Austin, Texas

Exploring Austin, Texas: A Guide to the Live Music Capital of the World

Texas is an immense state that is home to a variety of diverse attractions. One of its must-see cities is Austin – the unparalleled Live Music Capital of the World. Austin is teeming with art, music, food, and adventures and as such, it’s a top destination for travelers from near and far. But with all that Austin has to offer, it can be overwhelming deciding where to go and what to do! In this post, we’ll be discussing all the best and exciting must-see spots and activities Austin has in store – an exact guide to exploring the Live Music Capital of the World! Whether you’re a long-time native or new to the area, there’s something for everyone, so read on to start planning your Austin experience!

Quick Explanation

Located in the south-central region of Texas, Austin has plenty to explore and experience! With its vibrant music and art scene, live entertainment venues, world-class restaurants and more, Austin offers something for everyone.

People & Culture of Austin, Texas

When considering the people and culture of Austin, Texas, it’s easy to think of the world-renowned live music scene the city is known for – and this doesn’t come as a surprise. Music is deeply woven into the culture of Austin, and you can find no shortage of evening entertainment in almost any district or neighborhood. But there is much more to the city than just music.

The people of Austin are warm, welcoming, and open-minded. They pride themselves on embracing diversity and inclusion. The city is also a hub for small businesses, entrepreneurships, startups, and corporations. In addition to their support for cultural diversity and business enterprises, the vast majority of Austin’s citizens are environmentally conscious; they are partaking in green initiatives while developing sustainable solutions to many challenges faced by the city.

Austinites have a strong “we’re all in this together” mentality that makes them some of the most welcoming residents you will find anywhere. Home to an abundance of festivals throughout the year with vibrant food scenes and eclectic atmospheres, Austin offers something for every taste. When in Austin, you will quickly witness an energy like no other city can provide – think endless possibilities of creativity expressed in art galleries, nightlife spots, live music venues, bars and restaurants sprinkled around iconic landmarks like South Congress Avenue or Lady Bird Lake.

These unique qualities have helped make Austin one of the fastest growing cities in America for years now. It’s fascinating to see how creative minds from all walks of life converge in this great city to create an inspiring melting pot of cultures that breathe life into its streets, giving Austin an edge over many other metropolitan areas across the nation.

From its passionate citizens who value progressivism and social acceptance to its ever-growing skyline erecting taller buildings by each passing day; the city has no shortage of structures that reflect both its past and future values– traits that help define it as one of the most beloved cities across Texas.

The population and diversity of Austin has changed dramatically over recent years – making it an even more dynamic metropolis than before..

Population and Diversity

Austin, Texas is both a bustling and diverse city. The current population of Austin is estimated to be 964,254 people, with a growth rate of more than 2% per year since 2010 (U.S. Census 2019). The city is home people from all kinds of backgrounds and walks of life – about 57% of its population identifies as white (U.S. Census 2019). Other identified populations include Black or African American (9.7%), Asian (8.4%), and Hispanic or Latinx (33.7%) (U.S. Census 2019).

In addition to its diversity among races, the city is unique in the fact that nearly half of its residents identify as foreign-born nationals – this is compared to a national average of 13% (Texas Monthly 2018). While historically Austin has been largely composed of white individuals, demographics in recent years have shifted as the city grows and becomes increasingly attractive to individuals from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds – making it one of the most diverse cities in the United States today.

With such rapid growth, some argue that Austin’s infrastructure must also improve so that everyone can continue to find success in this bustling city regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. Others maintain that change should come from within – by electing representation into office that reflects the growing demographics in the area and creating programs specifically designed to welcome new members into the Austin community.

To conclude, Austin is undoubtedly one of the most lively and diverse cities in America today – a welcoming culture perfect for anyone looking to explore a new part of the country and take advantage of all that it has to offer


  • According to the US Census Bureau, Austin, Texas had an estimated population of 956,190 in July 2020.
  • Between 2010 and 2019, Austin was the fastest growing city in the United States, with a population growth rate of 36% over that time period.
  • The racial makeup of Austin in 2019 was 63.2% White, 9.3% Black or African American, 8.8% Asian, 4.4% Two or More Races and 4.0% Other Races.

Where to Live in Austin

When deciding where to live in Austin, there is no objective answer. Everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to their living space. The city of Austin is incredibly diverse and offers something for everyone.

Those looking for a more established, family-friendly area may want to look into the North Central or Northwest sections of town, both of which are filled with well-maintained neighborhoods full of mature trees and winding streets. Properties in this area tend to be larger and the public schools are generally highly rated. These areas also tend to have an older vibe, as many families have lived there for generations.

On the other end of the spectrum, those seeking a vibrant, youthful atmosphere should head towards East Austin and South Congress – two districts known for their diverse populations and art galleries, restaurants and nightlife. This area is popular among creatives due to its affordability compared to the rest of the city and its strong sense of community. While rentals and properties here can be inexpensive, depending on location they can also come with a hefty price tag, so even though rent tends to be lower than other parts of Austin, buyers should investigate all possible options before settling on a place.

No matter what part of town you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find something that suits your needs in Austin – it’s just a matter of doing some research ahead of time!

Popular Neighborhoods

Austin, Texas, is an incredibly diverse city when it comes to its many neighborhoods and districts. From the bustling downtown area with its busy restaurants, bars, and cultural centers to the exciting East Side, there’s something for everyone to explore in Austin. While each neighborhood offers something unique, here are a few of the most popular both for tourists and locals alike.

Downtown: The downtown area of Austin is known worldwide for its live music scene, making it a must-visit spot for any visitor. With vibrant street art, an eclectic range of restaurants and food trucks, iconic landmarks like the Capitol building or Bullock Museum, and plenty of nightlife venues such as Sixth Street and Rainey Street, there’s no shortage of things to explore in downtown Austin.

South Congress (SoCo): An extension off Congress Avenue, South Congress (or SoCo) is one of the most iconic streets in all of Austin. Home to funky boutiques and vintage stores selling everything from weird t-shirts to cowboy boots and art galleries offering handcrafted souvenirs from local artists. In addition to shopping you can also find delicious restaurants serving up some of Austin’s best tacos.

EastSide: The EastSide is a vibrant district known for its mix of bars, cafes, shops, galleries and studios with a distinct Latin-American vibe. This area has been gentrifying over the past few years but still has plenty to offer visitors looking for authentic culture without having to do too much searching. It’s also worth noting that this area has some excellent vegan food offerings.

North Austin: Last but not least is North Austin – an up-and-coming hub located just north of Lake Travis. Here you can find some of Austin’s tastiest BBQ joints where you can get your fill before heading out on a hike along one of the nearby trails. There’s also a great selection of outdoor activities such as paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake or mountain biking along the Barton Creek Greenbelt if you’re craving some adventurous pursuits.

No matter where you decide to stay in Austin there’s no shortage of incredible things to do and explore throughout the various neighborhoods.

Exploring Austin’s Arts & Attractions

Austin is full of exciting art, music and culture that makes it the perfect destination for anyone looking to explore the area. From world-renowned museums and galleries, to unique music venues and local festivals, Austin has something for everyone to appreciate.

One of the most popular attractions in Austin is the Blanton Museum of Art, located on the University of Texas campus. This incredible museum features over 17,000 works of American, European and Latin American art. From contemporary sculptures to classic painting, the Blanton Museum offers an array of pieces from world-renowned artists such as Warhol and Picasso. The museum also showcases a variety of different exhibitions throughout the year, so no two visits will be exactly alike.

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is another fantastic attraction located in Austin. Established in 1985 by renowned sculptor Charles Umlauf and his wife Angeline, this sculpture garden features over 160 permanent works created by Umlauf himself. In addition to admiring Umlauf’s sculptures in the beautiful outdoor setting, visitors can also take advantage of engaging educational programs throughout the year that are perfect for adults and children alike.

