Esther's Follies#18 in Best Things To Do in Austin
Located on Austin’s iconic Sixth Street, Esther's Follies offers comedic twists on singing, dancing, juggling, magic shows and sketches. The show began in 1977, and its absurd brand of politics and pop culture parody has appealed to the eclectic crowds of Sixth Street ever since. Now, tourists and locals agree that Esther’s Follies boasts all of the bona fides of an Austin tradition. Keep in mind that there is a taqueria attached to the courtyard at Esther’s Follies, plus a full on-site bar.
Past travelers describe the show as a Texas-style iteration of “Saturday Night Live.” Recent visitors also suggest arriving an hour or two early if you buy general admission tickets, as they’re on a first-come, first-served basis. They also warn that if you arrive early enough to snag a spot in the front row, be prepared to participate in the show.
Esther’s Follies puts on 8 p.m. shows every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, plus additional shows at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. General admission tickets will cost guests $25, while reserved seating costs $30 or $35, depending on the quality of the seat. Travelers can purchase tickets in advance, and performances do sell out, so be sure to check the show’s website. Esther’s Follies’ location on Sixth Street puts it near many bus routes. Alternatively, the venue recommends that visitors with cars park one block away at Convention Center Parking, which costs $10 for the night.
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#1 State Capitol
Standing stoically in the heart of central Austin is Texas's legislative center, the State Capitol. Opened in 1888, this pink-granite landmark stands 14 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Much of the capitol, including the 218-foot rotunda, the chamber of the Hall of Representatives and the governor's receiving room, still look the same as they did when the capitol opened.
The structure underwent a large-scale restoration starting in the 1980s, including replacing the zinc statue of the Goddess of Liberty that sits atop the dome with an aluminum one. The restoration also included a 667,000-square-foot underground extension that was completed in 1993 to accommodate how much the state government had grown. Many visitors say it's the most impressive state legislative building they've ever seen, but they also warn it can be crowded at times. If you want to learn a bit of Texas history without having to pay an entrance fee, you can't beat a visit to the capitol building, according to past travelers. The building is also a featured stop on many of the best tours in Austin.
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