Austin has more charitable organizations per capita than any other large city in the entire Southwest region of the United States. In Austin, civil rights, environmental preservation, and the arts have long been treasured and protected. Even Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler is living up to his promise to end veteran homelessness, something that has plagued the city for quite some time. People in Austin care about their city and those who dwell within it, and make everyone in the world feel welcome to join them.
Part of the reason many residents are so involved in taking care of Austin is because there is so much green space to take care of. The greenbelts provide an oasis on hot days for families, friends, and their dogs to take a dip, have a picnic, and float downstream, as well as hike along the banks. When Zilker Park is not taken over by crowds during Austin City Limits Festival and other large events, it is packed with crowds of soccer players, kite-flyers, hammocks, and hula-hoopers. Keep Austin Beautiful empowers citizens to protect these beloved areas by organizing large cleanups and distributing supplies for residents to pick up trash.
With an abundance of street art, local fashion and jewelry designers, art galleries, and studio walks, Austin is a community that values art and working together. In fact, Austin was ranked the number one place in the U.S. to start a business by CNBC in 2016. Though nearly every chain imaginable is available, Austin runs on small businesses, meaning it’s possible to eat, shop, and explore for months before stopping by a chain store or restaurant. Food, fitness, and clothing brands join forces most weekends with ample flea markets, farmer’s markets, and pop-ups to attend.
Austin has a wide range of live music every night to pick from. The Saxon Pub and Continental Club are spots to catch Austin-famous acts, ACL Live at The Moody Theater and the Paramount Theater are perfect for upscale nights or older crowds who value sitting down, and Antone’s and the Elephant Room feature blues and jazz acts. Younger crowds are often seen checking out Emo’s, Empire Control Room, and Vulcan Gas Company for up-and-coming and established electronic, hip-hop, and rock acts.