Austin, TX is a city that continuously draws in new residents from all over the world—and for good reason.
Founded in 1839, Austin, TX is a city that’s steeped in culture and innovation. The city’s vibrant music scene and robust tech industry are proof, and the reasons behind the monikers “Live Music Capital of the World” and the “Silicon Hills.”
Beyond music and tech, Austin is also known for its bustling food scene, an incredibly rich cultural heritage, and a laid-back atmosphere, all of which make it extremely attractive to people from all over the world.
Austin, TX at a glance
The capital of The Lone Star State, Austin, TX has grown and evolved by leaps and bounds since its inception in the 1800s, with the city now considered a center for culture, commerce, and politics.
Today, Austin, TX is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, attracting tourists and new residents alike with its beautiful natural setting, vibrant culture, and thriving economy. Despite its rapid growth and modernization, however, Austin has managed to maintain its unique Texas character and spirit—two factors that make it highly distinctive.
Location and Climate
Austin, TX is situated in the Texas Hill Country, an area characterized by rolling hills, limestone formations, and expansive cave networks. The city is surrounded by hills and forests on three sides, giving residents plenty of opportunities to engage in outdoor activities. It is home to several lakes, all of which are popular destinations for boating, fishing, and water sports.
Austin enjoys a warm, subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. It receives plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with high temperatures in the summer reaching into the 90s and low temperatures in the winter dropping to the 40s.
Who lives in Austin, TX?
Austin is currently home to around 965,000 residents. The 4th largest city in Texas and the 11th largest in the United States, the city is growing at an annual rate of 1.72%, with the population increasing by 5.35% since the most recent census in 2020.
The population is quite young and diverse, with a median age of 34. The workforce is highly educated, with 51.7% of adult residents having earned at least a bachelor’s degree, and 19.4% holding a graduate or professional degree. This is considerably higher than the national figures of 32.1% and 12.4% respectively.
What is life like in Austin, TX?
Ready to make The Live Music Capital of the World your new home? Here’s everything you need to know about life in Austin, TX:
Economy and cost of living
Austin, TX has an incredibly robust economy, with the city netting a GDP of $216 billion in 2022—the 2nd fastest-growing and 22nd largest in the country.
At present, the city’s economy is driven mainly by the tech industry, followed by the healthcare, education, and manufacturing sectors. According to experts, the presence of tech giants in the city, coupled with its business friendly policies and highly educated workforce, is likely to help continue the city’s economic expansion.
As a result of its rapid growth and development, it’s not surprising that the cost of living in the city is relatively high. That said, Austin also has one of the highest median household incomes in the entire state, with its residents earning around $79,000 annually—almost $10,000 more than the national average.
The Austin Independent School District serves a significant portion of the city. The district includes a number of notable schools such as the magnet Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School of Austin, Texas (LASA), which is ranked among the top thirty high schools in the US; and The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.
Aside from the Austin ISD, the highly-rated Eanes ISD also oversees several public schools in the city, including top performer Westlake High School.
When it comes to higher education, residents have the opportunity to enroll in prestigious colleges and universities nearby, including the University of Texas at Austin, a Public Ivy and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System.
Austin is a unique city, a cultural powerhouse set in some of the most beautiful landscape. With so much to see, do, and enjoy, life becomes rich, varied, and full of memorable experiences.
TX thanks largely to its unique geography and warm climate. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular things to do in the city:
- Hiking – Austin boasts a plethora of beautiful parks, all of which offer miles upon miles of scenic hiking trails, perfect for long or leisurely hikes. Want to bring a furry friend with you? The majority of Austin’s parks are pet-friendly, which means you can enjoy the great outdoors with your beloved pets in tow.
- Kayaking – The city is home to creeks, rivers, and lakes, making it a great place for those who enjoy water activities like kayaking and canoeing. Don’t have your own gear? You can always rent everything you need from local outfitters! You can also join one of the city’s many guided kayaking tours to see the city from a different viewpoint.
