Austin is a crazy city — crazy cool, that is.
Austin, Texas is a counterculture city with the slogan “Keep Austin Weird". If you’re lucky enough to move here you’ll quickly learn how zany our creative culture can be. It is best known for its dozens of annual festivals, the largest of which include SXSW and Austin City Limits. The infamous 1.5 million bats who emerge from Congress Bridge at dusk keep us a bit batty, too. Austin has things to dofor everybody who enjoys leaving their home: several spring-fed swimming pools, a zealous barbecue selection, a robust art culture, and a bustling music scene.
The Live Music Capital of the World
Speaking of music, Austin dubs itself the “live music capital of the world,” and it lives up to that name with nightly concerts throughout the city. The best places to listen to Austin’s dazzling music scene include C-Boy’s Heart & Soul, Carousel Lounge, Paramount Theatre, and The Continental Club.
Tons of Activities for the Kids
If you’re moving to Austin as a family, then you’re in luck. Austin has plenty of kid-friendly activities to keep your family occupied exploring your new home. The best kid-friendly activities in Austin include the Austin Aquarium, Austin Zoo, Dinosaur Park, Arcade UFO, and Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
The food culture in Austin is insane. Every type of food you might want is here. From food trucks to five-star specialty restaurants. Austin is a great city to treat your taste buds to a variety of takes on barbecue, Mexican food, burgers, and even sushi. If you’re looking for some suggestions, try Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, Iron Works BBQ. Also great is Smokey Denmark for the city’s signature cuisine, and Fukumoto restaurant for Japanese.
Museums and Galleries Galore
Did you know that Austin is packed with art galleries and museums? You do now! If you’re brand-new Texan you can learn more about Texas at Bullock Texas State History Museum. Or if you need an escape from daily chaos and just want to enjoy tranquility and pretty flowers, visit the Umlauf Sculpture Garden. And don’t forget to fulfill your craving to binge on science and learn about unique wildlife or stellar exhibits by visiting the Austin Nature & Science Center.
Austin has also has an abundance of outdoor activities within the city and right outside of city limits. For a good hike, consider romping up Mount Bonnell. Or if you enjoy being outside for your daily exercise routine, go jogging around Lady Bird Lake.
Zilker Metropolitan Park
Zilker Park is among the reasons Austin frequently earns the title as one of the best places to live in the U.S. The 351-acre park is home to some of Austin’s best attractions, including art museums, athletic fields, swimming holes and acres of open space for picnics and leisurely strolls.
Barton Springs Pool
Within Zilker Park is the local favorite, Barton Springs Pool. The natural, 3-acre pool is often referred to as the “soul of Austin". It’s a very popular hangout spot during summer. The underground-fed spring consistently stays between 68 and 70 degrees. Other amenities include public bathhouses and an educational exhibit about the history and biology of the Barton Springs and its surroundings.
LBJ Presidential Library
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is typically a one-hit wonder for entertainment, but it’s a stop that’s still worth visiting. The LBJ Library is one of 13 presidential libraries across the United States, and like the others, this library is dedicated to Johnson’s presidential influence. The interactive exhibit features three floors filled with exhibits that include an 11 minute film of his vision for America, and a replica of the Oval Office.
The South Congress District
South Congress, informally known to locals as the SoCo District, truly shows off Austin’s creative side. The area is home to an eccentric mix of boutiques, restaurants, antiques shops, galleries, music venues and other weird and unique stores. The area is excellent for people watching, too. The older locals maintain a hippy vibe, while many of the younger crowd are embracing more of a hipster attitude. The cultural collision is often on full display.
Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center
Nature has a special spot among residents in much of the Southwestern states and cities. The Westcave Center was built specifically to inspire such a heartfelt appreciation and love of the outdoors and conservation. The Center’s education programs span its 75-acre preserve. The park includes hikes along a forest trail that lead to a creek bed with a waterfall, and surprisingly large cave system that includes stalactites and stalagmites. There are also old cypress trees and ferns dotting the landscape.