Austin is the capital of Texas and the county seat of Travis County. Located centrally in the state, the city is part of the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Area and has been named among the fastest-growing parts of the country. What some people may not know about this city is that it hasn’t always been known as Austin. When it was settled in the 1830s, it was initially dubbed Waterloo – the reason some historic sites around town still have Waterloo as part of their names.
Life in Austin
While Austin may not be the first city to come to mind when one thinks of music, there’s no doubt that music is an important part of the culture and economy there. It’s said that this city has more music venues per capita than any other American city. “Austin City Limits, broadcast primarily on Public Television, has attracted thousands of music fans and hundreds of the big names of country music. Sixth Street is said to be one spot where live music is found on almost any given night and you can shout from the roof. But if you’re not finding what you want there, there are lots of other choices. Texas “Dance Halls” or “kicker bars” are found here in plenty. You’ll also find several record labels and lots of professional musicians who call Austin “home.”
Technology has also played an important role in Austin’s recent history with the “dot-com” boom leading to the city’s unofficial nickname – Silicon Hills – though there are not nearly as many of the technology industries here as are centered in California’s Silicon Valley.
- Location: Austin is located in central Texas in Travis County on the banks of the Colorado River, and is 79 miles north of San Antonio.
- Population: 656,562
- Housing units: 276,842
- Land area: 252 square miles
- Persons per square mile: 2,610.4
- Average annual rainfall: 33.78 inches per year
- Elevation: 501 feet above sea level
Things to do in Austin
Austin is the capital city of the American State of Texas and is the fourth largest city in the state. It is situated on the banks of the Colorado River and over a period of time has emerged as a major commercial and technological center that is home to many hi-tech companies. This city holds the honor of being the greenest city in America and since it is very safe, it is also considered as one of the best places to live in the country.
Some of the things that a visitor can do in Austin are listed as follows:
Zilker Park is a must for tourists as it represents the epitome of natural beauty and in addition, offers a large number of activities. While at the park, the visitors can avail of the picnic facilities, the canoe rentals, the riverboat rides, ride in the miniature train, attend the open-air musical shows and play on the soccer fields and the sand volleyball courts.
Zilker Botanical Garden located within the premises of the Zilker Park is spread over 22 acres and is an entity in itself. As one enters the garden, one would find many smaller gardens each of which is a theme for a particular species of the plant kingdom and thus there are gardens named as Cactus and Succulent, Rose, Azalea, Herb and Fragrance, Butterfly and Taniguchi Gardens, which consist of typical Japanese landscapes dotted with waterfalls, wooden bridges, and lily ponds.
The Austin Duck Adventures is a package tour in which one can visit most of the important landmarks of the city in a one-of-a-kind amphibious military landing vehicle that can accommodate 45 passengers along with a tour guide on a single trip. The tourist spots which are visited are the State Capitol, the LBJ Library and Museum, the Governor’s Mansion and a number of lakes in the city.
The Deep Eddy Pool is the favorite haunt of swimmers and water lovers because it consists of a large natural pool that draws its supply from an artesian well. The freshwater pool features a deep end for the lap swimmers and a shallow end for the children and the waders and those with disabilities are recommended to call up in advance and request for handicap access.
The Austin Ghost Tours offer the visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the sordid past of the city featuring serial killers, lawbreakers, and murderers. The tours cover the haunted locations and the spooky areas which are believed to be serving as the residences of the past citizens of the city who have no intention of leaving even after having departed from this world.
The Wild Basin Wilderness Reserve is a 220-acre wildness preserve which was founded by seven women who used this venue to conduct science classes and practical experiments. This park permits only pedestrians who can embark on a trail that extends over two and a half miles and along the way one can sight a number of rare birds like the black-capped vierus and the golden cheek warbler.
The Austin Steam Trains is a vintage passenger train whose interior decor is reminiscent of the 1920s’ and 1950s’ and which takes visitors on a day trip excursion. Sometimes, there are special excursions as well like mystery train for adults, storybook specials for children and trips to the local events and festivals.
The Lone Star Riverboat is a paddle riverboat which is a reflection of the mode of transportation used in the Southern states during the olden days and it takes tourists for a cruise on the Colorado River giving them an opportunity to see the city as it appears from a distance.
The Anne Kelso Salon and Spa is a must for people who wish to undergo hair, skin, nail and body treatments in a relaxing environment and a soothing decor which characterizes a modern setting.
Austin’s Identity Crisis for Downtown Austin Real Estate
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Austin is the capital of Texas and the 4th-largest city in Texas. It is a productive, educated, thriving city that continues to attract new and existing businesses to the Central Texas area.
Austin Texas Real Estate, and the surrounding area (including Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Dripping Springs, and Bastrop), continue to be a sound investment. It is expected to grow by more than 800,000 to 1.2 million people over the next 15 to 20 years. Home to excellent educational facilities such as The University of Texas, St. Edward’s, Concordia and Austin Community College, it is a very desirable place to live and raise a family.
Austin Population Growth
Some Austinites are not excited about the changes going on. The corporations moving in, the family-owned and operated businesses go down while the thirty-six story condos go up. People who have lived here all their lives (or even just more than ten years) say that this is a different city than the one they remember. Back when they might not even have called Austin a “city.”
There was a time when Samsung was just a type of phone people had, not a place where they worked. When video games were a thing people played, not designed. Where Dell was a thing from a song about a farmer, not a computer company. In short, there was a time when Austin was a big, friendly village where everyone seemed to know everyone.
Now, it’s hard to see the sky without noticing the foreboding skeleton of an incoming condominium project or a crane in your periphery. Developers are buying up land and displacing local businesses in order to get the best spot downtown for a high rise that will dwarf all the others, that will sell for more money, which will be nicer and closer to all the downtown Austin attractions.
But what are those attractions
There will always be a Congress Bridge, and so there will always be bats. But will people want to walk from the Sheraton to see them, then get a drink at the Coyote Ugly Saloon franchise Will they want to eat at the Baby Acapulco’s What will make the town special when Las Manitas is gone, when all the little businesses that got us to this point are gone, and the only choices for restaurants are in the lobbies of the newest hotels.
What makes Austin Austin? It’s a good question.
It’s easy to see that the city has lost some of its appeal. Its uniqueness, its originality. Big business has a way of doing that. But is it so bad Is it really true that there will be nothing left
Those small, local places brought people here, it’s true. And they certainly gave Austin its flavor. But millions of more people are here now. The city has grown by leaps and bounds. People still need places to live. And the more people there are, the more money is being spent. There is much to be thankful for when we think about this new “bigger” Austin. The Austin real estate market values go up. Many businesses prosper. The city has more money to improve infrastructure and city services like parks. It’s hard to allow it to change some of what we love, and some of the changes I’m not happy with. But overall I think it will be okay.
The key is that people are still here. The same people that made Austin the coolest city in the… well, in my opinion in the entire country —are still here. They’re still waving at you from their yard, still smiling at you on the street. The buildings aren’t the personality in the city —the people in them are. So let’s make sure those people don’t go anywhere, and we’re all gonna be just fine. Yes, we may have to part with a couple of businesses and landmarks dear to our hearts, but as long as Austinites keep true to what we love about this city, we will retain the part of our identity that is the most important.