Austin enjoys amazing weather for about 10 months out of the year. You might break out your coat a few times during the winter. But when the dog days of summer come, you’re going to want to be in the A/C, or in the water. Luckily, Austin has plenty of pools and swimming holes. Right next to downtown, Zilker Park is home to a natural spring called Barton Springs, where locals go to cool off in the 68-degree water. Water levels have returned to normal on Lake Travis after years of drought. Nearby New Braunfels offers tubing on the Comal River, and picturesque Hamilton Pool Preserve is just a short drive away in Dripping Springs. Call before you go—it is very popular, so it is often at capacity and sometimes unexpectedly closed.
A constant influx of transplants has created a traffic disaster that the city’s infrastructure has been unable to keep up with. Interstate 35 and MoPac (the TX-1 Loop) serve as the two main arteries for commuters, and those arteries are always clogged. find a job before you choose your neighborhood. Many area companies even offer work from home opportunities for employees. Speaking of traffic, Texans totally forget how to drive in precipitation situations. PS: There’s no quicker way to identify yourself as a newby than pronouncing Manchaca Road any other way than “Man-chack.” While we’re on the subject: Guadalupe is pronounced “Gwad-a-loop”.
The true birthplace of the breakfast taco, Austin has TexMex on lockdown. The margaritas are made with fresh ingredients, not neon mix. And of course, Texas knows how to do BBQ— low and slow. People stand for hours in line at Franklin Barbeque. There’s a food truck on practically every corner, and brunches and happy hours abound. Even their grocery store game is on point. Whole Foods headquarters and flagship store are located downtown and Texas homegrown H-E-B will be your new BFF. Just don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bags!
You might have heard of a little fest called South by Southwest. The annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival welcomes hundreds of thousands of attendees each March. Many Austinites choose to clear out and rent their space out for SXSW than deal with the crowds. Austin City Limits (ACL), the other behemoth music fest is where many acts get their big break. The ATX is a hotbed for up-and-coming bands, and you will more than likely get to know an aspiring musician or three. Any band worth seeing stops in Austin on tour. Stubb’s, The Continental Club, and Emo's Austin are just a few of the fantastic venues where you can catch a show.
There’s a plethora of things to do and places to go in Austin, as long as you’ve got the time and dough. Party on “Dirty Sixth” Downtown; hang with the hipsters in East Austin, stroll South Congress on First Thursdays; get rowdy at Rainey Street’s bungalow bars, and enjoy free tunes in Zilker Park during Blues on the Green.
Austin is in central Texas, and everything’s bigger in Texas, including the state itself. It’s a long drive in any direction to leave the state, but luckily Austin has an international airport and there are plenty of places worth visiting in the great state. Dallas/Fort Worth is only a few hours away by car, San Antonio’s Riverwalk is less than a couple hours away, and you can be on beaches on either coast (Galveston to the east and Port Aransas to the west) in four short hours. But who needs to leave when there’s hiking the Greenbelt, seeing the city from the top of Mount Bonnell, and the gorgeous views overlooking Lake Austin at the 360 Bridge, just to name a few?
Somehow Austin is a major metropolitan area without any major league teams. No, the pro-soccer team doesn’t count! At least there’s college ball (Hook ‘em Horns!). Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, The Round Rock Express, play minor league baseball nearby, or you can always head to Circuit of the Americas to watch fancy Formula 1 cars circle the track.