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Congress Avenue, Austin

(4.1/5 based on 200+ reviews on the web)
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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TripAdvisor
  • There is something for everyone on Congress avenue! No matter what you want to do there is something to please everyone! PIZZA, BURGERS, SHOPPING... you name it, it's there  more »
  • Enjoyed the different restaurants and stores to shop at...fun place to see Austin and experience...parking is a challenge at peak hours  more »
  • If you're in Austin, walking on Congress is a must. A lot of little stores to shop in (support local business!), great places to eat and drink.  more »