At A Glance:
Population: 947,890 (2016)
Population including the Surrounding Counties (Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop) 2,063,500
Major Industries: Technology, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology
Gross Metro Product: $124.4 B
Median Household Income: $68,034
Median Home Price: $294,900
Unemployment: 3.5% Job Growth (2016): 3.9%
Cost of Living: 13% above Nat’l avg
College Attainment: 42.8%
Net Migration (2016): 9,550
1. We’re The Live Music Capital of the World.
You can literally go to a show every night of the week, see bands from all different genres at over 250 venues across the city. I’m a huge music lover & am married to a full-time musician so moving here was a no-brainer for us. Luckily, when he’s on tour I have fabulous friends that love seeing shows as much as I do. I haven’t won yet, but you can enter the lottery to see a live taping of Austin City Limits (they don’t sell tickets to the shows), take your pups & your cooler to KGSR’s longest running FREE concert series, Blues on the Green, or check out local musicians for Happy Hour residencies at The Continental Club or Hole In The Wall. One of my favorites is having a great plate of nachos & a margarita at Guero’s Taco Bar then heading next door to their outdoor venue for a concert under the stars.
2. We Are a Foodie Mecca.
Y’all, we have thousands of amazing locally owned restaurants from Ramen Noodle shops to BBQ, Bakeries to Tex-Mex, we’ve GOT IT ALL. From high-end dining to food trucks & trailers, you will never go hungry in this town. We also have great wine bars & coffee shops, including my neighborhood favorite, Radio Coffee & Beer. I love hanging out under the canopy of trees & getting some work done while snacking on a breakfast taco from the Veracruz food truck parked on the lot.
I’m afraid to say this for fear my little secret will get out but I DIE for Licha’s Cantina on the East Side. Authentic interior Mexican cuisine with a full bar to boot, this place has become an obsession of mine. Monger’s southern seafood restaurant is another East Side favorite. If you’re new to town check out our foodie Meetups like Trailer Friends, ATX Food & Wine Lovers, & Central Texas Foodies.
3. We’re FIT.
Run the Lady Bird Lake Loop, hike the Barton Creek Greenbelt, mountain bike through McKinney Falls State Park, swim in our spring-fed pools across the city or walk around the State Capital. We love being outdoors & we have the weather year-round to accommodate our workouts. Sure, it’s incredibly humid most months but our gorgeous scenery makes up for it.
Some of my favorites are Saturday morning runs around the city with the Ship of Fools, renting a paddle board & hitting Lady Bird Lake, or taking in a Vinyasa flow class at one of Black Swan Yoga’s three local studios.
4. We’re Pretty Dang Friendly.
Austinites will strike up a conversation with you pretty much anywhere. Don’t be alarmed, we’re just really, really nice people…until we get behind the wheel. I have a group of relocation clients that were transferred here from Virginia. I asked each of them what was most surprising so far & they all said the same thing, “Everyone is SO nice!” So don’t be surprised when your new neighbors pop by & introduce themselves. It’s just what we do.
5. You Will Never Be Bored.
In addition to our music scene, we have the fabulous Central Public Library, countless museums & art galleries, & numerous sporting events including our beloved UT Longhorn athletics. There’s golf, bowling, trampoline parks, Segway tours, and my fave, sitting at Jo’s Coffee on Congress & people watching.
6. It’s Gorgeous!
You cannot beat the Texas Hill Country views including the stunning waters of Lake Travis, the limestone cliffs, & trees, trees, & more trees. I love driving up Highway 360 past the Pennybacker Bridge into Northwest ATX & seeing a herd of deer crossing the neighborhood streets. We have amazing parks & dozens of trails. Although debatable, I love our ever-changing Downtown Skyline.
7. We’ve Got Jobs.
Touted as the next Silicon Valley, we’re home to many tech companies & start-ups & they’re hiring. The tech industry not for you? We have plenty of jobs in the medical field, construction, management, engineering, & many more. We’re also the leading city for work-life balance. Work hard, play hard, y’all 😁
We have lots of them. SXSW, ACL Music Festival, Food & Wine Festival, Pecan Street Festival, Texas Book Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, & so many more. Take the kids to Zilker Park for the ABC Kite Festival, check out up & coming comedians during the Moontower Comedy Festival, or experience a little bit of Texas at Rodeo Austin. There’s also the Zilker Garden Festival, Art City, ATX Television, Austin Film Festival, Old Settlers, Kerrville Folk, & Reggae Fest, & lest we forget, Wizard World. You could fill your weekends with our festivals.
9. We’re Weird.
Maybe not as weird as we used to be but where else can you watch the Mexico free-tailed bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge, celebrate Eeyore’s Birthday, or spray paint your name on the Hope Outdoor Gallery. Clothes are still optional at Hippie Hollow, located on the shores of Lake Travis. Ever heard of Chicken Shit Bingo? It’s a thing. We even have the Museum of the Weird & the Cathedral of Junk. But #1 on my list has got to be Lala’s, a little dive bar that celebrates Christmas all year long complete with a rad jukebox.