Austin, Texas is a lovely city in the heart of the state. It’s large, vibrant and always has something going on. It’s a great place to live and work and just about everything for just about every one.
History of Austin
The true history of Austin stretches back over 9000 years. Archeological digs around the county have found artifacts dating back all that time. When the Europeans landed, the Tonkawa tribe of native Americans called it home.
Explorers had traveled through here plenty before stopping for any length of time. It wasn’t until 1730 that people actually began to put down roots. A mission from East Texas stayed here for a few months before moving on, then in 1839, the site was chosen to be the capital for the independent state of Texas to be named after Stephen F. Austin.
Once the Comanche people had been pushed out of the area and relations between the settlers and the natives settled down, people began coming to Austin to live. As the state capital, many of the earliest settlers were government employees.
A battle between Sam Houston and Lamar, the second President of Texas saw the town temporarily lose its place as the capital and almost half of its population, but it soon recovered both its position and it’s populace. From that time one, Austin grew steadily and its economy stronger.
In 1880, when the state capitol building was complete, it was the 7th largest building in the world. This brought a lot of attention to the area. It, along with the railroad, cattle and cotton trading saw the city grow slowly but steadily through to the 20th century. From then, our economy has moved into technology, defense and pharmaceuticals.
Austin has a semi-arid climate, meaning long hot summer and cool winters. We don’t get much rain here, maybe 2 to 4 inches a month during winter at most. You have to be able to cope with heat to survive here, but most places, including malls and public areas have A/C.
Getting Around Austin
Our main airport is Austin Bergstrom International Airport about 6 miles outside the center of the city. It’s a busy airport with services running all over the country. Most major carriers have at least one or two services in and out of AUS, so we are well served for air travel.
Trains are run by Amtrak into the Austin Amtrak Station. The Texas Eagle runs through here from Chicago to San Antonio and connects us to the rest of the country from there. Buses are provided by Greyhound, Megabus, Autobus Americanos, Turimex Internacional and Omnibus Mexicanos.
As with most American cities, the car is our main form of transport. The IH-35 runs north-south and we have a range of regional highways and tollways around the city. Suburban roads are okay, but it gets busy during rush hour.