2010: 790,390, #14 in U.S, #4 in Texas

1950: 132,459, #73 in U.S.

2010 Metropolitan Area: 1,716,289, #35 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan Area: 160,980, #110 in U.S.


Austin, on the Colorado River (not the one that goes through the Grand Canyon), was first settled in the 1830s; in 1839 it was chosen as capital of the Republic of Texas. Today, Zilker Metropolitan Park is along the south bank of the river, across from downtown. The University of Texas is just north of downtown.


Tallest building: The Independent, 690 feet (2019)

List of tallest buildings

The domed State Capitol (1888) is 311 feet tall. The University of Texas Tower (307 feet, 1937) has an observation deck.


Austin has no downtown department stores.


Amtrak’s Texas Eagle goes south from Austin to San Antonio (continuing west to Los Angeles) and north to Dallas, St. Louis, and Chicago. Amtrak uses the former Missouri Pacific station (1947).

Capital MetroRail (2010) is a 32-mile commuter rail line that goes north from downtown to the town of Leander.


The Contemporary Austin and the Bullock Texas State History Museum are in the downtown area. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is on the University of Texas campus.

Austin and Colorado River


The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema shows first-run and independent movies in the Ritz Theater (1929). The Paramount Theater (1915), a restored movie house, has concerts and old movies. The State Theater (1935) is adjacent to the Paramount.

The Long Center for the Performing Arts (2008) hosts the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Austin Lyric Opera. The Bass Concert Hall at the University of Texas has concerts and touring Broadway shows.


The Round Rock Express, Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Houston Astros, play at the Dell Diamond (2000) in the northern suburb of Round Rock. The Frank Erwin Center (1977) at the University of Texas has sporting events and concerts.

Map of Downtown Austin

Convention and Visitors Bureau