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You can travel the world far and wide, but you’ll never find another place quite like Austin, Texas. The Texas State Capital has some amazing qualities and is very LGBTQ inclined. Read this article for everything you need to know before moving to Austin.
Facts and Stats
Originally called Waterloo, Austin (after Stephen F. Austin) received a name change around 1839 when Texas was still an independent country. According to U.S. News, Austin is #1 in the Best Places to Live. Austin was deemed the fastest growing large city in the U.S., so it’s not surprising that the metro population is upwards of 2 Million. Median rent is $1,155.00 for a one bedroom (although you’ll pay closer to $2,000 or more for what is available or what actually meets your needs). The average commute time is almost 30 minutes. Most of the traveling is done by car, which means traffic is a literal nightmare if you’re not prepared.
Located in Central Texas, Austin is hot, hot, hot! On average, 116 days of the4 year have temperatures over 90 degrees, with almost three weeks of that being above 100! The flip side, though, is that Austin in the winter is nothing short of envious with mild, cool days.
Before moving, you definitely want to swing by the official website austintexas.gov to see information about it’s neighborhoods, libraries, communities, and how families can connect or engage in this big city. There, you can also find resources for health, public safety, business, development, government, and environmental needs.
In 2019, the Austin area had 21 high schools rank within the top 10% of the nation’s best schools. Austin is also known for the excellent higher education available through the 22 colleges and universities in the area which include University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, Southwestern University, and St. Edward’s University.
Wanting to lock down employment before the big move? Austin’s biggest employers cover everything from technology, healthcare, education, and government. Big names like Apple, Dell Technologies, Ascension Seton, and St. David’s HealthCare all have headquarters in the area that employ 6,000 people or more. Other popular names like Amazon, AT&T, Charles Schwab, Facebook, Indeed, General Motors, Oracle Corp., and Whole Foods Market also have offices in Austin and employ between 2,000 and 5,999 people.
Out and Proud
You can’t talk about Austin, Texas without mentioning their local motto, “Keep Austin Weird” or the fact that the city is arguably one of the gayest cities in America. In fact, gay bars were open in Austin before there was an official “gay movement” and the very first legal gay marriage in Texas occurred in Austin in 2015. Today, there are multiple LGBTQ+ organizations, institutions, and businesses housed in the Austin area. The Waterloo Counseling Center, Austin AIDs Project, OutYouth, Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and The Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation are a few of them.
One of the best things about the LGBTQ+ community in Austin is that they are not secluded to one area or a gay district. The culture is truly integrated in and around the town as a whole. That being said, there are some areas with more heavily an influence than others. 4th Street would be one of those areas.
Austin not only has a great gay nightlife, but also tolerant daytime activities as well. There is gay sunbathing at Hippie Hollow Park, The Austin Pride Festival and Queerbomb, LGBT recreational sports leagues, The gAyTX Sports Fair, and a chapter of the Texas Gay Rodeo Association.
In order to get the whole picture of living in Austin, there are a few other things you need to know.
Austin is in Texas, and Bar-b-que is a big deal in Texas. Austin is no different. If you are going to eat out, expect very long lines at the local BBQ joints, especially Franklin Barbeque.
Austin, Texas is so great of a city that the full scope cannot possibly be captured in words. You have to experience it for yourself. Hopefully, this guide will get you started on what to expect. Enjoy Austin!