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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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  • October 3, 2017
    Congress Avenue has a great view of the Capitol, and of course the bats. There are a few dining choices that are attractive. The main attraction is Congress serving as the hub for other attractions.  more »
  • October 2, 2017
    The best time to see Congress Avenure is after 5pm. At dark the clouds of free tail bats fly out and head out to eat the moths over the rural fields. While you are here, go see the stream flowing thro...  more »
  • October 2, 2017
    skip the star bucks and go to the hideout coffee lounge across the street. this iconic street it a little better shopping on the soco part of the street which is about 1-2 miles south... but from 1st-...  more »

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