The Texas capital, Austin is nearly centrally-located within the state. Austin generally enjoys quite mild winters, but summer in this city tends to be very hot. The long summer gets extremely humid and, though the area may be prone to droughts, when it does rain, flash floods are also a very real risk.
Naturally, summers like this make water sports popular for tourists and locals alike in Austin. Lady Bird Lake is a beautiful site-seeing location, but you can kayak, canoe, or paddleboard on the water as well. Get a great view of Lake Travis on a ziplining adventure, or relax and cool off while tubing down the Guadalupe or San Marcos Rivers.
Downtown Austin is both urban and modern, and the city’s suburbs are often sought-after home locations for families and young professionals. With that urban city backdrop, Austin’s Zilker Park hosts the annual music festival, Austin City Limits. Over two long weekends, you can watch the world’s biggest bands take the stage, but you’re also sure to discover new talents to add to your playlists. Nearly every musical genre is represented in some way; just choose a stage, watch, and listen! Additionally, the annual South by Southwest festival showcases even more music, but also celebrates film, business, innovation, networking, and more. In fact, it’s more than just a festival: you can think of this event as a conference, job fair, film festival, concert venue, and educational opportunity - all in one!
The major industries in Austin focus on technology, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. Due to the notable events like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest and the presence of many tech headquarters in town, the Austin economy is uniquely driven by both the arts and technology. Sometimes called “Silicon Hills”, this city’s businesses and employers include Facebook, Google, Apple, PayPal, and Samsung. Here, you’ll also find the largest campus/cohort of the University of Texas, with over 50,000 students and 24,000 faculty and staff.
Formerly the small village of Waterloo, it was chosen as the capital when Texas became its own independent republic for a short time. Steeped in history, Austin was named for Stephen F. Austin, who was known as “the father of Texas". In 1893, the construction of the Great Granite Dam on the Colorado River helped cement the city’s place as a stable and sensible site for settlement, manufacturing, and general growth.
The “hipster” is the stereotypical Austin resident, rather than the “cowboy” often associated with Texas. To that end, it’s no surprise that unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird", which is in homage to quirky yard art, wacky food truck offerings, and “indie” music found throughout the city.
As of a 2016 population estimate, Austin, Texas is home to nearly 1 million people, making it the 11th largest city in the nation.