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Austin, TX (Population: 718,912)

Austin is the fourth largest city in Texas, is the capital of the state, and Travis County seat with a population of 718,912 as of 2006 . Known as a cultural and economic center, Austin was named the second best big city in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine. Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes, including Comanches and Apaches. The first permanent settlement, called Waterloo was established in 1835 and became Austin in 1839. Residents of Austin include university professors, students, musicians, state employees, high-tech and blue-collar workers, lobbyists, politicians and are known as "Austinites." The city has also earned the nickname of Silicon Hills denoting the presence of many major technology companies. To preserve smaller, eclectic and progressive independent businesses, the unofficial slogan of the city is, "Keep Austin Weird." Despite multi-national corporate competition, small businesses in Austin enjoy a lively existence.

Austin's "official" slogan is "The Live Music Capital of the World" because of its active and popular live music scene, with more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city. Numerous venues are located on 6th Street, and an annual film/music/multimedia festival known as South by Southwest fuels its popularity by residents and visitors alike. The most popular and widely recognized concert music program on American television is Austin City Limits. An annual music and art festival held at Zilker Park in Austin, Eeyore's Birthday Party, the Bob Marley Festival and Carnival in February are just some of the events that residents and visitors enjoy each year. Austin is also home to four major league sports teams, representing the four major professional sports of hockey, football, basketball and baseball.

Other attractions in Austin include the Blanton Museum of Art, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Sixth Street is a musical hub for the city and the site of annual festivals like the Pecan Street Festival. A popular tourist attraction is the observation of Austin's Mexican free-tailed bats as they emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset.