Austin is the state capital of the lone star state of Texas where everything is bigger, and dare I say better? Austin is everything you love perfectly wrapped up into a thriving southern community. Music, food, friendship, nature, affordable homes, and raw culture make this city one of the most popular in the nation. Austin is known by many as the Live Music Capital of the World for the vast amount of live music venues, incredible shows and annual music festivals, including South by Southwest. You may have heard the phrase “Keep Austin Weird”, and this exhibits the city’s commitment to its small businesses, working together as a community to support one another through good times and bad. The food is out of this world, from the taco shops with out-of-the-door lines to upscale sushi joints. You might even spot a few celebrities coming to try some of the best barbecue in the country. Nature is abounding, so Austinites like to spend their summers outdoors on the lake, in the natural water holes, and hiking through the mountains.
Austin takes the Travis County seat and is the second largest state capital in the nation. It is the eleventh most populous city in the country and the fourth most populous in the state. The summers are hot and humid, so you’ll want to grab your bathing suit and sunblock and head for one of many natural bodies of water throughout the area. The winters are mild to cool, so the snow may come, but it won’t stay for long. The days spent dreaming about summer are short-lived in this sunny city. Austin has approximately 228 sunny days annually. It is located on the Colorado River with three man made lakes within city limits: Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin, and Walter E. Long Lake.
The earliest known inhabitants of the Austin area lived back during the late Ice Age era. These inhabitants have been linked to the Clovis culture, so they lived here over 11,000 years ago. The European settlers came when the Tonkawa tribe was living in the area. Comanches and Lipan Apaches would travel through the area as well. Between 1835 and 1836, Texas went against Mexico to gain independence and won. Texas was its own country with its own president, congress, and monetary system. The Texas congress sought for a capital shortly after, and decided to name it after Stephen F. Austin. A community known at the time as Waterloo was chosen for its hills, waterways and beautiful scenery, and is now the world-renowned city of Austin. Travis County was eventually established by 1840, and in 1845, Texas was annexed into the United States. In the period following the Civil War, Austin had a population and economy boom. Then, the opening of the Houston and Texas Central Railway turned Austin into a major trading hub. The Missouri Kansas and Texas Railway shortly followed. In the 1880s, Austin public schools and the University of Texas at Austin held their first classes. 1888 marked the completion of the Texas State Capitol, and for the time being, it was the seventh largest building in the world.
After the mid-twentieth century, Austin became one of the state’s major metropolitan centers, and during the late twentieth century, it became a major high tech center for semiconductors and software. The 1970’s were a big deal for Austin and its role in the music scene. The city emerged with locals such as Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and music venues like Armadillo World Headquarters. Austin City Limits, a long running television program, came about, followed by Austin City Limits Festival and South by Southwest, shaping Austin’s major role in the music industry.
Today, people come from all over the world to see their favorite music artists at some of the greatest music venues around. The food options are seemingly infinite and range from Texas barbecue to Tex-Mex, gourmet burgers, al pastor tacos, and so much more. You can find some of the best al pastor tacos in town at Rosita’s Al Pastor. Customers continuously rave about the generous portions of trompo-style pork that is perfectly seasoned, loaded with flavor, and topped with onions, cilantro, and deliciously sweet pineapple morsels. The flavor and presentation are over the top, bringing people back for more time and time again. One place you can’t go to Austin without visiting is Gourdough’s. There is nothing like Gourdough’s, quite literally. This place serves just about anything, on a doughnut. From donut burgers to donut sandwiches, entrees served atop hot fresh donuts and dessert donuts. One example of a dessert donut is the Fat Elvis: housemade peanut butter icing, grilled bananas and bacon with honey. The quaint shops are just as intriguing as the mind boggling eateries, so once you’re done with your one-of-a-kind meal, take a stroll through many one-of-a-kind shops. The streets are filled with shops, food, music, and so much more. There’s truly something for everyone to enjoy.