Austin Landmarks and Monuments
(Austin, Texas - TX, USA)
The State Capitol serves as the city's most prominent landmark and dominates downtown Austin, with its glittering pink Texas granite. Visitors will find that the State Capitol building has the aptly named Capitol Visitors Center, the oldest surviving office building in Texas, as its neighbor.
The rather grand Governor's Mansion is nearby, while the ornate four-storey Driskill Hotel shows off some startling features and Mount Bonnell offers the perfect viewing platform for the cityscape of Austin and its surroundings.
Capitol Visitors Center
Address: 112 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas TX, 78711, USA
Tel: +1 512 305 8400
Originally the General Land Office, which maintained survey holdings and other records, the Capitol Visitors Center has recently enjoyed a multimillion dollar facelift and is located at the entrance to the capitol complex. The German-Romanesque structure's most well-known employee was the writer O. Henry, who worked here in the 1880s as a draftsman and later penned two stories regarding his tenure here. You can also view a permanent history exhibit of the capitol and other temporary exhibits.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00
Address: 11th Street / Congress Street, Austin, Texas TX, USA
Tel: +1 512 463 0063
The restored and expanded State Capitol has the largest area of any capitol building in the country and is actually slightly taller than the US Capitol itself. The rotunda is spectacular and resides at the intersection of the main corridors, while a series of tunnels connect the capitol with other state buildings. Visitors can watch the legislative proceedings from the third-floor balcony, which offers a commanding view over the second-floor house and senate chambers. One of Austin's most famous landmarks, free guided tours of the State Capitol are offered.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 07:00 to 10:00, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 20:00; tours, Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 16:30, Saturday - 09:30 to 15:30, Sunday - 12:00 to 15:30
Admission: free, tours available lasting approximately 45 minutes
Address: 604 Brazos Street, Austin, Texas TX, 78701, USA
Tel: +1 512 474 5911
The reputedly haunted Driskill Hotel was built by the mega-rich cattle baron Jesse Driskill in the 1880s and was later used by the state legislature while the capitol was being built. The four-story hotel is ornate and features a huge archway and other striking characteristics, such as two-story porches and Romanesque Revival columns. Guests have reported strange goings-on in the hotel over the years, including lights turning on and off by themselves and plenty of creaks and bangs.
Open hours: daily - all hours
Address: 1010 Colorado Street, Austin, Texas TX, 78701, USA
Tel: +1 512 463 5516
Home to every Texan governor since the state's fifth, the Governor's Mansion was designed by the renowned architect Abner Cook in 1865 and is one of Austin's most elegant buildings. The mansion is well decked out with furnishings, including Sam Houston's bed, as well as antiques and paintings from the old days, and was constructed using local bricks and wood. On a tour of the building, look out for holes in the banister, where Governor James Hogg hammered in tacks to stop his children from sliding down it.
Open hours: tours every 20 minutes - Monday to Thursday 10:00 to 12:00
Address: 3800 Mount Bonnell Road, Austin, Texas TX, 78731, USA
Tel: +1 512 974 6700
Located northwest of downtown Austin and named after the journalist and soldier who fought in the Texan struggle for independence, William Bonnell, Mount Bonnell is the best place to gain a general perspective over the area and offers unrivalled views of the city. The monument stands at 750 feet / 229 meters and is accessible by 100 steep steps, with views of the city, the hills to the west and the Texas Colorado River.
Open hours: daily - 05:00 to 22:00