Reasons to Live in Austin, Texas

With its high quality and low cost of living, Austin is a desirable city to live in. Those who visit don't want to leave – partly to do with its lush environment and a lot to do with its Southern hospitality. Austinites are open-minded, welcoming individuals of all walks of life. Its diverse community embraces newcomers and makes you feel right at home. Austin's lush landscape and scenic countryside keep those who travel through always coming back. Visitors are never visitors for long, they soon become settlers and then a part of what makes this city so great. Other cities can't compete with Austin's track record on the "best of" lists for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. There's something for everyone here, making it easy to find reasons to live in this beautiful city.

For the health nut and nature guru, Austin has the best hike and bike trails right in the heart of the city. The Greenbelt and Lady Bird Lake run through the center of town and provide miles upon miles of trails and outdoor swimming holes. Zilker Park and Barton Springs are just a block south of Lady Bird Lake. Natural swimming holes like Hamilton Pool, Deep Eddy and Barton Springs stay cool all year round and turn the summers in Austin into outdoor oasis. Most of the springs are connected by the Colorado River which is best known for its use as a favorite recreational pasttime for college students – tubing. Tubing in 60 degree water is another one of Austin's blessings in disguise to enjoy the hot summer. Among the plethora of outdoor activities, there's also the Austin Zoo and Schlitterbaun, both great for family outtings.

For the foodie within, Austin has plenty of new restaurant openings and well-established eateries. Austin's Restaurant Week enables those to experience all of them at a discounted group cost. Sandra Bullock's highly reviewed restaurant, Bess Bistro, and floral plus bakery shop, Walton's Fancy and Staple, turn nights dining out into celebrity sitings. Just down the street from Bess Bistro sits the world headquarters for Whole Foods. Located in Downtown Austin off 5th and Lamar, Whole Foods offers innumerable cooking and wine pairing classes taught by famous chefs. Local brewing companies or microbreweries like Black Star Co-op and 512 Brewing Company have regularly scheduled tasting parties and membership recruiting events for the beer lover in you.

Often called the 3rd Coast to the movie industry, Austin plays host to many famous film studios including Robert Rodriguez' Troublemaker Studios and Richard Linklater's Detour Film Productions. Film incentives and Austin's creative community help encourage filmmakers to make movies in Austin bringing along with them film production jobs which help keep the Austin film industry thriving. Austin is home to Fantastic Fest, Austin Film Festival, Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (aGLFF), and South By Southwest Film Festival (SXSW).

For music lovers, there's South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest and a whole lot of other good home-grown stuff like Bob Schnieder and Willie Nelson. Music festivals and live music venues rejuventate Austin's nightlife with night-to-night music events to entice the energetic party-goers.

For young professionals, Austin is ranked the best city to start careers. The profitable business and charitable venture capitalist environments help startups nurture and grow, aggressively encouraging entrepreneurs to relocate here.

Sports fans are right at home in Austin, Texas. Austin is home to the 2005 College Football National Champions, the Texas Longhorns. Along with an all-star team, comes all-out fans. UT Longhorn fans are a sight to see on home game days. A 10-block radius around the stadium is designated just for tailgating. Austinites tailgate for football, baseball, practically at any sport or game with the word "ball" in it you'll see Texas sports fans grilling and drinking outside of the stadium. Before leaving Austin, be sure to check out a home game. Click here to see the Texas Longhorns football schedule.

Austin neighborhoods also play an integral role to its popularity among visitors. South Congress, also called "SoCo" by the locals, is a great spot to shop on sunny days in South Austin. On "First Thursdays" (every first Thursday of the month), SoCo's quirky shops stay open late and serve beverages to their perusing customers while local bands play live music in the streets. Every weekend, SoCo street vendors sell handmade crafts and homemade treats to passersby. SoCo's "Keep Austin Weird" appeal makes it a great destination spot for any newcomer to Austin.

Other famous Austin attractions include traveling to areas outside of Austin city limits. They're well worth your time, so make sure to set aside some time to see the sights in as well as around Austin:

Austin has the whole package: along with the many attractions listed above, Austin also has a recession-proof economy, steady job market and low cost of living. Year after year Austin continues to uphold its repuation as a leading contender on many "best of US" lists, listing more reasons to live in Austin. Take a look at all of Austin's recognitions as it takes top placement on most "best of" lists and quickly becomes a Best Cities list veteran.

More things to do in Austin: