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Austin is home to both the state university and the state capital. The Texas State Capitol is an Italian Renaissance Revival wonder. Larger than any other statehouse, its dome is higher than the United States Capitol. And the Main Building on the University of Texas campus sports a tower only one foot shorter than the Capitol at 307 feet. It’s often illuminated in the school’s burnt orange colors. Beyond those two icons, the city skyline is shaped by modern skyscrapers all constructed over the last century.
The Driskill Hotel is a legendary Romanesque Revival guesthouse where political movers and shakers have congregated since the 1880s. The Sixth Street Historic District has evolved from tawdry real estate into a nationally recognized entertainment district thanks to the launching of the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in 1987. One of Austin’s most recognizable landmarks is a TV icon –Austin City Limits premiered in 1976 and is still on air. The original set from Communications Building B on the UT campus is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The show now tapes at The Moody Theater.
While the Austin area features 186,905 single family homes, those looking for a downtown pad have a range of choices. Austin’s recent love of multifamily translates into some of America’s tallest all-residential towers. The city now boasts 29,624 apartments with more on the way. There are 12,396 multi-family properties and 2,395 other residential options in the city. Businesses in Austin are supported by 7,792 commercial properties and 2,686 mixed-use buildings.
This is a real estate market for government employees, musicians, students, and tech professional, as evidenced by the inventory of only 28 industrial properties. There is still plenty of room for America’s fastest growing city to expand with 6,747 vacant lots.
Public transportation in Austin is mostly by bus. Capital Metro began commuter rail services in 2010 on old freight tracks and is building out the system to popular downtown destinations. Austin B-Cycle rents bikes from 50 stations in the heart of the city.
When you grow up in Austin you dream of attending the University of Texas. To matriculate, public school students must navigate through the Austin Independent School District. Two of the 29 districts, Round Rock and Eanes, received a gold medal from Expansion Management’s ratings of 2,800 American school districts. Austin is also well served by a lengthy roster of private institutions.
The University of Texas System anchors the city’s health care services with 6 facilities and 3 teaching hospitals. MD Anderson Cancer Center has been considered one of the top two cancer treatment facilities in the United States for over two decades.
FBI statistics report a 1 in 264 chance of violent crime in Austin, less than Texas as a whole. There is a 1 in 26 chance of property crime.
Austin earns it’s moniker of “The Live Music Capital of the World” honestly – there is musical entertainment every night of the week. Locals will tell you SXSW has become too commercialized, so try the Fun Fun Fun Fest in November or the ACL Music Festival in October. If those are too big, tune into the dozens of other smaller festivals. Celebrated Austin barbecue joints are legion, but you can start your adventures in slow-smoked brisket waiting in the long lines at Franklin Barbecue. Eventually you may find that the best eats in Austin are dished out from the food trucks.
Zilker Park is the essential summer destination in Austin where the natural waters of Barton Springs swimming pool are 68-74 degrees year-round. On warm nights the most popular spot in town is the Congress Avenue Bridge, where the world’s largest urban population of Mexican free-tailed bats begins its nocturnal rounds.
Sports in Austin means only one thing – University of Texas football. Hook ‘em Horns!