Welcome to Austin: Your Guide to Living in Austin, TX

Austin, TX

Congratulations on moving to Austin, Texas! Austin is surrounded by beautiful hills, lakes, and parks, making it a great place to enjoy outdoor activities and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you came looking for new job opportunities in Austin’s thriving economy or a vibrant cultural scene, you’ll love your new home.

While moving to a new city is full of exciting new adventures, it can be tough living in a new place. To help you and other movers like you get comfortable in your new home, we put together this guide to living in Austin, TX that covers all the basics.

About Austin, TX

Austin’s greater metropolitan area boasts a population of nearly 2.3 million people. Split into several diverse neighborhoods, there is something for everyone. Many young professionals, college students and music venues call South Austin home. Looking for luxury? You’ll find high-end homes, luxury shopping and beautiful parks in West Austin. Not surprisingly, Downtown Austin is where you’ll find the city’s business district, but for a more family-friendly area, check out North Austin.

People riding bikes

How to Get Around

The easiest way to get around Austin is by car, but be prepared for traffic congestion. If driving in traffic is something you’d like to avoid, there are plenty of other options. As a bike-friendly city, there are bike lanes and even bike (and scooter) sharing services. If you don’t own a car and biking isn’t your thing, no worries! Like most large cities, Austin has a large public transit system, Capital Metro, which offers bus and rail services throughout the city.

Where to Eat

Austin is a foodie's paradise, offering a wide array of cuisine options ranging from traditional Texan barbecue to innovative fusion dishes. For some of the country’s best brisket, you’ll want to pay a visit to Franklin Barbecue, but be prepared to wait in line. Another classic barbecue joint, known for their all-you-can-eat menu is Salt Lick BBQ, just outside of Austin.

If barbecue isn’t your thing, check out Ramen Tatsu-Ya - a Japanese noodle house offering a variety of delicious broths, from classic tonkotsu to spicy miso, along with your choice of topping. Some of the best pizza in Austin can be found at Home Slice Pizza, a local favorite offering classic and creative pies, as well as fresh salads and delicious garlic knots. Of course, there is also no shortage of taco joints and sports bars to round out your dining options.

Looking for an upscale dining experience? Visit the downtown Austin gem, Garrison to try their signature black truffle tater tots. The menu is a chef-driven, ever-evolving nod to local, seasonal ingredients. Both the five-star service and culinary delights are sure to impress.

Things to Do in and Around Austin

Once you get settled, you’ll want to take some time to explore your new surroundings. With quite the selection of nightlife, incredible scenery, and sites to visit, you’ll have lots to do!

Places to Visit

Have you ever seen bats in the middle of a city? You can see this stunning, and even slightly creepy sight every evening, when a colony of bats takes flight from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Nearby, you can take a stroll down South Congress Avenue to check out the unique boutiques, vintage shops, and funky street art. Lastly, on brand for Austin’s quirky reputation is the Museum of the Weird. This museum is sure to be an interesting experience, home to all sorts of strange and unusual artifacts, from “proof” of Bigfoot’s existence to shrunken heads.

People kayaking on Lady Bird Lake

Outdoor Recreation

The Austin area is surrounded by beautiful views and plenty of hiking trails throughout the Texas Hill Country. During hot Texas summers, take a dip in one of the beautiful natural springs, including Barton Springs Pool and Hamilton Pool Preserve, both offering crystal-clear waters and natural surroundings.

Running straight through the city-center is Lady Bird Lake. Locals love to rent a kayak or paddleboard to take in city views while enjoying the lake. You can also rent a bike if you’re looking for another active way to explore Austin, but don’t own your own bike.

Festivals and Events in Austin

As a (new) resident of Austin, you have easy access to the numerous festivals and events focused on music, food, arts and even athletics that take place each year.

Perhaps the most popular music festival, attracting more than 70,000 fans each year, is the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Over one hundred performers from every genre take the stage to perform in Zilker park. It’s the perfect opportunity to see your favorite artists live while discovering plenty of up-and-coming performers, too! Other music festivals to attend include the Austin Urban Music Festival and Blues on the Green.

Seafood fans, this one is for you. At the Austin Oyster Festival, you can sample every kind of oyster and enjoy Cajun style music. The Field Guide Festival highlights local farmers and Austin chefs. It’s a weekend dedicated to connection and cuisine comprised of locally grown ingredients. Finally, check out the cheesiest food festival in Austin – the Quesoff. Taste award-winning queso recipes and watch as local chefs, special guests and cheese champions compete to be named the best queso maker in Austin.

Aside from food and music festivals, there are plenty of film and arts festivals throughout the year. There’s also Rodeo Austin, the Austin Pride Parade, and the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival.

A food truck in Austin, TX


Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," and for good reason. Whether you're into blues, rock, or country, you'll find a venue and a band to suit your taste. The nightlife is incredibly diverse. Packed with live music venues and bars, Sixth Street is the most famous nightlife spot in Austin. The Continental Club, opened in 1955, is one of the oldest running clubs in Austin. It plays host to a variety of live musicians, although country singers are found here several nights a week.

Speaking of country music, Austin is packed with Honky-Tonks. However, the most famous one is The White Horse in East Austin. Here you can find live music nightly and take dance classes most nights of the week. Other options for two-step dancers include the divey Little Longhorn Saloon, the Broken Spoke and Shiner’s Saloon.

So, there you have it. We hope this guide gave you a taste of what Austin has to offer, but there is so much to see and explore in your new home.

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