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Living in the Austin Area

While Science Park is located just outside the historic town of Smithville, Austin is only a short drive away, making the best of country and city life available. Consistently ranked one of the best cities and places to live in the U.S., the Austin area has it all: music, food, an abundance of outdoor activities, and a wide range of cultural activities to take advantage of. 

Smithville/Bastrop Area

Smithville is a small town that is both charming and welcoming. Located in the Lost Pines region of Central Texas, where 100-foot loblolly pines provide a gorgeous backdrop, Smithville was designated the first “Film Friendly” town in Texas, where Hope Floats, Tree of Life and many other movies have been filmed. Just down the road is the larger town of Bastrop, with apartments, shopping and additional dining options. The Bastrop/Smithville area offers an abundance of outdoor activities including camping, biking, hiking and kayaking, and a wide variety of festivals.

Austin, Texas

Austin consistently sits atop numerous lists of the best cities in the U.S. for jobs, living, families, technology, activities and quality of life. Austin is also known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," with over 200 live music venues and world-class music festivals including South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.


With a vibrant foodie culture and the Whole Foods World Headquarters, Austin offers an endless variety of dining options. Barbeque does abound - for those of you from the coasts, this means meats are cooked for many hours over low heat and then finished with a Texas-style sauce that is less sweet than Memphis style and less tangy than that from the Carolinas. Mexico is our neighbor, so get ready for the Tex-Mex favorites of queso, migas, breakfast tacos and Mexican Martinis. If these options do not talk to your taste buds, do not despair, as various ethnic cuisines are represented by the restaurants in Austin. For more information about dining options, visit:

Austin360 Restaurants Guide
Austin Chronicle Restaurant Guide
Texas Monthly Recipes and Food


While the University of Texas is the biggest game in town, you will find professional football, baseball and hockey teams only a few hours away:
The Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers
The Houston Rockets, Astros, Dash, Dynamos, and Texans
The San Antonio Spurs

Outdoor Activities

If you like outdoor activities, Austin is consistently ranked one of the fittest cites offering biking, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, running and adventure sports virtually year-round.

Small Planet Guide
Move to Austin guide to outdoor activities

Not convinced there is enough for you yet?

Check out Austin Chronicle and Austin360 to see all the upcoming events in town.

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center