Skyline view of Austin, Texas

City Guide / Austin

What Is Austin, Texas Known For?

By Savana | Nov 5, 2020

Austin, Texas, offers both the best of Southern charm and city attractions, but that just skims the surface when it comes to what Texas’s capital is known for. People from all over flock to this Texas metropolis for the food, the drinks, and the fun. While many have visited for a bachelor or bachelorette party, a big rivalry game, or a music festival, there are a dozen or more reasons people visit Austin. In fact, people have found even more reasons to move to Austin permanently as seen by the growing numbers in population size.

If you’ve set your sights on Austin for your next vacation, knowing the basics to the question, “what is Austin Texas known for?” will help you plan your itinerary and ensure you get a taste of everything the city has to offer.  

If you’re planning to move to the Austin area, on the other hand, this list will help you fit right in. You can feel comfortable as a new Austin resident when you sign a flexible lease with Landing. There are so many great Landings to choose from all over town that will simplify the move and allow you to learn what each neighborhood is known for before committing to a long-term lease.

Being weird 

And we mean that as a compliment. Austin’s weird reputation is truly a term of endearment that highlights its establishments and people’s uniqueness. The town is full of small businesses, talented musicians and other creatives, and quirky charm. Many writers and artists also call Austin home, and the city has them to thank for the colorful murals decorating street corners all over town and adding to the weirdness. 

While visitors love snapping photos in front of the many murals and shopping at the many odd shops, locals especially want to keep it this way, which is why they coined the slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” This “weirdness” sets Austin apart from other Texas towns, in particular. It is a big piece of what draws people to the city to visit and live.

Music 

One of the first things to come to mind when anyone asks, “What is Austin known for?” is music. After all, it is the live music capital of the world. This title is largely due to two mega music festivals that take place there; Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. Austin City Limits takes over every fall and South by Southwest every spring (in normal years), both drawing top indie, alternative, and electronic music talent to the stage as well as thousands of visitors to see them. 

There’s more to the music capital than festivals, though. The city has plenty of venues, small and large, that host every musical genre from blues to hip-hop to country all year round. On most weekends, you can find solo artists and groups playing sets at both neighborhood coffee shops and sold out theatres all throughout the Austin area. 

The Capital

Austin, Texas is the capital of Texas, and as such, it boasts a boatload of history. From the eye-catching capitol building at the end of South Congress to several monuments and museums around town, it’s easy to learn something new about the Austin of old. Learn everything about the Lonestar state at The Bob Bullock Museum, which puts centuries of Texas history on display, or go on a historical walking tour around town to spot all the sights.

The Longhorns

Speaking of history, The University of Texas at Austin established Austin as a college town in 1883 and put down brick smack dab in the middle of town. The University has made a name for itself as a top tier institution for both education and sports, and alumni tend to stay local. This means Austin’s population has plenty of college sports fans and even more well-educated individuals. It’s easiest to identify both by their school pride. On any given weekend in fall, the city will be bustling with jersey-clad fans ready to throw up a “hook ’em horns” to anyone dressed in orange. Thankfully, the city also has plenty of sports bars, big-screen TVs, and plenty of craft beer on tap to occupy local fans and those from visiting teams. 

Nightlife

Sports bars aren’t the only kind of watering hole in town. In fact, Austin is known for its nightlife, and not just near the college but all over the city. There’s a kind of bar for everyone from the freshly 21 year old to the sophisticate on a business trip. Clubs, country bars, live music venues, posh hotel bars, and cocktail confectionaries litter the town with cold, craft beer, and frothy coupes. Whatever you’re in the mood for on Friday night, there’s a place—or many—for you. 

It’s understandable, then, that bachelors & bachelorettes flock to Austin to celebrate their final nights out before tying the knot. On any given weekend, you’ll spot parades of rowdy boys and dressed-to-the-nines girls hopping from bar to bar on Rainey Street in Downtown Austin. These visitors bring lively energy and fresh faces to the city that somehow add to its already enjoyable atmosphere. 

Lake life 

Despite being hours from the coast, Austin is surrounded by water. The Colorado River flows right through town, leaving a couple of smaller rivers and lakes in its path such as Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis. While Lady Bird Lake is perfect for relaxing weekend activities such as paddle boarding and canoeing, Lake Travis is perfect for boaters and water sports. Whichever outdoor activity is more up your alley, there’s a perfect spot for you to enjoy nature!

You can also get in the water simply to swim or float in the Barton Springs Pool (a spring-fed natural pool) or down the San Marcos River. With hot and humid weather hitting Austin every summer, these water escapes are a refreshing necessity that both locals and visitors love to take advantage of. 

Startup culture

Silicon Valley isn’t the only bustling startup city. Austin is also known as being a hub for startups. Back in the 90s, the city even earned the nickname “Silicon Hills” because it saw so much venture capital investment—and it hasn’t slowed down since. Still today, venture capitalists flood Austin businesses with a billion dollars annually (yes, that’s billion with a B), making it an ideal spot to fund a startup.  

If you are curious about the best companies to work for in Austin, we can give you a clue. Not only is Austin the birthplace of brands such as Dell, Outdoor Voices, and Whole Foods, but it’s also home to the wildly popular South by Southwest conference. This festival started showcasing music and is now the biggest in technology. It covers everything from science to fashion and from freshly funded startups to established businesses. 

Friendly folk

It’s only natural that Texas’s capital shows a bit of Southern Hospitality, and Austin doesn’t disappoint in this arena either. You’ll come across plenty of friendly faces in town, whether you’re just visiting or you just moved there and are settling in as the newest Austin resident. Everyone is eager to show off the city they’re so proud to call home, which means you’ll get all the recommendations you could ask for with a smile to boot. Between the best places to listen to live music to the top barbecue spots in town, you’ll be well equipped to explore the city with ease. Don’t forget to return the favor when you come across visitors and new-to-towners to keep the good reputation going. 

Food

Per the above, don’t be afraid to ask the locals for their favorite places to eat. While many of Austin’s long-standing establishments have made a popular name for themselves, such as Chuy’s, Franklin’s, and Jo’s, more and more delicious and native Austin restaurants are popping up all of the time. That’s right, many of Austin’s favorite food stops are actually food trucks, which makes stopping by for a bite deliciously simple. Both the favorites and the fresh faces offer incredible food and every type of cuisine so you’ll never go hungry or grow bored with the many dine-in restaurant or grab-n-go options. 

The best place to live in America

That’s right, Austin, Texas, has been ranked the #1 city in America to live by U.S. News for the past three years in a row. In a city known for so many good things, it’s easy to see why. You can hardly ask for much more than great food, uncapped job prospects, natural escapes, and cool people. Plus, there are plenty of incredible places to live in Austin Texas, too. There are many residential areas to explore, from places like Hyde Park and North Loop to Cherrywood and Oak Hill.

For all of these reasons mentioned, it’s not surprising that many of us know more than one person who has picked up and moved to Austin or have even thought about it ourselves. If you’re eager to see what all the hype is about or ready to live the Austin life day-to-day, moving to Austin might be for you. With Landing, it can be easy and temporary too. You can move into a fully furnished apartment in Austin with a short-term lease. We’re talking a commitment of as little as 30 days, which gives you the freedom and flexibility to live anywhere for any amount of time. That’s what Landing is known for.

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About the author

Savana