Nestled on the far side of Shoal Creek just north of downtown Austin, Pemberton Heights is one of three elegant suburbs of the Old West Austin Historic District. Showered with numerous accolades over the decades, this affluent community was developed primarily in the 1920s on the grounds of Governor Elisha Pease, and has become a pillar of Austin’s historic charm for locals and visitors.
Pemberton Heights is a prized neighborhood with gleaming streets, high-end conveniences, a tight-knit community, and varied architectural styles. Though the area comprises mainly traditional home designs, visitors can spot nearby flairs of Art Deco, Spanish Revival, and Tudor elements.
What Makes Pemberton Heights Unique?
Peppered with towering pecan, elm, and oak trees, the thing that makes Pemberton Heights stand out is the over 40 historic residences lining its streets. The first homes in Pemberton Heights were built in the late 1800s, making the neighborhood one of the metropolitan area’s oldest, and several of these estates have been nationally recognized.
Pemberton Castle, for example, began construction in 1925 and still stands at 1415 Wooldridge Drive. Once a water tower, the property was later transformed into the famed Gothic Revival castle many visitors know it as today.
The Reed Estate, located at 2407 Harris Boulevard, was constructed around the same time as the Pemberton Castle. Decked out with eight bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a six-car garage, an oversized pool, and a guest house, this enormous property is a popular local spectacle valued at $20 million.
However, the most notable is the eclectic Bohn House. This Art Moderne expression was built by Herbert Bohn in 1939, and fashioned after the castle featured in the sci-fi movie, Lost Horizon. Equipped with porthole windows and ship-railed balconies, the Bohn House is truly an unforgettable experience.
What to Do in Pemberton Heights
The Pemberton Heights community hosts several annual events for its residents to come together and enjoy the company of their neighbors. These events include picnics, egg hunts, regular happy hours, and much more.
Pemberton Heights offers parks and recreation activities, including hiking, biking, golfing, and swimming. Nature lovers may find the neighborhood's proximity to Shoal Creek and access to plenty of park space enticing. The Lions Municipal Golf Course, opened in 1934, is perfect for a few Saturday afternoon rounds. The course has also seen its fair share of golfing legends, including Ben Hogan and Ben Crenshaw.
The Shoal Creek Trail runs the entire length of its namesake creek, and includes exercise equipment along the shoulders, where fitness classes are hosted daily. Perhaps the most beloved outdoor attraction in Pemberton Heights is Pease Park. This woodsy conservancy flanks Shoal Creek and offers miles of trails perfect for cycling and dog-walking, and features basketball courts, volleyball pits, a playground, and a splash pad.
Nearby Guadalupe Street, better known as The Drag, houses some of the trendiest shops and restaurants in the city. The strip includes the renowned Cactus Cafe, a popular setting for various live acts performing in Austin.
Where to Eat in Pemberton Heights
The restaurants in Pemberton Heights are some of the best in the city. While there are plenty of casual spots to grab a bite or sip on a cocktail with friends, we suggest going upscale. Jeffrey’s is a chic fine-dining icon featuring refined New American fare in a stylish ambiance, complete with a lively bar. Service is impeccable, and the atmosphere will transport you from your Pemberton Heights home to a world of luxury.
Another great restaurant located in Pemberton Heights is Uchiko. This restaurant serves some of the best sushi and small plates in town. They have an upscale farmhouse-chic space that would be perfect for date night or even just hanging out with friends at happy hour.
Olamaie is a new addition to Pemberton Heights that serves southern comfort food with an upscale twist. The interior has been completely renovated from its prior use as a home, and it now has all the charm of an antique southern eatery.
Péché is French for "sin," which is fitting because it's all about indulgence — both in cuisine and atmosphere. Housed in an old Victorian home, this restaurant focuses on French comfort foods like beef bourguignon and escargot, with a few modern twists thrown in for good measure.
Pemberton Heights Schools
Pemberton Heights is zoned in Austin’s Independent School District, an exceptional district with several public, magnet, and private options. Students can choose from the top three AISD public campuses, including:
Alternatively, Pemberton Heights students can choose from several magnet and academy programs, including the following:
- Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA)
- McCallum High School Fine Arts Academy
- Fulmore Middle School Humanities and Law Magnet Program
Real Estate in Pemberton Heights
Pemberton Heights can be described as an urban/suburban mix based on population density. According to Neighborhood Scout, Pemberton Heights real estate inventory consists mainly of modest three and four-bedroom properties, to more expansive five or six-bedroom single-family estates. Pemberton Heights homes are typically more established, built between the 1940s and 1970s, with some residences built before 1940.
The median home price is about $1.5 million, placing Pemberton Heights in the top five percent of most expensive neighborhoods in Texas. Vacancy rates and future construction favor those looking to buy into the market soon.
What Else You Should Know About Pemberton Heights
One of Austin’s most distinguished communities, Pemberton Heights, offers an unrivaled, peaceful, serene life. Homeowners in this area take great pleasure in maintaining the beauty of their homes and land, with many having established themselves as actual master builders.
Surrounded by great artistic and historical experiences worth exploring, Pemberton Heights is where locals and visitors can immerse themselves in nature while still enjoying everything Austin has to offer. Architecturally sharp homes with generous lots and plenty of personalities are some of the many reasons this area is such an attractive place to live.
Pemberton Heights should be at the top of your list if you're looking for a great place to call home! Contact Erin Fabacher today for more information about Pemberton Heights homes for sale.