The vibrant city of Austin has quickly become a hot spot for those seeking year-round warm weather, an energetic atmosphere, delicious food, and more. So if you’ve just moved to Austin and you’re looking to learn more about this fascinating city, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these 10 fun facts about Austin, Texas.
1. Austin didn’t have a professional sports team until 2021
Austin, TX was the largest U.S. city without a professional sports team up until they got Austin FC. They made their debut in the 2021 MLS season.
2. Austin was originally named Waterloo
The name change occurred in 1839 when the area was purchased as the capital of the Republic of Texas. They landed on “Austin” after the “father of Texas,” Stephen F. Austin.
3. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music television program
We’d expect nothing less for the Live Music Capital of the World. Austin City Limits debuted in 1947 and started off with Willie Nelson as its featured performer.
4. Whole Foods was founded here
If you’ve ever bought groceries at Whole Foods or stopped in for their Friday oyster deals, you have Austin, TX and its founders to thank. In 1980, John Mackey and Renne Lawson Hardy opened the first Whole Foods Market with just 19 employees.
5. Austin hosts the United States Grand Prix
While they may not have many professional sports teams, Austin does host the country’s Formula One racing championship.
6. Lady Bird Lake isn’t actually a lake
Technically, it’s a reservoir. Reservoirs are formed by a dam, and Lady Bird Lake is a dammed section of the Colorado River.
7. Austin has a handful of nicknames
Some of the nicknames Austin has been given include Live Music Capital of the World, City of the Violet Crown, and Bat City.
8. You’ll find the country’s largest urban bat colony in Austin, TX
The Ann Richards Congress Bridge is home to over 1.5 million bats between March and October before they migrate. If you want to get a glimpse of them, the best time to catch them is right before sunset.
9. Austin has become well known for its thriving food truck scene
If your ideal way to spend the weekend is trying out delicious food and soaking up the sun, then you’ll be excited to hear that Austin has a handful of food truck parks throughout the city. From breakfast tacos and BBQ to mouth-watering burgers and desserts, there’s something for everyone. There are even vegan food trucks, too.
10. An endangered salamander species calls Austin home
The Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum) can only be found in Barton Springs.