The soundscape of Austin, TX

Kayaks on the lake, as seen from above

Millions of locals + tourists visit Austin’s Lady Bird Lake each year. | Photo by @sheislisamarie

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What is ASMR? It stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response — a feeling of well-being caused by a specific stimulus, like a sound.

There are certain sounds you’ll hear around Austin that offer you a sense of place. Whether it’s the fluttering of bat wings or the echoing booms of a construction site, these ambient noises give our city life.

While much of the downtown area is dominated by honks and the hum of city traffic, there are a few sounds that are uniquely Austin. Let’s take a look at some of them, and how they make us feel at home.

The Tesla gigafactory under construction

Tesla’s recently completed Austin Gigafactory is one of many new large developments in Austin. | Photo by @james_island_

🚧 Construction

There’s a running joke that the official bird of the city of Austin isn’t a grackle — it’s a crane. 🏗

In a boomtown like Austin, construction sounds are all too common. From new tech hubs to Austin’s tallest tower, here are some groundbreaking developments being built in ATX this year.

🎶 Live music

Austin has been known as the Live Music Capital of the World for three decades now, due to the fact that it has more live music venues per capita than any other US city. On some nights, as many as 100+ performances take place throughout the 512.

🛶 Water

Lady Bird Lake is one of Austin’s biggest attractions, drawing millions of locals + visitors each year. The sound of waves lapping against the shore or oars dipping into the water are an essential part of Austin’s soundscape.

Fans at a UT football game

Longhorn fans, get ready: The UT football season returns in just two months. | Photo by @swablogguy

🏟 Cheers

From Major League Soccer at Q2 Stadium to a slew of riveting college games, Austin sports fans have plenty to yell about.

🦇 Bats

If you somehow haven’t wandered over to the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset yet, make sure to add it to your summer bucket list. Austin is home to the world’s largest urban colony of bats, and as many as 1.5 million take flight downtown every night during the summer.

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