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    why we love austin  

Why do I love Austin? Hmmm, there's no short or simple answer. Austin has this amazing culture unparalleled in any other city - and it can't be pinned down to just one thing. Austin is alive night and day - and Austin means something different to different people. The music, the art, the fashion - or the hills, the lakes, the outdoors - or the creativity and state-of-mind, Austin is this amazing place where all worlds seem to collide into one magnificent experience. Whether you are from the West Coast or East, many have stereotypes and preconceived opinions of the State of Texas as a whole - but Austin is something very different. Some say it is the very best of Texas - a wondrous place that has a positive and lasting impact on everyone who experiences it. Mention Austin to nearly anyone and you'll see a smile - followed by, "Oh, I love Austin".

According to Forbes Magazine, Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country - and they have ranked Austin as the "Number One Best Big City for Big Jobs". Austin is fourth-largest city in Texas and the 13th most populous city in the United States. Austin is the Capital of Texas and is known as "The Live Music Capital of the World", "Silicon Hills", "Interactive Mecca", and the "Violet Crown". Residents of Austin are known as "Austinites" and our slogan is "Keep Austin Weird". Austin is also known as a "clean air city" and caring about the environment is not just something we talk about - we make conscious decisions to do our part every day. Our roadside signs say, "Littering is unlAWFUL" and residents take pride in being 'Green'.

Want hills and trails? We got 'em. Want rivers and lakes? We got those, too. Want great food, fashion, and live music? Austin is the place.


The Best of Austin


One of the biggest surprises to first-time visitors to Austin is our amazing terrain - downtown Austin is nestled right next to beautiful hills and surrounded by rivers and lakes. In the late 1800s, Austin became known as the city of the "Violet Crown" for the wintertime violet glow of color across the hills just after sunset.

Austin has a humid subtropical climate - characterized by extremely hot summers with prevailing humid winds from the Gulf of Mexico and mild winters. But when it gets hot, we have plenty of places to go - Austin has a large number of natural springs. Zilker Park's Barton Springs is three acres in size and is fed from under ground springs - which maintains on average 68 degrees year-round.

Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake run right alongside downtown.

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And Lake Travis is only a short and amazing scenic drive away. Think wilderness and palm trees. Think technology meets nature. And with natural beauty, brings great people. Austin is home to many companies, high-tech and otherwise - there are over 115 advertising agencies and growing - and product design shops, animation studios and gaming companies call our city home. Austin is not just the geographic metropolitan center of Texas, it occupies a central place in the state's tremendous economic health - serving as a hotbed for the hi-tech industries and state capital-government jobs from the local all the way to the federal levels.

While Austin is considered a big city - it has a really awesome small town feel. It has the social dynamics of a really cool 'college town' - not only are we home to the University of Texas, we have over 20 educational institutes - with nearly 70,000 full-time students living in, and attending school, right here in Austin. And because there are so many Fortune 500 companies here in Austin, not to mention ALL the things that makes Austin so incredible, many of these students become long-time residents.

The Best of Austin

Austin is dubbed "Silicon Hills" - many technology companies are headquartered or have prominent regional offices here - including Dell, HP, Apple, IBM, 3M, Google, AT&T, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Cisco, eBay, PayPal, Bioware, Blizzard Entertainment, Intel, Samsung, Silicon Laboratories, Oracle, Hostgator and United Devices. Austin is also entrepreneurial-minded with hundreds of highly successful startups like RetailMeNot, Hoovers, RezOvation, uShip, TicketCity, Invoda, GoWalla, SnapPages, Vigil Games, Sneaky Games, Simley Media, and NetSpend.

And with great companies comes amazing people. Innovators, creators, and inventors. Musicians, artists, designers. And Austin has a mindset of niceness. People are just nice here. We share ideas and encourage each other. Austin is magical. Austin is alive.

You can not only 'see' the creativity and inspiration, you can 'hear' it. Listen closely and you’ll hear the sounds that make Austin "The Live Music Capital of the World". On any weekend night, and most weekday nights, you can find live music of every conceivable type. The center of the music scene is on Sixth Street, but there are a couple hundred music venues - including the more famous, such as Hole in the Wall, Antone's, the Cactus Cafe, Emo's, Austin Music Hall, and Stubb's.


The Best of Austin

With more than 1,900 bands and performing artists living in and around our city, you will never run out of great music to experience. From blues to indie rock, jazz to country, rock en español and more, Austin’s nearly 200 live music venues is easily the best musical experience in the world.

Austin's strong musical heritage began in 1933 when Threadgill's hosted renowned artists from around the country - and later featured Janis Joplin. In the 1940s, other music venues, like Liberty Lunch and the Victory Grill, started popping up all around the city. The Victory Grill, which was part of the "chitlin circuit", featured big bands, jazz and blues - and became famous for hosting musical legends including B.B. King, Ike Turner and Tina Turner. In 1964, Texas' last true dance hall, the Broken Spoke, opened.

The late-1960s and 1970s saw country music popularized by Willie Nelson and others - and then joined by a host of other music brought by the more liberal inhabitants who migrated to Austin at this time. Specifically, Roky Erickson and his 13th Floor Elevators helped bring in the psychedelic era. And then there was Stevie Ray Vaughan.


The Best of Austin

But besides all the great live performances by such amazing performers as ZZ Top, Guy Forsyth, Willie Nelson, The Octopus Project, David Garza, Ian Moore, Bruce Springsteen, Spoon, Charlie Sexton, Bette Midler, Skunks, the Violators, Reckless Kelly, Kathy Valentine (Go-Go's), Joe Ely, Sarah Hickman, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Earl Keen, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Bob Schneider, Explosions in the Sky, Okkervil River, Daniel Johnston, Ghostland Observatory, Monte Montgomery, Asleep at the Wheel, The Black Angels, Blue October, and Carla Olson (the Textones), visitors will notice 10-foot guitars all around downtown Austin - in 2006, Gibson Guitar brought Guitar Town to Austin, erecting 35 of these giant guitars around our city - and raised over $589K for The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), The Austin Museum of Art (AMOA), American Youth works, and the Austin Children's Museum.

Austin is environmentally-minded with Whole Foods Market and Green Mountain Energy - and our city is on track to be completely carbon-free by 2020 with ample solar energy, wind, recycling, biodiesel, & green building programs. Austin leads the nation in green architectural building design with 94 buildings totaling nearly 15 million square feet "Energy Star" certified. And today, Austin is considered one of the top eco-friendly cities in the nation. Austin was recognized as one of the top 25 Solar Cities in the U.S. by the U.S. Department of Energy. SustainLane ranked Austin the number-one U.S. city for incubating and clustering technology companies in 2007. Within the past year, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, and MSN.com have all referred to Austin as one of the leading green cities in the nation. Within five years, this fast-growing city intends to power 100 percent of its municipal facilities with renewable energy, such as solar or wind-driven power.

Austin is also home to great shops, great food, great restaurants, great bars, and amazing museums and galleries - like the Austin Museum of Art, the Blanton Museum of Art at UT, Joseph & Susanna Dickinson Hannig Museum, Dougherty Arts Center, Austin Art Yards, and The People's Gallery. We have major venues like the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Pops, Austin Chamber Ensemble, the Austin Classical Guitar Society, Austin Lyric Opera, Austin Shakespeare Festival, Ballet Austin, Bass Concert Hall, Live Oak Theatre, and The Paramount - and to inspire our future artists, we have venues like the Austin Children's Museum, and so much more.

And with such diversified music, theater, and art comes very diversified creativity, fashions and style. Musicians perform and artists create. And we all inspire each other.

So why do I love Austin? I just can't think of any reason not to. Austin isn't just a city - it's a state of euphoria.



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