Top experiences in Austin
As one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, Austin is constantly changing, shifting, and reinventing itself. Sometimes conceptualized as the lone blueberry in a great, big strawberry pie, the city has its own creative identity--with a healthy dose of Texas pride thrown in for good measure. Austin is a place where real live cowboys rub elbows with red-blooded politicians and green-blooded environmentalists. It's where musicians, technophiles, and oilmen can put aside their differences and enjoy the world's best tacos from an up-and-coming chef, and where Boy Scout leaders and bartenders headbang together at a festival.
People have lived in the Austin area for around 10,000 years, and Comanche tribes dominated settlers--Spanish, French, Mexican, and Texan--until the 1850's. Early Austinites were a rough breed of farmers, rangers, and frontier politicians, who by the late 1880's had established a respectable capital city with its own university--the University of Texas. Then came the early waves of thinkers and artists like O. Henry and Elisabet Ney, who cultivated Austin's lasting reputation as a place for creatives.
Today, Austin is known as a hotbed of entertainment, a reputation cemented by festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest and the export of innovations like food trailer culture or the Alamo Drafthouse cinemas. In addition, residents and visitors alike can get a taste of nature right in the urban environment, with rock climbing at the Barton Creek Greenbelt, kayaking on the downtown lake, swimming at Barton Springs, and biking on the city's expanding networks of bike trails.
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