A stretch of South Congress Avenue just south of Lady Bird Lake transformed from a sketchy streetscape to an über-trendy destination during the 1990s, when it was revitalised with cafés, galleries and boutique clothing shops. Locals and tourists stroll the wide pavement to eat at top-notch eateries like Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, Home Slice Pizza, Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Guero’s Taco Bar. The soul of South Congress is the Continental Club, a venerable live music venue that specialises in roots rock, bluegrass, rockabilly and country. Pro tip: The Continental Club’s celebrity sightings and happy hours are legendary.
The magnificent Texas State Capitol is nothing short of stunning. The Renaissance Revival-style edifice, with its captivating exterior of ‘sunset red’ granite, presides over the city and state with a dignified grace. The Capitol, which opened in 1888, truly represents Texas, from its extra-large legislative chambers to the tip of its dome—deliberately designed 4.5 metres taller than the U.S. Capitol. Visitors should note the attention to architectural detail, including intricate woodwork and an overarching theme of Lone Stars on flooring, staircases and chandeliers. Enormous oak trees tower above the lush grounds, which overlook bustling Congress Avenue from atop Texas’ version of Capitol Hill.