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Austin Question-seeking advice

Hey Austin area friends! 

we are looking at possibly moving to the area this upcoming September from Minneapolis, MN. We have been looking at Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Any advice, why you love that area, reasons to avoid, best outdoor accessibility, and any other things that seem important to know moving to Texas! Thanks in advance!

2 Replies

Hi @Steph_Keen_ - Austin is such an incredible city for easy access to the outdoors! I saw your other post asking about Austin, San Antonio and Houston over on the San Antonio board and shared some suggestions with you over there. 

Whether or not you end up living in Austin, along with visiting many of the nearby parks, I also strongly suggest going to the new downtown public library and watching the bats fly off from the Congress Bridge. They're both quite impressive experiences in their own right.

Best of luck with your search!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi Steph,

I think I should answer this one as I grew up in the St. Paul/ Minneapolis area & have been living in the Austin area for the last two years!

Austin is a great city that loves the outdoor lifestyle. 

Although you will not find the lakes we have in MN here in TX, Austin is surprisingly green and has a lot of water features to offer! You have the CO River that runs right through downtown Austin - Town Lake. You can go paddling, canoeing, kayaking, and participate in other manual water sports with a beautiful skyline view, but still close enough to nature/wild life to feel you're outdoors.

Then you have two other areas of the CO River sectioned off for motor boating activities - Lake Austin & Lake Travis. Both are beautiful & on those two "lakes" ( 😉 ) there is "on the water living", which you'll feel right at home with MN. Here you can actually buy a piece of property on the lake and have that same lifestyle you would in MN. 

All along the river you'll find hiking, natural springs, a botanical garden, Zilker Park, and other really nice outdoor activities the whole city loves to take advantage of.

Even out in Pflugerville, TX where I live now (the NE suburb next to Austin), we have a lake where you can wind surf, fish, go out boating, and they even have a sandy beach area to go swimming. Except for a few missing trees, feels just like a neighborhood lake in MN! 


San Antonio also has a beautiful hill country north of the city & has sections that are surprisingly green and beautiful. If you love the countryside with no lakes - maybe San Antonio is for you! If you prefer to be near the water, I absolutely recommend the Austin area/ Lake Travis.

Houston is a very large city with terrible traffic and not a lot of outdoor lifestyle options. However, you will find much more to do on the metropolitan side - so, it's all a matter of what you're looking for.

Hope this helps and feel free to respond with any follow-up q's. 
I will share all I know!