I moved to Austin in 1992 from Dallas. I love Dallas, I just love Austin more. Austin is a mix of old and new, of hippies and rednecks, of East meets West and North meets South. It has become a global community drawing people from all over the world.
What makes Austin so great?
Since Austin is home to one of the largest universities in the world, the University of Texas and to many other colleges and universities, it has a highly educated population. Many of those who attend university in Austin wind up staying in Austin.
Never say never, but there would be a revolt in Texas if the state legislature ever enacted a state income tax. So unlike many other thriving cities and states, Austin has a sales tax, but no tax on income. Which makes Austin appealing to those that want to hang on to more of their income.
Cheap housing? Native Austinites, of which there seems to be relatively few, and long time Austin residents would tell you that the cost of housing in Austin is higher than it’s ever been. But if you are from out of state, you realize that the cost of housing in Austin is lower than most other hi-tech centers in the US.
Ask any of the visitors to Austin and they will be quick to tell you that Austin is the “hip” destination in the US of A. Austin recently became the number one travel destination in Texas, bumping out San Antonio as the number one tourist hot spot. Although San Antonio is a great place to visit and is only a little over an hour away, by car. San Antonio is home of the famed Alamo, the San Antonio River Walk and one of the top zoos in the US. Austin has great food, a vibrant music scene and lots of events that attract people from the world over.
And speaking of close by, the Texas countryside around Austin is dotted with interesting small towns, steeped in history and appealing for their shopping, entertainment and atmosphere. Among these are Johnson City, the home of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and the Lyndon Baines Johnson National Historical Park. Then there is Wimberley, with a river flowing through it, quaint shops, restaurants and entertainment. Another favorite is the German community of Fredericksburg. It also has lots of shopping, including many antique shops and the National Museum of the Pacific War and the boyhood home of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. And these are just a few of several close-by places to visit.
The weather in Austin can be hot, with several days over 100 degrees almost every year. But Austin is a place for shorts and t-shirts almost all year-round. With several lakes, wild life sanctuaries, open hill country and parks, the outdoors beckons everyone with a desire to bask in the sun and be one with nature.
“What I love About Austin” will be a regular feature of the Engel & Volkers Austin newsletter. In future installments, we will cover the Austin music scene, feature Austin Restaurants, surrounding cities, attractions, events and communities.