Price & Hours
- Sightseeing Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Local Experts Scorecard
Based on 9 interviews
If You Have Time
Read about how we rank Things to Do.
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.
Visitors to the State Capitol are welcome to explore the building and the grounds on their own using the self-guided tour pamphlets provided by the Capitol Visitors Center (also available to download on the State Preservation Board's website), or they can tag along on a free guided tour, which generally last about 30 minutes. Tours are offered daily. Travelers can also learn more about Texas's history at the exhibits inside the Capitol Visitor's Center located at the southeast corner of the capitol grounds. Parking is free for the first two hours. Several bus routes, including No. 7 and 10, stop near the capitol. Hours vary depending on the building and season, so check the State Preservation Board's website to plan your visit.
- Thing to Do