Moving to Austin
Discover Austin, the capital of Texas, where good vibes and bright, sunny days are a way of life. You're about to embark on a journey of interesting adventure, set against a backdrop that seamlessly merges a vibrant live music scene with a booming tech industry. They say everything's bigger in Texas, but Austin predilects quality over quantity, offering grand experiences in wonderfully moderate-sized servings. This comprehensive guide will de-mystify your Austin relocation process, turning what might seem an immense task into an engaging, enjoyably manageable experience. So sit back, relax, and let's dive into all things Austin!
What to Know Before Moving to Austin
1. Austin: The Live Music Capital of the World
Yes, it's true! If music nourishes your soul, Austin is your paradise. The city hosts more than 250 live music venues, and it's not limited to one genre. Whether you're into country, rock, or blues, you will find something that hits a note in your heart. Don't miss the electric vibes of the SXSW (South by Southwest) and Austin City Limits Music Festival.
2. Your Taste Buds are in for a Treat
Austin's food scene is as diverse and vibrant as its music. The city is famous for its tangy barbecue and the globe's best breakfast tacos. Don't just stick to the restaurants; explore the food trucks. Also, remember, the queso here is practically a food group in itself and a must-try.
3. An Eclectic Mix of People
When you move to Austin, you're going to be part of a tapestry of cultures. Austinites come from diverse backgrounds, each contributing their unique flavor to the city's life. Techies, musicians, cowboys, students, and artists all call Austin home. You'll blend right in and find your own rhythm in Austin's colorful socio-cultural spectrum.
4. The Weird and Wonderful Side of Austin
This one's not too common knowledge: "Keep Austin Weird" is the unofficial city slogan, and Austinites live up to it with pride. From an actual Cathedral of Junk to the Museum of the Weird in Dirty Sixth, there's plenty of quirky spots around town to explore. Every corner of the city springs a surprise, and you're sure to fall in love with its eccentric charm.
5. Outdoor Adventures Aplenty
The stereotypes of Texas with desert and tumbleweeds? They don't apply here. Austin is lush and green with a multitude of hiking trails, swimming holes, and parks. For those who love the great outdoors, Barton Springs Pool, the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, and the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area are not to be missed.
6. The Bat Bridge Phenomenon
Here's a genuinely unique, somewhat unknown tidbit: Every evening from approximately March to November, the sky darkens as a massive bat colony, the largest urban bat colony worldwide, takes flight from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Watching this natural spectacle is a must-do for all newcomers - just remember to keep your mouth closed!
Every city has its character, its pulse, its unique allure. Austin is no exception. Embrace its quirky charm, be ready for a life filled with music and great food, relish its natural beauty, and witness the harmonious blend of cultures. Above all, have fun exploring! Remember, in Austin, there's always something more to discover. So, put on your cowboy boots, grab a taco, and get ready for the adventure that is--Austin, Texas!
Pros and Cons of Living in Austin
Pros of Living in Austin
A Vibrant Music and Arts Scene
Austin is often referred to as the "Live Music Capital of the World" due to its abundance of venues for live performances. The city is home to multiple famous music festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. From street performers to art galleries and theatre, the city's vibrant arts scene caters to all creative tastes.
Austin offers a plethora of outdoor recreation options. With its warm climate, residents can enjoy year-round activities like cycling, kayaking, and hiking. Places like Zilker Park, Lake Travis, and the Barton Creek Greenbelt provide perfect spots for these activities.
Strong Economy and Job Growth
Austin is known for its robust economy and significant job growth, particularly in the tech industry. Major companies, including Dell, IBM, and Apple, have significant operations here, providing numerous job opportunities. The city is also home to a thriving start-up scene.
Austin's food scene is another reason why many residents love the city. From food trucks to high-end dining, the city's culinary landscape is ever-expanding, offering a range of cuisines to satisfy everyone's palate. Barbecue and Tex-Mex are local favorites.
Home to the University of Texas and several other exceptional colleges, Austin offers great educational opportunities. The city also has a good reputation for its public and private K-12 schools, contributing to a high quality of life for families.
Cons of Living in Austin
High Cost of Living
Austin has a relatively higher cost of living compared to other cities in Texas. Essentials like housing, groceries, and healthcare tend to be above the national average, which can strain the budget of new residents.
Traffic and Transportation
As Austin's population has grown, so has its traffic. There are increasing concerns about traffic congestion, especially during peak hours. Public transportation exists but is not as extensive as in some other major cities.
Austin has a warm climate, which can feel too hot for some people during the peak of summer. Temperatures can, at times, surpass 100 degrees in the hotter months, making outdoor activities somewhat uncomfortable.
A known downside to living in Austin is the high pollen count that can aggravate allergies. Cedar, oak, and ragweed are the common triggers, especially during the changes between seasons, raining season, and windy days.
With its booming economy, Austin has been drawing a lot of newcomers, leading to an increase in population. While this growth has its advantages, it also means increased housing demand, strain on infrastructure, and changes to the city's once small-town feel.
Is Austin a Good Place to Live?
Austin, TX is a great place to live because of its vibrant music scene, delicious food options, and ample outdoor activities. This city is perfect for those who want to balance work and play; with its booming tech industry for job opportunities, and plenty of recreational spots like Zilker Park and Barton Springs for weekend fun. Plus, everyone loves the friendly and creative vibe the city has to offer!
What Is Austin Famous For?
Live Music Capital of the World
Austin, Texas is widely known as the "Live Music Capital of the World." With over 250 live music venues scattered all over the city, Austin hosts a diverse range of music performances from country to blues to rock, catering to various music tastes. The city also hosts the famous SXSW and ACL Music Festivals every year.
Delicious Barbecue and Tex-Mex Cuisine
Food lovers flock to Austin not just for the music, but also for the delectable barbecue and Tex-Mex dishes. The city takes its slow-cooked BBQ and flavorful Tex-Mex very seriously, with popular spots like Franklin Barbecue and Torchy's Tacos drawing in hungry crowds from around the country and the world.
Lush Green Spaces
Austin is a city filled with impressive green spaces perfect for outdoor lovers. Whether it's a relaxing stroll along the Lady Bird Lake, a challenging hike up Mount Bonnell, or just lazing around at Zilker Park, Austin offers a slice of nature amidst its bustling urban setting.
Innovative Tech Hub
Known as the "Silicon Hills," Austin is rapidly becoming a booming tech hub. It is home to the headquarters and regional offices of several major tech companies such as Dell, IBM, and Google. The city's commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship also draws a continuous stream of tech start-ups.
Overview of Tax Rates
In Austin, TX, as of 2023, the average effective property tax rate is 1.83%, which is significantly higher than the US average of 1.07%. However, residents should note that Texas does not have a state income tax, which may balance out the high property tax for some.
As of 2023, the combined sales tax rate for Austin, TX is 8.25%. This rate is fairly high when compared to the national median of 6.875%. The sales tax rate in Texas can be as much as 2% higher than in many other states.
Unlike many states, as of 2023, Texas does not impose a state income tax on its residents. Therefore, Austin residents only need to pay the federal income tax. This makes the overall income tax burden significantly lower than in states that do have an income tax.
Austin, TX's housing market continues to outpace many other regions in the US. The high demand fueled by its rapid tech industry growth coupled with limited supply has led to rising property prices. As of Q1 2021, the median home price in Austin was $370,000, significantly higher than the national median of $279,600. Additionally, renters face a median monthly rent of $1,225, well above the US median of $1,062. Despite this, the steady job growth and vibrant lifestyle keep the demand high, presenting potential benefits for both buyers seeking long-term value and renters embracing city living.
Cost of Living
Living in Austin, TX is moderately expensive, ranking approximately 16% higher than the national average. Yet, when compared to other growing cities like San Francisco and New York, it provides good value for money, especially for quality housing. The vibrant culture, growing tech presence, and sunshine-filled weather make Austin an appealing destination despite the costs. Notably, the affordability dips for entertainment and groceries, aligning closer to larger cities. Therefore, although the cost of living is increasing, Austin still offers a balanced financial trade-off for the quality of life it provides.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Austin, Texas experiences a humid subtropical climate, hallmarked by long, hot summers and short, mild winters. The temperature typically ranges between 60-96degF and it receives more sunshine than most American cities. Fall and spring are particularly pleasant with many sunny days. Rainfall is fairly evenly dispersed throughout the year, contributing to the city's lush greenery. However, Austin is prone to severe weather and natural disasters, such as flash floods and tornadoes. As part of "Flash Flood Alley", it is considered one of the most flood-prone areas in North America. It occasionally gets hit by powerful storms and hurricanes, while its location in Tornado Alley means that Austin is not immune to tornadoes either. Despite these hazards, Austin's appealing climate makes it a popular destination among both visitors and those seeking to relocate.
Economy & Job Market
Known widely as the "Silicon Hills," Austin, TX has comfortably nestled itself into the list of top tech hubs in the United States, following close behind the Silicon Valley and New York City. Staying true to its motto, Austin keeps things weird by striving for innovation and creativity in its tech scene. Think of every tech company you know - Dell, IBM, Amazon, indeed they all have a significant presence in Austin. However, originally Austin's economy was driven by the government, education and blue-collar industries. The University of Texas at Austin historically being a major employer. In addition to tech, health care, retail, education, and construction make up a significant portion of Austin's economy.
If you're planning to move to Austin, pack your bags with a dose of optimism. Thanks to the tech boom, Austin's employment rate is generally higher than the national average. You'll find that work is relatively abundant here, and even during a turbulent economy Austin typically weathers the storm with fewer layoffs and more stability. Particularly, job seekers in the tech, education, healthcare sectors may particularly feel like they've landed in a job hunting utopia. But don't worry if you aren't in those fields, Austin's diverse economy means there is space for everyone. So, come on over, Austin's got a job, a live music show and a food truck waiting for you!
Traffic and Transportation
Everything's bigger in Texas, including the Austin commute! With an average trek of about 26.8 minutes, your daily drive might run a bit longer than you'd expect. But hey, that's plenty of time to listen to your favorite podcast or get in touch with your inner car karaoke star! Not a fan of highway harmonies? Austin's Capital Metro bus service whisks you across the city with ease, while the MetroRail sings its way from the suburbs to downtown for a greener commute. And if you're jet-setting? Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has got you covered, offering more than 70 destinations for when you get that itch to travel. So whether it's by tires, tracks or the tarmac, Austin is one well-oiled, transportation machine!
Best Neighborhoods in Austin
Home to the famous Barton Springs Pool and Zilker Park, the Zilker neighborhood is vibrant, outdoorsy, and packed full of Austin charm. The vibe is dog-friendly, energy-filled, and deeply in love with nature. The annual Kite Festival and ACL Music Festival take place in Zilker, making it a hub of activity and entertainment. With its colorful bungalows, food truck parks, and local farmers' markets, you just might find yourself falling for this energetic neighborhood.
2. Hyde Park
Taking a step into Hyde Park can feel like stepping back in time. Stroll along its tree-lined streets, admire its historic Victorian homes, and stop by one of the neighborhood's quaint coffee shops. Known as Austin's first suburb, Hyde Park continues to charm residents and visitors with its friendly feel, a fantastic mix of restaurants, and local businesses, and unique cultural events at the Elisabet Ney Museum. It's a peaceful and quaint neighborhood perfect for anyone seeking a bit of tranquility within the city.
3. South Congress
If you're looking to be in the heart of Austin's music, art, and food scene, South Congress is where you need to be. Known to locals as "SoCo", it's been described as the pulse of Austin's quirky spirit. The neighborhood houses an array of eclectic shops, world-famous live music venues like the Continental Club, and delicious food at every turn. In addition, you can't miss the iconic boots at Allen's Boots and the unparalleled view of the Texas Capitol from Congress Avenue.
4. Northwest Hills
Located in the rolling hills of west Austin, Northwest Hills is for those seeking a serene, family-friendly vibe in the midst of beautiful natural surroundings. Numerous green spaces, including Bull Creek District Park, provide ample opportunities for outdoor fun. The neighborhood forms a tight-knit community with events like the Fourth of July Parade. Excellent schools, stunning views of the Texas Hill Country, and easy access to downtown Austin make this neighborhood a top choice for families.
5. East Austin
East Austin is one of the city's hottest neighborhoods to explore right now, famous for its diverse urban feel, vibrant street art, and a lively food and drink scene. Offering an artistic blend of old and new, the neighborhood has a unique mix of single-family bungalows and modern apartment complexes. Enjoy a community garden, grab a bite from a food truck, or experience the nightlife at one of the trendy rooftop bars. In East Austin, innovation and tradition meet to create an ever-changing and thriving community.
In conclusion, Austin offers a range of neighborhoods to suit all types of lifestyles and personalities. Whether you're after the vibrancy of Zilker and South Congress, the tranquil charm of Hyde Park and Northwest Hills, or the diverse urban vibe of East Austin, Austin is a city that has something for everyone. The choice all comes down to what you want in your perfect neighborhood - so go ahead, and pick your favorite!
Things to Do
Howdy, partner! So, you're moving to Austin, the eccentric little sister in the great state of Texas family. Known for its vibrant live music culture, scrumptious food, and stunning nature spots, the Texas capital has a unique charm that is hard to resist. This article is your opportunity to sneak a peek at seven sensational things to do in Austin, whether you're getting your boots dusty for the first time or becoming a full-time Austinite.
1. Explore the Food Truck Culture
Austin has a rich array of food trucks that have gained much fame for their quality and diversity. Whether you're craving tacos, vegan burgers, Mediterranean cuisine, or something sweet, the food trucks have you covered. You can find these culinary hubs in dedicated parks or scattered around the town, turning sidewalks into gourmet buffets. A must-visit is the South Congress Area, where food trucks galore await you.
2. Get Your Groove on at The Continental Club
Known as the granddaddy of the Austin music scene, The Continental Club, with its retro ambiance, is an embodiment of Austin's musical identity. Fantastic live bands perform almost every night, ensuring your feet are never still, and the electrifying aura is sure to leave you refreshed and humming your new favorite tunes.
3. Visit the Secret Beach
Yes, you read that right, Austin has a secret beach! Tucked away in the tranquil Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park, the Secret Beach is one of Austin's hidden gems. Keep in mind that it isn't an official park, so amenities are sparse. However, if you're looking for a quiet spot to relax, this might be your perfect sanctuary.
4. Discover the Haunting Mystery of the Museum of the Weird
This homage to the odd is nestled in the heart of Austin's 6th Street entertainment district. The Museum of the Weird hosts an eclectic collection of paranormal and oddball exhibits, featuring everything from Fiji mermaids to wax figures of two-headed animals. It's a perfect spot for thrill-seekers and curiosity enthusiasts alike!
5. Immerse in the Natural Beauty of Lady Bird Lake
Serenely sitting at the heart of Austin, Lady Bird Lake is a massive reservoir that offers breathtaking views and various activities. Whether you're looking to relax on a sunset kayak ride, hike or bike along the trail, or simply enjoy a picnic with a scenic view, Lady Bird Lake has something for everyone.
6. Go Beer Tasting at Jester King Brewery
Jester King is a world-renowned authentic farmhouse brewery situated on the outskirts of Austin. This isn't your typical local pub but an opportunity to taste a wide variety of beers, brewed using traditional methods. Besides trying unique brews, you can also tour the farmhouse, meet the goats, and munch on artisanal pizzas.
7. Witness the Flight of the Bats on Congress Avenue Bridge
From March to October each year, Austin becomes the stage for one of the nature's most fascinating phenomena. As dusk approaches, up to 1.5 million bats spiral out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge, creating a spectacular scene that never ceases to stun spectators. It's an experience so uniquely Austin that you can't afford to miss it!
In conclusion, Austin is the city where the weird is celebrated, the wild is respected, and the music never stops. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, an arts aficionado, or a foodie, the city has something to match your rhythm. Don't hesitate to explore and weave your own Austin story! With these top 7 activities as your starting checklist, you're bound to fall in love with the city's spirit. Y'all have a blast now!
Find Movers for Your Austin Relocation
After soaking in the vibrant lifestyle and opportunities Austin, TX has to offer, it makes perfect sense why you'd want to make it your home. Now the task that lies ahead is the moving process. No worries - that's where Great Guys Moving steps in. We streamline your search for premier, affordable moving companies, ones we've befriended through years of collaboration. Just input basic details about your move, and we'll connect you with industry-leading movers, fully licensed and insured. Ready to take the next exciting step? Request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today to kick-start your seamless transition to Austin.
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