If you’re looking for a more interactive way to experience Austin’s arts and attractions, consider spending an afternoon at South Congress Street. This vibrant street is lined with plenty of boutique shops and cafes, where visitors can sample some delicious Texan grub while browsing through locally-made products. Every Saturday night visitors are welcome to enjoy live music performances at the legendary Continental Club – an Austin institution since 1957 – or catch a show in one of the nearby theaters.

With its eclectic mix of various art forms, Austin continues to attract people from all around the world who come to explore its dynamic arts scene.

Downtown & Music Scene

Downtown Austin is the heart and soul of live music culture in the city. This historic part of town bustles with activity, from shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Music is everywhere, from the street performers singing for tips to the outdoor stage at Auditorium Shores, where popular artists put on spirited performances during special events. Spend a day or two strolling around downtown and take in all the sights, sounds and scenes that make it one of the most iconic music spots in the world.

But does Austin truly live up to its status as “The Live Music Capital of the World”? After all, some cities like Nashville have seen their popularity as destinations for live music soar in recent years. But there’s no denying that Austin has earned its title through decades of impressive shows and continuous support of both unsigned local bands AND big-name artists looking to perform in front of lively crowds. From blues and country to rock and alternative bands, there’s something here for every music fan.

So while other cities might rival Austin in terms of sheer numbers when it comes to concerts and performances each year, there’s little doubt that this Texas town continues to hold onto its rightful moniker as being The Live Music Capital of the World.

Now that you’ve experienced the dynamic live music scene downtown, it’s time to explore another favorite pastime: The Best Food in Town!

The Best Food in Town

Austin is home to some of the best food the Lone Star State has to offer. From delicious tacos, mouth-watering barbecue, and delectable Tex-Mex cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this live-music capital of the world.

When it comes to tacos, Austin has no shortage of tasty options. There are traditional tacos made with fresh-grilled meats, served on handmade corn tortillas, as well as innovative twists like vegan tacos and breakfast tacos. For a true taste of Austin, try one of the city’s iconic breakfast taco spots like Torchy’s Tacos or TacoDeli.

Tex-Mex fans will be spoiled for choice in Austin. In the mood for fajitas? You can find them everywhere from The County Line to Matt’s El Rancho. Looking for enchiladas? Find them at Mi Madre’s and El Chilito. Not all Tex-Mex is created equal though, so make sure that you ask around before committing your tastebuds to a place that won’t deliver on flavor.

Finally, there’s no denying Austin’s status as a top destination for barbecue. With numerous popular smokehouses such as Franklin Barbecue and La Barbecue consistently ranking among the best BBQ in America year after year, it would be impossible to leave off this part of Texas’ culture when talking about the local food scene. Whether served on butcher paper or a plate with all the trimmings, you can expect nothing but succulent meats cooked low and slow with only the highest quality ingredients in Austin.

In conclusion, whether its tacos, Tex-Mex, or smoked brisket – Austin truly has something for everyone when it comes to taste buds tantalizing eats!

Top Highlights

Austin has amazing Tex-Mex, tacos, and barbecue cuisine. There are countless delicious options including traditional tacos with fresh-grilled meats, vegan tacos, Torchy’s Tacos and TacoDeli for breakfast taco spots, The County Line and Matt’s El Rancho for fajitas, Mi Madre’s and El Chilito for enchiladas, Franklin Barbecue, La Barbecue for top BBQ in America, and so much more. All of these eateries provide flavorful dishes with quality ingredients. Austin is a fantastic place to satisfy your tastebuds no matter what type of food you prefer!

Delicious BBQ & Much More

Austin’s culinary offerings don’t just stop at its famous barbeque joints. You can find all types of eats in Austin, from local staples like Tex-Mex and so-called ‘trailer food’ to more upscale or exotic fare. Whether you’re looking for cheap bites, fine dining, or something in between, Austin has something to offer everyone.

