Capital of Texas, the city of Austin lies almost in the centre of the state, a big city with a small-town feel, young population, casual lifestyle and reputation as a Mecca for live music shows.
Austin Skyline © Ed Schipul
Home of the University of Texas campus, Austin life is closely entwined with the energy and enthusiasm of its students, but this city that has been a state capital since 1838 does not ignore its history. Young people are drawn here too by the array of live concerts that are held frequently around the shores of Town Lake. Most famous of these events is the annual South by Southwest music festival-conference held every March. Visitors wanting to tune in to Austin's live musical repertoire, which spans everything from blues and country to reggae, simply have to drift down the famous Sixth Street strip of pubs and clubs any night of the week.
Austin's laid-back attitude lends itself to the great outdoors, and the city has miles of hiking and biking trails linking parks, preserves and greenbelts adding to the ambience of its leafy streets.