“Keep Austin Weird” is a slogan many residents recognize – a long-time mantra for this quirky city.

Today, amid dynamic growth, Austin looks to sustain its small town, artistic vibe. Austin’s ranked #1 on U.S. News’ Best Places to Live survey multiple times. Enthusiastic endorsements are commonplace. Consider the words of actor Matthew McConaughey, “I like to say I live in Austin, Texas, because I can live where I want to.”

Here are some key reasons to consider a move to Austin.

1. Lots To Do Outdoors

Green spaces abound in and around Austin. Perfect destinations when locals want to enjoy an average of 229 sunny days annually. For example, the 7.25-mile-long Barton Creek Greenbelt is nature’s ongoing gift to the city. It offers hike-and-bike trails, swimming holes, thick forests, and limestone cliffs. Chill at swimming holes like Sculpture Falls (via Camp Craft Road) and Campbell’s Hole (via Spyglass Drive).

Lady Bird Lake is a winding reservoir along the Colorado River. What began as a power plant cooling pond is now a destination for everything from paddleboarding to river cruises. A 14-mile hike-and-bike trail circumvents this large body of water. It includes a boardwalk offering scintillating city views. Those who love kayaking and canoeing appreciate the “no motorboat” rule. Plus, watercraft rentals abound.

Stroll the Japanese and other gardens at the 26-acre Zilker Botanical Garden, just south of Lady Bird lake. The three-acre Barton Springs Pool is fed by cool, 68-degree natural springs. Or, cool off at swimming destinations like Deep Eddy Pool, and Hamilton Pool Preserve. Enjoy boating and jet skiing at Lake Travis and Lake Austin.

2. Prolific Career Opportunities

When the Wall Street Journal ranked the top 50 metro job markets, Austin came in second. More than 300 tech companies call Austin home, including Dell, IBM, Apple, Hewlett Packard, and Oracle.

According to LinkedIn, Austin is the best city in the country for graduates seeking entry level positions. Austin is quite a hub for tech startups, in part because of the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI). Founded in 1989, ATI is the longest active such incubator in the country. Today, you’ll find more than 1500 startups in greater Austin.

Part of Austin’s attraction lies in it being one of the most educated metros in the country. 53% of the populous have bachelor’s degrees, and more than 90% have high school diplomas. Not surprisingly, Austin’s unemployment rate runs consistently below the national average. No state income tax is another plus, although the city’s sales tax is 8.3%.

3. Highly-Rated Educational Institutions

Austin’s highly educated workforce drives demand for excellence in education. The 1300-student Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LACA) sports a 100% graduation rate. U.S. News ranks it #32 out of more than 17,000 public high schools in the country. Other highly ranked high schools include the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (#95 in the U.S.) and  Westlake High School (#299 in the U.S.).

The University of Texas at Austin is the flagship institution of the state’s university system. In the 2024 U.S. News rankings, UT-Austin ranked #32 among national universities. Every year, it attracts more than $650 million in research grants and related funds.

St. Edward’s University is a private Catholic university that ranks sixth among U.S. News’ best universities in the West. With a reputation for its emphasis on social justice and study-abroad opportunities. Huston-Tillotson University has a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Other well-known schools include Texas State University and Austin Community College.A group of people enjoying a picnic in a grassy park with a backdrop of illuminated skyscrapers during dusk.

4. Abundant Arts & Culture

Austin richly deserves its moniker as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” There are more than 200 music venues in Austin, including ACL Live at the Moody Theater. In fact, there are more music venues per capita than in any other American city. Austin hosts world-renowned events like South by Southwest (SXSW) and the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The Blanton Museum of Art at UT-Austin is one of the nation’s largest university art museums. Just across Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd is the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Dedicated volunteers, including Laura Bush, started the Texas Book Festival in 1995. The event “connects authors and readers through experiences that celebrate the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination.” Every year, the Austin Film Society (AFS) sponsors the Texas Film Awards. AFS also runs Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility.

5. Endless Dining Possibilities

You don’t have to be a foodie to delight in Austin’s diverse cuisine scene. Yes, you’ll revel in all the Tex-Mex and BBQ options across the metroplex. You’ll also enjoy everything from Italian food trucks to award-winning sushi spots. There are also Nepali, Korean, and Middle Eastern eateries, to name but a few.

Dry-aged steaks are a specialty at Jeffrey’s (1204 W. Lynn Street, Clarksville). Martini and cheese carts add a memorable dimension to this highly-rated fine dining experience. Dai Due (2406 Manor Road) is a Texas-centric eatery where even the beer and wine hail exclusively from the Lone Star State.

El Naranjo (2717 S. Lamar Boulevard) features Mexican fine dining from Iliana de la Vega. She’s a 2022 James Beard “Best Chef” winner in the Texas category. Olamaie (1610 San Antonio Street) features inventive fare from James Beard semi-finalist Amanda Turner. For Texas-Japanese fusion fare, try Kemuri Tatsu-ya (2713 E. Second Street).

About Draper and Kramer

Draper and Kramer is a full-service real estate firm founded in 1893. You’ll find our luxury apartment properties in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, and Illinois. Now, D&K is expanding into Austin, TX. DK Riata is in the tech district within walking distance of Apple’s Austin campus. Browse D&K’s entire selection of luxury apartment properties here.

A daytime view of a downtown cityscape with a mixture of modern high-rise buildings and traditional architecture under a clear blue sky.

Discover why "Keep Austin Weird" remains more than a slogan in this vibrant city, boasting top rankings, outdoor adventures, career opportunities, esteemed educational institutions, abundant arts and culture, and endless dining possibilities.

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