The city of Austin has a rich culture and history, but how much do you really know about the place you live? Whether you just moved to a new apartment here or have called Austin home for years, you're sure to find these 13 unique facts intriguing.
1. The City Hasn't Always Been Called Austin.
The city was originally named Waterloo, but the name was changed to honor Stephen F. Austin, one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Texas.
2. Robert Plant, the Frontman of Led Zeppelin, Lives Here.
Other celebrity residents and frequent visitors include Ryan Gosling, Willie Nelson, Elijah Wood, and Sandra Bullock.
3. Austin was a Pioneer in the Food Truck Scene.
In the 1990s, South Lamar Street was home to several family-owned taco trucks. Now the food truck scene is sweeping the nation, and it all started in Austin.
4. It's a Favorite City for Pun Makers.
The O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships take place in Austin each year. This is exactly what it sounds like: participants recite stories filled with puns, and best one is declared the winner.
5. Austin Doesn’t Have a Professional Sports Team.
In fact, it's the most populated city in the United States that doesn’t have one. Thankfully, there are lots of University of Texas fans to keep the sports scene alive.
6. Whole Foods was Founded Here.
The company, originally named SaferWay, was started by two college dropouts who lived inside their store until they could afford to pay rent on a separate apartment.
7. Austin is Dog-friendly.
In fact, many consider it to be the most dog-friendly city in the nation with a total of 12 off-leash parks—not including the ones at Springs at Round Rock and Springs at Lakeline. Many restaurants and hotels also welcome furry companions.
8. The city is home to a lot of dedicated readers.
No U.S. city sells more books per year than Austin, Texas.
9. The Texas State Capitol Building is Taller than the U.S. Capitol.
It's the second-tallest state capitol in the nation; only Louisiana's is taller. The U.S. Capitol is bigger in terms of square footage, however.
10. Live Music is Huge.
Austin has been called the Live Music Capital of the World, and for good reason. There are more than 100 live music venues in the city, featuring every genre from country to hip hop.
11. Austin is Home to a Formula One Race Track.
This is pretty significant, since Circuit of the Americas is the only Formula One track in the entire nation. Most racing in the US is NASCAR, not Formula One.
12. Darrell K. Royal Stadium is the Ninth Largest Stadium in the world.
It holds more than 100,000 University of Texas fans.
13. A Pile of Junk is a Local Landmark.
Called The Cathedral of Junk, this oddity on the south side of Austin consists of assorted trash the owner has been collecting since 1988.
Do you know any other strange or unusual facts about Austin? Share them in the comments below!