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Austin Travel Guide


Austin Introduction


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People who have lived in the city for more than 15 years or so often decry the loss of the "old Austin"—a place of low prices and little traffic. Happily, Austin retains its famous combination of southern friendliness and new-age optimism despite its growth and related traffic problems. More importantly, it is still a center for great music and big-time events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film and Interactive Conference.   Click here to see the full Austin travel guide on Travel42 »

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Austin Geography


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Most things in Austin are located by their relationship to Interstate 35 and the Colorado River (not the same Colorado that runs through the Grand Canyon). The river, somewhat confusingly known as Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) in the downtown area and Lake Austin farther west because of damming, divides the north and south sides of town; I-35 divides east and west. Most attractions of interest to visitors are west of I-35 and within 3 mi/5 km of either side of the river.   Click here to see the full Austin travel guide on Travel42 »

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Austin History


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Before it became the capital of Texas, Austin wasn't Austin—it was the settlement of Waterloo and little more than a small group of log cabins. Mirabeau B. Lamar, vice president of the newly independent Republic of Texas, visited Waterloo the year it was founded (1838). The site apparently made an impression, for after becoming president of the republic the following year, Lamar established the modest settlement as the capital and renamed it in honor of the recently deceased Stephen F. Austin, who had led Anglo settlers into Texas.   Click here to see the full Austin travel guide on Travel42 »

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Austin Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Many of Austin's most interesting sights are fairly close to the city center, and you could hit a lot of them in a day or two of dedicated touring. Begin at the Texas State Capitol, downtown. Take a tour of the building, and then spend some time appreciating the pink-granite landmark from the outside. If you don't have time during the day, try after dinner. It's open late and is quite striking all lit up at night.  Click here to see the full Austin travel guide on Travel42 »

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Austin Nightlife


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The music scene sets Austin apart. Is it really the "Live Music Capital of the World," as the city's public-relations department claims? Probably not, but Austin offers a wide selection of national and international touring acts, locally based veterans and young guns looking to make their mark. Country-tinged music has always been a big part of Austin's scene, a legacy begun by Willie Nelson and other cosmic cowboys in the 1970s.   Click here to see the full Austin travel guide on Travel42 »

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Austin Restaurants & Dining


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Eating out in Austin can be a wonderful experience. The city's steady growth over the past few decades spurred similar expansion in the number and variety of excellent restaurants. Upscale Italian, French and Asian food—and the inevitable fusion of these cuisines—can be found throughout the city. Austin's longtime standard-bearers of fine dining (Jeffrey's, Hudson's on the Bend) now have competition.  Click here to see the full Austin travel guide on Travel42 »

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