Austin Local Guide

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Austin Overview

What’s the reason that Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in America? Actually, there are a number of reasons, not the least of which is its warm weather. It’s also been called the live music capital of the world. While some may argue that point, one thing is certain. Austin is a city of festivals—music festivals, film festivals, and even a Brazilian Carnaval festival.

From reggae to rodeos, golf to gardening, and motorsports to malls, Austin’s cultural and artistic diversity offers something for everyone. Nature lovers enjoy the botanical gardens and the numerous parks and biking trails. Athletes enjoy rock climbing and the yearly marathon, which features live musical accompaniment from over 40 bands.

Austin offers a variety of educational options, with more than 10 institutions of higher learning. Maybe that’s one reason that in 2015, Forbes magazine ranked the city at #2 nationwide for overall job growth and at #21 on their list of best places for business and careers.

Add walkable neighborhoods, world-class museums and a ballet company, and it’s easy to understand its soaring popularity. Besides events that attract tourists from all over the world, the city offers residents a multitude of enjoyable activities, many of which are free. Maybe the biggest reason for Austin’s popularity is its success in keeping its quality of life higher than its cost of living.

If you’re looking for an apartment in Austin, our updated prices, pictures and floorplans can help you find the perfect place to call home.

What is the history of Austin?

Settlers founded the village of Waterloo in 1837 on the Colorado River. In 1839, the town was renamed Austin for Stephen F. Austin, the “father of Texas”. Austin was the capital of the Republic of Texas. In 1845, Texas was annexed by the United States, Austin was named the capital in 1850. In 1861, Texas voted to secede from the Union (Travis County did not). Construction of the University of Texas began in 1882. In 1888, the Texas State Capitol building was dedicated. While the state capitol is smaller than the US Capitol building, it is 15 feet taller.

During the Great Depression, Austin fared better than most and experienced a period of growth. Stability resulted from the city’s political and educational base. The city also experienced growth following World War II. In the 1970s, Austin become recognized as a technology center earning it the nickname “Silicon Hills”. Corporations such as IBM, Texas Instruments and Motorola located their headquarters there.

Also known as a hub for creative individuals, Austin is known for artists and musicians, most notably Willie Nelson, Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock. To protect local businesses, the city’s unofficial motto “Keep Austin Weird”.

How is the weather in Austin?

The city of Austin, Texas has subtropical weather, this result in humid summers and mild to cool winters. You can expect the springtime temperatures to average between 72 and 86 degrees, with partial sunshine throughout the day. April, May and June is the time of year Central Austin might receive heavy amounts of rain and the high risk of flash flooding can develop around Lamar and 9th street because it is near Shoal Creek.

As the season changes into summer, the months of July and August are filled with brilliant sunshine and the temperatures are in the range of 90 degrees, with a few days reaching 100. At this time of year, you will find many people beat the heat by visiting Austin’s most famous swimming pool, Barton Springs, which maintains a temperature of 68 degrees year-round.

You will find the sizzling heat of summer losing its grasp as you head into the fall and winter months. In October, there are many tourists enjoying the daytime highs in the lower to middle 80s, while flocking to various venues of the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. During the winter months, you can expect the degrees to fluctuate between the 70s and low 40s, with few rare days of below freezing temperatures. Overall, Austin is a wonderful city for being able to bask in the outdoor life for much of the year.

How do I get around town?

Making it easy to get around Austin, Texas seems to be an important subject to Austinites, it is seen in the way the city has invested and supported different modes of transportation for its citizens.

Recognized as the most bike-friendly city in Texas, Austin was ranked in 11th place in the 2010 issue of Bicycling Magazine. With more than 80 miles of biking lanes and trails in the area, many people are taking advantage of this way of traveling, including university students and staff, as well as regular nine to fivers commuting to their workplace.

Austin’s Metrorail system is another convenient way to get around town, these modern tram-trains have nine stations in place to connect the suburbs with downtown Austin. You can park your car in a designated area, hop on the train and leave the driving to the Metrorail.

Car sharing is big in Austin too, with their Car2Go and Zipcar program, it is set up so people can use a car on as-needed bases, to get from one appointment to the next. You are billed only for the time you use the car, the rental can be on a hourly or daily bases. When you are finish with taking care of business, you will then return the car to the assigned parking spot.

