The Texas State Capitol itself is also a major tourist attraction. [81] A snow event of 0.9 inches (2 cm) on February 4, 2011, caused more than 300 car crashes. According to the 2010 United States Census,[97] the racial composition of Austin was 68.3% White (48.7% non-Hispanic whites), 35.1% Hispanic or Latino (29.1% Mexican, 0.5% Puerto Rican, 0.4% Cuban, 5.1% Other), 8.1% African American, 6.3% Asian (1.9% Indian, 1.5% Chinese, 1.0% Vietnamese, 0.7% Korean, 0.3% Filipino, 0.2% Japanese, 0.8% Other), 0.9% American Indian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 3.4% two or more races. If you take the 13-mile drive along the "Willow City Loop," you'll see a stunning display of bluebonnets, which usually bloom late March or early April. Deed restrictions also played an important role in residential segregation. Visit during the spring to see the tiny island covered with daisies, bluebells, and sea thrift, set to the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. 1 City for Views Per Capita – Worldwide", "Take A Look At Austin's Rainey Street As It Was Ten Years Ago", "Austin designated as the world's only new 'City of Media Arts' | - The Official Website of the City of Austin", "What do you miss most about 'old Austin'? Farmers' markets are popular attractions, providing a variety of locally grown and often organic foods. [224], Camping is legal on all public property except in front of City Hall since 2019. Austin averages 34.32 inches (872 mm) of annual rainfall and it is distributed mostly evenly throughout the year, though spring and fall are the wettest seasons. The final leg opened on November 1, 2012. [169] The APL library system also has mobile libraries – bookmobile buses and a human-powered trike and trailer called "unbound: sin fronteras. Capital Metro opened a 32-mile (51 km) commuter rail system known as Capital MetroRail on March 22, 2010. Black communities such as Wheatville, Pleasant Hill, and Clarksville were established, with Clarksville being the oldest surviving freedomtown ‒ the original post-Civil War settlements founded by former African-American slaves ‒ west of the Mississippi River. Travis County was established in 1840, and the surrounding counties were mostly established within the next two decades.[29]. The iconic Pennybacker Bridge, also known as the "360 Bridge," crosses Lake Austin to connect the northern and southern portions of Loop 360. Incorporated on December 27, 1839, it is the 11th-most populous city in the United States,[7] the fourth-most-populous city in Texas, and the second-most-populous state capital city (after Phoenix, Arizona). [31] In addition, the areas east of Austin took over cattle and cotton production from Austin, especially in towns like Hutto and Taylor that sit over the blackland prairie, with its deep, rich soils for producing cotton and hay. But daisies and puffins? [117][118] By 2013, Austin was ranked No. Data", "WMO Climate Normals for AUSTIN/MUNICIPAL AP TX 1961–1990", "Austin, Texas, USA - Monthly weather forecast and Climate data", "Assessing Climate Change in a Drought-Stricken State", "Austin issues city-wide boil water notice; calls for action "to avoid running out of water, "Austin's Lake Travis level decreases for first time this week following recent floods", "Austin water drinkable again, but keep usage low, officials say", "Austin city, Texas – Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010", "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: UNITED STATES; Austin city, Texas", Austin's the Only Fast-Growing City in the Country Losing African-Americans, "Top Ten Demographic Trends in Austin, Texas | Planning and Zoning | - The Official Website of the City of Austin", "People Keep Moving To Austin, But Where Are They Coming From? It is not to be confused with, State capital city in Texas, United States, 78701–78705, 78708–78739, 78741–78742, 78744–78769, ‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties. [127] In 2013, Austin was the most active city on Reddit, having the largest number of views per capita. Austin is also home to the O. Henry House Museum, which served as the residence of O. Henry from 1893 to 1895. [15][16] Austin's music revolves around the many nightclubs on 6th Street and an annual film/music/interactive festival known as South by Southwest (SXSW). David Brown, a regional official with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, explained that "these kinds of droughts will have effects that are even more extreme in the future, given a warming and drying regional climate. When the area receives a rare rainstorm, the desert transforms into a gorgeous display of pink, purple, and yellow thanks to blooming abronias and primroses. [70] Although downtown's growth did not meet this goal, downtown's residential population did surge from an estimated 5,000 in 2005 to 12,000 in 2015. Many Austinites support the athletic programs of the University of Texas at Austin known as the Texas Longhorns. [104] The Austin metropolitan area had the third highest rate in the nation. Typical of Central Texas, severe weather in Austin is a threat that can strike during any season. [52], The 1970s saw Austin's emergence in the national music scene, with local artists such as Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, and Stevie Ray Vaughan and iconic music venues such as the Armadillo World Headquarters. [289], Alex Jones, journalist, radio show host and filmmaker, produces his talk show The Alex Jones Show in Austin which broadcasts nationally on more than 60 AM and FM radio stations in the United States, WWCR