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Congress Avenue, Austin

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#53 of 178 in Things to do in Austin
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 Austin and goes over Lady Bird Lake leading to the Texas State Capitol in the heart of Downtown.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 passes south out of town.HistoryEdwin Waller, the first mayor of Austin, designed Congress Avenue to be Austin's most prominent street. 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 travellers through the mid-20th century.
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  • When Austin take a drive down Congress Avenue, swing down to see the state capital buildings. Then head over to six street park take a walk! This will give you a nice flavour of Austin Texas.  more »
  • My advice to visit Austin is to start when parking at the level of the Colorado River in one of the Parking up Congress Avenue by the left sidewalk. We're going to Congress visit the Capitol of the State of Texas, and then we go down the avenue to the river. We look at the bats to wake up and then we'll live her night in 6th Street. And without any problems, you will find food and drink in the street with a huge choice.
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  • I recently attended the rescheduled austin pride parade down congress ave to 4th, it was originally scheduled for Sept 18th i believe but was cancelled & postponed due to the threat of hurricane harve...  more »

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Austin bills itself as the "Live Music Capital of the World," so it shouldn't come as a surprise that many of its hotels sell out long before the city's popular festivals. If you wish to stay near downtown's live music scene, look for package deals and book your accommodations well in advance. If downtown clubs and bars aren't your priority, consider hotels located just outside the central part of town, in comfortable areas where you won't need a car to get to most of the city's major cultural sites.
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