- Biking – Cyclists will find a lot to love about Austin. The city has plenty of bike lanes that make it easy to blend workouts with one’s daily commute. Residents also have easy access to bike trails in and around parks, giving everyone from casual cyclists to serious riders plenty of opportunities to go around the city on two wheels.
- Rock Climbing and Bouldering –Austin is located smack-dab in the middle of a region known for its limestone cliffs, making it perfect for natural rock climbing and bouldering. Looking for something more controlled? Go to one of the many indoor rock climbing gyms in the city, offering facilities fit for any skill level.
Life in Austin, TX isn’t complete without experiencing the city’s wide variety of cuisines and culinary experiences. Must-try restaurants in the city include:
- Uchi– Uchi has a strong claim to be the best Japanese restaurant in Austin. Founded by Tyson Cole, a James Beard Award-winning chef, the dishes in Uchi are non-traditional but in typical Japanese style, they are exquisitely executed. The sushi is sublime with just enough innovation to add a refreshing twist to an already popular cuisine. This is a must try restaurant.
- Fonda San Miguel–This restauarant is what you get when you take the boldness of Central American cuisine and culture, and elevate it to art. Dining in Fonda San Miguel is as much a sensory experience as it is a culinary one. People who love Mexican food will love this place, and those who haven’t really tried it, will get the best possible introduction to Central American and Mexican cuisine.
- County Line on the Hill – No respectable list of restaurants in Texas is complete without one that specializes in BBQ and Grill. This restauarant is loaded with atmosphere inside but there’s also a patio dining area outside with a fantastic view from the hill. Of course, the meat is done to perfection, but there’s also vegetarian, pescatarian, and vegan options, so everyone can join in the fun.
- Jeffrey’s– Jeffrey’s looks and initially feels like a comfortable but upmarket dining spot. Then you begin to notice all the fine details like the arrangement and the way the staff effortlessly, yet professionally, go about their service and your expectations rise. By the time the food comes your delighted but not surprised at how enticing it looks, simple yet perfect. Jeffrey’s is fine dining that never disappoints.
Austin is unmatched when it comes to retail destinations. If you’re in the mood to shop, these are the places to go:
- ByGeorge– Established in 1979, ByGeorge carries a wide range of contemporary fashion pieces from high-end brands like PSWL Proenza Schouler, étoile Isabel Marant, and Adidas by Stella McCartney. A favorite destination for Austin’s most fashion-forward set, ByGeorge holds regular trunk shows each month, which are teased on its social media pages.
- Adelante Boutique – The boutique is very popular, owing to the fact it always has superbly curated collections of clothing, accesories, and gifts. Items are perfectly matched for bright and sunny Austin, and the sense of style is always on point.
- Justin’s Boots – Cowboy boots and western wear are always in fashion, and here you’ll find the real deal. Here’s were you can get handcrafted boots made from the finest quality leather, from the hands of master boot makers. When you own a pair of these boots you become part of a tradition that’s alive and well through a craft that’s lovingly preserved.
- The Domain–A popular retail destination, The Domain is an upscale shopping center in the northwestern part of Austin. Luxury department stores Neiman Marcus and Macy’s, as well as designer brands Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent can be found here.
Austin, TX is home to an incredibly vibrant arts and entertainment scene, and residents have no shortage of amazing shows and cultural events to enjoy. The most notable events include:
- South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival– One of the most significant events in both pop culture and consumer technology, The South by Southwest Festival is an annual event that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Austin. Now on its 36th year, the SXSW Festival typically lasts for 10 days and is perhaps best known for its slate of interactive cultural events which include live performances from musicians and bands from all over the world, exhibits, film screenings, and panel discussions.
- Austin City Limits Music Festival– Held every October in Zilker Park, the highly attended Austin City Limits Music Festival brings together a diverse lineup of artists spanning multiple genres, including rock, pop, hip-hop, and country. One of the biggest music festivals in the world, the event dates back to 2002 and brings approximately 450,000 people to Austin, TX each year, all of whom get to enjoy multiple performances over two consecutive three-day weekends.
