9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (2023)

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (1)

Howdy & welcome to Austin, Texas! Austin has been voted the best place to live in America for three consecutive years by the U.S. News & World Report for the quality of life, job market, and a city’s desirability. Do you live in Austin? Do you want to live in Austin? Why do you think Austin has been voted the best place to live?

Koko here from A Taste of Koko (Instagram: @atasteofkoko) – I’m an Austin-based food and travel blogger that’s been blogging since 2010 on Austin Texas. As a local resident since 2007 (basically an Austinite), I’ve been reporting on everything on Austin Texas so much since I’ve been voted two years in a row as the best local blogger by the Austin Chronicle. I moved to Austin TX in 2007 to go to school at the University Of Texas at Austin and back then Austin was just a college town. In the past decade, Austin has changed dramatically with all the new restaurant openings and big tech companies that have opened offices here.

SEE ALSO: 45 Things To Do In Austin Texas

In 1850, the population in Austin was 600. In 2000, the population was 656,562. From 2010 to 2017, the population in Austin grew by an average of 55,500 people a year (about 152 per day). The 2018 Census showed that over a million people live in Austin Texas.

In the past four years, we’ve had so many people from New York and San Francisco move here. So why does everyone want to live in the fastest growing city in America right now?

Table of Contents

FAQs ON AUSTIN TEXAS

1. Best time to visit Austin, Texas

You can visit Austin Texas really any time of the year since we don’t have the arctic cold but our summers are impossibly hot and humid. The best times to visit Austin is the end of March to early June, and September to November.

I would avoid visiting Austin during major events unless you’re coming for them:

  • South By Southwest (SXSW) – March 13-22, 2020‎
  • Austin Food & Wine Festival – April 24-26, 2020
  • Austin City Limits (ACL) – Oct. 2-4 & Oct. 9-11, 2020
  • Formula 1 (F1)

2. Austin Airport transportation

You can take Uber or Lyft from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport but you’ll have to walk to the pick-up zone that is two garages across from the airport.

3. How bad is the traffic in Austin?

Bad – it’s bad and it’s getting worse. Peak traffic time is in the morning from 8am to 10am and then in the afternoon from 4pm – 6pm.

4. Is Austin walkable?

It depends on where you’re staying. South Congress, downtown Austin, and some pockets of East Austin are walkable but you’ll still need rideshare or a car to get to different neighborhoods around town. Only public transportation in the city is the bus system.

5. What are the best neighborhoods?

I currently live in Central Austin and I love being so close to downtown and East Austin. Unfortunately, the housing market in Austin has exploded due to the popularity of the city so the cost of living has increased and affordability has decreased. Some popular neighborhoods include:

  • East Austin – 30+ years old, median home price for single-family homes is $400k
  • Mueller – 30-40+ years old, median home price is $500k+, 10-minute commute to downtown Austin, family-friendly
  • Windsor Park –30-40+ years old, median home price is $500k+
  • Westlake/West Austin – 50+ years old, median home price is $600k+
  • South Congress – 25-35 years old, median home price is $500k+
  • Downtown – 27-35+ years old young professionals, median rent price is $3000/month
  • Cedar Park / Round Rock – 45+, family-friendly area with lots of school districts

If you’re a renter and looking for areas in Austin with affordable rent, I recommend South Austin and North Austin.

SEE ALSO:Best Coffee Shops In Austin, Sorted By Neighborhood

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (2)

With a booming economy, an awesome eclectic culture, and an array of incredible things to see and do, it’s no wonder that Austin, Texas is becoming a popular place to work and live.

(Video) Top 10 Reasons NOT to Move to Austin, Texas

If you’re thinking about moving to Austin, there are several things you need to know before you make the journey.

From a burgeoning music and arts scene to incredible food and fun activities, read on for the ultimate guide all about Austin, Texas that you need to know before you make your move.

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (3)

1. So many things to do in Austin Texas

Austin is a haven for people who love the outdoors and want access to plenty of green space – we are consistently voted one of the fittest cities in America.

