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Austin is world-renowned for its vibrant music scene and is a cultural hot spot. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., Austin has boomed since the mid 20th century and attracts people from all walks of life.
Austin has an area of around 280 square miles and a population of about 964,250. As the capital of Texas, it’s the second-largest state capital in the U.S., after Phoenix.
Austin enjoys a central location in Texas, with all the other major cities such as Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth all less than 200 miles away. At just under 80 miles south-west, San Antonio is the closest large city.
Austin enjoys a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and cool winters. The coldest months are December through February, with average temperatures of around 44℉. On average, you can expect around 228 sunny days per year. Summers run June through September and July is typically the hottest month, with average highs of 95℉. January is generally the coldest month of the year, with average lows of 38℉. Ice storms occur now and then and can disrupt usual operations for as long as 48 hours.
Austin is recognized as one of the best cities in the U.S. for employment opportunities and is the 3rd fastest growing city in the country. Residents are not subject to personal income tax, while employees and small businesses within city limits can enjoy further tax benefits. With an average commute time of around 22 minutes, Austin’s residents typically spend less time commuting than the U.S. national average of 26 minutes.
With rapid growth comes growing pains and some parts of the city can experience heavy traffic and congestion. While the average commute time is low, people living in neighborhoods in and around the central business district can expect hot, sweaty commutes, as well as frequent delays.
Austin enjoys a great diversity, with a mixture of people from all corners of the world. There are sizable African American and Asian minorities, while Hispanic Americans make up 35% of the population.
Within the city and its metropolitan area, you’ll find a wide variety of different neighborhoods. There’s something for everyone, from high-rise blocks in more central locations to spacious, walkable estates. A buzzing entertainment scene means you’ll never get bored, with a wealth of restaurants, bars and other things to do never far away.
On average, you can expect to pay around $1.45 for a single ride on local public transportation. Day passes generally start at about $3, while a monthly pass should cost just over $40. Kids under five can ride for free when accompanied by an adult. Uniformed military personnel is also entitled to ride for free.
You can expect to pay around $50 on average for two people to enjoy a 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant. For fast food, a typical combo meal will cost approximately $7.50, while a regular coffee averages out at about $4.25.
For a 915 sqft apartment, you can expect to pay around $140 per month for basic utilities such as water, electricity, heating, cooling and garbage disposal. To add an internet connection, it’ll be an additional $63 per month on average. Cleaning services cost around $22 per hour.
The average rent for an apartment in Austin is $1,799 per month.
The average apartment size in Austin is 863 sq. ft.
Rent for a studio apartment in Austin ranges between $819 and $5,903 per month.
Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Austin ranges between $854 and $7,558 per month.
Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Austin ranges between $1,000 and $16,879 per month.
Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Austin ranges between $1,202 and $22,845 per month.
The majority of Austin is served by the Austin Independent School District (AISD). Providing education to over 80,000 students at 130 schools, it’s the fifth-largest school district in Texas.
Austin has been recognized as the ‘6th Smartest American City’ by CNN Money thanks to its fantastic array of top-rated universities and colleges. Examples include Texas State University, Southwestern University, St. Edward’s University and Huston-Tillotson University.
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Outdoor enthusiasts have plenty to keep them occupied in Austin. From swimming in the refreshing Barton Springs Pool to cycling the trails at Zilker Metropolitan Park or bat watching at Congress Avenue Bridge. Water sports are also popular, with plenty of opportunities to try stand-up paddleboarding and canoeing. The Lady Bird hiking trail is great for exercise and taking in the views. For something a little different, Splash Movie Nights showcase a multitude of family-friendly movies in an open-air environment.
The Austin Nature and Science Center is fantastic fun for the whole family and takes in 80-acres hands-on exhibitions showcasing replicas of fossils and dinosaur tracks. Other top picks include Austin Duck Adventures, Escape Game Austin, the Austin Aquarium and the epic Schlitterbahn Water Park and Resort.
For lovers of ancient cultural heritage and art, the Blanton Museum is a must. The Bob Bullock Museum is another top choice for history buffs and takes in various exhibits that highlight Texas’s rich past.
Austin provides plenty of choices when it comes to shopping. Three of the most popular shopping venues are Barton Creek Square, Domain Shopping Mall and Hancock Mall.
There’s no shortage of great places to eat out in Austin, with restaurants showcasing cuisines from around the world. Top picks include Uchiko Japanese Restaurant, Franklin Barbecue Restaurant and Hula Hut Mexican Restaurant.
Renters’ rights in Austin are fairly well protected, with the local Tenants Council promoting the right to safe, fair, affordable and decent housing for everyone. However, it’s best to do your homework and treat your lease agreement very seriously, as it may contain legal loopholes.
For example, landlords don’t need the express permission of the tenant to enter the unit at any time if this privilege is not specified in the contract. There’s also no law that limits the number of rent increases a landlord can impose. Finally, evictions can be carried out in as little as two weeks. Always double-check your contract before signing and make sure you’re clear on every point.