Experience life in Texas’ vibrant state capital
Austin is Texas’ state capital and one of the most vibrant cities in the US. Formed around a downtown in the 1830s, Austin is a city steeped in history and culture. Home to world-class shopping and dining, the world-famous SXSW festival, and an exciting music and arts scene dedicated to keeping Austin weird, this is a city with an enormous amount to see and do.
Downtown Austin’s real estate is eclectic, offering everything from well-preserved 19th-century properties to gleaming modern high-rises. The historic central neighborhoods of Pemberton Heights and Tarrytown offer an enticing mix of historic and contemporary homes ranging from cute cottages to lavish mansions. The oak-studded hillsides of West Austin feature large estates with gorgeous views. From the hip neighborhoods surrounding Zilker Park south of the Colorado River to the leafy suburban neighborhoods rising into the hills in the north, Austin’s housing options are as diverse as the city’s attractions.
Incredible live music scene
Famous festivals and events
Austin is a diverse city with each of its neighborhoods offering something different. Whether opting to be close to the action Downtown, in the chic areas surrounding Zilker Park, or in one of the city’s many calmer residential neighborhoods, Austin is sure to have an area that’s right for you. The city is known as one of the nation’s most forward-thinking and progressive, with green policies and many residents commute to work via bicycle.
Downtown Austin’s dynamic 2ND Street District encapsulates much of what makes the city so appealing. Covering six blocks, this exciting commercial district offers an enticing mix of chic cafes and cocktail lounges, stylish fashion boutiques, trendy restaurants, and live music venues. Retail highlights include heavily-discounted designer brands at United Apparel Liquidators, unique jewelry from independent designers at Eliza Page, and locally produced cosmetics at Rae Cosmetics Studio.
Chef Tim Love’s Lonesome Dove restaurant showcases bold gamey flavors with a mix of traditional dishes and adventurous concoctions, including rattlesnake-rabbit sausage. Other Zagat-rated dining options in the Downtown area include cozy Italian La Traviata, elevated Texas-style bar food at the JW Marriott hotel’s Corner restaurant, authentic Japanese eats at Daruma Ramen, and casual New American bistro Forthright.
Sophisticated Downtown drinking spots include Mort Subite Belgian Beer Bar and Seven Grand Whiskey Bar, the latter of which carries more than 400 premium whiskies. South of the Colorado River, head to Geraldine’s at the Hotel Van Zandt for globally-influenced sharing plates, craft cocktails, nightly live music, and spectacular views of the city. Nearby Green Mesquite BBQ is considered by many to be the best place in town for old-school Texas-style barbecued meats.
Austin is famous for its live music, and there are dozens of venues across the city showcasing performances every night of the week. The most iconic local venue is 2ND Street District’s ACL Moody Theater, which hosts over 100 performances per year from some of the world’s most exciting touring acts. While Austin is a destination for music lovers all-year-round, this is especially true in October when the Austin City Limits Music Festival attracts around 450,000 attendees to Zilker Park.Zilker Park is an attraction in its own right, with over 350 acres of green space and amenities including Barton Springs Pool and a beautiful Botanical Garden.
Austin’s best-known annual event is SXSW. Beginning as a small local music festival in the 1980s, SXSW has expanded over the years into a 10-day event that makes global headlines with its film screenings, tech conferences, and city-wide live music performances.
The Italian Renaissance Revival-style Texas State Capitol building in the heart of Downtown is Austin’s most iconic landmark. Congress Avenue leads to the Capitol and is lined with many other examples of beautifully preserved 19th-century architecture. At Congress Avenue’s southern end, Congress Bridge comes alive at sunset when well over a million bats take to the sky. Austin’s bat population reaches peak numbers in August, and Austin’s Bat Fest celebrates this with two stages of live music and more than 50 arts-and-crafts vendors.
Austin operates its own Independent School District. Highlights include:
Casis Elementary School, Public, PK-5
Clayton Elementary School, Public, PK-5
Kiker Elementary School, Public, PK-5
Gorzycki Middle School, Public, 6-8
Lasa High School, Public, 9-12