South Congress

Nicknamed SoCo, this trendy Austin neighborhood has attracted the attention of famous musicians and presidents, and is home to a huge urban bat colony.

Experience the up-and-coming cultural scene of South Congress. This neighborhood used to be considered one of the seedier parts of Austin. In recent years, it has transformed into “SoCo,” one of the trendiest parts in the state capital. Enjoy great shopping, live music and more.

Wander along the streets and pause to appreciate the view of Downtown Austin from the crest of South Congress Avenue. Among modern high-rises, look for the classic form of the pink granite State Capitol building on the horizon.

Take a scenic trip on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. Follow the 10-mile (16-kilometer) path along Lady Bird Lake. Enjoy the serenity of nature within the city.

Say hello to Austin’s most notorious residents at Congress Avenue Bridge. By day, the bridge is an unassuming crossing across Lady Bird Lake. By night, it comes to life as one of the world’s largest urban bat colonies emerges. Stop by at dusk to witness the spectacle.

Shop your way through South Congress. Browse through vintage stores, boutiques and galleries. Neighborhood stalwart, Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds and Electric Ladyland, is supposedly where Bob Dylan shopped for his signature outfits.

South Congress is a diner’s paradise. Sample barbecue and Tex-Mex from food trucks, tiny bistros and stylish restaurants. Try the El Presidente plate, which includes one chicken taco, one beef taco and one tamale and guacamole taco, at Güero’s Taco Bar. The dish was named in honor of repeat patron President Bill Clinton.

Visit the Continental Club for an evening of pure Texas entertainment. This legendary music venue hosts headline country, rock, jazz and blues acts from around the country.

Every day in South Congress is special, but First Thursdays is extra special. Shops stay open late and live music performances provide entertainment. Come here on the first Thursday of each month and soak up the convivial atmosphere.

South Congress is bordered by Lady Bird Lake to the north and Oltorf to the south. Find other historic South Austin districts, such as Bouldin Creek to the west and Travis Heights, nearby.

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