In the past few months, you may have been scrolling through Facebook and seen an article ranking Austin, Texas as the #1 place to live in America for the third year in a row. Maybe as a proud fellow Austinite you shared it yourself. #HumbleBrag.

The standings are based on U.S. News & World Report’s analysis of affordability, job prospects, and quality of life in 125 of America’s most populated cities. It’s hard to argue with measures like these. But as an Austin native who has seen a fair amount of change, I’ve decided to do some soul searching. Here are my top 3 reasons why I think Austin has kept its groove.

#1 The people

Austin is a cultural powerhouse. There is something here for everyone. From that new genre-defying band, to opportunities to work on up-and-coming technology, the people here have a way of making things interesting. If you haven’t found whatever it is you’re looking for, this is the perfect place to get it started. Don’t be afraid to keep it weird.

#2 Tradition is alive and well

You’ve heard of the big ones: South by Southwest and Austin City Limits Music Festival. But have you ever strolled through the Pecan Street Festival for the art, food, and music? Seen the bats fly out from under the Congress Bridge? Or, howled at the full moon while swimming in Barton Springs? Sure, Austin is growing, but it hasn’t outgrown some of these staples.

#3 Adventure is always near

Planning your next getaway? Keep it local. Austin is primely located in the Texas Hill Country, providing diverse terrain that you can easily get out and explore. It was just a few years ago that I was wowed by Sculpture Falls, tucked away in the Greenbelt.

Pro tip: Be sure to check out some spots just outside of Austin. Places like Hamilton Pool, Jacob’s Well, and Enchanted Rock are incredible sights. You can easily get in a day of hiking and swimming at any of these favorites and still make it home for dinner.

 

It really seems like there is something special that keeps this city swinging. Even as the skyline gets taller and the traffic gets thicker, Austin will always have its authentic excitement to offer those who live here and those who visit.

 

James Hilton is a junior copywriter at HCB Health. Connect with James on LinkedIn