Downtown Austin TX As The Center Of Government & Business

In 1830, the history of Downtown in Austin TX began with the Republic of Texas and President Mirabeau B. Lamar. He designated Edwin Waller to plan and construct this new town. 

Downtown Austin TX has a land area of 283 acres.  It has a population of nearly 14,000 and is considered the most walkable neighborhood in the city. Its center is Congress Avenue which runs from south to north of the Capitol Building, south through Downtown. The neighborhood is full of retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and music venues. 

Here are some interesting places and things to do in the Downtown Austin TX neighborhood. 

Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge

The Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge is located at 222 West Ave., Austin TX. It is a shared bridge for pedestrians and cyclists that spans 700 feet over Lady Bird Lake. This new pedestrian-only route provided non-drivers with a safer way to cross the lake. The pedestrian bridge is safer than the packed Lamar bridge’s restricted sidewalks and shallow curbs, which had seen several accidents and tragedies. 

Texas State Capitol

When it was opened in 1888, the Texas State Capitol was the 7th largest building in the world. It is Austin TX seat of government and stands over 302 feet which makes it the sixth-tallest state capitol. Also, it is 14 feet taller than the nation’s Capitol. 

The favorite part for many visitors of this capitol is its central rotunda. It is where they can see the portraits of all the past presidents of the Republic of Texas as well as the governors of the state of Texas. There is a lot to learn and a lot to discover in the Texas State Capitol. 

Museum Of The Weird

The Museum of the Weird is located at 412 E 6th St., Austin TX.  It is one of the world’s last true dime museums that was popular in the 1800s. Visitors can see unusual attractions such as freaks of nature, mummies, shrunken heads, monsters, and Fiji mermaids.  It also presents paranormal subjects like ghosts, UFOs,  and Bigfoot, and is home to the world’s popular Creature in Ice. 

Some of the things in this museum are real, but others were made up to fool the viewers into thinking that they were real. One can view exhibits frequently found in circus side shows, such as a two-headed calf and a bearded lady, in the freak show chamber. 

In addition, there is a film discussing some of P.T. Barnum’s show performers where Tom Thumb was regarded as their most well-known performer.

The museum is tightly packed with exhibits. Depending on your speed and the number of guests, the self-guided tours can last anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour. There is a lot to discover, so you could easily stay longer if you have the time.

Driving Directions

Welcome to this tour by Downtown Austin, Austin, TX, our first stop will be Austin Recreation Center, 1301 Shoal Creek Blvd, Austin, TX 78701, so leaving the central point of our neighborhood near Travis County Criminal Court, you must take Lavaca St to the north, towards Travis County Human Resources and after passing by Fotofix turn left onto W 12th St towards Moonlight Tower, then turn right onto Shoal Creek Blvd and then, after getting to Heath Eiland and Morgan Moss BMX Skate park turn right onto  to find the 1201-1291 Shoal Creek Blvd Parking and the Austin Recreation Center, 1301 Shoal Creek Blvd, Austin, TX 78701 next to it

Our next stop will be Texas Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701, so, leaving the Recreation Center you must take Shoal Creek Blvd to the south and turn left onto W 12th St pass by City Of Austin TNC Card and 4 blocks ahead when you get to the Lavaca/12th bus stop turn left onto Colorado St to find the  Capitol on your right near to the First United Methodist Preschool

Need a map?

Now we are heading to Erwin Events Center, 1701 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701, so take Colorado St to the north and turn left onto W 13th St when you get to THE CLOAK ROOM, then turn right onto Lavaca St and pass by the Lavaca/15th bus station you must turn right onto W 15th St, then after getting to Dell Seton Parking Garage, turn left onto Red River St, to find the Erwin Events in front of the School of Nursing 

Now we are going to Secretary of State, 1019 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, so leaving the Erwin Events Center you must take Red River St to the south and turn right onto E 15thSt, when you get to the 300 15th/San Jacinto Bus Stop turn left on San Jacinto Blvd and 5 blocks ahead, when you get to Treasury Safekeeping turn right onto E 10th St and right again onto Brazos St to find the Secretary of state just after passing by the Messhall Cafe

Here is a map

We can’t miss the Austin Fire Department – Station 1, William Sidney Porter House, 401 E 5th St., Austin, TX 78701, so leaving the Secretary of State you must take Brazos St to the north and turn right onto E 11th St and then right again onto San Jacinto Blvd some blocks ahead after passing by The Westin Austin Downtown and the Courtyard By Marriott Austin Downtown turn left onto E 4th St and left again onto Trinity St to find the Fire Department on your right 

Our next stop will be Frost Bank Tower, 401 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701, so leaving the Fire Department take Trinity St to the north and, when you get to TacoWey turn left onto E 6th St continue for 3 blocks and when you get to CAVA Mediterranean Restaurant turn left onto Congress Ave, then turn again left to find your destination on your right

More info and map here

Now we are going to United States Federal Courthouse, 501 W 5th St STE 1100, Austin, TX 78701, so, leaving the tower, take E 5th St to the east and turn left onto Brazos St and make a left again onto E 6th St passing by Indeed Tower and when you get to Little Woodrow’s West 6th turn left onto Nueces St, make a left again onto W 5th St towards IBC Bank Plaza to find the federal courthouse in front of Wu Chow 

Now we are going to the Austin Central Library, Austin Public Library, 710 W Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701, so, leaving the Federal Courthouse, take W 5th St to the east and after getting to the 5th/Guadalupe bus stop turn right onto Guadalupe St, after 4 blocks, turn right onto W Cesar Chavez St to find the public library just after passing the Shoal Creek on your right.

Always easier with a map

Our final stop will be Hembree Bell Law Firm, PLLC, 4413 Spicewood Springs Rd #121, Austin, TX 78759, so leaving the Public Library, you must take west Ave to the south and turn right onto W Cesar Chavez St towards Odom Pavilion and turn slightly to the right onto MoPac Expy, 5 miles later take the exit to turn left onto Spicewood Springs Rd, passing by Truist Bank and Taco Shack, after passing by Spicewood Professional Offices make a U-turn to find Hembree Bell Law Firm on your right.