As the capital of Texas and the seat of Travis County, Austin has seen its share of growth and change. After becoming the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1839, the city initially began to flourish with the building of the Texas State Capital and the University of Texas at Austin. But it wasn’t until the 1980s, when this city started to secure its name in the tech and business world that the population boom really started. Today, hundreds of companies have a significant presence in Austin, among them, globally recognized names such as: Dell Computers, Whole Foods, Google, Apple, eBay, IBM, and Texas Instruments. With a diverse culture of music, food, tech and quirky neighborhoods, Texas capital city has it all. As the fastest growing city in the country, the city has an average of 157 new people arriving every day. Famous for its sunny weather and laid-back vibe, Austin is a popular destination for visitors. And many like it so much that they never leave.
Austin’s tech sector is an important piece of its economy, which is also bolstered by retail, real estate, government, and labor. Recent growth in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies has put the city on the map for those sectors as well. Job creation grows at a steady rate, with most new opportunities being business related.
In the last decade or so, the city has become as famous for its cuisine as its music. Whether your budget allows for fine dining or food trucks, the quality and creativity of the food is impressive. The city is known for outstanding Texas barbecue and tacos. Neither disappoints, nor will the craft cocktail and beer scene. The restaurant selection is as diverse as its residents, so there’s something for everyone: vegans, carnivores, and everyone in between.
Downtown is hopping every weekend with each neighborhood offering a different vibe. Sixth Street alone features three distinct areas, West Sixth (trendy bars for young professionals), East Sixth (laid-back hipsters) and nestled between the two is Dirty Sixth (shot bars). Rainey Street is another bar-laden street with craft beer joints, cozy martini bars, and stylish watering holes that hit the spot for locals and tourists alike. The city’s festivals (both musical and otherwise) are cultural hubs that bring in artists, vendors, designers, and inventors from around the world. South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, and Austin Film Festival, turn the city on its head each year, but in the best way possible – where else will you find a festival purely devoted to bacon lovers? Fans of motor racing will be excited to visit the Circuit of the Americas, which will host an array of races until 2021. Past events and recurring events include: Formula One United States Grand Prix, Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas, Tudor United SportsCar Championship, and Rolex Sports Car Series.
Austin boasts miles of open water in the city and surrounding areas, making paddle boarding, kayaking, boating, and waterskiing all popular activities. A large stretch of greenbelt provides hikers and rock climbers an expanse of beautiful hilly forest to explore. Lady Bird Lake, located downtown, is a great place to go for a stroll or bike ride (we recommend early Sunday mornings), and the lake itself has numerous options for water sports, from canoeing to paddle boarding. If you are a fan of swimming, Deep Eddy and Barton Springs (the largest natural swiming pool in an urban area) are outdoor pools, open year-round, that constantly range in temperature from 68F to 72F (and for the more outgoing, Hippie Hollow is the town’s only “clothing optional” swimming area – kept mostly out of sight on Lake Travis).
The unique geography of the city means the best of all worlds, with coasts, hills, flatlines, and diverse flora and fauna that thrives in each. Austinites love being outside and take pride in the natural beauty of the city. It’s not just people that love the city; 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats make Austin their home each year under bridges and emerge at night to eat insects.
The culture of this city is a unique one, and the old saying Keep Austin Weird still describes many places. The influx of new residents has brought a new diversity that’s evident in the spirit of the city from the public art to the changing culinary landscape. Austin takes pride in its smart and creative residents and is welcoming to the many new faces (and businesses!)
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