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Old 04-11-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
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Anyone want to tell me about the Austin, Texas area

My DH will be working for National Instruments after he graduates in July. So we will be moving to the Austin area in early August. Can anyone tell me what neighborhoods are family friendly and if there are any areas that are recommended to avoid?

We are a homeschooling family with three energetic boys, and would love to be able to find a house to rent instead of living in an apartment. Though we could deal with a ground level apartment, or a townhouse if we needed to.

We would also love to hear about what people do for fun there. I have already looked into the zoo in Austin. It seems a bit expensive to me when compared to the one down in San Antonio. Is the one in Austin really worth the higher entrance price?

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Old 04-15-2012, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone want to tell me about the Austin, Texas area

The Austin zoo is really ... different. I don't remember the price being that high, but I haven' been to SA zoo - The one here in Houston is like $14 per adult, and I remember paying $8 per adult to get into the Austin zoo. That was last year. It feels way out in the country, a bit of a drive down windy roads, I got lost on my way there - but it's kind of cool because the setting is pretty natural. In Houston the zoo is smack dab in the middle of the hospital district, which is weird, as you have life flight helicopters flying low overhead while you're watching the giraffes eat. In Austin there isn't such a stark contrast between the zoo atmosphere and the surrounding landscape.

My inlaws live in the Cedar Park area, just northwest of Austin. It seems really family friendly, lots to do. Unfortunately I can't tell you much about Austin proper. Good luck in your transition!
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone want to tell me about the Austin, Texas area

Thank you for the info.

I went back and compared and I guess it is not that general admission is that much more, it is the yearly membership. We usually just buy yearly memberships to zoos. With the one in Austin it is $100 for a family of four and then $30 a year for each additional person. So $130 for our family. Both San Antonio, our local zoo here in Idaho and the zoo that we use to belong to in Portland, Oregon were all under $100 per year to be members and no limit on the number of children you could have.


Cedar park is one of the places that I have been looking at rentals online. So it is good to know that it is family friendly.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:51 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone want to tell me about the Austin, Texas area

The Austin zoo is really a rescue facility! It's nice for what it is, but doesn't compare to a zoo-zoo. There really aren't any bad parts of Austin... It's all about perspective.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone want to tell me about the Austin, Texas area

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The Austin zoo is really a rescue facility! It's nice for what it is, but doesn't compare to a zoo-zoo. There really aren't any bad parts of Austin... It's all about perspective.
Thank you.
I always get sort of aprehensive when moving to a large city if there is going to be a bad side of town. Several years ago when my dad was stationed with the military near fort worth we were shown a big map of the area. The guy showing it to us put his hand down on I think the Northwest corner and told us everywere else is a great place to live, but what my hand is covering you don't even want to go near.
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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If he'll be working at NI, check out Wells Branch. It's super affordable compared to central Austin, lots of families, amazing park, library, etc. It was too far for my husband's commute downtown, but it wouldn't be bad to get to the NI campus.

Also look at Gracywoods/Quail Hollow. We live in Crestview, tons of families here and still really close to downtown activities.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:40 AM   #7
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I'm guessing by know that you already have picked a place but I live in Cedar Park and is a wonderful family friendly area that is still expanding and improving. There are lots of parks nearby. There is a big one called the Elizabeth Milburn Park with a pool and kids play area. I live in Cedar Park and love it. I'm really please with starting my Family in this area. I think we will be here for a long time.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone want to tell me about the Austin, Texas area

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I'm guessing by know that you already have picked a place but I live in Cedar Park and is a wonderful family friendly area that is still expanding and improving. There are lots of parks nearby. There is a big one called the Elizabeth Milburn Park with a pool and kids play area. I live in Cedar Park and love it. I'm really please with starting my Family in this area. I think we will be here for a long time.
Thank you. Cedar park area is where I have found a lot of nice places online.

We have not yet chose a place. My DH is still in school right now and we will not have time to fly down and look around till after he graduates. It will really be a crazy month. He graduates the 20th of July and starts work on the 20 of August. So in that time we have to fly down and find a place to live, get movers aranged to move us. Pack up our kids and drive down, and try to keep my sanity during all this. Thankfully NI is paying to fly us down to house hunt, so that does not have to come out of our pockets. They also cover the cost of the movers.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:18 PM   #9
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I'm wondering about it as well. The husband & I have been considering moving there (from the dfw area) but neither of have a job lined up as of now. He has 8 years military experience & almost a year in the oil field. We would like to buy a house in one of the surrounding cities/towns but that would mean buying one, me & DS moving there, and DH joining us later. So we've been looking at renting but we need a single family home for a decent rent that allows dogs.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone want to tell me about the Austin, Texas area

I have family that lives in the Lakeway/Bee Cave area. A lot of it is a newer area, beautiful, kid friendly, easy to navigate around (I knew my way around to all necessary areas within two days while on vacation). I would move there in a heartbeat. (I live in Illinois and the only reason I wouldn't move now is because my parents and in laws live here and I want my kids to grow up close to their grandparents). Good thing you homeschool, though, because all the good schools there are private and boy are they expensive, like 10k a year for grade school...

Hope this helps!!!
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