Jokingly referred to by some as The People’s Republic of Austin - The place where locals encourage one another to keep it weird and nothing seems to stay complacent for long. Home of the University of Texas, the South by Southwest festival (SXSW), Fortune 500 companies alongside home-grown business, a ton of live music venues, festivals celebrating everything from kites to beer to dogs, and enough hike-and-bike trails to make any outdoor sport enthusiast happy, the City of the Violet Crown has a lot going for it.
Need more convincing? Consider this:
1. We Have The Jobs
Ranked #9 on Business Insider’s “Top Best Big Cities for Educated Millennials,” the City of Austin has a lot to offer in terms of job placement. Tech jobs make up a large employment cornerstone in this city, with major employers including UT Austin, Texas State, Apple, Hewlett Packard, eBay, GM, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Visa, and Blizzard Entertainment operating in and around the area. But this city doesn’t live and die by the tech industry alone; biotechnology companies, startups, and pharmaceutical organizations also make a big impression on the city’s employment geography, as do the Fortune 500 companies like Whole Foods Market and Dell.
This next-level job market can work with various professional skill levels, from a young educated professional looking for an exciting industry to break into or a college student hunting for a prime internship, the professional opportunities in Austin cannot be overstated. There are also few affordable apartments near downtown that you can choose from for those who prefers to live where most of the action and activities are.
2. A Plethora of Culture
“Keep Austin Weird.” The unofficial slogan of the city started out as a way for civic-minded residents to express their concerns over rapid area growth and development, and has since evolved to include the preservation of local businesses and events. Oddly enough, the phrase also captures the odd variety of culture and nightlife contained within the city limits. Offering nearly 200 music venues and advertising itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin has more music venues per capita than any other city in the U.S. and also hosts the annual South by Southwest festival. But if live music alone doesn’t sound appealing enough, Austin also boasts zoos, theaters, museums, and a host of festivals from Austin Gay Pride and Spamarama to Carnival Brasileiro and the O. Henry Pun-Off. Basically, boredom won’t be ever be an option in this town.
3. Take It Outside
Whoa, boy, where to start? Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, Shoal Creek, Dinosaur Park, Mount Bonnell, Barton Springs Pool, the Cathedral of Junk, countless trails… the City of the Violet Crown practically screams at residents and guests to come explore the great outdoors, especially those people who might shy away from such an invitation. Take Barton Springs Pool, for example. The spring-fed pool with a usual standing temperature of 68 degrees just begs swimmers to jump in and enjoy (fair warning: this place is also nudity optional). If swimming doesn’t sound appealing, there’s also Lady Bird Lake, which offers paddle boarding on the water and a hike and bike trail around its perimeter. And the 351-acre Zilker Park, aside from being a huge place to walk and explore, hosts some of the city’s outdoor culture festivals.
4. Did We Mention the Benefits?
Right, so let’s set aside the professional offerings, the massive amount of culture, and the outdoor activities for a moment and ask the big question: What exactly are the benefits of living in Austin?
Well, for one thing, there’s the politics. In a state known for being almost entirely red, Austin is one of the isolated blue spots and sports a “live and let live” philosophy as evidenced through the low taxes, business-friendly environment, and general open-minded approach to day-to-day life (i.e. the Barton Springs nude-optional swimming). Austin cuisine has claims to fame for its barbeque, queso, stuffed avocados (really), and food trucks, but balances that out by being one of the fittest cities in the country thanks to yoga enthusiasts, all those hike-and-bike trails, and the walkability of the city itself. And while Austin has no professional sports teams, they do have the University of Texas Longhorns, minor league baseball and basketball, and roller derby. Oh, and dog owners will find the city very receptive to Man’s Best Friend with its dog parks and fairs.