Austin, Texas is the capital city of the Lone Star State. Austin is also the fourth largest city in Texas and the sixteenth largest in the United States. The sprawling city covers 258 square miles of the state and is home to nearly 750,000 residents. Austin was incorporated in the 1830s and was named for Stephen F. Austin, who was credited as being the father of Texas. Before being settled by the founders who would later incorporate the city, the area in and around present day Austin was inhabited by several nomadic Native American tribes.
The geographical attributes of Austin are unique. The city is nestled on the banks of the Colorado River. There are three man-made lakes surrounding the city, one of which is named for Lady Bird Johnson. The eastern portion of the city is rather flat in comparison to the western portion of Austin, due to its close proximity to the Balcones Fault on the edge of the famous Texas Hill Country. Mount Bonnell is located in this area of Austin. Mount Bonnell is a limestone rock measuring 780 feet in height. Mount Bonnell has an observation deck that overlooks Lake Austin.
Austin refers to itself as the Live Music Capital of The World. Many popular music venues located along the city’s famous Sixth Street add credence to this motto. The popular concert television show Austin City Limits was filmed at locations along Sixth Street and the area hosts several major music festivals each year. Some of those festivals include South By Southwest (SXSW), The Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the Urban Music Festival. Aside from the healthy music industry, Austin has also served as the backdrop for several major films, including How To Eat Fried Worms, Dazed and Confused, and Miss Congeniality.
The second most visited attraction in Austin, after the Sixth Street district, is the Capitol Building and Rotunda. Austin is also home to several museums, including cultural varieties such as at the Latin Arts Museum and Mexic-Arte Museum. Other museums of note are the O. Henry House Museum and the Blanton Museum of Art. On the quirkier side of culture, Austin is also famous for some rather infamous landmarks. The Terminix Bug, Mangia dinosaur, and Loca Maria statute at a taco joint are just some of the oddities that Austin is known for.
Austin has received many accolades over the years, which attribute to the greatness of the city. In 2006, it was voted the Number 2 Best Big City in Best Places To Live by Money Magazine. That same year, Austin was voted the “Greenest City In America” by MSN. Two Fortune 500 companies, Dell and Whole Foods Market, have headquarters located in Austin. The technological advancement of the city has not gone unnoticed by some of the tech industry’s key players. Austin continues to be a mecca for mainstream technological companies. Some of these companies that have operations based in Austin are 3M, Apple Inc., Hewlett-Packard, eBay/PayPal, Intel, Samsung, and Google.