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“One of the better Capitol Building experiences”

Texas State Capitol
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Capitol of Texas Segway Tour
Ranked #10 of 339 things to do in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: If it's in Texas, it must be bigger and better. That is the motto that architects followed with the Capitol Building in Austin. At one time, it was the tallest capitol building in the nation. Others might be taller now, but this is still a beautiful building that shows off many of the natural resources which are so prevalent in Texas, such as limestone and the landscapes.
Reviewed 16 June 2012

I have visited a number of state capitol buildings and this is certainly one of the better ones out there. Start your visit at the capitol visitor's center, an entire building that is located across the scenic landscaping southeast of the capitol building off of 11th street in the old General Land Office building. We did not park there, but I was told that the first 2 hours are free, or you can park all day for $8. The visitor's center has a really great little museum up on the second floor and admission is free. There are several films playing, historic clothing for kids to dress up, a whole section dedicated to historic land surveying. If you don't have time (or money) to spend the hours necessary to see the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, then this is a nice little substitute.

Take some time to walk around the beautiful grounds and see the sculptures. Picnics are allowed and encouraged! Then access the capitol building at any one of the four entrances, but the south entrance (closest to the visitor's center) is where the free guided tours start, which last about 30 minutes are were both informative and entertaining. Just be aware that tour groups can be quite large so you may want to (politely) work your way to the front of the crowd to hear what is going on. Their are elevators that take you to each level if you need wheelchair/stroller access. You are welcome to do a self-guided tour if you wish and there are pamphlets available for both the inside of the building and the capitol grounds outside. Note that you will have to go through security, so save yourself some hassle and leave any unnecessary metal (coins, belt buckles, etc) at home or in the car.

The building itself is quite impressive with a storied history, as you'd expect from Texas! And the stunning view up into the rotunda and intricate ceilings even kept my toddler mesmerized as we listened to the tour guide. We only spent about an hour there, which was fortunately early in the morning because as we were leaving, it was really filling up fast! If you want to learn even more about Texas history, and have a few hours to spare, take a nice 10-minute stroll down Congress Avenue and visit the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

1  Thank KiwiUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"beautiful building"
in 577 reviews
"free tour"
in 268 reviews
"guided tour"
in 302 reviews
"house and senate chambers"
in 60 reviews
"pink granite"
in 71 reviews
"lots of history"
in 126 reviews
"open to the public"
in 61 reviews
"great history"
in 78 reviews
"walk around"
in 99 reviews
"gift shop"
in 131 reviews
"visitor center"
in 63 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 62 reviews
"visiting austin"
in 98 reviews
in 301 reviews
in 475 reviews
in 1,418 reviews
in 150 reviews

5,566 - 5,570 of 6,411 reviews

Reviewed 16 June 2012

Took the kids to see the State Capitol. Beautiful building. Took the guided tour. Very informative. Better for older children.

Thank barnk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2012

The Capitol cafeteria provides solid fare that is tasty and priced for employees. This is no gourmet kitchen, but while you're touring the grounds it is a good place to stop and eat.

Thank Kaiser_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2012

Looks great from the outside but you can explore most of this impressive building inside. No cahrge to enter. Cool and calm away from downtown and the heat.

1  Thank steve_e_hewitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 June 2012

Everyone who visits Austin should take a guided tour of our capital building. There is so much history that is so unique about the building of this capitol. I'm a native Texan and learned so much about the history of this state.

1  Thank honeysuckle63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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