74 Facts About Austin


Austin is the capital city of the U S state of Texas, as well as the seat and largest city of Travis County, with portions extending into Bastrop, Hays, and Williamson counties.

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Austin is the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States and is considered a "Beta -" global city as categorized by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

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Since the late 19th century, Austin has been known as the "City of the Violet Crown", because of the colorful glow of light across the hills just after sunset.

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In 1987, Austin originated and remains the site for South by Southwest, an annual conglomeration of parallel film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March.

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The technology roots in Austin can be traced back to the 1960s when Tracor, a major defense electronics contractor, began operation in the city in 1962.

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In 2021, Austin became home to the Austin FC, the first major professional sports league in the city.

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Austin advised the commissioners to consider the area on the north bank of the Colorado River, noting the area's hills, waterways, and pleasant surroundings.

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However, as the war progressed and fears of attack by Union forces increased, Austin contributed hundreds of men to the Confederate forces.

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Austin was the terminus of the southernmost leg of the Chisholm Trail, and "drovers" pushed cattle north to the railroad.

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However, as other new railroads were built through the region in the 1870s, Austin began to lose its primacy in trade to the surrounding communities.

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Austin is 146 miles northwest of Houston, 182 miles south of Dallas and 74 miles northeast of San Antonio.

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Austin is situated at the foot of the Balcones Escarpment, on the Colorado River, with three artificial lakes within the city limits: Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin, and Lake Walter E Long that is partly used for cooling water for the Decker Power Plant.

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Austin is located at the intersection of four major ecological regions, and is consequently a temperate-to-hot green oasis with a highly variable climate having some characteristics of the desert, the tropics, and a wetter climate.

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At night, parts of Austin are lit by "artificial moonlight" from moonlight towers built to illuminate the central part of the city.

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Central business district of Austin is home to the tallest condo towers in the state, with The Independent and The Austonian .

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Austin is located within the middle of a unique, narrow transitional zone between the dry deserts of the American Southwest and the lush, green, more humid regions of the American Southeast.

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An uncommon characteristic of Austin's climate is its highly variable humidity, which fluctuates frequently depending on the shifting patterns of air flow and wind direction.

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Winters in Austin are mild, although occasional short-lived bursts of cold weather known as "Blue Northers" can occur.

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Typical of Central Texas, severe weather in Austin is a threat that can strike during any season.

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Thousands of graduates each year from the engineering and computer science programs at the University of Texas at Austin provide a steady source of employees that help to fuel Austin's technology and defense industry sectors.

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Austin is emerging as a hub for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; the city is home to about 85 of them.

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Austin has a long history of vocal citizen resistance to development projects perceived to degrade the environment, or to threaten the natural and cultural landscapes.

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Austin residents have the highest Internet usage in all of Texas.

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In 2013, Austin was the most active city on Reddit, having the largest number of views per capita.

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Austin was selected as the No 2 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine in 2006, and No 3 in 2009, and the "Greenest City in America" by MSN.

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Rainey Street Historic District is a neighborhood in Downtown Austin formerly consisting of bungalow style homes built in the early 20th century.

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Austin has been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network under Media Arts the category.

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The term "Old Austin" refers to a time when the city was smaller and more bohemian with a considerably lower cost of living and better known for its lack of traffic, hipsters, and urban sprawl.

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Growth and popularity of Austin can be seen by the expansive development taking place in its downtown landscape.

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Austin's Zilker Park Tree is a Christmas display made of lights strung from the top of a Moonlight tower in Zilker Park.

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Austin is perhaps best known for its Texas barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine.

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Some other Austin-based chain restaurants include Amy's Ice Creams, Bush's Chicken, Chuy's, DoubleDave's Pizzaworks, and Schlotzky's.

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The city of Austin has the second-largest number of food trucks per capita in the United States.

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Austin has a large craft beer scene, with over 50 microbreweries in the metro area.

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Austin has been the location for a number of motion pictures, partly due to the influence of The University of Texas at Austin Department of Radio-Television-Film.

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Projects that have used facilities at Austin Studios include music videos by The Flaming Lips and feature films such as 25th Hour and Sin City.

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Austin has a strong theater culture, with dozens of itinerant and resident companies producing a variety of work.

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Ballet Austin is among the fifteen largest ballet academies in the country.

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Museums in Austin include the Texas Memorial Museum, the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, Thinkery, the Blanton Museum of Art, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum across the street, The Contemporary Austin, the Elisabet Ney Museum and the galleries at the Harry Ransom Center.

