The U.S. News and World Report last week ranked Austin, Texas to be the number 1 city to live in the United States off of measurements such as desirability, values, job market, quality of life and net migration. This ranking knocked Denver, Colorado off of the top spot. This may come as a surprise to some, but for many Austinites and people from the surrounding areas this is only a confirmation of what they already believed. Here are my top five reasons that Austin should be ranked number 1.
1. Downtown Activities
Austin is a hotspot for fun activities to do with friends, family, partners or by yourself. Despite being renowned for the struggles of actually getting through the traffic to get downtown, once you are there, there is an abundance of things to choose from. From walking down South Congress Avenue popping into stores like Uncommon Objects or grabbing a bite to eat from Home Slice and in the summer watching thousands of bats fly out from under the bridge. There is the graffiti park in which visitors can observe or participate in the creation of graffiti art and afterward sit and gaze at the skyline. For older visitors, 6th Street is full of lively bars with live music throughout.
2. Outdoor Fun
The weather in Texas can be very sporadic, but typically consists of warm clear days in which heading downtown is a perfect option. Right in front of the skyline of Austin is Lady Bird Lake, which has a ten mile trail surrounding it for bikers and joggers, as well as places to rent out kayaks and paddleboards. Another popular spot is Barton Springs. This three acre underground spring filled swimming pool is a great place to lay in the grass relaxing or to cool off in the chilly waters. Finally, there is Zilker Park which hosts lots of live events such as music festivals and a trail of christmas lights in December.
Home of the food truck and Tex-Mex, Austin is full of great places to grab something to eat. For breakfast you can head to Juan in a Million to have their world famous breakfast tacos. For lunch, Moonshine Grill is right in downtown and has a very Southern style charm and has lots of fresh well cooked meals. Finally, you can go to Roaring Fork right next to the capitol and enjoy meals from burgers to fish. There are also loads of options on South Congress if you want a more relaxed environment at a food truck or Hopdoddy for some burgers.
Being the Live Music Capitol of the World, Austin is home to plenty of music festivals. During March there is SXSW, a convention for music, films and new technology. SXSW is more known for its small bands and singers. ACL hosted in September is one of the largest music festivals in the U.S. It has seen performers of the likes of Johnny Cash, Eminem, Twenty One Pilots and more. Besides these music festivals, there is live music every night in downtown at different bars and concert halls.
Being the capital of Texas, Austin is home to lots of historic sights such as the Capitol building itself, Bullock Texas State History Museum and the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum. Anyone who loves good history or to see old relics, Austin is a great city to be.