This is only a few options for transportation in Austin, Texas, the city offers public bus service as well as Greyhound Lines, along with several airports including Austin–Bergstrom International Airport.

What is the Austin commute like?

Austin's status as the Texan state capital means there's plenty going on at any given moment. It's best to plan your travel in advance. Fortunately, the city has a well-maintained mix of expressways, toll roads and public transit that can alleviate most of your traffic woes.

The two primary expressways, Loop 1, or the Mopac Expressway, and I-35 let you travel from north to south along the west or east side of Austin's buzzing center. To the south of downtown, drivers can follow US 290 westward as it joins into I-35 and continues into North Austin.

As one might expect, these major routes are known for rush hour traffic. You can avoid some congestion and bypass the city's most-used transit corridors by following SH 130 to the east, which spans from San Antonio to Georgetown. You can also loop around the city following SH 45, but be warned that these State Highways are toll roads.

So how do regular commuters cope with heavy traffic? In addition to being selective about when they drive, many rely on TxTag stickers to make the tolls quicker to navigate. Others ride the commuter-oriented MetroRail from the suburbs to downtown. Depending on where you live, you may even join Austin's bike-friendly culture for some exercise on your way to the office.

What are the local media outlets?

The Austin American-Statesman is the official newspaper of the city however local residents also can usually pick up a copy of the Austin Chronicle to find out the goings-ons around town.

A few of the popular news outlets in town are KXAN, KVUE, KEYE and Fox7Austin, while the radio waves in Austin feature great DJs and tunes on stations like KLBJ and 101X. You can truly get some of the best radio in the country here in ATX.

Why live in Austin, TX?

No other place in Texas, possibly even in the United States is as famed for being as unique and quirky than Austin. The city's unofficial motto of Keep Austin Weird highlights the independent streak Austinites are known for throughout Texas. Currently, the city has a population of just under a million inhabitants with a metro density of just over two million. There is a lot of going in this state capital. The amount of diverse activities available is simply staggering.

Austin it seems has a little something for everyone. First, it is known as the Live Music Capital of The World due to the famous live Austin City Limits music concerts at The Moody Theater, as well as the South by Southwest festival. Along with its music, the culinary scene is lively and eclectic offering everything from BBQ to tacos and even artisanal donuts. The nightlife is lively with many bars crafting strange and fun adult beverage creations. If you're an outdoors lover, Austin offers almost three hundred days of sunshine, spend all those sunny days in its various parks, biking and hiking trails. Austin truly does have something for everyone.

What Austin landmarks should I see?

As the capital of Texas, Austin is home to many impressive landmarks, universities and historical sites. The State Capitol building offers a beautiful lighted walkway to explore, while Mount Bonnell gives visitors the chance to walk along a picturesque lake. Austin is also home to the University of Texas at Austin, a world-renowned university filled with historic buildings and home to a variety of cultural offerings.

Downtown Austin is home to a variety of restaurants, hotels and shops as well as Lady Bird Lake, a reservoir that many Austin residents and visitors enjoy using recreationally. Sports fans can enjoy a game at the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial stadium or the UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The Deep Eddy Pool is the oldest man-made pool in Texas and offers a great way to cool off during the warmer months. For history buffs, the French Legation is a centrally located building that once served as the French government's headquarters in Texas. Today, the building serves as a museum. With such a variety of local landmarks, stadiums and institutions, it is easy to see why Austin is such a popular destination.

What is there to do around Austin?

Known for its history, music, sports and film festivals, Austin, Texas always has numerous indoor and outdoor attractions for tourists. You cannot avoid some form of musical sounds in the place toted as the Live Music Capital of The World, they offer different genres including orchestra, country, rock, bluegrass, reggae and even zydeco. Of course, getting in on an Austin City Limits taping is one of the things on many peoples to do list, when they visit.

If you are in the mood for playing games, you and your friends can try to solve the puzzle of seeing how quickly you can “escape” out of the Austin Panic Room. Individuals have to work their way through various situations to see how fast they can get out of this special room. It is mind-boggling fun!

Many people love to hop on the Texas Brewery Bus so they can take guided tours of leading-edge microbreweries, the locals love showcasing their special processes in making beer, you will find each place have their own method. Of course, you will be able to drink the crafted beer and enjoy the wonderful company of other enthusiasts.

