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Congress Avenue, Austin

Categories: Landmarks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 170+ 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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  • Congress Avenue is the main street in Austin. Traffic is always bad but so much happens in this area. Good dining, walking and other events and entertainment. I do however avoid on Halloween, Biker's ...  read more »
  • If you want to get a real feel for the funky nature of Austin, check out Congress Avenue, especially the south portion. You'll love strolling and sampling one-of-a-kind goods from quirky shops. Check ...  read more »
  • This is the main drag of Austin, very safe and lots of fun and interesting things to do along the way- shops, restaurants, bars, live music. 
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