All About Texas Daily News

Austin Texas The Capital of the Lone Star State

Mar 5

Austin is the capital of Texas, a state whose history and culture is rooted in a unique mix of Spanish, Native American, German, Mexican and Irish heritage. With a booming population of more than 1.5 million, the Lone Star State has become a global hub for business, education and entertainment.

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Geographically, Austin is off-center, with its historic center set atop a soaring bluff above the Colorado River. Its laid-back lifestyle is matched by its rich cultural offerings, including renowned music venues, art galleries and scenic outdoor destinations.

One of the state’s most popular vacation destinations, Austin is known for its unique fusion of traditional Texan culture with high-tech industries. A diverse and multi-ethnic city, Austin has a strong sense of community, and the area is home to numerous festivals, events and attractions year-round.

Museums are a big part of the city’s cultural life, with several fantastic museums covering topics from the region’s Native history to its modern-day culture. The Bob Bullock Museum is one of the best, with exhibits spanning three floors and offering a comprehensive look at the area’s storied past.

A thriving music scene and all-ages concert spaces ensure that music is a key part of life in Austin. From the aptly named Austin Kiddie Limits stage to clubs that allow accompanied kids and older minors to enjoy live shows, the community-oriented approach to local music has helped to define the town’s identity for more than 200 years.

The history of the area starts with the Tonkawa and Comanche people who lived here before the arrival of European settlers. These early settlers were followed by immigrants from Mexico, Germany and Sweden, as well as African Americans.

During the 1840s, the land around the current downtown area became a center of political activity when it was chosen as the state’s first capital by President Sam Houston in 1839. After the United States acquired Texas in 1845, Austin resumed its role as the state’s capital.

In the late 1800s, the city expanded with the construction of a railroad, a bridge across the Colorado River and other public works. These changes opened up trade and commerce for the region, which soon grew into a bustling metropolis.

It was during this era that the city’s first mayor, Judge Edwin Waller, developed the first city plan. The plan envisioned 14 blocks running north and south, with Congress Street running through the center of the town.

While most of the original Waller plan has been replaced by modern streets, the old city grid is still intact in the heart of downtown. A grand avenue, known as Congress, runs through the middle of the city from Capitol Square to the Colorado River.

Murals are a defining feature of the city, with artists from around the country contributing their works. It’s a risk to pick out a single artist, but Tim Kerr stands out with his focus on overlooked musical trailblazers and his colorful, whimsical portraits of Hill Country icon Lyndon Baines Johnson.