"Keep Austin Weird." That's what the T-Shirts say. And, let's be honest, they're right.  After all, Austin, Texas is, indisputably, one of the weirdest places in the world. Full of ex-hippies, young tech-workers, and old Texas families, it is a nexus unlike other in the United States, of the old, the new, the borrowed, and the blue.

But, aside from its global reputation, Austin is also home to some of the most interesting and attractive entities West of the Mississippi. In honor of that, we've put together a list of 5 Reasons that Austin is way cooler than you think it is, combining interesting facts about the city with possible venues to visit on your next trip down South.

5. The Weather

This one may seem obvious.  After all, isn't the South supposed to be hot? But what many people don't know is that Austin is almost as sunny as the better known California or Florida. In fact, historically, it has an average of 300 sunny days a year, which means, on any given visit, your chances of favorable weather are 82%. 

There's also an almost unprecedented amount of activity to do outdoors. From visiting the sprawling Zilker Park, to taking a walk through the Lady Bird Gardens, Austin caters to its sunny climate. In fact, in 2011, Walk Score dubbed Austin the 31st most "Walkable City" in America, meaning any trip just won't be complete without a good stroll in the sun. In short, a trip to Austin means a nice tan - guaranteed.

4. The Bats

Yes, that's right. Bats. As it turns out, Austin is home to the largest urban bat population, all 1.5 million of which live under the same Congress Avenue bridge downtown.

 Sound scary? It's not. In fact, the bats constitute one of the biggest tourist attractions in Austin, bringing an estimated 100,000 visitors to the city each year. Rent a boat, bring a picnic, or simply stand out on the bridge itself to watch the bats depart over the Colorado River at dusk, a sight that you're sure to remember for quite some time.

3. The Alamo Drafthouse

How could a movie theater be cool? Anyone who doesn't know clearly hasn't been to Austin's original Alamo Drafthouse Theater.  Founded in 1997, the Drafthouse (which has since become a chain) is best known for the traditional theater-going experience it provides, complete with meal and bar. A movie at the drafthouse isn't just a film, it's an experience - something that will show you what watching movies should feel like.

 But be forewarned, the Drafthouse is also famous for the strict theatrical etiquette it enforces.  If they catch you talking or texting in a film, you'll be asked to leave immediately, a rule that, in its own way, adds to the charm of the venue. 

2. Celebrities

Think you have to go to L.A. to see celebrities? Think again. As it turns out, Austin is home to some of the biggest names in all of music, movies, and TV. 

Led Zeppelin's Robert Plan, for example, owns a house there, as do Billy Bob Thornton and Matthew McConaughey.  Country legend Willie Nelson is also a notable resident, having lived in the city for more years than most people have been alive. Even Oscar-Winner Sandra Bullock makes frequent appearances in the city, maintaining ownership of two local eateries on the hip West 6th Street downtown.

In short, a trip to Austin, then, means more than just good times and good weather - you could just run into someone famous.

1. Live Music

And, the absolute coolest thing about Austin is . . . its live music. Known as the "Live Music Capital" of the World, and famous for its annual entertainment show "South by Southwest" (if you're really cool, you just call it "South By"), Austin has one of the most happening music scenes in the country. From the restaurants and bars, to the over 100 live music venues scattered across the metropolitan area, it's almost impossible to go anywhere in Austin without hearing some great new artist, or an old legend looking to reclaim his former glory. 

Which is why, ultimately, live music is the single thing most representative of Austin's diverse community. Its music scene is just as broad, just as eclectic, and just as "weird" as the city itself, something that local residents will never let you forget, and visitors to the city will remember long after they leave.