Hwy 290, 12990 Trautwein Road is located on 127 sprawling Hill Country acres. This quiet ranch is only 25 minutes away from Downtown Austin but offers all the perks of countryside living with mature oak trees, the juxtaposition of wooded areas and pastures, a private pond with a dock, views of the rolling hills and a scenic drive to get there. The house on the property is a modest two-bedroom, two-bathroom with a wide front porch but with that much land, one could easily build their dream home.
If you’ve been looking for a place to raise your livestock or rather trying to break into the ranching business, there are existing barns on the premises, making this a great home for equestrians!
A bit further out in Dripping Springs, 500 Mt. Gaitor Road sits on 165 acres of gated property to really make your own. With plenty of green space surrounding the creek that runs through the property, it is perfect for those who love swimming in the great outdoors. Speaking of the great outdoors, the property is under Wildlife Management, meaning the extensive land is home to plenty of fauna like whitetails, turkey, dove, quail and could easily host livestock.
As for the living quarters on the ranch, the home is newly updated with a resort-style pool, waterfall and outdoor kitchen. The nearby barn, at 5,000 square feet, is fully insulated and includes a built-in apartment and studio.
This ranch is 35 minutes without traffic from Downtown but it’s only five minutes from the intersection of Ranch Road 12 and Highway 290, so you’ll have easy access to Austin’s massive metro area.
Nestled in the lakefront city of Volente in the Four Points area of 620 and FM 2222, 14533 Pocohontas Trail is the perfect estate for lovers of Lake Travis. Coming in at just over five acres, this estate is much smaller than the other two but counters with fast access to the comfortable amenities of the city, like an H-E-B right nearby.
A custom-made “barndominium” greets you on the property with 4,357 square feet total, with 1,800 square feet of dedicated living space. Inside is two bedrooms, three bathrooms, an office and a flex room overlooking the adjoining air-conditioned barn. With a propane-powered backup generator in the back, two 10,000 gallon rainwater collection tanks, UV filtration and a purification system, you’re prepared for the next winter storm. Plus, there’s room for guests at the next door cabin, with one bedroom, one bathroom, a full kitchen and laundry room. And for your allergies sake, cedar trees have been removed from the property.
Best of all, with 195 feet of water frontage, you’ll always have an enviable view of the lake.
These listings are held by broker associate and realtor Dave Murray.
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Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”
We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.
This restaurant claims to have the most authentic South Indian food, and from what I've heard, the claims might be true! Their menu features the traditional South Indian dishes of Idlis, Vadas, a variety of Dosas, and more.
If you're looking for an Indian and Tex-Mex fusion cozy restaurant, then look no further! Nasha on East 7th Street prides itself on its specialty margaritas, Tikka con Queso, Biryani, and more creative dishes!