Entering Austin City Limits
Known for its casual and playful nature, Austin is the playground of Texas. Situated at the center of the Lone Star State, it stands as the gateway to the Texas Hill Country and the Highland Lakes. As the state capital and home to the University of Texas, the city supports a politically charged and culturally rich environment. It's hip, trendy, and high-tech. A large creative population-primarily musicians and artists-enhance its eclectic nature.
Business and Technology - The Silicon Hills
Austin is internationally recognized as a center of technology, both for the wide variety of corporate and small business innovators located in Central Texas and for world-renound conferences like South by Southwest and it's technoloogy-focused partner, SXSW Interactive. With an incredibly diverse, creative, and intelligent citizenry, Austin is one of the best places to live and work in the world.
Blessed with a temperate year-round climate and 300 days of sunshine a year, Austin lives for the outdoors. Nature trails, parks and wilderness preserves create an oasis in the heart of the city. Town Lake bisects the center of downtown and is bordered by 10 miles of hike-and-bike trails where devoted joggers, walkers and cyclists flock every hour of the day.
From April through October, 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats live under the Congress Avenue Bridge that spans Town Lake. Onlookers flock to the shores nightly to watch the nocturnal creatures emerging from beneath the bridge.
Originally a buffalo hunting ground favored by Tonkawa Indians, Austin was permanently settled in 1838 as a trading post. Now, more than a million people live in the city named for Stephen F. Austin, who colonized Texas.
The Texas State Capitol, an imposing pink granite structure, commands a stately presence in downtown. Actually 14 feet taller than the nation's capitol, the Texas Statehouse is the largest domed statehouse in the country.
Texas' larger-than-life history comes together under one roof at the new Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, which features intriguing artifacts, interactive exhibits, multi-media shows, and an IMAX Theatre.
In the city where the music never stops, live music plays at more than 100 venues on any given evening. A little blues, a little country, the beat of rock and roll, and even a few jazz licks puts Austin music into a distinctive music genre that's difficult to label. The largest concentration of music venues is found downtown in the Warehouse District and along Sixth Street, a six-block stretch of bars and restaurants.
Now in its 28th season, Austin City Limits continues to be the best show in town. The long-running PBS series showcases American music and Texas music in particular. For ticket information, call the ticket hotline at 471-4811.
Austin is one of only a few U.S. cities with professional ballet, symphony, opera, and theater companies. With 20 museums, dozens of galleries, and as many as 35 theater companies, the city is experiencing a cultural renaissance.
Many of the city's cultural resources are found on the campus of the University of Texas, where the Blanton Museum of Art opens a new facility in 2005.
The Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum, also located on campus, remains the most visited of the nation's presidential libraries. A scale replica of the Oval Office, artifacts from Air Force One, and volumes of official papers chronicle the rise of a young man who would be president from Central Texas.