Situated on the banks of the Colorado River, Austin traces its origins back to nomadic tribes of Tonkawa, Comanche, and Lipan Apache Indians that once frequented the area. It was not until the 1830s when the first permanent settlement in the region was established and named Waterloo. The city, renamed Austin, was later selected to be capital of the Republic of Texas. When it nearly lost this status to Washington-on-the-Brazos, proud Austinites defended the national archives stored in the city by force and the switch was never made.
Today, Austin remains the capital of Texas, and its residents continue to be just as proud of their home's political and historical prominence. Marking the city skyline, the Renaissance Revival-style Texas State Capitol is one of the nation's most distinguished such buildings. Here, visitors can take a free tour of the magnificent structure, or simply explore the capitol grounds where 17 monuments honor prominent Austin figures. The Bullock Texas State History Museum expertly encapsulates the story of Texas with three floors of exhibits and two theaters. Catch a glimpse into the lives of early Texas settlers and soldiers, and end the trip with a look at how Texas' key cities link the great state together.
Though residents of this Southern city certainly have strong ties to the region, Austin's population of more than 900,000 people is a diverse blend of cultural groups. With a global population hailing from Europe, Africa, Mexico, and Asia, the city proudly celebrates its diversity in its unique neighborhoods and cultural attractions. The city's Blanton Museum of Art is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Latin American art in the country. Over 1,800 pieces in the collection represent over 600 artists from Mexico, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.
Austin is also home to George Washington Carver Museum, which has played a key role in the collection, preservation, and exhibition of African American historical and cultural material. Austin's Asian influence shines in event sites such as the wildly popular Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden, which features a Japanese teahouse, koi ponds, and the famous "Bridge To Walk Over the Moon."
Though varied, Austin's culture is by no means disconnected. In fact, it is the celebration of uniqueness that defines the city. And whether with the Carnaval Brasileiro, Juneteenth, or the popular Austin City Limits Music Festival, celebrate it does. As the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin's more than 250 locations to see live music keep the party going long after the official events have ended. Jazz, blues, hip hop, metal, and more meet at popular music neighborhoods such as the Red River District, Rainey Street, South Congress Avenue, and Sixth Street. On the famous and historic Sixth Street, guests can enjoy fresh Mexican delights and smooth margaritas at Iron Cactus, then head to The Parish to enjoy the tunes. Whether guests are partying the night away or spending an afternoon taking in history and culture, they are sure to love this city.