Austin, Texas, USA
The dynamic and increasingly international city of Austin, Texas, is drawing streams of newcomers. Forbes recently named the Texas capital America’s #1 Fastest-Growing City for the fourth year in a row citing a pro-business environment, lack of a state income tax and a highly educated labor force.
It is also a mecca for creative types. Austin boasts an outsized music scene. Live music is heard at hundreds of different performance venues every night of the week. Twice a year, the floodgates break open and thousands descend on the city for two signature events, the Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest, the music festival and interactive conference.
Austin’s nickname, the Live Music Capital of the World, is apt though it can sometimes overshadow its many other offerings such as ballet, museums, recreational amenities and green spaces. It is the combination of a solid economy, robust population growth and cultural attractions that has made this walkable, bikeable metropolis a rising star in the residential real estate market.
It has also been responsible for a rising cityscape of condominiums in the urban core. For those seeking expansive single-family homes on large parcels, neighborhoods in this gateway region to the Texas Hill Country can be found surprisingly close to downtown. West Lake Hills is an exclusive suburb of highly rated schools set along rolling terrain. Some sections feature city skyline views, others vistas of hills and canyons. Affluent Lakeway, about 25 miles west of downtown Austin on the shores of Lake Travis, is a city that encapsulates the resort lifestyle with golf, tennis, marinas, a private airport and some 500 acres of greenbelts. There’s no shortage of places to practice one’s swing in this part of Central Texas. Austin has 32 public courses in addition to private clubs.
The well-preserved neighborhoods of Old Enfield, Pemberton Heights and Bryker Woods make up the Old West Austin Historic District. Architectural styles in the greater Austin region are diverse, from equestrian ranches to sprawling mansions in master-planned communities. There’s even an occasional chateau, which like Austin itself, is wonderfully unexpected.