Moving to Austin Texas: The Ultimate Relocation Guide

When you choose to live in Austin, Texas you are choosing to live in one of the coolest cities in the nation – Austin originated as the tiny riverside village of Waterloo located in the buffalo-hunting region of the Tonkawa and Comanche Indian tribes. Over the years, Austin has matured and grown to be the fourth largest city, and in the opinion of many, the most interesting city in the State of Texas. Many people want to get to know the city better before actually moving to Austin. The purpose of this guide is to provide you a mini tour of Austin, Texas, and to give you some insight into the Austin lifestyle before you move here. 

Living in Austin, Texas: 

People of all walks of life love Austin and make Austin home to themselves and their families. The population of Austin is extremely diverse and interesting. This makes for a lively and social city with events and festivals year round. The local residents are very welcoming and new friends are often just a conversation away. The music scene in Austin has something to offer everyone. The well deserved official motto of Austin is the “Live Music Capital of the World.”

1. Transportation

We love Austin! But are we okay with the traffic? Like most growing cities, Austin has its share of traffic. The good news is, when relocating there are many options you can choose from to make getting around Austin as easy as it can be. For example, if you work or go to school near downtown, choosing to live close to a major north-south expressway can make your life a lot easier. 

2. Weather

In Austin the summers are warm and hot and the winters are brief and sometimes even cold. Spring and fall provide the right balance between the bright sky and gentle climate. The average high and low temperatures range from 43° F to 97° F.  It is seldom below 30° F or above 102° F. The summer season usually lasts for 3.5 months and there are over 300 sunny days each year on average. To flaunt that perfect tan, Austin is the ideal place. With its amazing weather, Austin is a city filled with outdoor activities and destinations where you can enjoy the great outdoors.

3. Education

Education has always been a top priority for the people of Austin. Due to the city’s focus on education, Austin ranks near the top of the “smartest cities list’.

Austin has some of the best public schools in the state, such as Eanes Independent School District (Ranked 2nd). Lake Travis Independent School District (Ranked 6th) and Leander Independent School District (Ranked 15th). 

Best neighborhoods to live in Austin

Austin has repeatedly been named one of the top 10 best places to live in the USA, and it is justified:

  • Mueller: A trendy neighborhood situated in East Austin just 4 miles from Downtown. The community holds stunning natural-growth lake parks, chain and local vendors, offices, and neighborhood community centers. Nearby are many restaurants and local eateries. The Mueller community includes a combination of lofts, homes, townhomes, and flats that make the location desirable to a broad range of buyers and renters. 
  • Circle C Ranch: This neighborhood is located in Southwest Austin alongside the Loop 1/Mopac Expressway and Escarpment Blvd. The Loop 1/Mopac Expressway provides a straight shot into downtown and the Zilker Park/Barton Springs area. Circle C Ranch has over 4,000 homes and offers luxury living in its many private developments. Residents have access to many community facilities, numerous hike and bike trails, and the remarkable Grey Rock Golf Club. Conveniently, there are five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school all within the community.
  • Tarrytown: This highly desirable neighborhood has quiet streets, excellent schools, beautiful homes, lake access, lovely parks, and mature trees, all within a 3-mile drive of downtown. The delightful Tarrytown neighborhood has home styles ranging from stylish and renovated late 1930s/early 1940s homes to luxurious new and modern architecture. Tarrytown boasts numerous popular and unique eateries and coffee shops that only add to the neighborhood’s marvelous atmosphere.
  • Avery Ranch: Just 20 miles north of Downtown Austin, this well-designed and well-maintained community lies in the peaceful hill county. Avery Ranch serves as the perfect mix of Texas Hill Country scenery and award-winning schools.
  • Belterra: Belterra is a family-friendly community situated just 7 miles from the lovely small town of Dripping Springs and just 17 miles away from Downtown Austin. Life here is tranquil and family oriented. 

These are just a preview of a few of the many neighborhoods the Austin, Texas area has to offer. When moving to Austin, if you need more help choosing which neighborhood is right for you, check out our article How to Pick the Right Austin Neighborhood for You.

Dining in Austin

Austin is known for its amazing food scene! The city lies at the crossroads of Tex-Mex and Texas’ famous smoked barbecue. But that is just the tip of the iceberg as Austin has an eclectic and lively food scene delivering delicious eats every day. The eateries range from fine dining to food trucks and pretty much everything in between. Austin has an excellent variety amazing restaurants and it welcomes new restaurants to the scene on an almost daily basis. There seems to be no end to the great restaurants the city has to offer.

Fun things to do in Austin

Indoors

Museums: 

On a rainy day, you can always head to some of the many museums around Austin. Austin’s museums are some of the coolest in the state. We’ve listed just a couple below.

