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Congress Avenue, Austin

Congress Avenue, Austin (must see)

Congress Avenue is a major thoroughfare in Austin, Texas. The street is a six-lane, tree-lined avenue that cuts through the middle of the city from far south and goes over Lady Bird Lake leading to the Texas State Capitol in the heart of Downtown. The avenue was designed by the first mayor of Austin, Edwin Waller.

Early structures along Congress Avenue included government buildings, hotels, saloons, retail stores and restaurants. By the late 1840s "The Avenue" formed a well-established business district. The mid-1870s introduced gaslight illumination and mule-driven streetcars, as well as construction of a new Travis County courthouse at Eleventh Street. The present Texas Capitol at the north end of Congress Avenue was built in 1888. The original dirt street was bricked in 1910. Trolley cars operated on the avenue until 1940.

Before Interstate 35 was completed in the 1960s, Congress Avenue was the primary road to reach Austin from the south. Certain landmarks, such as the Austin Motel, identify the road as a major thoroughfare for travelers through the mid-20th century.

Congress Avenue south of Lady Bird Lake is known as South Congress, often abbreviated to SoCo, and is an increasingly popular shopping and rental district. It passes the historic Travis Heights neighborhood, the Texas School for the Deaf, and St. Edward's University as it extends south out of town.

In recognition of its architectural and historical significance, Congress Avenue from Cesar Chavez Street (formerly First Street) to the Capitol was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The Capitol forms a terminating vista at the north end of Congress; this view became one of the Capitol View Corridors protected under state and local law from obstruction by tall buildings in 1983.

Why You Should Visit:
A must-stroll for visitors and a popular hangout for locals. South Congress oozes homespun character and boasts the story of Austin’s yesteryear in its boutiques, eateries, galleries and music venues.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Austin, Texas within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Congress Avenue on Map

Sight Name: Congress Avenue
Sight Location: Austin, USA
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Austin, Texas

Create Your Own Walk in Austin

Create Your Own Walk in Austin

Creating your own self-guided walk in Austin is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Top Religious Buildings

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Downtown Austin contains many places of worship. Numerous communities from all over the world are responsible for the variety of Austin’s beautiful churches and cathedrals. These magnificent edifices are notable for their wonderful architecture and rich history.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Austin Introduction Walk

Austin Introduction Walk

Being the fourth largest city in the State of Texas and its capital, much as the “Live Music Capital of the World”, Austin surprises visitors with its unique artsy community, lively atmosphere seen in Rainey Street, and a wealth of historic and modern architecture – the Texas State Capitol, Norwood Tower, and the Driskill Hotel to mention but a few. The city inhabitants are very laid-back...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Austin Street Art Walk

Austin Street Art Walk

Austin, Texas may be famed as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but its street art is as vibrant, funky and diverse as its plentiful music venues. Texas’s capital is peppered with dozens of murals, sometimes in the most unexpected places, among which are several truly iconic pieces like the Historic 6th Street, “Hi, How Are You?” and Austintatious, that illustrate the quirky side of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Congress Avenue Walking Tour

Congress Avenue Walking Tour

Congress Avenue is the main street in Austin and historically the first one. Since the city's establishment, the street has evolved, and now bears the mark of Austin’s historical and cultural development from the 19th century to today. From the State Capitol grounds to Lady Bird Lake, modern skyscrapers stand next to the old two- and three story buildings, making for an interesting...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Downtown Historical Houses Walking Tour

Downtown Historical Houses Walking Tour

Northwest downtown Austin boasts an impressive collection of historic residences of notable styles, ranging from classic Victorian to Georgian to Greek Revival. Carefully preserved and restored, these buildings form a major part of the city's cultural heritage. Take this self-guided tour for a quiet, much more peaceful stroll, as compared to that on the crowded Congress Avenue, for example,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Famous Architecture Walking Tour

Famous Architecture Walking Tour

A pleasant walk through the heart of downtown Austin is a good chance to delve into the city's backstory and check out some of the most iconic buildings that have stood the test of time and allow visitors to know that they are, indeed, in Austin, Texas. Follow this self-guided walk to step back and appreciate some of the longest standing landmarks that make up the Austin skyline, including...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles