Students at St. Edward’s love Austin. It’s often the small, sometimes wacky details that help them feel like they could make this city their home. Here are just a few of the quirks that make the city so great.

As a nature-lover, I was delightfully surprised to learn about Austin’s fascinating use and implementation of green spaces. About a third of the city is covered in trees, which keeps our air clean, provides habitat and shade, and keeps the city looking incredibly beautiful. —Karolyn Newton ’19

The Wild Basin Creative Research Center is the most surprising and fascinating hidden gem of Austin. It’s relatively close to the St. Edward’s University campus and is often the location for natural science students to conduct certain field research or work. But it also doubles as a gorgeous and scenic nature hike where people can come in contact with the different natural Austin wildlife. —​Alexandra Hartin ’20

Students taking a nature hike.

When arriving from Chicago, I immediately sensed the southern hospitality. The positivity and friendliness within the people is contagious. The presence of ease and happiness overwhelms the atmosphere, creating something beautiful. Austin is like no other; the people within are what make this city weird but also beautiful. —​Christian Flores ‘21

Honestly, I was surprised and impressed by the smallest of details I noticed during my time here: Almost everyone uses a water bottle, and they don’t usually use plastic bags for shopping. That kind of conscious sustainability is important to me, and I realize this city is special because they make that same effort everywhere. —​Elizabeth Ucles ’19

This is super nerdy, but I took a guided hike through Blunn Creek by St. Edward’s University, and I learned that the university actually sits on the edge of what used to be a volcano thousands of years ago. It’s just the coolest fun fact I’ve ever learned, especially because it is about the city I’m living in. —​Joanna Ariola ’19

I thought that at first I was going to be overwhelmed with all the people and the busy streets of Austin. Yet, through time, I’ve realized that even in this big city people are closer and things are more tight-knit, giving it a surprising small-town feel. When I’m on SoCo (South Congress Ave.), there are lots of people, especially if it’s the weekend, but everyone is doing their own thing and you don’t get wrapped up in anything. All the local, small business makes it seem like we aren’t in some tourist city. —​Jimmy Martinez ’21

Three students sitting on the grass, talking.

I come from a relatively small town where I often struggle to find certain activities or fun things to do. But Austin is completely different, especially for young people. For me, I especially like hiking Mount Bonnell, playing with dogs in Zilker Park, doing a bat tour, and going for a swim at Barton Springs pool. —​Caitlyn Gonzales ’21

For me, the best thing about Austin is its relationship with St. Edward’s. I like how the school exists as a sort of bubble within the city. St. Edward’s has its own community, but at the same time, there are so many ways to connect with the city and explore. There have been times when I’ve just needed a break from class and homework, and I go hang out at Zilker Park. But when I need a break from the bustle of the city, I can go back to the St. Edward’s campus, which is sort of a safe haven for me. —​Christopher Azaldegui ’19

I’m from Houston, and I loved that I didn’t have to leave Texas to enjoy the hustle and bustle of a city but also didn’t have to sacrifice the outdoors. It’s a big city with everything anyone could ever want, from coffee at Summermoon Café, to comfort food at Moonshine Patio Grille, or even to paddle boarding Lady Bird Lake and hiking the Greenbelt. Austin really is filled with an amazing array of people, activities, and (most adorably) dogs!​ —Brianna Moore ’18

Written and compiled by Laura Irwin ’19, who says her favorite thing in Austin is Mount Bonnell at sunset. “I took my family there exactly as the sun was setting one time, and the sunlight was bouncing off the water and trees in such a beautiful, peaceful way. It is one of the most gorgeous locations in Austin, and it really made me fall in love with the city. I could really see and appreciate the duality of the city: It balances nature and infrastructure in such a natural way. If you aren’t much for hiking, you can get a similarly beautiful view from the rooftop terrace of the new Austin Public Library.”