W hether you’re expecting Austin to be the live music capital of the world, a hipster paradise, a refuge for weirdos, a city full of growing pains, a blue spot in red Texas, or a town taken over by techies, you’ll find confirmation of your assumption. A wonderfully messy conglomeration of students, young professionals, families, and remaining Slackers have woken up this once-sleepy town and given it a multifaceted identity.
Within the city’s 271.8 square mile perimeter, each Austin neighborhood has its own distinct charm -- and more often than not, its own struggle in the face of this city's lightning-fast growth. Hordes of newcomers are moving here every day, but no matter where you travel, you’ll meet seasoned Austinites who are more than willing to tell you all about their part of town: how it used to be, how it’s changed, and why they still adore it. Austin's a big ol' place, so we've focused on the centrally located 'hoods a visitor is most likely to wander into (and stealthily scope out for their next big move).