Austin Texas Off Center and On Center
When you think of Austin Texas, you might be thinking of a slow-paced but quick-witted college town that has been branded as a live music capital. That's certainly true. And there are plenty of cool places to listen to music, but there's also a lot to do outside of the music scene.
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The city has a long history of being both off-center and a little bit of everything. That's why it's no surprise that there are many different sides to the city--and a big reason why people love coming here so much.
The core of historic Austin is the Downtown area, which is home to a variety of unique restaurants, museums, galleries and shopping districts. It's also where you can find Austin's renowned nightlife and cultural hot spots, such as the University of Texas at Austin, the Downtown Public Market and the Texas State Capitol.
One of the most beautiful structures in the city, the Texas State Capitol stands taller than Washington, DC's, a testament to Austin's position as the state's capital. It's made of limestone and sunset-red (pink) granite from Marble Falls and is a popular tourist destination.
Besides the iconic Capitol, there are several other notable buildings that have helped shape Austin's history and culture. Among these is the University of Texas, which opened in 1883 and became the center of the city's higher education.
With the influx of immigrants in the 1870s, Austin's population grew dramatically. Newcomers included Anglos, Germans, Czechs and Mexicans.
While the Anglos dominated early settlement, it wasn't long before other cultures began to make their mark in the Austin community. In the 1880s, a growing Hispanic population was joined by a number of African Americans.
In the 1960s, racial integration was a huge part of the Austin experience. Black leaders, political action groups and students waged a long battle against segregation. In 1956 the University of Texas became the first major university in the South to admit African American students.
After a decade of integration, the University became a magnet for students from all over the country. Today, Austin is a diverse metropolis that is home to a large number of Fortune 500 companies, such as Apple, Dell and IBM.
There are many ways to enjoy the beautiful natural landscape of Austin, including hiking, biking and fishing. If you're looking for a more relaxing vacation, why not visit the Texas Hill Country, where you can explore the many picturesque towns, caves and waterfalls? Or head west to the rolling hills and clear running rivers of the Texas Wine Country.
You'll find many of Austin's most notable attractions in this spirited and vibrant region, where outdoor activities, stunning architecture and historic sites are matched by an exciting culinary scene that includes more than two dozen vineyards.
There's no end to the fun you can have in Austin, and it's easy to see why so many people come here to call it home. The city has a history of taking a stand on the progressive side of hot-button issues like environmental protection, women's rights and homelessness.