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4 Historical Places to Visit in Austin

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the southwest, Austin is famous for its thriving music scene and mouthwatering BBQ. The city also has a rich history to explore. If the rich culture and allure have you browsing Austin real estate, the area is ranked as one of the best places to live in the country. There will be no limit to all of the beautiful, historical sites you can visit.

These places, in particular, are the top spots for history buffs to experience in the Texas capital.

Tour the Texas State Capitol

Listed on the National Register of Historic places, the Texas State Capitol building sits on a hill, enjoying an elevated position that provides a great view of downtown Austin. Visitors can take guided and self-guided tours of this 19th-century building with its architecture considered some of the most impressive in the country. Opened in 1888, it even overshadows the U.S. Capitol building, standing taller by 14 feet and made of pink granite. The building still looks like it did almost 130 years ago, including its chamber of the Hall of Representatives, 218-foot rotunda, and governors’ receiving room.

Explore the Governor’s Mansion

The governor’s mansion was first built in 1856, as the official residence for Texas State Governors ever since. It’s the oldest one of its kind west of the Mississippi River and the fourth oldest continuously operating governor’s estate in the nation. While it was damaged during a fire back in 2008, fortunately, renovation efforts were underway at the time with its contents kept safely in storage. Guided tours are available. However, reservations are required, and they must be made at least a week in advance due to background screening measures. So, you’ll need to plan ahead.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Located near the University of Texas at Austin, this fascinating and well laid-out museum is named for the state’s 38th lieutenant governor. It is the ideal way to delve into the state’s rich past with a wide range of artifacts, including everything from the spacesuit Edgar Mithcell used in the Apollo 14 mission to the moon to the original Goddess of Liberty statue, which once sat at the top of the Capitol dome. The museum also hosts the biggest IMAX screen in Texas, a 4D theater that features documentary shorts, a cafe with an outdoor patio and a museum store.

Mount Bonnell at Covert Park

Mount Bonnell not only offers a scenic view, but it’s been designated a Texas Historic Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The 775-foot-high outcrop is the highest point in the area, located along the Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River, with its peak reached by climbing over 100 steps to reach. A relatively easy climb, as you walk, you’ll be able to read signs and preserved landmarks that reveal more about the mountain and its history. Once at the summit, look forward to a panoramic vista of downtown, the lake, and the 360 bridge. It’s an ideal place for a picnic or just enjoying a bit of solitude as well as watching for wildlife like Texas spiny lizards, armadillos, and purple martins.

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