  • LBJ Presidential Library and Museum: This is the official Presidential Museum of the 36th president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson. In conjunction with the LBJ Presidential Library one can explore the dynamic time of the 1960’s in US history.
  • The Blanton Museum of Art: If you’re an art lover at heart this place is for you. The vast collection artwork exhibited here ranges from ancient to modern times. Pro tip: every Thursday is free entry.

Theaters: if you’re not eating – go to a theater

  • The Moody Theater: The Moody Theater is the heart of the city’s music scene and hosts a wide variety of live performances, including Austin City Limits.
  • Paramount Theater: The Paramount Theater is a well-preserved and beautifully decorated live theater in downtown Austin, Texas. The traditional revival style structure was built in 1915. The construction was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Many a great live performance can be seen here during the regular season or during the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film and Music Festival.

Other places

  • Texas State Capitol: The Texas Capitol is known as one of the nation’s most popular state capitols. It was noted on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Outdoors:

There are some fantastic activities in Austin, Texas that you can enjoy with the entire family

  • Going Underground: Even though people may not associate Austin with caves, there are many limestone caves and caverns found in and around Austin. Either guided or on your own, you can explore these caves and discover the undiscovered.
  • Lady Bird Lake: This cool water lake may be a calming on a hot, sunny day. Paddleboarding and kayaking are very popular activities. There is a 10 mile loop hike and bike trail that follows the river’s edge and the trail is a favorite spot to exercise or enjoy a walk with good company. Barton Creek flows into Lady Bird Lake and a dip in the constant 68 degree water of Barton Springs is a must to shake off the Texas summer heat.
  • Pedernales Falls State Park: Pedernales Falls State Park holds beautiful waterfalls alongside layers of stunning limestone. There are many hiking trails. The park has minimal light from the surrounding areas and on our many clear nights you can see with great clarity the astronomical spectacle that is the Milky Way.
  • Mount Bonnell: Mount Bonnell is the highest point in Austin. It sits alongside the Lake Austin segment of the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. It has been a renowned destination since the 1850s due to its lovely views of Lake Austin in one direction and the downtown skyline in the other direction.
  • Barton Springs Pool:  Barton Springs is the natural gem of Austin. It is a spring fed natural outdoor swimming pool. It has a constant temperature of 68 degrees and is a perennial favorite for summer fun. It’s oak lined lawns are the perfect place to lay out and enjoy the Austin summer. For the very brave, it is home to the New Year’s “polar bear plunge.”

Festivals, events, and art shows in Austin:

  • Austin City Limits Music Festival: is a yearly music festival taking place in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas on two consecutive three-day weekends. Influenced by the KLRU/PBS music series of the same title, the event draws incredible music acts and artists. 
  • Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival: This festival is the world’s largest hot sauce festival. Alongside the food, it also offers music and entertainment.
  • Wizard World: In the Austin comic con, you’ll find– movies, comics, toys, video gaming, games, TV, anime, manga, horror, wrestling, MMA, original art, collectibles and more,
  • Fantastic Fest: It is a film festival focusing on genres such as sci-fi, horror, action, etc. The fest is put on by Alamo Drafthouse, our awesome and fast-growing local movie eatery.
  • South by Southwest (SXSW): A yearly combination of films, tech, collaborating media, and music festivals and conferences. SXSW takes place every March in Austin. The conferences and festivals flood the city with official and non-official events which bring visitors and attendees from all over the world. In 2018 the economic impact of SXSW was over $350M (compared this to $370M economic impact of Super Bowl LII in Minnesota.) 
  • F1: If you are fond of super-fast cars, then Austin is the right place for you. Home to the top tier, 3.427-mile F1 racing track and facilities, Austin offers great thrill and excitement by hosting racing events every year. This event is internationally well known and well attended as an essential destination racing enthusiasts. When racing is not happening the venue doubles as a very large music venue that draws artists from Stevie Wonder to Pink.

Sports: 

Sports fans can find many sports to appreciate in Austin, Texas. The University of Texas offers a variety of top tier sports programs. Austin also has minor league baseball, basketball, and hockey. These programs currently cover more than 11 sports and offer great training and support to athletes from all over the country and endless entertainment for Austin residents. Major League Soccer (MLS) has officially announced Austin as its 27th franchise. Austin FC is set to start playing in 2021.  Check out any of all of the great teams in Austin:

  • The University of Texas football, baseball, basketball and track teams
  • Texas stars (hockey team)
  • Austin Spurs (basketball team)
  • Texas Rollergirls (flat-track roller)
  • Round Rock Express Baseball Club (baseball team)

Moving to Austin

When moving to Austin it’s important to have a local in your corner. Our experienced real estate relocation specialists have extensive knowledge of the Austin real estate market, both sales and rentals. If you are relocating to Austin and will be buying a home please fill out the form below. If you are moving to Austin and will be leasing an apartment or home please fill out our Apartment & Rental Home Form.

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