  • paddleboard or kayak on Lake Bird Lake
  • watch a UT longhorns football game
  • hike and bike trails like the Greenbelt
  • watch the bats fly out from the Congress Avenue Bridge during the summer
  • visit the Texas state capitol (this is the capital of texas after all)
  • walk around the LBJ Museum (this history museum is free!)
  • swimming in Barton Springs (see all the swimming holes of Austin)
  • hang out at Zilker Park, Lake Austin, or Lake Travis
  • weekend trip to San Antonio
  • eat all the Texas barbecue
  • eat all the tacos
  • drink all the margaritas
  • bar hopping on Rainey Street (versus 6th street/sixth street nightlife)
  • listen to live music at one of the live music venues

SEE ALSO: 45 Things To Do In Austin Texas

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (4)

2. We love our local restaurant scene

Food defines the culture of any place, and ATX is no exception. This dynamic city features an array of delectable goodies that span anything from the classic taco dive and food trucks to exotic fare.

Austin used to have only burgers, pizza, and a couple of barbecue spots but just in the past couple of the years the food scene has exploded thanks to restaurant entrepreneurs like Chef Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue and Chef Tyson Cole of Uchi and Uchiko that have made headlines in Bon Appetit and James Beard. This duo has also opened their own restaurant together called Loro on South Lamar.

  • Veracruz – best authentic tacos that started as a food trailer in East Austin
  • La Barbecue – popular barbecue spot that started as a food trailer in East Austin
  • Uchiko – an innovative Japanese restaurant that has made headlines
  • Suerte – a popular new restaurant in East Austin that makes their own masa
  • Fresa’s – colorful Tex-Mex restaurant with sharable tacos and margaritas
  • Ramen Tatsuya – popular ramen shops with several locations and different concepts
  • Contigo – a farm-to-table restaurant with outdoor dining and a great spot for brunch
  • Clark’s Oyster Bar – a cute spot for seafood but I love their burger that is half off during happy hour
  • Garage – cool secret bar hidden in, well, a garage. This is Drake’s favorite bar in Austin.

Full list of my favorite Austin restaurants

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (5)

Of course, like any city worth its salt, Austin, Texas is also packed with unique craft beers and breweries. Make sure you ask for a local beer list whenever you dine in of the city’s many restaurants. You’ll find everything from IPA to lager all brewed locally to give you a bit of Austin flavor.

After your delicious meal, make sure you catch one of the awesome happy hours throughout the Austin area.

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (6)

3. Music is the Heart and Soul of Austin, Texas

Every location has its own unique music scene, but in Austin, it’s the lifeblood of this bustling city. Similar to the deep roots of Nashville, the music played and recorded in Austin dates back decades.

This part of Texas is filled with unique venues like the Moody Theater and the Continental Club, each offering its own spirited list of performances that range from country to alternative and beyond. You’ll also find plenty of music festivals here, mostly thanks to the famed television show Austin City Limits.

Austin, Texas is known as The Live Music Capital of the World due to its bold and dynamic music scene. In fact, the city hosts more concerts than anywhere else in the United States! From indie rock to jazz and rockabilly, there is something for everyone here.

Whether you’re planning to visit or move here (the real estate scene is really hot), you’ve got to check out some of the live music venues in Austin. Check the recent schedules to find a live performance that you’ll enjoy, and you’re guaranteed to be hooked.

Fun fact: The Driskill Hotel is the oldest operating hotel in Austin, Texas and is supposedly haunted.

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (7)

view from Facebook Austin in downtown Austin

4. Great companies to work for

Several big companies have opened offices in North Austin, Northwest Austin, Central Austin, and South Austin offering competitive pay with both benefits and perks like complimentary breakfast and lunch, and really good health care. This also attracted talent from around the nation and world to move to Austin to live and work here.

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Indeed
  • Apple
  • Dell
  • Dropbox

Compared to other cities in the nation, Austin has one of the lowest unemployment rates.

