Mexic-Arte Museum#14 in Best Things To Do in Austin
Perched along Congress Avenue, just a couple blocks south of The Driskill, the Mexic-Arte Museum is devoted to the conservation of Mexican and Latin American art and culture. Home to a fascinating permanent collection, which includes photographs from the Mexican Revolution and traditional ritual masks as well as more contemporary works from local artists, the museum also features theatrical and musical performances year-round.
Recent travelers said the museum was a pleasant surprise and recommend stopping in the eclectic gift shop, where works from local artists are available for purchase. Many described the museum as "small, but mighty."
The Mexic-Arte Museum is open daily – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $7 for adults with discounts for students and senior citizens. Metered street parking is available along 5th Street, Congress Avenue and the surrounding blocks. The museum is also on several bus routes, including No. 801, and blocks from the Downtown MetroRail Station. Check out the Mexic-Arte museum's website for more information.
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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.
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