Some of the most iconic places to visit are the barbeque smoker shacks that line the streets. And while you can’t go wrong with any of them, some locals will argue that Franklin Barbecue is the absolute best spot in town. Since it opened in 2009, the restaurant has become a must-visit destination for those lucky enough to snag a ticket for their pre-ordered brisket, sausage, and ribs. However, others believe that Snow’s BBQ or Stiles Switch barbecue have the best cuts of succulent meats in town. Visitors will have to try them all out for themselves to make their own judgement!

Street food is also popular around this city with several spots offering delicious plates from tacos to pupusas. Some favorites include Veracruz All Natural and Empanada Parlour, both offering unique takes on classic Mexican dishes. For those looking for something different than tacos and enchiladas, there are plenty of options like Uchi & Uchiko’s sushi dishes that bring a whole new experience to Austin dining.

Delicious yet affordable eats are easy to find as well since trailer parks are an integral part of Austin’s restaurant scene. Shops like Torchy’s Tacos , Pueblo Viejo , and Juiceland offer up tasty meals that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Food trucks offer visitors a great way to sample various cuisines without breaking the bank!

No matter what kind of experience you’re looking for, when it comes to delicious eats in Austin, there truly is something for everyone. But if food isn’t your thing don’t worry – the city has plenty more to offer!

Outdoor Recreation & Athletics

The city of Austin, often referred to as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” is much more than musical entertainment. For outdoor recreation and athletics, Austin has a wealth of options.

For an outdoor enthusiast, there are plenty of parks, trails and green spaces to explore in Austin. Whether you like to hike, bike or participate in water sports, you’ll find something that appeals to you. There are also many beaches and boat ramps in the area for fishing and watersports. Take your pick from one of 31 lake parks on the combined Colorado and Trinity rivers or the Lake Austin marina in downtown Austin.

Austin is well known for its active cycling scene with trails perfect for both off-road off-trail biking as well as road rides through rolling Texas hills. If it’s adventure you’re after, there are numerous places to rock climb and rappel all over Central Texas with stunning views as your reward.

Athletically inclined visitors can make use of several sports complexes where they can practice soccer, football and even cricket! Or take a short drive out of town to Leander where an indoor skydiving facility awaits daring souls who want to soar like a bird.

Austin has something to offer everyone when looking for recreational activities — whether it’s making a splash in the lakes or taking advantage of any number of parks and trails located nearby.

Parks, Trails, & Lake Austin

For outdoor enthusiasts, Austin offers a wealth of options for exploring the city’s lush parks and trails. Whether it’s hiking along the Barton Creek Greenbelt or kayaking on Lake Austin, there are plenty of activities to choose from that are sure to capture your heart. The Barton Creek Greenbelt is a 7.9-mile long urban wilderness preserve, featuring hiking and biking trails with limestone hills and cliffs, as well as swimming areas. Nearby Zilker Metropolitan Park is a great spot for picnics, as well as playing sports such as disc golf and soccer. Other parks include Mayfield Park and McKinney Falls State Park, which have been popular family vacation staples for generations.

For those looking for aquatic activities, Lake Austin offers ample opportunities to canoe and kayak on the Colorado River while soaking in views of downtown Austin. Some may debate the dangers of navigating the river due to unpredictable currents and ever changing environmental hazards, but with a lifejacket at the ready and proper navigation, visitors can enjoy some of the best scenery in town.

To round out an outdoor adventure in Austin, take a stroll down Lady Bird Lake Trail for picturesque views of downtown or bicycle on the Veloway Loop for additional lakefront perspectives. Whether it’s rock climbing up a limestone cliff or paddle boarding on Lake Travis – there’s something special waiting around every corner and every turn in nature’s playground throughout Austin, Texas.