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (8)

5. It’s a Nature Lover’s Paradise

When you imagine Austin, Texas, you probably envision tall buildings and busy streets. And while this is certainly part of what Austin has to offer, there’s also plenty of nature to enjoy and to explore.

The beautiful Lady Bird Lake offers you an incredible view and lots of outdoor recreational activities including fishing, kayaking, rowing, and more. Make sure you visit Mount Bonnell where you’ll be able to see the city and Texas hill country from its highest vantage point. And when it comes to sunrises and sunsets, you’ll be in awe of the gorgeous blue and purple light that covers the downtown area almost every day.

(Video) Top 9 Reasons to Move to Austin, Texas

If you enjoy hiking and biking, there are plenty of trails to choose from throughout the Austin area. A large trail surrounding Lady Bird Lake is one of the city’s most popular options with about 1.5 million visitors every year. The trail is 10 miles long and features an abundance of trees along the beautiful Colorado River.

There’s also no shortage of gorgeous parks throughout Austin, Texas. Take a picnic lunch with you to enjoy a relaxing view, or grab your bike and head out to a local nature trail. Spending time outdoors is good for the soul, and you can certainly take advantage of it if you move to Austin, Texas.

6. Speaking of Nature, You’ll Love the Weather (Sometimes)

If you’re concerned about moving to Austin because of the climate, don’t fear. This area is known as a humid subtropical climate which means Austin typically has long, hot summers and mild winters that usually don’t last as long as other parts of the country.

The springs in Austin tend to be short, but they’re beautiful and filled with the famous bluebonnet flowers. Autumns have very little color change, but they’re also mild. If you enjoy warmer weather, then Austin, Texas is the place for you.

In terms of severe weather events, strong thunderstorms and the occasional tornado may strike. Otherwise, the sunshine is quite abundant throughout most of the year. Many residents take advantage of this fact and enjoy swimming, hiking, and spending time outside almost every day, even in winter.

The average temperature during fall is around 69 degrees, making Austin a comfortable place to live in terms of climate. In fact, the average winter temps only dip to around 59 degrees so if you’re not a fan of cold winters, Austin is your place. But the summers can peak at 110 degrees with a humidity of 60%!

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (9)

7. Best city for artists and creatives

With a friendly and diverse population, it’s not surprising that Austin, Texas attracts creatives from all over the country and the world. The inclusive feel in Austin encourages people to come out of their shell and practice some self-expression through art, music, and more.

You’ll discover plenty of arts here including music, fashion design, writing, and photography just to name a few. Thanks to the warm vibe, every artist is welcome here. Look out for art shows and exhibitions at one of Austin’s many fascinating museums.

The art expands into the food scene, too with delicious brunches and amazing beverages. Artists in the Austin area certainly want to sell their wares, but there’s also a spirit of community that seems to overtake the spirit of competition. You can meet all kinds of creatives here, and the art scene welcomes people with open arms.

SXSW is one of the most famous events in Austin, Texas. Once known as strictly a music festival, today it hosts all kinds of unique events that cater to technology, science, and engineering in addition to the art scene. The famous festival is something you definitely can’t miss if you plan to visit or live in Austin.

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (10)

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (11)

Noah Marion shop on South Lamar

8. It’s all about the local small businesses

Recently, Austin, Texas has been named the best place to live in the USA, and it’s easy to see why. This ranking looked at a combination of the job market and the quality of life for its citizens.

Although Austin is host to plenty of large businesses like Amazon, Apple, and eBay, it still differentiates itself from other Texas metropolia like Dallas and Houston. The big tech and other businesses are certainly welcome, but the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” refers to the desire to focus on local and unique businesses, too.

Because the job market in Austin is so abundant, it’s become a popular place for many different types of people to work and live. Whether you’re single and focusing on your career or you have a young family, Austin is proud to maintain its welcoming vibe and small-town charm.

The people who live and thrive in Austin take pride in their diversity. They want to maintain a healthy economy while never losing focus on the importance of community, family, and uniqueness that makes Austin such a special place.

