It is the southernmost state capital of the contiguous 48 states and is located in Central Texas.
As of May 2019, the population of Austin is about 1 million people. It is is the 11th most populous city in the United States and the 2nd most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona. It is also the 4th most populous city in Texas.
The city covers a total area of 790 square kilometers (305 square miles).
Austin lies at a mean elevation of 149 meters (489 feet) above sea level.
The recorded history of Austin, began in the 1830s when Anglo-American settlers arrived in Central Texas. In 1837 settlers founded the village of Waterloo on the banks of the Colorado River, the first permanent settlement in the area.
In 1839, the site was chosen to replace Houston as the capital of the Republic of Texas and was incorporated under the name “Waterloo.” Shortly afterward, the name was changed to Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas” and the republic’s first secretary of state.
Austin’s history has also been largely tied to state politics and in the 19th century, the establishment of the University of Texas made Austin a regional center for higher education, as well as a hub for state government.
In the late 19th century, Austin was known as the “City of the Violet Crown,” because of the colorful glow of light across the hills just after sunset. Even today, many Austin businesses use the term “Violet Crown” in their name.
In the 20th century, Austin’s music scene had earned the city the nickname “Live Music Capital of the World.”
Austin is known as a “clean-air city” for its stringent no-smoking ordinances that apply to all public places and buildings, including restaurants and bars.
Austin experienced dramatic growth during the 1990s, fueled mainly by high-technology industries. The city also adopted “Silicon Hills” as a nickname in the 1990s due to a rapid influx of technology and development companies.
During the 2000s (decade) Austin was the third fastest-growing large city in the nation.
Austin is home to unique attractions, world-class museums and beautiful outdoor spaces.
The Texas State Capitol is the capitol building and seat of government of the American state of Texas,Located in downtown Austin. Designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers, it was constructed from 1882 to 1888 under the direction of civil engineer Reuben Lindsay Walker.The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. It is 92.24 meters (302.64 feet) tall, making it the sixth tallest state capitol and one of several taller than the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The Bullock Texas State History Museum, is a history museum in Austin. Its stated mission is to tell “the Story of Texas.” The history museum is named after Bob Bullock, who championed its creation. The museum has three floors of interactive exhibits; the first floor theme is “land,” the second floor theme “identity,” and the third floor theme “opportunity.
Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in south Austin, at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over 140 hectares (350 acres) of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor, Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the land to the city in 1917. The land was developed into a park during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Today the park serves as a hub for many recreational activities and the hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake, both of which run next to the park.
Barton Springs Pool is a recreational outdoor swimming pool that is filled entirely with water from nearby natural springs. It is located on the grounds of Zilker Park. The pool exists within the channel of Barton Creek and utilizes water from Main Barton Spring, the fourth largest spring in Texas. The pool is a popular venue for year-round swimming, as its temperature hovers between about 20 °C (68 °F) and 23 °C (74 °F) year round.
One of Austin’s most unique things to do is enjoy the evening flight of the Mexican free-tailed bats that have made the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge their home. The world’s largest urban bat colony, up to one-and-a-half million of these insect-devouring critters take to the sky at dusk each evening from March through November. The result is a stunning display as they fly from beneath the bridge and up to heights of two miles in massive formations so they can dine on mosquitoes, moths, grasshoppers, and other flying pests. It can take up to 45 minutes just for the fuzzy mammals to all exit their home, and once the pups (babies) are old enough, they accompany their mothers on the evening flight. There are many vantage points from which you can enjoy the sight, with the area surrounding the bridge the most popular.
Austin’s climate is subtropical with prevailing southerly winds and an average of 300 days of sunshine each year.
Residents of Austin are known as Austinites. They include a diverse mix of government employees, college students, musicians, high-tech workers and blue-collar workers.
“Keep Austin Weird” has been a local motto for years, featured on bumper stickers and T-shirts. This motto has not only been used in promoting Austin’s eccentricity and diversity, but is also meant to bolster support of local independent businesses. According to the 2010 book, Weird City, the phrase was begun by a local Austin Community College librarian, Red Wassenich, and his wife, Karen Pavelka, who were concerned about Austin’s “rapid descent into commercialism and overdevelopment.
Austin is perhaps best known for its Texas barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine.