Austin may not be the largest city in Texas, but it is the capital of this iconic US state. For that reason alone, it is worth visiting.
It is simply exciting to encounter German customs and traditions that have been preserved here over centuries, but of course have also changed at the same time. But Austin is also an interesting travel destination for everyone who likes to leave the customs and traditions of home behind them. According to Iamaccepted, the city is young, affluent, educated, cultured and – as it itself postulates in its nickname – “is”. Loosely translated it means that Austin is refreshingly different from the rest of Texas. It’s fun to see for yourself. The tendency towards size and oversized is also evident in the capital of Texas, in Austin, every now and then clearly. But apart from that, the city is quite tame. It is very well maintained, it offers a lot of culture and it spoils residents and visitors alike with a very high quality of life.
Even a young city like Austin has history
Don’t worry, you don’t have to dwell too long on the history of Austin, the city is still too young for that. It was founded in 1835; the small settlement was then named Waterloo. But just three years later, the city fathers renamed the rapidly growing town in Austin. It was named after Stephen F. Austin, who is considered the founder of the then still independent Republic of Texas. Just a year later, Austin was the capital of Texas. A look at the parliament building shows the breathtaking speed at which everything developed back then. The Texas State Capitol, which was built in Austin in 1888 (just half a century after the city was founded), was then the seventh tallest building in the world. It towers over the Capitol in the US capital Washington by an impressive six meters.
Education and enjoyment of culture
So far, no one has found out why it is so, but it is true: the residents of Austin are above average hungry for education, love to read and, as a result, also above average educated. That could of course simply be attributed to the renowned university in the Texas capital. In fact, the educational phenomenon goes far beyond that. The city fathers have something to offer such discerning residents if they want to keep them within their walls. Of course, interested tourists also benefit from the concert halls and museums, galleries and other cultural institutions. The following is a foray through a few selected museums. In the “Elisabeth Ney Museum” on East 44th Street, for example, the visitor gets to know the works of the German sculptor, who died in 1907. The museum is located in the artist’s former studio, of which over a hundred works can still be seen here. Most of these are busts of important political figures from the United States and Europe.
Speaking of important personalities. The LBJ Library & Museum on Red River Street is all about the 36th President of the USA, Lyndon B. Johnson. The native Texan started the presidency in an extremely dramatic way in November 1963. He was sworn in as the successor to John F. Kennedy, who immediately prior to that in Dallas, also Texas, was murdered. Johnson’s reign fell during one of the most troubled periods the United States experienced after World War II. More assassinations and the Vietnam War occurred during this period, which is revived in the museum. The most spectacular exhibit is likely to be the replica of the “Oval Office”, as LBJ had set up as an office in the White House. But there is another person who was abbreviated as LBJ. Lady Bird Johnson, the President’s wife, will also be highlighted in the museum with a dedicated exhibition.
About students and bats
Austin is a true educational center not only in Texas, but across America as well. A good 50,000 students are preparing for a demanding professional life here, not only at the University of Texas but also at several renowned private universities. So it’s no wonder that the number of jobs on offer is impressive with so many academic specialists. Industry giants such as Google, Dell, Ebay, Samsung, Facebook, Apple, IBM and Hewlett-Packard are some of the big companies that have their headquarters in Austin, if not at least large branches. Young people who look forward to the future determine the streetscape and the atmosphere in the city. There are cafes, trendy bars and pretty, individual boutiques not only in the student districts.
By the way, one colony far exceeds the number of students – and that should be a reason for animal lovers to pay Austin a visit. The largest number of bats ever counted in a city in the United States live near the Congress Bridge. 1.5 million of them have settled here. In the evening and night they can make for a real spectacle.
Get out in the fresh air
Education and culture are great, but sport and fun should of course also have their place on vacation. Austin does not disappoint visitors in this regard. In the middle of the city is the “Town Lake”. With 300 days of sunshine a year that sounds tempting, doesn’t it? The swimming lake is big enough to be able to practice many water sports on it. The best thing is that anyone who just wants to swim or splash around is not bothered at all. However, there is also a wonderful alternative to this. In the outdoor pool “Barton Springs”, hot springs feed the water – this is a very special experience for all water lovers. Those who prefer to keep their feet dry during their outdoor activities have the best opportunities in the Austin area. The area invites with rolling hills, which one could almost describe as “evergreen”, Checklist for hiking holidays in the USA) and mountain biking. However, water sports enthusiasts will not miss out here either. Rivers (for example the famous Colorado River) and lakes make it possible to swim or go canoeing almost all year round. One of the most popular destinations for Austin visitors is the “Enchanted Rock”. The approximately 150 meter high granite rock rises east of the city.
Here is playing the music
Nashville may consider itself the most musical of all US cities – but it is not. That title belongs to Austin, and officially. The city is therefore somewhat immodestly calling itself the “Live Music Capital of the world”. But whoever has has. And Austin did. At the airport, travelers are already welcomed with live music and so it continues everywhere in the city. Live bands in front of the supermarket, in front of the town hall, in cafes and in boutiques. Of course, the nightlife is also shaped by concerts in countless large and small bars. Those who like to dance will feel like they are in paradise here. In addition to country, the predominant musical styles are primarily blues and rock. There are music bars everywhere; the greatest density is likely to be found in the Market District, downtown Austin and Sixth Street. Although music already defines the everyday life of Texans in Austin, there are also many music festivals held throughout the year. So if you can’t get along with music at all, you should opt for another travel destination.
Modesty is not necessarily a core Texan virtue. In cities like Dublin or Nashville, the city fathers of Austin should therefore be left behind when they proudly call their city the “Live Music Capitol of the World”. The fact is, Austin has long, warm summer nights filled with music, singing, dancing, and high spirits.
1000 more reasons to visit Austin
A great climate, beautiful, green surroundings, great excursion destinations (many with German names), first-class cultural offers and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities – the list of advantages of Austin is long and growing. The city should be a “must see” when visiting Texas.