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Austin is a city of over 690,000 in the Hill Country region of the American state of Texas. It's the capital of Texas, and also a center of alternative culture away from the major cities on the American coasts. Austin's attitude is commonly emblazoned about town on T-Shirts and bumper stickers that read: "Keep Austin Weird." Austin is also marketed as the "Live Music Capital of the World" due to the large number of venues.
Austin Convention & Visitor's Bureau, 301 Congress Avenue, Ste. 200, +1-866 GO-AUSTIN, . Daily 9AM-6PM.
Pick up an Austin Chronicle newspaper first thing. These are freely available all over town, including the information desk across from baggage claim at the airport. It will be your guide to everything that's going on in Austin from festivals (Spam Festival, Chili Festival, et al.) to music, theater and food; it's all in there. New issues are out every Thursday.
Austin American-Statesman - The major paper; news that everyone else prints.
Austin Chronicle - The alternative weekly; all the news that's fit to print, reflects the true vibe of Austin.
Daily Texan - The student newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin.
The Onion - recently opened print edition office in Austin, already quite popular as a local paper.
Travis Heights - bordered by I-35 to the east, Oltorf Street to the south, Congress Avenue to the west and East Riverside Drive to the north.
UT & The Drag
Hyde Park - bordered by Duval Street to the east, 38th Street to the south, Guadalupe to the west and 45th Street to the north.
Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ICAO: AUS), . 6 miles (10km) southeast of the city center, it is served by most major carriers, with non-stop service to 34 destinations. There are a selection of buses, taxis, shuttles and car rentals to get you into town and back. Chauffeured sedans or limos are also available to pick you up or drop you off at the airport but normally require advance reservations. Taxi fare to downtown Austin is approximately $30.
Austin Amtrak station, 250 North Lamar Blvd., . Served by the Texas Eagle Line with service from Chicago to San Antonio.
Austin is located on several major freeways. From San Antonio, head north on IH-35, about two hours. From Dallas, head south on IH-35, about three hours. From Houston, head west on US-290, about three hours.
Greyhound Bus Line, (station is on IH-35 near Highland Mall), +1 800-231-2222, . Serves Austin daily. Schedules may change. Passengers can catch the number 7 bus to downtown from there.
Map of downtown Austin
Austin is hilly to the west but generally mildly sloping toward the river in the center of town. There are bike lanes on some major streets. Biking is a great way to get around year round and the weather is usually agreeable.
Yellow Bike Project, Phone: 512-457-9880 . Operates two community bike shops where individuals can go and repair their own bikes free of charge. Coordinators are present to answer any questions and guide you, but not to fix your bike for you. At the Main Shop on 51st street there are 10+ work stands and tools sets available for use. The Satellite Shop is better for minor repairs and only has as a few work stands. If you are looking for a cheap bike while in town and are willing to do a little maintenance work, visit The Yellow Bike Project and pick out a bike that needs a little love in exchange for a small donation. If you are interested getting away from touristy attractions on your visit the Yellow Bike shop is a great place to drop in and volunteer a few hours. Their hours change monthly but are up-to-date on their website. If you are lucky you might see one of the name-sake Yellow Bikes around town. If you see a Yellow Bike, feel free to ride it to your destination and leave it for the next person. Yellow Bikes are not to be locked up and you ride at your own risk. The Austin Yellow Bike Project has been operating for ten years and has released over 600 yellow bikes.