AustinCity Guide

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including its appeal for recent graduates — and it’s easy to see why. Austin has made a name for itself as one of the best places for live music in the world. With huge events, great outdoor spaces, and multicultural influences, there’s no shortage of good times to be had.

Local Perspectives

Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in Austin, as told by locals.

Local Perspectives

archetype Chelsea Howe

Creative Director for EA Mobile

Print Share Toggle other sharing options

Time spent in Austin

City guide: Moving to Austin TX - Chelsea HoweOne and a half years. Electronic Arts is expanding in Austin, so I moved here from San Francisco to help build up the mobile team.

Why Austin

The cost, crime rates, and other measurable data make it an easy choice; it’s a great place to live. Buying a home was important to me, but there was no way I could do that in San Francisco. Here, I bought a house that is a mansion by San Francisco standards, and I’m only 20 minutes from work.

Best neighborhoods, IMO

I live in the suburbs, because I’m not a downtown person; but if you are, there are a lot of apartments around the University of Texas campus. However, I’ve noticed more people in their 20s are moving to North Austin to be closer to the tech companies located there and in Round Rock.

Surprises about Austin

How friendly the people are. In San Francisco, it’s all about getting start-ups funded, schmoozing with investors and techies. Here, it’s all about who you are as a person and what your hobbies are. When I meet new people, they often ask me within the first meeting, “Do you want to hang out?” Friendships here are truly authentic and heartfelt.

The political scene

It’s much more progressive than the rest of Texas. I’ve never heard anyone in Austin get a righteous sense of injustice when they talk about politics. It’s lower key. They’re more exposed to other opinions, so there’s not as much single-minded volatility when they discuss things outside of their personal beliefs.

City guide: Moving to Austin TX - City Limits music

The dating scene

I’ve had a steady partner for several years, but Austin is LGBT-friendly. Overall, the authenticity here makes it easy to find people who are more genuine, so you don’t have to rely on online dating as much.

You’re not a local if …

You drive aggressively. Texans just don’t care about being in a rush. When someone makes a sharp merge in front of me, that’s how I know they’re not originally from Austin.

The commute is pretty horrific

The road layouts weren’t designed for the population that Austin now has, and there’s no real public transit system here. I’ve started leaving for work 90 minutes earlier than I used to so that I can leave work at a time when there’s less traffic to drive me crazy.

Local Perspectives

archetype Antonio Arocha

Founder and CEO of Nuve, Inc., a tech start-up that creates asset management and fraud prevention software for transportation companies

Print Share Toggle other sharing options

Time spent in Austin

City guide: Moving to Austin TX - Antonio ArochaTwelve years. When I was in high school, I visited a friend attending UT Austin, and I loved it. I got into school there, and I’ve been here ever since.

Why Austin

It’s a very laid-back town. I used to describe it as the California of Texas, but I’ve come to realize that is incredibly unique: it’s uncharacteristically Texan with a vibe that embraces all creeds and races. On the downside, its unique charm, high employment rate, and growing tech sector mean more people are moving in and driving the housing market really high.

Best neighborhoods, IMO

The East Side is the new up-and-coming neighborhood. A lot of new houses and apartments are being built around this area (I-35 all the way to Airport Boulevard), which allows many folks to stay close to downtown but not pay the exorbitant property taxes found over on the West Side.

After work to-do list

I go to the Alamo Drafthouse to have drinks while I watch a movie. On a hot summer day, it’s great to swim in cool Barton Springs, and then take an evening walk around the UT Campus or South Congress Avenue.

When the sun sets in the summertime, tons of people gather around the Congress Avenue Bridge to see a million bats that roost there during the daytime, come out from underneath it and head east to go get their dinner. It’s an only-in-Austin event.

City guide: Moving to Austin TX - Bats and bridge

The job scene

Austin is called “Silicon Hills,” so people won’t judge you if you look ridiculous wearing the next funky tech gadget. It’s OK to go to your board meeting in sandals or sneakers. Big companies and start-ups abound, and they’re always hiring. Because Austin has a great entrepreneur initiative, people are highly encouraged to start their own companies — incubators and venture capital firms are all over the place.

The dating scene

Let me put it this way: If you are single in Austin, that’s because you want to be single.