As previously stated, Austin has so many activities for people to indulge in, I can guarantee you will never become bored.

Any annual festivals or Austin events to know?

Austin is your city for big festivals. By now, everyone knows South by Southwest, the biggest music festival in the entire United States, a festival that enhances the already electric vibe of the college life hub known as 6th street. However, the Austin City Limits festival is a slightly smaller if just as intense music festival that also occurs on an annual basis.

If you love sports, Austin will usually have one or more of its teams from the University of Texas or nearby Waco's Baylor in contention for NCAA tournaments and titles. Although this is not a guaranteed event persay, it might as well be. You can also participate in many smaller annual festivals depending on your interests. For instance, the Darkness to Light Gala draws celebrities from around the world to provide abused children education. Oktoberfest is all about beer and bratwursts from local vendors, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo celebrates nature.

Where are the nearby vacation spots?

It can be hard to peel yourself away from Austin, Texas's amazing live music and booming culinary attractions. If you're serious about your baseball, about three hours on the road will get you to Houston to see the Astros play -- or stay closer to home and watch the Austin Aztex, the popular soccer team that is rapidly moving up through the leagues. If you need a way to beat the heat, the award-winning Schlitterbahn waterpark in New Braunfels is less than an hour away, and Hawaiian Falls Pflugerville is about half that distance.

If you'd rather stretch your legs beside a natural water source, you don't even have to leave town. Lady Bird Lake, which cuts right through the middle of Austin, offers spectacular hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking and other watersports. If you want a little more peace and quiet, Lake Travis -- a reservoir on the Colorado River -- is about a 45-minute drive northwest. There's a lot of great hiking near Austin, Texas too: For a first long day trip, check out McKinney Falls State Park, about a half-hour drive to the south.

Where is the best place to move in Austin?

With its rich culture, music, lush foliage in its multiple parks and recreational areas, coupled with the non-smoking Clean Air Act, you would be hard-pressed to find a better city. Some of the popular beauty spots to live in Austin are:

Rollingwood: When you desire a place with a sense of small town community, while living in proximity of the city, Rollingwood is a good choice to reside. This town of approximately 1400 people is children-friendly with its softball fields, playground and pavilion.

Barton Hills: With its historical homes combined with a modern twist, you will find you are just a few minutes away from the beautiful Zilker Park, located in South Austin. The only problem you will have in this area is wondering what activity you are going to participate in each day. With canoeing, sport fields, hiking and biking trails, you will never become bored.

Mueller: The development of Mueller is comprised of townhouses, lofts, condos and lovely houses that are relatively new, the first one completed in 2007.

Featuring an abundance of lush green foliage in parks and long walking trails, this place is ideal for people who like the thought of being close to Downtown Austin, taking in the exciting sights and sounds and mingling with the urbanites. Later on, you can get comfortable while relaxing in the tranquil environment that Mueller has to offer.

Allandale: Magnificent trees with verdurous canopies reaching up towards the sky, command their places on huge lawns in the neighborhood of Allandale. With its strong sense of traditional values, it is a great place to live and raise your children. It is just a short distance from Austin and it is in the locality of various historical parks.

Austin, Texas has many more exclusive popular areas, you would love to call home.

US Population Rank for Austin, TX -
Top 3 Local Schools in Austin, TX - ApartmentHomeLiving.comForest Trail Elementary SchoolWestlake High SchoolHill Country Middle

Frequently Asked Questions about Austin

How much are Studio apartments in Austin?

The pricing for 287 Studio Apartments in Austin currently ranges from $541 to $10,000 with an average price of $1,709.

What is the current price range for One Bedroom Austin Apartments for rent?

Today's rental pricing for One Bedroom Apartments in Austin ranges from $452 to $10,000 with an average monthly rent of $1,915.

What does renting a Two Bedroom Apartment in Austin cost?

The monthly rent prices of Two Bedroom Apartments currently available in Austin range from $676 to $10,000. Today's average rental price for Two Bedrooms here is $2,384.

How expensive are Austin Three Bedroom Apartments?

There are currently 557 Three Bedroom Apartments listings available in Austin on The pricing ranges from $630 to $10,000 - averaging $2,795 for the location.