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picture of barton springs


Chartered in 1839 as the capital of the Republic of Texas, Austin became the state capital when Texas was admitted to the Union in 1846 as the twenty-eighth state. Austin is now the fourth largest city in the state and the sixteenth most populous city in the nation.

Located in the Central Texas Hill Country, Austin is approximately 230 miles from Mexico and less than 200 miles from 3 of the 10 largest U.S. cities (192 miles from Dallas to its north, 79 miles from San Antonio to its south, and 162 miles from Houston to its southeast).

Nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, the city of Austin has the rich diversity of a large city and the friendly charm of a small town. A temperate climate, 28 miles of urban hike-and-bike trails and more than 11,000 acres of parkland encourage outdoor activities and a relaxed, casual lifestyle. Austin has political and intellectual stature as the seat of Texas government and the home of a world class university. During the last decade, the city's advanced technology research and development sector has blossomed into a billion-dollar market. Populated in part by UT- Austin alumni who fell in love with the city's unique beauty and character, Austin has one of the most highly educated populations in the nation. 

The Colorado River forms Lake Austin and Town Lake as it flows through downtown Austin. Upstream, dams create five large lakes where sailors, skiers, campers, swimmers, and sunbathers enjoy Austin's temperate climate from March through October. Not far from downtown Austin, the Barton Springs swimming pool is formed by a natural spring gushing 27 million gallons of water a day into a limestone bed. The Hill Country winds south and west from Austin laced with sparkling rivers and breathtaking vistas, a welcome respite to weary urbanites --- and exhausted graduate students.

Austin supports both traditional and avant garde theater, dance and opera, and the Austin Symphony plays a full concert season from September to May. Austin's legendary live music scene is where many popular rock and roll, blues, jazz, and country and western singers got their start. Austin is also home to Austin City Limits and the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival held at Zilker Park at the end of the summer.

Fortune magazine describes Austin's business climate as one of the nation's best. Its high technology sector includes more than 400 companies. Many of these companies, such as Dell Computer Corporation, are nationally recognized Austin-based businesses.

Mountains, deserts, hills, lakes, beaches, vast high plains, and bustling cities comprise the landscape of the nation's second largest state. In central Texas, Austin sits within a 250-mile radius of the Texas Gulf Coast, the Mexican border and the cities of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. One of Texas's most stunning sights is Big Bend National Park in west Texas where 8,000-ft. mountains rise dramatically from the floor of the Chihuahua Desert. In the Davis Mountain range, UT-Austin's McDonald Observatory, with one of the world's largest telescopes, perches on a mountaintop.


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