Mayfield Park and Preserve#16 in Best Things To Do in Austin
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Despite being listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Mayfield Park and Preserve attracts travelers primarily because of its exorbitant population of peacocks. One historical cottage and gardens sit in the estate, which Mary Mayfield Gutsch donated to the city of Austin in 1971. The manicured portion takes up only a tiny part of the relatively small park, which totals less than 0.1 square miles. The rest of the park is accessible via walking trails, which allow visitors to observe the peacocks that call the park home.
Past visitors were impressed by the beautiful peacocks, which remained relatively calm given the steady stream of gawkers. Mayfield Park and Preserve is located about 5 miles northwest of downtown Austin. The No. 335 bus provides the best public transit option, though, travelers will still need to walk just under a mile to reach the park. Mayfield Park is free to access and open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Keep in mind that the park does not permit pets. To learn more about Mayfield Park and Preserve’s history, as well as more information to plan a visit, check out the park’s website.
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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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