Speaking of business, there’s also plenty of excellent shopping to be had in Austin. Large retailers and small businesses alike offer you a plethora of shopping experiences to choose from. Local boutiques selling clothing and jewelry are located aside major department stores.

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (12)

9. Super friendly locals

Now that you know more about the city of Austin, Texas, it’s easy to see why so many people are choosing to make this Texas city their home. Whether you love the music and art scene or you’re just looking for a great place to raise a family, Austin has it all.

Explore their diverse culture and be sure to experience some of the delicious food and beverages that Austin has to offer. Visit the local parks, hike a few trails, and check out some museums to soak in some of Austin’s incredible culture.

What’s your favorite thing about Austin?

9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live (13)

(Video) 9 Reasons Why Austin Real Estate Market Will Not Crash (August 2022)

P.S. If you’re looking for more things to do in Austin, I also recently published a pocket-sized guidebook on Austin Texas!

Your Ultimate Austin Travel Guide

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(Video) The Pat McAfee Show | Thursday October 20th 2022

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FAQs

Why is Austin Texas the best place to live? ›

Austin is routinely lauded as one of the best places to live in the United States, thanks to its warm weather, thriving economy and bustling cultural scene. But if you're considering moving to Austin, you'll have lots of different options for places to live, from family-friendly suburbs to densely packed urban areas.

What makes Austin Texas so great? ›

Thanks to the consistently beautiful weather, Austin possesses an outdoor culture that makes Austinites some of the healthiest people in the country. The city boasts a healthy 220 parks, 250 gyms, 30 swimming holes, many lakes, and numerous walking and hiking trails.

Is Austin Texas one of the best places to live? ›

Austin deemed one of the country's 25 best cities to live in for 2022 - CultureMap Austin.

Where does Austin Texas rank best to live in? ›

Austin was ranked No. 13 out of the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the 2022-23 "Best Places to Live in the United States" list. In previous years, Austin consistently made its top 10 of best places to live. The Texas capital was ranked No.

Is it better to live in Austin or Dallas? ›

Compared to other cities of its size, Dallas is relatively inexpensive, with a cost of living below the national average. On the other hand, Austin is considerably more expensive, topping the cost of living in Dallas by more than 17%. And, compared to the national average, Austin is 30% more expensive.

Where do the rich live in Austin Texas? ›

Steiner Ranch is the wealthiest ZIP code in the Austin metro area, according to a recent study. If you want to find where the richest people in the Austin area live, zip on over to Steiner Ranch in West Austin.

Are people in Austin friendly? ›

The locals are genuinely friendly. The warmth of the people is hands down my favorite thing about living in Austin, Texas. Some of the happiest and genuinely friendliest people I have ever known I met in Austin. With a population nearing 1 million, Austin is by no means a small city.

What salary do you need to live in Austin? ›

Typical Expenses
1 ADULT
0 Children1 Child
Required annual income after taxes$26,982$54,927
Annual taxes$4,374$8,905
Required annual income before taxes$31,357$63,832
7 more rows

What are the cons of living in Austin Texas? ›

Cons of Living in Austin, TX
  • Austinites Are Resistant to Rapid Growth. ...
  • It's Hot. ...
  • Austin Is a Driving City. ...
  • The Traffic. ...
  • Limited Big Sports. ...
  • Austin Is a College Town. ...
  • Lacks Cultural Diversity. ...
  • The Housing Market.

What is the #1 city in the world? ›

“It was especially heartening to see Chicago snag the number two spot this year with local Chicagoans shouting about the Windy City's exciting food and drink scene and world-class art and culture.” Overall, Edinburgh, Scotland was named the best city in the world.

Is Austin a liveable city? ›

We feel it is Austin's quality of life and desirability that continuously sets it apart from other cities, and wanted to take a closer look at exactly why Austin has become such a great place to live.
...
Austin, Texas Tops the Charts, Again.
Austin Tops the Charts
Best Foodie Cities in AmericaWalletHub, 201910
29 more rows
9 Sept 2021

What makes Austin Texas unique? ›

Austin, famed for its nightlife, its outdoor graffiti art gallery and regularly dubbed “the drunkest city in the US” is to Texas as Berlin is to Germany, which is to say it proudly, provocatively, perversely bears little resemblance to the rest of the state.