Radio shortwave and XM Radio: Channel 166. Located about 45 miles outside of Tokyo, Shibazakura Hill in Hitsujiyama Park becomes a carpet of pink and purple shibazakura (pink moss) during the spring, drawing crowds to appreciate the hundreds of thousands of flowers set to the backdrop of Mt. Jacaranda trees may not be indigenous to South Africa (the species was introduced from Brazil in the 1800s), but the plants have become somewhat synonymous with the cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg. "[125] The slogan has been interpreted many ways since its inception, but remains an important symbol for many Austinites who wish to voice concerns over rapid growth and irresponsible development. [31], During the early twentieth century, a three-way system of social segregation emerged in Austin, with Anglos, African Americans and Mexicans being separated by custom or law in most aspects of life, including housing, health care, and education. Austin is also home to a large number of food trucks, with 1,256 food trucks operating in 2016. [48] Combined with the system of segregated public services, racial segregation increased in Austin during the first half of the twentieth century, with African Americans and Mexicans experiencing high levels of discrimination and social marginalization. At a total project cost of $10 billion, the Project Connect system plan proposes 3 new light rail lines, 1 new commuter rail line, several new MetroRapid lines, more park-and-rides, more express bus routes, and improvements to the existing local bus system and fare technology.[304]. In 2003, the city adopted a resolution against the USA PATRIOT Act that reaffirmed constitutionally guaranteed rights. The 284 acres (115 ha) Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a botanical garden and arboretum that features more than 800 species of native Texas plants in both garden and natural settings; the Wildflower Center is located 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Downtown in Circle C Ranch. "It's Just Different Here,", Price, Asher; Taboada, Melissa B.; Jankowski, Phillip. The first segment was opened in November 2006, which was located east of Austin–Bergstrom International Airport at Austin's southeast corner on State Highway 71. [106] The second largest religion Austinities identify with is Islam (1.7%); roughly 0.8% of Americans nationwide claimed affiliation with the Islamic faith. [197][198] Built at an estimated cost of $250 to $300 million, the circuit opened in 2012 and is located just east of the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Travis County was also the only county in Texas to reject Texas Constitutional Amendment Proposition 2 that effectively outlawed gay marriage and status equal or similar to it and did so by a wide margin (40% for, 60% against). Whole Foods Market, an international grocery store chain specializing in fresh and packaged food products, was founded and is headquartered in Austin.[123]. The towers are featured in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused. The Austin-founded American Swimming Association hosts several swim races around town. Its highway designation continues south on I-35 and then becomes part of Highway 71, continuing to the west. The University of Texas Police operate from the University of Texas. Downtown Austin scored 88 points out of a possible 100, with the West Campus neighborhood scoring 87, and East Austin scoring 81.[325]. The Austin Monitor is an online outlet that specializes in insider reporting on City Hall, Travis County Commissioners Court, AISD, and other related local civics beats. U.S. Highway 290 enters Austin from the east and merges into Interstate 35. The median age was 30 years. [314], In 2018, scooter-sharing companies Lime and Bird debuted rentable electric scooters in Austin. Austin also hosts the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, which draws comedic artists in all disciplines to Austin. The Austin Public Library is a public library system operated by the City of Austin and consists of the Central Library on César Chávez Street, the Austin History Center, 20 branches and the Recycled Reads bookstore and upcycling facility. As of 2018, all six of Austin's state legislative districts are held by Democrats. People are Freaking Out. [172] The six-story Central Library contains a living rooftop garden, reading porches, an indoor reading room, bicycle parking station, large indoor and outdoor event spaces, a gift shop, an art gallery, café, and a "technology petting zoo" where visitors can play with next-generation gadgets like 3D printers. Many Austinites attribute its enduring popularity to the magnificent and unobstructed view of the Texas State Capitol.[131]. "[149] Kolaches are a common pastry in Austin bakeries due to the large Czech and German immigrant population in Texas. The flowers range in color from dark purple to white, and seemingly straight out of a fairytale. [61], Austin is located at the intersection of four major ecological regions, and is consequently a temperate-to-hot green oasis with a highly variable climate having some characteristics of the desert, the tropics, and a wetter climate. In Summer 2018, Capital Metro began testing autonomous electric shuttles on Downtown streets. However, it is most common during the spring. [273], The distinguishing political movement of Austin politics has been that of the environmental movement, which spawned the parallel neighborhood movement, then the more recent conservationist movement (as typified by the Hill Country Conservancy),[274] and eventually