Austin's Year in Review

These are the 10 biggest Austin stories of 2015

These are the 10 biggest Austin stories of 2015

Austin City Limits Festival ACL Fest 2014 Weekend Two Crowd
The Coachella lineup provided a sneak peek at the Austin City Limits Music Fest headliners. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Jumpolin Pinata Store Austin
The demolition of Jumpolin led to a greater conversation of gentrification in East Austin. Jumpolin/Facebook
Front of HGTV 2015 Smart Home
HGTV gave this Smart Home in Zilker to one lucky contest winner. Photo courtesy of HGTV Smart Home
University of Texas at Austin aerial
UT Austin was named the No. 1 school in the U.S.  Photo via Tex.org
Camp Champions Marble Falls cabin Camp Halloweekend Halloween Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow 2015
Alamo Drafthouse launched an epic Halloween-themed sleepaway camp. Photo courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse
City of Round Rock water tower downtown
Round Rock was named the best affordable place to live in the country. James Howard/Wikimedia Commons
Jeff and Mindy Hildebrand at the Camp for All event September 2014
This generous boss gave every one of his employees a $100,000 holiday bonus. Photo by Anthony Rathbun
austin skyline zilker
Austin was deemed one of the unhappiest places to work. Wikimedia Commons
Max's Wine Dive fried chicken with champagne in background
Max's Wine Dive was one of our top lunch spots in downtown Austin. Max's Wine Dive/Facebook
Voodoo Doughnuts_donuts_Portland_sign_2015
Voodoo Doughnuts opened an Austin location on Sixth Street. Voodoo Doughnuts/Facebook
Austin City Limits Festival ACL Fest 2014 Weekend Two Crowd
Jumpolin Pinata Store Austin
Front of HGTV 2015 Smart Home
University of Texas at Austin aerial
Camp Champions Marble Falls cabin Camp Halloweekend Halloween Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow 2015
City of Round Rock water tower downtown
Jeff and Mindy Hildebrand at the Camp for All event September 2014
austin skyline zilker
Max's Wine Dive fried chicken with champagne in background
Voodoo Doughnuts_donuts_Portland_sign_2015

Editor's note: The top stories of 2015 represent the ups and downs of a year in Austin. Here's a look back at the 10 most-read CultureMap stories of the year, from the controversial to the uplifting.

2. Sneak peek at the HGTV Smart Home in Zilker Park. Each year, HGTV builds and furnishes a Smart Home to be given away to a lucky sweepstakes winner. Last year, HGTV gave away a charming, high-tech home in Nashville. This year, it was a 2,300-square-foot house in the Zilker neighborhood.

3. New report ranks University of Texas the No. 1 school in the country. Get your horns up: For its 2016 list of Top Public Universities, Niche ranked UT Austin the best in the U.S. 

4. Alamo Drafthouse launches epic sleepaway camp — for adults only. It's the stuff dreams are made of: Alamo Drafthouse's Rolling Roadshow and Do512 teamed up for Camp Halloweekend, a weekend of film screenings, live music, and camp activities for your inner kid.

5. Affordable Austin suburb named America's No. 1 place to live. Finding the best place to live is often a compromise between affordability and fun — but in Round Rock, you can have it all.

8. Where to eat in Austin: The six best downtown lunch spots. While there are dozens of downtown options, our picks for the workday classics are nice enough to appeal to the food-focused, formal enough to make out-of-towners feel comfortable, and cost-competitive enough to not get your per diem revoked. 

10. World-famous Voodoo Doughnut to open Austin shop. In March, news broke that beloved Portland-based doughnut shop would open on Sixth Street. Now Austinites can get their fill of pastries like the Iconic Voodoo Doll and the Maple Blazer Blunt.