Are people moving out of Austin? ›

But now, data shows we're starting to see more people moving out of the city. The latest migration report from Rent.com shows Austin is the fourth leading city in the U.S. when it comes to outward migration, or people moving out of the city. The top three cities for outward migration were Charlotte, North Carolina; St.

Is Austin Texas the best city in America? ›

1 Best Place to Live, According to U.S. News & World Report. Rankings measure affordability, job market and quality of life.

Is Austin or Houston Better? ›

While you'll find the perfect college town with a hip atmosphere in Austin, Houston tends to be more of a family-friendly adventure. Houston is packed with things to enjoy with kids. With tons of kid-friendly activities, your family will love visiting Houston.

Is Austin or San Antonio better? ›

If your top priority is affordable real estate and maximizing your initial home investment, then San Antonio represents a better buy. However, if you place a higher premium on excellent bars and restaurants, great schools, and a thriving job market, then Austin may be the right place for you.

Is Austin or Dallas safer? ›

In comparison, Dallas came in at 158 on the list with a rate of 7.75 violent crimes per 1,000 citizens and a "safety score" of 63.72. So where does Austin fall on the list? With a rate of 4 violent crimes per 1,000 citizens and a "safety score" of 66.68, the City of Austin comes in at 140th place!

Where do billionaires live in Austin? ›

Pound for pound, no part of Austin packs in more rich people than the area that includes the Steiner Ranch neighborhood.

Which part of Austin is safest? ›

10 Safest Neighborhoods in Austin, TX 2022
  1. Brushy Creek. Population: 25,148. Median Household Income: $99,775. ...
  2. Round Rock. Population: 137,575. ...
  3. Manchaca. Population: 1,136. ...
  4. Leander. Population: 70,519. ...
  5. Pflugerville. Population: 66,826. ...
  6. Driftwood. Population: 139. ...
  7. Hudson Bend. Population: 2,494. ...
  8. Briarcliff. Population: 1,887.
22 Apr 2022

How many billionaires live in Austin? ›

Four Austin billionaires join Musk in the top 1,000 on the Forbes list. What follows are their global ranking, 2022 net worth, and 2021 net worth: Michael Dell, founder, chairman, and CEO of Round Rock-based Dell Technologies: No.

What do people in Austin call themselves? ›

Residents of Austin are known as Austinites.

What are people from Austin like? ›

Austinites are known for being laid-back friendly and eclectic. Over half of Austin's population is under the age of 25 in large part due to the many higher education institutions in the are– making Austin a very hip place to be. Around half of all Austinites are White and over a third of them are Hispanic.

Is Austin a pretty city? ›

From urban landscapes to serene sunsets, there's no denying the beauty of Austin, Texas. Venture through Austin's most picturesque settings with these 13 stunning shots. After looking at these photos, you'll see why Austin is the most beautiful city in the country. 1.

Is it better to rent or buy in Austin? ›

It's cheaper to rent than purchase a home in Austin, according to a new report by real estate database company ATTOM.

What is considered middle class in Austin Texas? ›

defines middle-class households as those earning $45,000 to $74,999 a year. The study says 37.5 percent of middle-class households in the Austin area are “cost-burdened” when it comes to housing. It cites $80,954 as the median household income and 57.6 percent as the homeownership rate.

Can you live in Austin without a car? ›

Do I need a car in Austin, TX? If you live and work downtown, probably not. There are plenty of restaurants, stores, bars, coffee shops, and gyms within easy walking distance. Furthermore, Austin is a very bike-friendly city and you can extend your range on two wheels.

What is the quality of life in Austin Texas? ›

According to a study by Numbeo, Austin currently has the third-highest quality of life index in the nation, first in Texas and sixth across the entire world. The study measures purchasing power, safety, health care, cost of living, property price, traffic commute, pollution and climate.

