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The Star Of The Lone Star State: Why You Should Visit Austin, Texas

Austin skyline with bats
Image courtesy of Visit Austin. Image credit: Christopher Sherman.

Maybe it's the light reflecting off Lady Bird Lake or the state capital building looming among modern skyscrapers. Perhaps it's the daily bipartisanship combined with progressive morals and rampant capitalism. But, the result is the same. Austin, Texas is a weird place. The once-beating heart of the Lone Star Republic, Texas's state capital, is in a golden era. The dynasty-like oil barons paved the way for technological and venture capitalist firms to rain economic prosperity and cool conferences onto the masses. Consequently, Austin is quickly replacing New York, Los Angeles, and Miami as the place any twenty-something should live in. But what makes this place the shining star among big city constellations? When you have the world at your fingertips, why should you travel to The Lone Star State capital? I spoke with Wesley Lucas, Director of Communications at Visit Austin, to learn about one of the hippiest cities in America.

Group enjoying food trucks outside of Antone's in Austin, TX.
Image courtesy of Visit Austin. Image credit: Getty.


1. Why should someone visit Austin?

Austin is the perfect place for both the young and the young at heart. It's a place to enjoy yourself, whether traveling alone or with a group. Austin can appeal to your sense of adventure, love of history, and fast-paced action in any chapter of your life. The city has excellent live music, an innovative culinary scene, a colorful arts district, and vibrant nightlife. Additionally, Austin is a place with a lot of outdoor offerings. You can hike along trails, row on Lady Bird Lake, and bike throughout the city. We host several major events like South by Southwest® (SXSW®), ACL Music Festival, and more. This October, Austin is the home to the US Grand Prix.

Images courtesy of Visit Austin.

2. How does the city honor its past and embrace innovation?

Texans are very proud of our history. In Austin, like in other major cities in the U.S., we recognize there have been historic divides of people, and we are not proud of that. We embrace the past and want to highlight the various cultures in Austin. If you venture to East Austin, you can immerse yourself in Austin's Latino, Mexican, or Black history while trying different cuisines. Austin has one of the top-rated metropolitan sustainability programs in the country, overseen by the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability. We value and protect our natural resources, green places, and environment. Under Congress Avenue Bridge, the bats that call the bridge home are a protected species, along with the endangered blind salamander that lives in Barton Springs Creek.

The Austin skyline at sunset
Image courtesy of Visit Austin. Image credit: Christopher Sherman.

3. What are some hidden gems everyone should see in Austin?

We are having a speakeasy boom right now. If you like concerts, we are home to legendary live music venues. Right now, jazz is resurging among local musicians. If you are in town, you should check out the Elephant Room. If you want to cool off under the Texan sun, check out Barton Springs Pool or Deep Eddy Pool, spring-fed public pools. If you wander into East Austin, The Texas State Cemetery is home to some famous Texans and offers an escape from the city.

Sunset over Barton Springs Pool
Image courtesy of Visit Austin. Image credit: Ryan Kyte.

4. What are some ways visitors can leave a positive impact on the city?

When visitors explore the various trails, folks can volunteer to maintain the trails by picking up litter with the Trail Conservancy. For our unhomed people, several organizations, such as Caritas of Austin, Mobile Loaves & Fishes, and many others, find housing opportunities and offer toiletries. Visitors can either volunteer their time or donate financial assistance. Several restaurants offer programs where if you buy a meal, they will donate it to the hungry.

I love you so much mural on South Congress behind Jo's Coffee in Austin TX.
Image courtesy of Visit Austin. Image credit: Carmen M Fischer.

5. What is Austin's future? 

After the 2025 SXSW® festival, the Austin Convention Center will be torn down and rebuilt into a brand-new convention center. The larger, more efficient facility will provide an active, community-friendly center that enhances this culturally rich area of downtown. Additionally, the airport is getting a makeover, so there will be more terminals and gates. Finally, the I-35 Interstate is being reconfigured to create less traffic and embrace sustainability efforts. 

Tiny Pies.
Image courtesy of Visit Austin. Image credit: Annie Ray.

Would you like to visit Austin, click the link here to learn more:


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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