What’s Doing in Austin
Austin, the capital of Texas, is a place entrenched in a culturally rich and live, happening atmosphere. The fourth most populous city in the state, Austin prides itself in titles and motifs it calls its own and which include “the City of the Violet Crown,” “Keep Austin Weird,” and “The Live Music Capital of the World.” It’s an eclectic city, defined as much by a gourmet food truck culture as by music and art.
The city is also steeped in history dating back to the 19th century. After Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836, the area, in central Texas, was on a fast track to modernization and a second wave of settlers, led by Stephen F. Austin, made it their home. The city, originally named Waterloo, was officially chosen as the new capital of Texas in 1839 and was renamed after Mr. Austin, who became known as the Father of Texas.
Today, the city is well known for its friendly people, its cleanliness, and its live music events. Austin has a no-smoking policy in all public places and buildings, and in 2012, it was the second safest major city to live in the country, according to FBI statistics.
WHAT TO DO
Austin offers a unique cultural experience that will have broad appeal to the visitor. From the nightlife to history to festivals and the arts to the outdoors, there’s something for everyone here.
Take a drive out of town before exploring the inner city. Indeed, the city is surrounded by over 14,000 square miles (36,259 square kilometers) of what locals call Hill Country. From fly-fishing in the Guadalupe River in Gruene to visiting the many wineries in Fredericksburg to swimming in Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, the recreational opportunities are varied and bound to please.
Many know the city for South by Southwest, an annual music, film, and interactive media conference held each year in mid-March. Conceived in 1987, the event has attracted tens of thousands of visitors and performers in recent years, and is nationally known for showcasing independent and up-and-coming musical and artistic talent, as well as new technology and apps.