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So you want to move to Austin. We’ve heard it a million times before. It seems like everybody and their mom wants to get in on the glory that is our taco-eating, live music-loving, thrift store-shopping, Longhorn-cheering, tech-innovating city. And who could blame them? Certainly not us — but some of the locals will, no matter what. Don’t mind them. You’ll become a grouchy local soon enough, so you might as well enjoy Austin before complaining about how much it has changed becomes your favorite hobby.

To help avoid any unpleasantness that one might encounter coming to Austin from far-flung places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, or even (gasp) Wisconsin, there are a few *things* that you should know. Since it is unofficially our job to make sure people are having fun, finding their way around town, and generally getting the most they can out of the awesomeness that is Austin, we took it upon ourselves to get you ready for life in America’s greatest city.

Yes, we said it and we meant it. But before you can be considered ready for the experience that is Austin, make sure you’re set on these 10 lil’ things…

10.) Austin is really a college town

We have grown into a small city, so you get a few high rises for about 10 miles radius of the city center but that is it. If you want a really big city you’ll be disappointed. But don’t be too hurt there is still plenty to explore its just not over as large an area as other cities of its, for lack of better expression, fame level.=

9.) It GETS *really* hot in the summer


In 2011, a record was set for most consecutive 100 degree or more days (around 80 straight days). If you’ve never experienced that kind of prolonged heat, don’t leave home unprepared. Wear loose, breathable fabrics, try to keep out of the sun, and for God’s sake, bring a bottle of water or three whenever you go out. Also: Sunscreen. Lots and lots of sunscreen.

8.) Live music is huge in Austin

It’s not called the capital of live music for no reason; so expect to find someone playing a show or out on the streets performing just about every night of the year. Of course, SXSW is a festival that happens to happen once an year in Austin. But do not have the expectation that this festival is what Austin is like. Austin is much sleepier the rest of the year and even during southby, you may notice that stuff pretty much closes down at 2 a.m.

7.) The Cost of living Downtown Is Absurd

Housing can get just as crazy in terms of price as the bay area or new york if you want to live downtown. if you can deal with a commute though, it can be cheap, but only if you are willing to sacrifice time in a car every day.

6.) Traffic here isn’t THAT bad

People who complain about it have probably never driven in LA or Atlanta. if you are from Atlanta, LA or any other notorious traffic capitals, you won’t even notice it unless it’s game day or one of the larger music festivals is happening. But if you’re used to solely using public transportation to get around or you’re from a small town, then you may have a bad time.

Hit ‘next’ to see the rest.



Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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