the current ongoing debate about "sense of place" and preserving the Austin quality of life. [247] Steve Adler assumed the office of mayor on January 6, 2015. [324] More recently, Walk Score rated some Austin neighborhoods among the most walkable in Texas. These flowers bloom from late November to early January, which is the end of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. [160] The Austin Symphony Orchestra performs a range of classical, pop and family performances and is led by Music Director and Conductor Peter Bay. The mount provides a vista for viewing the city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills. [268][269][270], Two of the candidates for president in the 2004 race called Austin home. [59][60] To help control this runoff and to generate hydroelectric power, the Lower Colorado River Authority operates a series of dams that form the Texas Highland Lakes. Austin has a large network of private and alternative education institutions for children in preschool-12th grade exists. [155] Drinks publication VinePair named Austin as the "top beer destination in the world" in 2019. The pool, located about 23 miles (37 km) west of Austin, is a popular summer swimming spot for visitors and residents. Aside from tractor rides and artist installations, the farm features endless fields of soft pink, bright red, and buttery yellow flowers. The flowers bloom throughout the region, although some destinations are definitely more tourist-packed than others. The three-day Austin City Limits Music Festival has been held in Zilker Park every year since 2002. An hour and a half outside of Austin, the small community of Willow City, Texas, draws tourists each spring for its flowers. During the run up to the election in November, a presidential debate was held at the University of Texas at Austin student union involving the two candidates. [320], The city's bike advocacy organization is Bike Austin. The University of Texas at Austin emerged as a major university. [214] Zilker Park is also home to numerous attractions, including the Zilker Botanical Garden, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Zilker Hillside Theater, the Austin Nature & Science Center, and the Zilker Zephyr, a 12 in (305 mm) gauge miniature railway carries passengers on a tour around the park. However, the ban ended in 2018 due to a court ruling that regarded all bag bans in the state to contravene the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act. [46], During the 1880s, Austin gained new prominence as the state capitol building was completed in 1888 and claimed as the seventh largest building in the world. [115] Austin is considered to be a major center for high tech. Austin has a strong theater culture, with dozens of itinerant and resident companies producing a variety of work. [113] In November 2019, the State of Texas opened a temporary homeless encampment on a former vehicle storage yard owned by the Texas Department of Transportation. [85] The deadliest storm to ever strike city limits was the twin tornadoes storm of May 4, 1922, while the deadliest tornado outbreak to ever strike the metro area was the Central Texas tornado outbreak of May 27, 1997. Of those, 1,169 were sheltered and 1,086 were unsheltered. Chamonix isn't just a ski destination: The mountainous area becomes covered with wildflowers each spring, making the case for a hike, instead of a run, down the area's slopes. The overnight low drops to or below freezing 19 times per year,[74] and sinks below 45 °F (7 °C) during 88 evenings per year, including most nights between mid-December and mid-February. The lakes also provide venues for boating, swimming, and other forms of recreation within several parks on the lake shores. The addition of castle ruins and tranquil lakes—not to mention bilingual tour guides—only makes this floral destination more appealing. But it also marks the time of year when landscapes turn from snowy wonderlands to colorful displays of blossoms. Austin is located within the middle of a unique, narrow transitional zone between the dry deserts of the American Southwest and the lush, green, more humid regions of the American Southeast. [35] Settlement in the area began to expand quickly. Source 1: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990), This page was last edited on 25 January 2021, at 12:41. SH 36 Improvements in Comanche County. ", "What Draws People to Austin (And What Drives Them Away)", "How many people move to Austin a day? [31] The original site was narrowed to 640 acres (260 ha) that fronted the Colorado River between two creeks, Shoal Creek and Waller Creek, which was later named in his honor. [93] Austin Water, the city's water utility, has the capacity to process up to 300 million gallons of water per day, but the elevated level of turbidity reduced output to only 105 million gallons per day since Austin residents consumed an average of 120 million gallons of water per day, so the infrastructure was not able to keep up with demand.[91]. [110], In June 2019, following a federal court ruling on homelessness sleeping in public,[111] the Austin City Council lifted a 25-year-old ban on camping, sitting, or lying down in public unless doing so causes an obstruction. Other recreational attractions along the shores of the lake include swimming in Deep Eddy Pool, the oldest swimming pool in Texas, and Red Bud Isle, a small island formed by the 1900 collapse of the McDonald Dam that serves as a recreation area with a dog park and access to the lake for canoeing and fishing. 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