Austin, Texas, the seat of Travis County and the state capital. It lies on the Colorado River in south-central Texas, at the southern end of the Highland Lakes (formed by dams on the river). Two of the lakes, Lake Austin and Town Lake, are within the city. Government and related state activities are the mainstays of Austin's economy. Scientific research and manufacturing, especially of electronic equipment, are also significant. Austin is the site of the main campus of the University of Texas and of several smaller schools. Austin is served by railway, Interstate 35, and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Among the city's noted sights is the pink granite state capitol, completed in 1888 and patterned after the national capitol. What is now the O. Henry Museum was the short-story writer's home while he lived in Austin. In the University of Texas Memorial Museum are exhibits on natural science and state history. Also on campus are the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, containing papers and memorabilia of the 36th President, and the Performing Arts Center, home to the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Lyric Opera.
Austin has many beautiful parks and gardens. Located 40 miles (64 km) west of Austin, near Johnson City, is the LBJ Ranch, home of President Johnson and a national historic site.
The settlement of Waterloo, which had been established in 1835, was chosen as the site for the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1839. It became the capital in 1840 and was renamed Austin, after Texas pioneer Stephen F. Austin. Attacks by Indians and Mexicans forced the government to move to Houston temporarily (1842-44). When Texas became a state in 1845, Austin again became the capital.
The city has the council-manager form of government.