Architecture & Historic Sights

The vibrant city of Austin, Texas offers a unique blend of modern culture and historic sights. From the iconic State Capitol Building to the O. Henry Museum, there are plenty of locations to explore.

The State Capitol building has been an Austin landmark since 1888 and is one of the most visited and photographed spots in Austin. Built in 1893, the Beaux-Arts style building stands 14 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC and is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can take guided tours exploring the capitol’s history, restoration process, and grand hallways.

The Moody theater at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center captures both Mexican American history and modern architecture within one building. As a popular music venue with open floor plans, taxidermy bison installations, poured terrazzo floors, and locally throughout its textured stone walls, the theater celebrates both local heritage and modern technology with an interesting contemporary design showcase.

Classical Revival style buildings throughout Austin demonstrate its diverse architectural roots from 17th century French settlements all the way to revitalized 19th century structures that form a living testament to Texas history. The O. Henry Museum stands as one of these architectural marvels; protected by its dramatic Victorian portico with Ionic columns; it serves as a reminder of old Austin’s nostalgic past and suggests Austin’s bright future ahead.

For any visitor looking to explore a remarkable variety of historic architecture, Austin offers plenty of options to make it a truly memorable experience. From elegant museums to modern theaters, there are dozens of places to experience throughout this bustling city full of character unlike any other city in America.

Universities & Education

In addition to its vibrant music and nightlife scene, Austin is also home to many renowned universities. The University of Texas at Austin (UT) is one of the most recognizable institutions in the area and was rated the 15th best university in the United States by U.S. News & World Report in 2020. Beyond UT, Austin hosts a number of other notable universities, including Austin Community College, Huston-Tillotson University, St. Edward’s University, and Concordia University Texas.

The diversity of these universities gives locals access to a range of educational opportunities and diverse campus life experiences. At UT alone, students can find degrees in hundreds of different majors ranging from biomedical engineering to Latin American studies. For those seeking something more hands-on, community colleges like Austin Community College offer Certificate Programs that provide technical skills for specific jobs such as web development or business operations management. With so many choices available for higher education, it’s no wonder why college students have flocked to Austin in recent years.

But not everyone believes that this influx of university students is good for the city; there are some concerns that they are causing issues with overcrowding and gentrification. On one hand, those who oppose university growth argue that young people may not be contributing enough to local politics or businesses while still taking up space with their presence. On the other hand, proponents point out that these same newcomers create stable job opportunities, bring diverse perspectives to the area, and provide valuable resources that help keep neighborhoods vibrant and lively. In order to accommodate all sides in this debate, it is critical that university administrators take into consideration the concerns of both groups when expanding campus sizes or building new buildings for academic use.

Ultimately, whether you believe universities are a boon or a burden for Austin will depend entirely on your own personal circumstances and opinions; however, what remains certain is that these institutions offer a vast array of possibilities for individuals seeking higher education options throughout the city. Whether you’re looking for bachelor’s degrees at UT or certificate programs at Austin Community College, there is something for everyone in the Live Music Capital of the World.

Common Questions

What is the population of Austin, Texas?

The population of Austin, Texas is estimated to be around 970,000 as of early 2020. This makes Austin one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, due to its vibrant job market, exciting nightlife, and unique cultural atmosphere that attracts people from across the country. It is also named the “Live Music Capital of the World” by the Guinness Book of World Records for having more live music venues per capita than any other city in the world!

What is the climate like in Austin, Texas?

Austin, Texas has a humid climate with hot summers and mild winters. Average temperatures on the high end  in the summer range from 89-95 degrees Fahrenheit (32-35 degrees Celsius). During the winter, average lows fall between 37-45 degrees Fahrenheit (3-7 degrees Celsius). The warm, dry air during the summer months causes relative humidity levels to bottom out in single digits. But during winter and spring, highs of around 90 percent are not unusual. Austin rarely sees snowfall, though it does get freezing temperatures and occasional ice storms. This can lead to hazardous driving conditions and infrastructure problems due to icy roads and bridges. All in all, the climate in Austin is fairly moderate year-round with plenty of sunshine, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities like live music events!

What are the top tourist attractions in Austin, Texas?

The top tourist attractions in Austin, Texas are varied and plentiful! As the “Live Music Capital of the World,” live music is a big draw. Take in a performance from some of the world’s best musicians at venues like ACL Live at the Moody Theater, Emo’s Austin, and Stubb’s Bar-B-Q. There’s also an incredible culture of art, with galleries and museums like the Blanton Museum of Art and Mexic-Arte Museum.

For the outdoorsy types, take a visit to one of the city’s many parks, including Zilker Park or Austin City Parks. Check out Barton Springs Pool for a unique swimming experience in natural spring waters, or visit Lady Bird Lake to enjoy hiking, biking and boating activities. And if you’re looking for shopping and dining options, head downtown to Sixth Street for all kinds of fun stores and eateries. No matter what your pleasure, Austin has something for everyone!

What are the most popular neighborhoods in Austin, Texas?

Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Austin, Texas are Travis Heights, Bouldin Creek, Zilker, Hyde Park, and Clarksville. These neighborhoods all offer a unique atmosphere with plenty of attractions, from local music venues to historic landmarks.

Travis Heights is located between Downtown Austin and South Congress Avenue. It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in town, and it offers an eclectic mix of vintage homes and trendy restaurants. The nightlife scene is vibrant here with plenty of bars and clubs to explore.

Bouldin Creek is an up-and-coming neighborhood that’s home to many young professionals. It features well-established eateries such as Lizarazu Restaurant & Bar and Mi Madres Cafe along South First Street. This hip area offers a creative atmosphere with art galleries and vintage stores.

Zilker Park is Austin’s Central Park: it’s a green oasis within the city limits filled with pools, trails, baseball fields, and a variety of seasonal events like Shakespeare in the park during warm months. Nearby shops include Mozarts Coffee Roasters and Amy’s Ice Creams for some tasty treats afterwards.

Hyde Park is a family-friendly neighborhood located just north of UT campus. The main drag, Duval Street, is packed with cafes, bistros and pubs to explore. This Tudor style area also has its own movie theater (The Paramount) and plenty of quaint boutiques for shopping excursions.

Clarksville is another exclusive neighborhood just west of downtown Austin and it’s known for its older homes dating back to the 1800s–it looks like something out of the old-time movie set! Here you can find fine dining spots such as Jeffrey’s or visit the Town Lake hike-and-bike trail around Lady Bird Lake for scenic views of the city skyline.

What is the history and culture of Austin, Texas?

Austin, Texas has a long and rich history when it comes to culture and music. The city of Austin was founded in 1839, and its unique culture has grown out of the many cultural influences that have come with its diverse population. Austin is often referred to as the “Live Music Capital of the World” due to its vibrant live music scene. The city is home to numerous venues that host gigs from all kinds of musical acts, from upcoming local bands to established acts such as Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, and many more.

The city’s thriving music scene has been further bolstered by the presence of festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin City Limits (ACL), and Fun Fun Fun Fest. These events bring musicians from around the globe to the city, creating one of the best current music scenes in the world.

Aside from its strong music culture, Austin is also known for being an incredibly food-friendly city; it is packed with restaurants offering eclectic cuisines and chefs preparing innovative dishes that are considered some of the best in America. The city also boasts hundreds of vibrant festivals each year that bring residents from different backgrounds together over shared interests such as food, art, film and even politics.

Austin has evolved into a hub for creativity and innovation as well as business and entrepreneurship. The ever-changing atmosphere encourages citizens of all backgrounds and walks of life to call this beloved city home. From tech startups, barbeque and Tex-Mex cuisine to neon signs on Sixth street and lush outdoor parks, Austin offers something for everyone to enjoy.

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