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Austin is home to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, which houses documents and artifacts related to the Johnson administration, including LBJ's limousine and a re-creation of the Oval Office.

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Austin is home to the O Henry House Museum, which served as the residence of O Henry from 1893 to 1895.

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Austin Zoo, located in unincorporated western Travis County, is a rescue zoo that provides sanctuary to displaced animals from a variety of situations, including those involving neglect.

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Austin was the most populous city in the United States without a major-league professional sports team, which changed in 2021 with Austin FC's entry to MLS.

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The Austin Marathon has been run in the city every year since 1992.

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Austin-founded American Swimming Association hosts several swim races around town.

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Austin is the hometown of several cycling groups and the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

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Austin is home to the Circuit of the Americas, a grade 1 Federation Internationale de l'Automobile specification 3.

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The Austin Aces played their matches at the Cedar Park Center northwest of Austin, and featured former professionals Andy Roddick and Marion Bartoli, as well as current WTA tour player Vera Zvonareva.

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Some well known naturally forming swimming holes along Austin's greenbelt include Twin Falls, Sculpture Falls, Gus Fruh Pool, and Campbell's Hole.

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Austin is home to more than 50 public pools and swimming holes.

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The pool, located about 23 miles west of Austin, is a popular summer swimming spot for visitors and residents.

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The Emma Long Metropolitan Park is a municipal park along the shores of Lake Austin, originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

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Austin Country Club is a private golf club located along the shores of the Colorado River, right next to the Pennybacker Bridge.

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In 2020, Austin was the victim of a cyberattack by the Russian group Berserk Bear, possibly related to the U S federal government data breach earlier that year.

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The Federal government had forced San Antonio and Dallas to abandon at-large systems before 1987; however, the court could not show a racist pattern in Austin and upheld the city's at-large system during a 1984 lawsuit.

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Austin formerly operated its city hall at 128 West 8th Street.

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Law enforcement in Austin is provided by the Austin Police Department, except for state government buildings, which are patrolled by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

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Austin is the county seat of Travis County and hosts the Heman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse downtown, as well as other county government offices.

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Austin is known as an enclave of liberal politics in an otherwise conservative state—so much so, that the city is sometimes sarcastically called the "People's Republic of Austin" by residents of other parts of Texas, and conservatives in the Texas Legislature.

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Since redistricting following the 2010 United States census, Austin has been divided between six congressional districts at the federal level: Texas's 35th, Texas's 25th, Texas's 10th, Texas's 21st, Texas's 17th, and Texas's 31st.

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Austin hosted one of the last presidential debates between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during their heated race for the Democratic nomination in 2008.

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The remaining portion of Austin is served by adjoining school districts, including Round Rock ISD, Pflugerville ISD, Leander ISD, Manor ISD, Del Valle ISD, Lake Travis ISD, Hays, and Eanes ISD.

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Austin has a large network of private and alternative education institutions for children in PreK–12th grade exists.

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The Austin Monitor is an online outlet that specializes in insider reporting on City Hall, Travis County Commissioners Court, AISD, and other related local civics beats.

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Austin has numerous smaller special interest or sub-regional newspapers such as the Oak Hill Gazette, Westlake Picayune, Hill Country News, Round Rock Leader, NOKOA, and The Villager among others.

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The city of Austin has a lower than average percentage of households without a car.

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In mid-2019, TomTom ranked Austin as having the worst traffic congestion in Texas, as well as 19th nationally and 179th globally.

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Austin is the largest city in the United States to be served by only one Interstate Highway.

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The iconic Pennybacker Bridge, known as the "360 Bridge, " crosses Lake Austin to connect the northern and southern portions of Loop 360.

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Amtrak's Austin station is located in west downtown and is served by the Texas Eagle which runs daily between Chicago and San Antonio, continuing on to Los Angeles several times a week.

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Austin is served by several ride-sharing companies including Uber and Lyft.

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Austin is served by Electric Cab of North America's six-passenger electric cabs that operate on a flexible route from the Kramer MetroRail Station to Domain Northside and from the Downtown MetroRail station and MetroRapid stops to locations between the Austin Convention Center and near Sixth and Bowie streets by Whole Foods.

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Downtown Austin scored 88 points out of a possible 100, with the West Campus neighborhood scoring 87, and East Austin scoring 81.

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Austin has two types of relationships with other cities, sister and friendship.

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