Editor's note: As 2017 comes to a close, we take a look back at the 10 biggest stories of the year. Though our top stories range in topic from real estate to high-speed rail, there are certain things that are always of interest to Austinites: the majesty of West Texas, the glory of UT, and, apparently, Guy Fieri.
Whether we're hiking Big Bend, taking a dip in Balmorhea, or soaking up the vibes at El Cosmico, Austinites love West Texas. This travel piece tells visitors exactly how to make the most of your time.
9. Forget Marfa: 5 quirky weekend getaways just an hour from Austin.
And as much as we love Marfa, we hate the long drive. From the quirky and wonderful Rancho Pillow to a guided safari in Johnson City, this story proves you don't have to travel far to have an extraordinary trip.
8. These Austin-made micro-homes take tiny house trend to new heights.
These micro-homes debuted at SXSW with a $139K price tag — and a lot of buzz. Complete with a fridge, walk-in shower, convection oven, washer/dryer, cooktop, and queen-size bed, these tiny homes may be another answer to the city's housing crunch.
7. Trump family sets sights on Austin for brand-new hotel chain.
In February, just a few weeks after protests ignited across the country, the New York Times reported the Trump family was eyeing Austin and other smaller cities for potential hotel sites. Reaction to the story was swift, with nearly 11,000 shares on Facebook alone. In March, Mirabeau, the company potentially partnering with the Trumps on the project, announced it was disassociating itself with the first family.
6. This is the salary you need to buy a house in Austin right now.
It's a million dollars! Just kidding, it's $69,952.75.
5. Exclusive dating app called 'Tinder for elites' launches in Austin.
When news that an "exclusive dating app" with a "VIP list" was launching, there was a collective grown heard round the city. CEO Amanda Bradford countered saying The League’s "heavily scrutinized admissions-based model” is designed to create a selective community of accomplished, diverse, and influential members.
4. Austin declared one of the world's most expensive places to move.
According to Movinga's 2017 Relocation Price Index, Austin is one of the most expensive places to move in the world. (Yes, the entire world.) Based on moving fees, rental rates, and cost of living for the first 30 days, the Capital City comes in at No. 25.
3. University of Texas at Austin claims rightful place as No. 1 school in the state.
This year's U.S. News & World Report named UT the No. 1 school in the state and the 32nd best school in the world. Guess this proves the ol' UT versus A&M rivalry was never a close competition. (Hook 'em.)
2. This high-speed system would get you from Austin to Dallas in just 20 minutes.
In April, a company called Hyperloop One submitted a proposal for a 640-mile, high-speed route linking Austin to other major cities in Texas. If it becomes a reality, it would mean Austinites could travel to Dallas in 20 minutes. (It would also mean never getting on I-35 again.)
1. Guy Fieri films Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in Texas' biggest city.
Yeah, we're as surprised as you are. Not only was this the No. 1 story of the year, it was the top story by a lot. It appears we all love to hate read Guy Fieri. (Or, maybe we all just secretly love to love him.)