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Austin TX - Overview
hills, a chain of lakes 150 miles long, 300 days of sunshine, and acres of parks
all add up to an ideal setting for vacation enjoyment. Austin and the
surrounding Texas Hill Country offer hiking and bike trails, swimming, and
golf. In addition, there is ballooning, bird watching, canoeing, excellent bass
fishing, rock climbing, sailing, scuba diving, spelunking, and tennis.
The 'Live Music Capital of
the World' as Austin is sometimes known, is situated in south-central Texas and
stretches for 218 square miles. A vibrant and modern city, Austin was named
after Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas," and was founded in 1838. With
good transport links to other parts of Texas and close proximity to the Mexican
border, Austin is a popular city for business and one of the most thriving
commercial areas in the southern United States.
place to begin a visit to Austin is downtown, where the pink granite Texas State
Capitol, built in 1888, is the most visible structure. The Colorado River, which
slices through Austin, was once an unpredictable waterway, but has been tamed
into a series of picturesque lakes, including two within the city limits. 22
mile long Lake Austin, which lies in the western part of the city, flows into
Town Lake, a narrow stretch of water that travels for 5 miles through the center
1960s, this laid-back and progressive city has been a haven for artists,
musicians and writers. Many visitors come specifically for the music. Local
musicians are known for their innovative re-workings of Texas’ country, folk and
R&B heritage, use Austin’s enthusiastic environment as a springboard to national
University of Texas, one of the largest universities in the United States,
flanks the capitol's north end. Austin has its own professional symphony, ballet
and opera companies; dozens of theaters which combine old favorites with
ground-breaking new drama; dance companies, vocal ensembles, and orchestras. Art
museums, galleries and beautiful gardens of sculptures further enhance the rich
years the entertainment industry has discovered this big city with a small-town
atmosphere, and it's not uncommon to see film crews blocking off an oak-lined
industries have also migrated to the Austin area, making it Texas's answer to
Silicon Valley. Yet, for all the changes that have occurred in the capital city,
Austin is still very much a town whose roots are buried in the past; a past the
city is proud to preserve and show off to visitors.
Metro is the city's public bus network, with a solid system of efficient and
inexpensive neighborhood, express and downtown routes. The latter, known as 'Dillos
(short for Armadillo Express), are free.
Steam Train Association runs several tours aboard the Hill Country Flyer
steam train into and around Texas Hill Country. The train makes short half hour
trips as well as a 30 mile circuit on weekends March through December.
operates a free Yellow Bike Program, which repairs old bicycles, paints them
yellow and makes them available free for public use. When you see a yellow bike
you can pick it up, ride where you are going and leave it there for the next
rider. There are about 150 yellow bikes at present and more are added all the
combination of high tech industry, light manufacturing, and abundant cultural
resources has given Austin the reputation of being one of the southwest’s most
livable cities. It is also one of the most visited and loved vacation sites.