If you love the great outdoors, you’ll be delighted to know that some of the most beautiful and unique outdoor attractions in the country are part and parcel of life in Austin, TX. These include:
- Lady Bird Lake – Located in the heart of Austin, Lady Bird Lake is a scenic oasis perfect for kayaking, fishing, or just taking a peaceful stroll. Spanning 416 acres, this man-made reservoir boasts a lush waterfront trail and panoramic views of the city skyline, making it perfect for anyone looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve – This breathtaking nature preserve is known for its rolling hills, pristine streams, and wildlife. Measuring 227 acres, the park offers a serene escape from the city and is a go-to spot for hikers and birdwatchers.
- Zilker Park and Barton Spring Pool- Covering over 350 acres, this park is one of, if not the most popular recreation and relaxation areas in Austin. For those who want to be active, there are 5 volleyball courts, a disc golf course a playscape for kids. Barton Spring Pool, located with the park itself is truly masssive, covering an astounding 3 acres. There’s a botanical garden and even a theatre where you can enjoy anything from a Shakespeare play to a Jazz or country concert. The park is a much loved part of the city.
What is the real estate scene like in Austin, TX?
Austin, TX currently has a competitive housing market, with homes in the city receiving multiple offers upon hitting the market. These homes, according to recent data, typically sell 73 days after being put up for sale.
The city has one of the highest home values in the state, with the average home price hovering at around $599,000 – higher than the national average of $400,000. Luxury properties in the Austin have a price tag of anywhere from $1 million to over $19 million, depending on their size, location, and amenities.
You’ll find a wide range of homes for sale. These include charming ranch-style homes, Mediterranean-style single-family residences, sleek mid-century modern houses, and ultra-luxe contemporary-style properties, among others.
These homes often sit on large lots, provide easy access to the city’s attractions, and—depending on their location—offer stunning views of the Texas Hill Country landscape. In terms of amenities, the most desirable homes for sale in Austin, TX typically come finished with smart appliances and technology systems, upgraded bathrooms and kitchens, and generously sized sleeping and living areas. They also come with highly-sought after features such as ample storage, dedicated entertainment and recreation areas, swimming pools, and outdoor living areas.
What are the best neighborhoods in Austin, TX?
The city is composed of over a hundred different neighborhoods, ranging from bustling urban centers to more low-key communities. Here are just some of the best neighborhoods in Austin:
- Travis Heights – Located just south of Lady Bird Lake, Travis Heights is known for its selection of charming homes, beautiful tree-lined streets, and laid-back lifestyle. With its location, Travis Heights offers residents easy access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, shopping, and dining options, making it one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city.
- Tarrytown – This neighborhood is geared towards those looking for a more suburban lifestyle. There’s a small town neighborly feel and people love the sense of community prevalent in the area. This being said, Tarrytown is very close to downtown amenities, making it a great choice for those looking to strike a balance between serene and quiet living and easy access to big city amenities.
- Rollingwood– Covering over 600 acres, Rollingwood is its own self contained neighborhood with its own government body. It even has its own police who patrol the area, unobtrusively enhancing the sense of security in the neighborhood. There are many playgrounds, tennis clubs, pools, as well as great shoppping and dining options. Schooling is provided by the very highly rated Eanes School District. In short, it’s an idylic yet vibrant neighborhood, that covers everything you need to enjoy a wonderful lifestyle.
- Westlake and Westlake Hills –This neighborhood has some of the most sought after luxury homes in all of Austin. They have fantastic views of the city from the hilltop and there’s also the opportunity to acquire a waterfront home along Lake Austin with all the benefits that come with living right on the edge of the water. Some of the homes available are nothing short of spectacular and come in modern, contemporary, and more traditional designs. This neighborhood is one of the most exclusive in the area.
Live your best life in Austin, TX
If you’re planning to make the move to Austin, TX, give me, Darin Walker, a call.
I’m an Austin Native, top producer at Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. and one of Austin’s Elite 25. I have helped hundreds of clients navigate the competitive West and Central Austin market, leveraging my professional network, connections, and experience. I provide the necessary insight and local real estate knowledge to help you make the right decisions and I am committed to providing nothing less than top-quality service.