Is Austin expensive to live? ›

Austin, Texas has recently been labeled as one of the “least affordable cities in Texas” and is becoming a contender for one of the least affordable cities in the entire country. Many people wonder what the draw is about this unique city.

What makes Austin Texas unique? ›

Austin, famed for its nightlife, its outdoor graffiti art gallery and regularly dubbed “the drunkest city in the US” is to Texas as Berlin is to Germany, which is to say it proudly, provocatively, perversely bears little resemblance to the rest of the state.

What are the cons of living in Austin Texas? ›

Cons of Living in Austin, TX
  • Austinites Are Resistant to Rapid Growth. ...
  • It's Hot. ...
  • Austin Is a Driving City. ...
  • The Traffic. ...
  • Limited Big Sports. ...
  • Austin Is a College Town. ...
  • Lacks Cultural Diversity. ...
  • The Housing Market.

What salary do you need to live in Austin? ›

Typical Expenses
1 ADULT
0 Children1 Child
Required annual income after taxes$26,982$54,927
Annual taxes$4,374$8,905
Required annual income before taxes$31,357$63,832
7 more rows

Is Austin expensive to live? ›

Austin, Texas has recently been labeled as one of the “least affordable cities in Texas” and is becoming a contender for one of the least affordable cities in the entire country. Many people wonder what the draw is about this unique city.

Is Austin friendly? ›

The locals are genuinely friendly. The warmth of the people is hands down my favorite thing about living in Austin, Texas. Some of the happiest and genuinely friendliest people I have ever known I met in Austin. With a population nearing 1 million, Austin is by no means a small city.

What is Austin Texas nickname? ›

Austin is “Bat City,” or “Hippie Haven,” but more recently Austin's motto has been “Keep Austin Weird.”

What should you not miss in Austin? ›

19 Must-Visit Attractions and Things to Do in Austin
  • Franklin Barbecue. Bakery, Diner, Market, Restaurant, BBQ, $$$ ...
  • Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum. Building, Forest, Museum, Park, University. ...
  • Texas Capitol. ...
  • Blanton Museum of Art. ...
  • Broken Spoke. ...
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. ...
  • The Continental Club. ...
  • Barton Springs Pool.

Is Houston better than Austin? ›

While you'll find the perfect college town with a hip atmosphere in Austin, Houston tends to be more of a family-friendly adventure. Houston is packed with things to enjoy with kids. With tons of kid-friendly activities, your family will love visiting Houston.

What is the quality of life in Austin Texas? ›

According to a study by Numbeo, Austin currently has the third-highest quality of life index in the nation, first in Texas and sixth across the entire world. The study measures purchasing power, safety, health care, cost of living, property price, traffic commute, pollution and climate.

Are people moving out of Austin? ›

But now, data shows we're starting to see more people moving out of the city. The latest migration report from Rent.com shows Austin is the fourth leading city in the U.S. when it comes to outward migration, or people moving out of the city. The top three cities for outward migration were Charlotte, North Carolina; St.

Is it better to rent or buy in Austin? ›

It's cheaper to rent than purchase a home in Austin, according to a new report by real estate database company ATTOM.

What is considered middle class in Austin Texas? ›

defines middle-class households as those earning $45,000 to $74,999 a year. The study says 37.5 percent of middle-class households in the Austin area are “cost-burdened” when it comes to housing. It cites $80,954 as the median household income and 57.6 percent as the homeownership rate.

Is Austin overcrowded? ›

This city is crowded. It comes as no surprise to Austinites. And it's only getting worse. The city's population is expected to increase to nearly 4 million people by 2040.

Is Austin becoming unaffordable? ›

Austin's unaffordability problem: Pay hasn't kept up with the rising cost of housing. Austin's demographer says income has gone up by 44% in the last 10 years. However, rent and housing prices are rising at a much faster rate.

Why is Austin growing so fast? ›

Economic conditions of the area are very strong with the affordable cost of living for many people while the residents have enough resources to sustain a comfortable life for themselves and their families. Lower tax rates in Texas also play a role in attracting more people to move and work there.

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