January 7, 2009

5 Reasons Why I’m Moving To Austin

As I mentioned yesterday, today’s post is devoted to the 5 reasons why I have decided to move to Austin. I loved the city and wanted to point out some of my favorite things I saw while I was there for my 3 day stay.

1. The Live Music

People are not lying when they say Austin is the live music capital of the world. I was amazed at how many different places feature live music, even on the weekdays! There are a ton of music venues to go to shows at as well as the bars. A majority of the bars on 6th street all had a live band, especially on Thursday and Friday night.

It was awesome to catch a few bands while we were there, as Phoenix does not have much for live music. I really look forward to going back to catch some more live shows.

2. The People Are Friendly

I have been to a lot of place over the last few years. Out of all of the cities I have visited, I can honestly say I have never met a more friendly crowd. Everyone was polite and eager to help. At one restaurant, the waitress even talked to my girlfriend and I about apartments. She made some recommendations on which apartment services to use. She even went as far as walking outside and grabbing some of the classifieds from the nearest street corner. That was easily the best service I have ever received.

3. The Ability To Ride My Bike

The main reason I have decided to move to Austin is because I can ride my bike around town. Ever since I sold my car, I have been wanting to get back into cycling. In Honolulu, I literally rode my bike everywhere for 6 months and did not miss driving at all.

Phoenix is much too spread out for riding my bike, especially since the entire city is more than 70 miles across. Not to mention I am deadly afraid of Phoenix drivers running me over. I was really amazed at how many people had bikes in Austin. We stopped at Whole Foods and the bike racks were litteraly full of awesome bikes.

4. The Cost Of Living

The overall cost of living seems to be perfect in Austin. Rent is a tad cheaper than what I pay here in Phoenix. But I can also live much closer to downtown for the money than I can here. Besides rent, drinks and food were the main things I noticed. I don’t think I paid more than 4 bucks for a drink during the entire stay in Austin. I was amazed that a ton of bars had 2 dollar U-Call-Its on Friday night and did not have a cover. Even on New Years, I was amazed that my girlfriend and I had 4 Vodka Redbulls and a few rum and Cokes for less than $35. Awesome!

5. The Downtown Area

My favorite thing about cities, is the downtown living. Honolulu had a pretty big downtown that was full of high-rise buildings. I loved that I could live on the 20th floor of a building and walk everywhere. There were coffee shops on the same block as me and tons of places to go at night. Ever since moving to Phoenix, I have missed the downtown lifestyle. Phoenix has one of the smallest and least happening downtown areas I have yet to see in a city.

Austin however, had an awesome downtown. 6th street alone had more than 50 bars within a few blocks. It reminded me of Mill Avenue, only much larger. It’s a lot like State Street in Madison, Wisconsin. And the cool thing is, all the bars have a different feel inside them. Some were country style bars while others were lounges.

I really liked the fact that downtown Austin had so much going on. There were tons of people around and there were plenty of the things to do.

Other Reasons

There were many other reasons besides the ones on this list. The weather was amazing. It was 76 and sunny while I was there and I liked the fact there was grass and trees everywhere. Much different than the desert. Another cool thing was the recreational trails everywhere. You can ride your bike on them as well as jog. They even had a paved track where you can rollerblade!

So if everything works out, I plan to head there at the end of May or beginning of June. Hopefully nothing comes up that prevents me from moving.

20 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why I’m Moving To Austin

  1. Lacy LaBorde

    Hi Justin! I ran across your blog the other day and just wanted to say Welcome to Austin!!!

    Before you get here, you’re gonna need to study! I promise, it’ll be fun. Just go to http://www.downtownaustintv.org and watch segments of our show, “DOWNTOWN.” You’ll learn about the things that make Austin the fun, unique place that it is – from the Congress Avenue Bridge bat colony to the Alamo Drafthouse!!

    We’ll see you when you get here!!
    Lacy LaBorde

  2. LisaNewton

    Austin sounds great, and being a new bike owner, the bike riding is definitely a plus. I do feel some of that here in LA, but I still use the car to get to places further away.

    I’m envious of the cost of living. LA is way to expensive.

    I look forward to seeing your move in progress.

  3. MLDina

    I’ll be making my first trip to Austin in March for SXSW. Sounds like it will be a lot of fun from your blog post. I lived in Phoenix for about 6 months and I agree- there’s not nearly as much activity there as there is in other cities. Good luck with your move!

  4. Mike

    Dear Justin… Please do not move to Austin. Pick somewhere else. Austin was way cooler when it was a little college town. You know? Before all the unhip masses decided that it was the hip place to be and turned that beautiful Texas hillcountry into miles and miles of stucco. So… with all due respect… please move somewhere else.

  5. Trevor@Airsoft Rifles

    I didn’t know Austin was such a great place to live. I always imagined it as dry and desolate, but then again that’s how I imagine all of Texas. However, of course that is not true, and your post even makes me want to move there.

  6. Master Dayton

    Austin is a sweet town. I lived there for just under two years before moving on due to job issues/constraints. The greenbelt trails are absolutely outstanding, and I think you’ll really dig the city. I’m not even a huge city person, but it was almost impossible not to fall in love with Austin. If you’re ever traveling in South Austin, look for the Cypress Grill. That was my favorite personal hang out. Hope the move goes smoothly.



  7. dathnexus

    As a recent transplant to Phoenix from San Diego (school), I can definitely agree with everything you say about Phoenix. I really hate this place. If the air was cleaner, the people didn’t drive and act like idiots, and there was more to do…I suppose it might be better. Though, I’d be afraid to live in Texas too. I hear Austin is great but lots of crazy legal tests and decisions coming out of those court houses in Texas.

  8. bobbi

    Did you make it to Austin? I live in South Texas and I am moving in June to Austin, any suggestions? I am originally from San Francisco and have been in Texas for a little over a year. I want to be able to walk to local restrauants, bars and grocery stores… My dog, I have a maltese and I would love to be able to walk her downtown and to run errands like I did in SF.

    1. Justin Wright Post author

      Hey Bobbi, yep I made it to Austin but have since left. I lived there for 6 months and loved it. It’s a great city and by far one of my favorites. Only reason I left is because I wanted to check out some new cities and missed the ocean.

      As far as recommendations go, downtown is really easy to walk / bike around. There’s an awesome dog park near Congress Avenue where the dogs can swim in the river. There’s a Whole Foods downtown if you like walking to the grocery store. South Congress is a great place to live by since there is a lot of cool shops, bars, and events happening all the time in that area.

      Bouldin Creek and Travis Heights are two great neighborhoods within walking distance of downtown. You can also find apartments downtown but they tend be pretty expensive. Hope that helps!

  9. meanrachel

    Hey Bobbi! Check out the Clarksville area, which many people say reminds them of San Francisco (read: hilly) and is within walking distance of downtown and all the cool things Austin has to offer.
    Then start reading my blog about Austin politics, and you’ll be set. 😉


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