The Austin area continues to be regarded by most as the best choice in Texas, with a balance of a strong economy, good education, attractive housing, a relatively pleasant climate, and Zilker Park home to picnic facilities, bike/canoe rentals, a disc golf course, a large playground for children and swimming. Within Zilker Park's 358 acres lies one of the crown jewels of Austin - Barton Springs Pool. The pool itself measures three acres in size and is fed from a set of four natural underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees, ideal for year-round swimming. The park is also the host to great events like the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Austin Kite Festival.
Other highlights include the University of Texas, and a large high-tech industry, including Dell, Inc. in Round Rock, 20 miles north of Austin. The 50,000-student university is located on a large campus north of downtown. The walkable downtown preserves a small-town Texas feel and is packed with nightclubs and music venues, including the famous “Drag” and the Warehouse District. Music is mostly rock ’n’ roll, “hard” country, and blues. The city's official slogan promotes Austin as "The Live Music Capital of the World", a reference to the city's many musicians and live music venues and festivals.
Since 1987 Austin remains the site for South by Southwest, an annual conglomeration of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March.
Austin is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long. Since the late 19th century, Austin has also been known as the "City of the Violet Crown", because of the colorful glow of light across the hills after sunset.
Flights to and from the Greater Austin metropolitan area are serviced by Austin–Bergstrom International Airport or ABIA about 5 miles southeast of Downtown Austin.