New arrivals will certainly be in for a bit of fun in Austin. The city’s famous motto ‘Keep Austin Weird’ sums up the quirkiness of the lifestyle activities on offer for residents.
Whether one is an outdoor enthusiast who is keen to make the most of the Texan sun or an avid foodie looking to get your fill and discover some culinary delights at one of Austin’s famous food trailer parks, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Newcomers moving to Austin with young children will be pleased to learn that a lot of the lifestyle offerings in the city are family friendly, with plenty of fun things for the little ones to do as well.
Arts and culture in Austin
Newcomers to Austin will soon see there is no shortage of creativity in this city. Austin is home to some world-class museums such as the Blanton and the Harry Ransom Centre. The city has a vibrant art scene with an array of galleries such as the Jones Center, Carver Museum and the Mexic-Arte Museum all offering an eclectic range of exhibits.
When it comes to the performing arts, Austin offers its residents everything from ballet and opera at the Long Center to music and comedy performances at the historic Paramount Theatre. The city also boasts a full calendar of annual cultural events to keep Austin residents entertained.
Sports and outdoor activities in Austin
Austin’s great weather makes it conducive for residents to spend time outdoors. Both within the city limits and in the surrounding rural Texas Hill Country, there are plenty of opportunities to spend time exploring nature. From winding hiking- and mountain biking trails to refreshing swimming spots and lakes perfect for paddling, Austin has loads to satisfy the outdoor enthusiast.
There is no doubt that Austin is a sporting city, and new residents can get excited about American Football, cycling and roller derby. However, despite the city’s size, most people are surprised to learn Austin doesn’t boast any of its own professional sports teams. That said, it is home to a litany of amateur sports organisations including the Austin Spurs, the Texas Stars and the Round Rock Express. In addition, the city has invested a lot of money into sporting infrastructure, so it won’t be long before things start to take off here.
Nightlife in Austin
The nightlife in Austin reflects the energy and diversity of its people. Whether residents are looking for a pumping dance party, a plush cocktail lounge or the chance to catch some local garage bands, Austin really does have it all.
Sixth Street, complete with its cheap drinks and wild party atmosphere, is popular with the student crowd. To experience what it truly means to ‘Keep Austin Weird’, head to the East Austin Entertainment District, where revellers are treated to a diverse range of sights and sounds. From quirky graffiti-style murals and late-night coffee shops, it's easy to see why this area is popular with a hipster crowd. For a more subdued night out, head to Rainey Street for some unique live music offerings in a district lined with historic houses. The Warehouse District is another great alternative for a more mature crowd looking for a laid-back but dynamic nightlife scene.
Eating out in Austin
Austin’s culinary scene is unique. From traditional Texan fare such as Tex-Mex, BBQ and breakfast tacos to fantastic Asian food offerings and a growing number of fine-dining establishments, Austin promises foodies a treat.
Food trucks are quite the institution in Austin. All over town, chefs are opting to dish up unpretentious cuisine in the back of a humble trailer. There are now thousands of food trucks operating all around Austin, and food-court trailer parks are becoming a growing phenomenon in the city. From fresh lobster rolls to authentic Italian street food, residents will have no shortage of good-quality affordable offerings.
Austin also boasts its fair share of craft breweries and wineries. From old-world lager to experimental ales, there are loads of quirky brews to discover. Moving beyond downtown Austin, residents will be spoilt for choice with over 50 wineries to explore in Texas Hill Country.
Where to meet people and make friends in Austin
Moving to a new city and setting roots can be a daunting process, but building a community can certainly help settle feelings of nervousness. Below are a few suggestions for new arrivals looking to make friends in Austin.
The Boys and Girls Club is a global organisation with a local branch in Austin aimed at supporting young people through after-school activities. This offers an excellent opportunity for both children and parents to meet new people and integrate into their community.
Austin Newcomers Club offers newly arrived people in Austin an opportunity to meet people and make friends with those who share similar hobbies through a variety of interest groups, including book, hiking and photography clubs.
Newly arrived sports lovers will be delighted to know that the Austin Sports and Social Club offers a variety of adult sports teams for newcomers to join and build friendships with like-minded people.
Young newcomers looking to advance their careers while creating meaningful connections will feel right at home at Austin Young Chamber. The club aims to support young professionals looking to build community, business and personal success.
►For our insights into the not-to-be-missed annual events in the city check out the What's On in Austin page
Are you an expat living in Austin?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Austin. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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