Image courtesy of Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau

Image courtesy of Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau

15TH largest city in America

POPULATION 1.5 million in the metropolitan area; 735,000 within city limits.

AREA Austin envelops a 2,705-square-mile metro area; 232 square miles in city limits.

ELEVATION Austin sits 425-1,000 feet above sea level. The highest point is Mt. Barker at 840 feet.

WEATHER 300 days of sunshine over the city annually, with an average year-round temperature of 68.5°F. Austin receives an average of 32” annual rainfall.

HISTORY Founded in 1839 by Jacob Harrell along the Lower Colorado River, the city is named for Texas colonist Stephen F. Austin.

TAXES 8.25% sales tax; 15% hotel-motel tax; no state income tax

LIVING IN AUSTIN The median family annual income is $66,900; average price of a family home is $223,000

SMOKE-FREE Austin bans smoking in all public places, including the airport, municipal and other government offices, as well as private office buildings. Smoking is prohibited in most restaurants, bars and music venues.

AIRPORT A $15 taxi and $10 SuperShuttle ride take you the quick 7.5 miles from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to downtown.

HOTEL ROOMS Austin boasts 25,000 hotel rooms with more than 5,500 rooms in the downtown area.

STATE CAPITAL The seat of government for the Lone Star State, Austin is home to the State Capitol, built from 1882-88 out of “Sunset Red” granite and measuring 302 feet high—14 feet higher than the nation’s capitol in Washington, D.C.

LIVE MUSIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD® On any given night, live music plays at any of the nearly 200 venues throughout the city. Austin is also home to such famed personalities as The Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Spoon, Ghostland Observatory, Okkervil River and more.

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS Located just north of downtown, UT is one of America’s largest public universities with nearly 50,000 students. Hook ‘em Horns!

SILICON HILLS One of the country’s top technology cities, Austin is headquarters for Dell Computer Corporation and major operations for IBM, Samsung, Freescale and Advanced Micro Devices.

FILM CAPITAL Austin is the top location for moviemaking in Texas. Grindhouse, The Alamo, Spy Kids, Sin City, The Rookie, Miss Congeniality, Hope Floats and Texas Chainsaw Massacre were filmed in Austin.

A LITTLE BATTY Austin is home to North America’s largest urban bat population, with up to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats roosting under the Congress Avenue Bridge from April through November.

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICTS Sixth Street, South Congress Avenue, the Warehouse, Second Street and Red River entertainment districts are among the “hot spots” for listening to live music, dining and taking in the nightlife scene.

EAST AUSTIN The hip, up-and-coming area is home to restaurant row on Manor Road, featuring Mexican cuisine at Vivo, homemade pies at Red House Pizzeria and organic greens at Eastside Café, as well as the ultra hip Progress Coffee and The Good Knight.

OUTDOORS Recreational opportunities abound with 220 parks, including 360-acre Zilker Park and a 10.1 mile hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake. Barton Springs Pool welcomes swimmers to 68-degree, spring-fed waters year-round.

LAKES Total water surface area of the Highland Lakes comprised of Lake Travis, Lake Austin and Town Lake is 20,693 acres; combined shoreline for the three is 405 miles.

CULINARY TRAILS At the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Austin is at the hub of more than 20 wineries on the Texas Wine Trail and part of a network of cities making up the Texas BBQ Trail. Austin is also world headquarters of Whole Foods Market.