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Austin Texas Mural

Austin is regarded as an open-minded, friendly, and innovative city. Talented people from around the world are attracted to Austin for its high quality of life, abundant cultural resources, lively entertainment, and active lifestyle.

Creative Cultural Hub

Widely recognized as a major cultural center, Austin is perhaps best known as a thriving hub for live music and entertainment. Annual festivals such as Austin City Limits and South by Southwest draw participants from around the world, while local venues regularly host an impressive line-up of nationally recognized and emerging artists. Beyond this rich music scene, Austin is also home to world-class professional symphonyballet, and opera companies. Austin's flourishing creative scene is further showcased through a plentiful assortment of museums and art galleries.

Technology & Innovation

Austin has a vibrant technology sector that attracts both established technology leaders and cutting-edge start-ups. Industry leaders like Google, Apple, IBM, Intel, Samsung, and National Instruments base major operations in the region and frequently hire talented university graduates. As the state capital, Austin supports a robust and diverse economy and is often at the forefront of urban policy development. Situated in the heart of the city, the university is a home for innovative research – providing a fertile environment for collaboration and creativity. What starts here changes the world.

Town Lake Austin TexasA Beautiful Place to Live

Widely recognized as one of America’s most beautiful and livable cities, Austin is located at the intersection of unique landscapes. Situated along the banks of the eastern Colorado River and at the edge of the Edwards Plateau, Austin enjoys a warm and relatively dry climate. To the west, Austin is flanked by the Texas Hill Country – an area noted for rugged limestone cliffs, caverns, and abundant swimming holes. To the east, Austin is bordered by rolling prairies enlivened with seasonal wildflower blooms each spring. A series of easily accessible lakes along the Colorado River offer excellent year-round opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and paddleboarding.

Extensive park and trail systems, known locally as "greenbelts", wind through the downtown and the surrounding metropolitan area. Residents enjoy access to miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails spread throughout the city - including some that run through the UT Austin campus.

Popular Things to Do in Austin

  1. Barton Springs: This three-acre spring-fed pool stays at 68 degrees year-round.
  2. Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum: The story of Texas is told through films and exhibits; home to Austin’s only IMAX theater.
  3. Texas State Capitol: Built in 1886, the Texas State Capitol is the largest state capitol in the country.
  4. Sixth Street and Rainey Street Entertainment District: Popular, trendy areas of downtown Austin known live music and unique restaurants.
  5. Congress Avenue Bats: Home to the largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in the country. Residents gather along South Congress Avenue to watch their nightly flight.
  6. The Blanton Museum of Art: Founded in 1963, this is one of the foremost university art museums in the country and holds the largest public collection in Central Texas.
  7. South Congress (SoCo): Home to eclectic shops and the popular First Thursday artisan market each month.
  8. Zilker Park: A 350-acre park located just minutes from campus home to the Austin Nature and Science Center, Zilker Botanical Gardens, Zilker Hillside Theatre and the Zilker Zephyr — a train that travels around the perimeter of the park.
  9. Mount Bonnell: A must-see for any Austin visitor, this popular tourist spot offers the best views of Austin and the Hill Country.
  10. Hike and Bike Trail: One of the finest urban park spaces in the country, this 10-mile trail offers wide, shaded paths for biking, walking, or running in the heart of the city.

Find more activities and attractions via the following links:

Housing in Austin

Austin is home to many unique neighborhoods - each with a distinct character and set of amenities. When searching for housing, it's important to consider personal needs, lifestyle, and budget. For many graduate students, distance to the university campus is a primary consideration - though many also evaluate potential housing opportunities for their proximity to grocery stores, recreation, dining, and public transportation.