“People don’t live in Austin to work, they work to live there.”
– Robert Rodriguez
When Robert Rodriguez said that about Austin Texas, he understood very well how much Austinites like to live in Austin. Once in Austin, nobody wants to leave!
So, what makes Austin such a popular and loved place?
It’s not a single thing… it’s the whole vibe. You really do need to spend some time in Austin to get it.
Here are 10 fun facts about Austin Texas that many people don’t know about…
1. Biggest Urban Bat Population
Have you heard of or seen the bats that live under the Congress Ave bridge?
That’s right… about 1.5 million bats live under the bridge from March to November. Every night they eat about 20,000 pounds of insects up and down Lady Bird Lake. During their “off season”, they migrate to Mexico.
This bat colony is the biggest urban bat colony in North America! Impressive!
2. Biggest State Capitol Building
The Texas State Capitol building in Austin is the biggest of all state capitols in terms of square footage. Only the US Capital in D.C. is bigger.
Many people say that the Texas State Capitol is also the highest. However, while it is higher than the US Capital, the capital building in Louisiana is the highest of all.
3. Live Music Capital Of The World
There are more than 100 live music venues all over town. If you visit 6th Street, you’ll find many of them there. Don’t think it is only country music either! You’ll find just about any type of music in Austin.
The live music business is so big in Austin that Austin hosts the annual Austin City Limits music festival.
This is an amazing time in Austin! More than 130 bands get together to play live in Zilker Park over 3 days!
4. Many Famous People Hang Out In Austin
Austin’s longest-living and most famous resident must be Willie Nelson! Willie is a legend around here and still often plays at bars and other music venues around town.
Ever heard of Sandra Bullock? She has a house and two businesses in Austin and loves to spend time here. So does Matthew McConaughey, who is also a UT Austin alumni. Others include Farrah Fawcett and René Zellweger.
5. Only Formula One Race Track In The US
Formula One car racing may not be as popular in the US as NASCAR, but it is very popular in the rest of the world.
After an absence of a few years, Formula One has returned to the US, and to none other than Austin Texas! The first Formula One event took place in November 2012 and is scheduled to return until at least 2022.
6. Biggest Football Stadium
The Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Football Stadium, home field of the University of Texas Longhorns football team, is among the top 10 largest non-motorsport stadiums in the world!
With a seating capacity of a little over 100,000 people, the UT stadium is the biggest stadium in Texas and the 6th biggest stadium in the US.
7. Silicon Hills
Just like the San José, CA area is known as Silicon Valley, the Austin area is also known as Silicon Hills.
The second part of the name is related to Austin being located at the start of the Texas Hill Country. The first part of the name is due to the large amount of high-tech companies that have settled in Austin over the past 20 or more years. These companies bring many jobs to the local economy.
8. No Topless Laws
Yes, you read it correctly! There are no city laws that stop women from going topless in public. The original topless laws were struck down in the 70s because the City Council wanted gender equality. Good for them!
This does not mean that you’re going to see any topless ladies walking the streets of Austin, but you might see a few topless sunbathers at Barton Springs.
9. The Colorado River Passes By Downtown Austin
The Colorado River originates near Lubbock in the Texas Panhandle, flows generally southeast, and empties into Matagorda Bay on the Gulf of Mexico.
Along the way, it feeds into Lake Travis, a few miles west of Austin. Further downstream, it is dammed up to form the constant-level Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) on the south side of downtown Austin.
Lady Bird Lake is very popular!
You’ll often see people on various types of boats on Lady Bird Lake.
10. Ranked #4 For Most Secure Place To Live
According to Forbes.com, a survey was done in 2013 to compile a list of the “most secure places to live in the US”. The criteria includes things like economic stability, crime statistics, extreme weather, life expectancy, etc.
Austin is #4 on that list!
If you look at all these fun facts about Austin Texas, it’s no wonder that Austinites “live to work here” and never want to leave.
Do you know any other fun facts about Austin Texas? Tell us about them in the comments below…