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Austin Basics

Austin

Despite its sweltering summer temps, it’s hard to imagine that Austin, Texas—a city known as the live music capital of the world (a reference to the many musicians and live music venues in the area, including five stages at the Austin airport)—could be any cooler. The long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits and the SXSW music and new media festival held each spring along with a fantastic (locally minded) restaurant scene, stylish boutique hotels, wine bars, boutiques and hoppin’ honkytonks keep locals hooked and visitors coming back.

Perched on the banks of the Colorado River, Austin is the capital city of Texas and the fourth largest city in the state. Locals, known as “Austinites,” are comprised of an eclectic, diverse mix of university faculty and staff, college students, musicians, high-tech workers (Dell is based here), fitness buffs, yoga instructors, mom’s pushing jogging strollers, and a host of other professionals.

The area’s rich, unique cultural mix appeals to this range of Austinites and defines the city. In recent years, many locals (particularly small business owners) have embraced the slogan "Keep Austin Weird,” a declaration of the proudly eclectic, liberal thinking of many residents and a desire to protect small, unique, local businesses from being overrun by big box corporations. What else would you expect from a city that celebrates its bats (they emerge from under the Congress Street Bridge at dusk for many months of the year), old school dance halls, margarita meccas, coffee shops, and breakfast tacos (Austin’s morning staple).

Austin is a fit city of cyclists, yoginis, hikers, rowers and passionate dog walkers, so its style is casual and laid back. Whether you’re seeking the ultimate live music weekend, a Tex-Mex eating and drinking adventure or simply looking to grab some fun while here on business, it’s really hard not to find fabulous experiences throughout the city, because Austin (really and truly) rocks.

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