Mighty Austin, Texas, is a critical city in the Southwest founded with ambition right from the start.
Austin is situated among the rolling hills near the banks of the Colorado River that were traditionally home to the Comanche and Tonkawa people. Spanish explorers established a mission there in the early 1800s. But things got going In the early 1830s when English-speaking settlers arrived to explore and farm the frontier. They called their new town Waterloo.
In 1839 Waterloo was selected to become the capital of the Republic of Texas and re-named Austin after entrepreneur Stephen F. Austin, who had led the first influx of settlers to the region. He is known to this day as the father of the republic or the “Father of Texas.” When the United States finally annexed Texas in 1845, Austin remained capital.
Early expansion of the area was swift and energetic. Much of the town’s development and its state capital buildings were spurred by land expropriation from the XIT Ranch, a vast cattle operation in the Texas Panhandle. The railroad arriving mid-century also laid the groundwork for Austin’s astonishing growth. And in 1893, the construction of the Great Granite Dam on the Colorado River resulted in manufacturers flocking to the area for its abundant electricity and other resources. Yet, the establishment of the University of Texas at Austin indeed secured Austin’s position as a Texas hub for education and innovation – the institution held its first classes in 1883.
These critical chapters in the history of Austin ensured the city it’s unique positioning as a progressive region with a vital role in the tech booms of the 20th and 21st centuries and a cultural powerhouse in the Southwest and nationally.
Music Culture in Austin
The town has special meaning to the music industry, with festivals like Austin City Limits and South X SouthWest showcasing new country and rock talents alongside Texas musical heroes such as Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughn. And its continuing reputation as a tech innovation and cultural hub attracts iconoclasts and visionaries from all over the world. After all, the unofficial town motto is “Keep Austin Weird.” Click here to see things you can do in Austin, Texas.
Anyone lucky enough to visit Austin and its illuminating Austin History Center will discover a booming and creative city that looks forward yet still cherishes a colorful past.
Six Hour Drive to Monterrey, Mexico
Another nice feature to Mexico is its distance to the border. Just six hours south on the 35, pick up the 85 in Mexico and after a few Blinks, you’re there. A beautiful city within one of the most appealing countries in the world. Just make sure one thing, if you drive your Audi or Tesla, make sure to get good Mexican car insurance, not that cheap stuff at the border.