In 1839, scouts searched a broad area of wilderness for a new capital city site for the Republic of Texas. They chose a location on the Colorado River that was occupied by a four-family settlement. Called Waterloo, it was renamed to honor Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas." In September 1839, the Republic's archives and furniture were transported from Houston to Austin by 50 ox-drawn wagons.
Today, the city bills itself as the "Live Music Capital of the World." Austin has more than 250 live music venues around the city. The music reputation is further solidified with the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive conferences in March and the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October.
Other events include the Austin Marathon in February; Austin Food + Wine Festival and the Moonlight Tower Comedy Festival in April; Austin Film Festival in October; Fun, Fun, Fun Fest and Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in November; and the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in December.
The outdoors are important here, with 206 parks, including more than 16,682 acres of land. Popular amenities offer easy access to hike and bike trails, as well as mountain biking trails. There also are opportunities for paddling, boating, fishing and more.
City tours are available by cycle, train, Segway, horse-drawn carriage, water or on foot. Visit www.austintexas.org for details.
Austin is a starting point for the Presidential Corridor via U.S. 290, then Texas 21 to Texas 6 connecting the George Bush Presidential Library and with the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.
Institutions of higher learning include Austin Community College, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Concordia University at Austin, Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, Huston-Tillotson College, St. Edward's University and The University of Texas at Austin.