All the weird, wonderful, whatever you could ask for in Texas
Mar 1, 2009
After living in Austin for almost four months, I can say without hesitation that I'm hooked, and I'll be here for a while. The city offers an eclectic mix of lifestyles and activities particularly refreshing to a transplanted Midwesterner like me.
The unofficial slogan/mantra here is to "Keep Austin Weird," encouraging Austinites to celebrate their differences and support the small business community. I've discovered that weird is good.
A growing technology industry hub, the city has also been named one of the greenest places in America, one of the safest cities in the U.S., AND the live music capital of the world. It's home to the top-ranked University of Texas-Austin (one of the reasons I came here) and boasts a pretty happenin' night life (downtown Sixth Street is crazy on a Saturday night).
And did I mention the warmth? I don't feel the least bit guilty reveling in the sun and 75-degree winter days while my friends and family shiver in 12 inches of snow and cold back home. (Sorry, guys.) The only downside to my new location would be the hot hot hot summer days that I've heard so much about from acquaintances both north and south since I moved here. Consider me forewarned. Also, Central Texas has a reputation for being one of the worst places to live for allergy sufferers.
But the numerous opportunities to participate in some kind of outdoor activity make it all worthwhile. The first time I had ever heard of Ultimate Frisbee was when I moved to Austin, and now I'm playing every week like a (semi) pro. Disc golf is huge here too, along with football and almost any other sport you can name. There are plenty of lakes, parks, rivers and trails throughout the area to keep the outdoorsy types busy.
So what are some good area hangouts? Although I'm still a newbie and can't claim to know the best hot spots yet, here are a few of my personal favorites:
Alamo Drafthouse: beer, burgers, movies, and the occasional Justin Timberlake audience sing along. 'Nuff said.
Trudy's: the best Tex-Mex I've had so far. Mmm...queso.
South Congress (downtown): home to a charming and eclectic collection of shops, cafes, etc. True Austin.
Rudy's BBQ: mmm...brisket.
The Oasis: the food may be mediocre, but you can't beat the sunset on Lake Travis.
Emma Long Park, Lake Austin: laid back and scenic. Great for hiking and a quick camping trip.
And just think of all the places I've yet to discover!
I've been contemplating moving back to Texas recently due to the truly dismal job market, astronomical taxes and impossible cost of living in California. I calculated that if I live to be 200, I might be able to afford a studio apartment in Marin one day, or I could just move to Austin and do it tomorrow. Despite being in the capital of Texas, Austin has more in common with Seattle than its neighbors like San Antonio and Houston. It's like a version of San Francisco with decent weather, a functioning … more
I have lived here since 1989 and I love this city. It really caters to the young and the young at heart! People are super-friendly and everyone likes to have fun in this city. There are tons of cool restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, cafes, parks, trails, swimming holes, lakes and oh yeah... we also have the state capitol here and the University of Texas! We are not only the capital of Texas, but we are also the festival capital of the world I do believe!! The two big festivals of course are SXSW … more
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 15th-largest in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. According to the 2009 U.S. Census estimate, Austin had a population of 757,688. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos metropolitan area, with a population of 1.7 million as of the July 2008 U.S. Census estimate, making it the 36th-largest metropolitan area in the United States.
The area was settled in the 1830s on the banks of the Colorado River by pioneers who named the village Waterloo. In 1839, Waterloo was chosen to become the capital of the newly independent Republic of Texas. The city was renamed after Stephen F. Austin, known as the father of Texas. The city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for government and education with the construction of the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas. After a lull in growth from the Great Depression, Austin resumed its development into a major city and emerged as a center for technology and business. Today, Austin is home to many companies, high-tech and otherwise, including the headquarters of three Fortune 500 corporations, Dell, Whole Foods Market, and Freescale Semiconductor.
Austin was selected as the No. 2 Best Big City in "Best ...